Madison Creek Baptist Church

Madison Creek Baptist Church
Long Hollow Pike
Goodlettsville, Sumner County, Tennessee

By Gaby Richards

Reprinted with permission

On August 26, 1953 Madison Creek was brought into being as a mission of Madison Heights Baptist Church (located in Madison, Davidson County, Tennessee). A dream, shared by many different people and worked at over many years, had been made a reality.

It all began in November 1943, when the deacons of First Baptist Church, Goodlettsville, Davidson County, Tennessee, voted to recommend that a mission be sponsored at the Madison Creek School building with Dale Penuel in charge of the work. The recommendation was approved and revival services were held at the school led by Rev. Tanksley, pastor of First Baptist Church. The Sunday School was organized with 48 people present and enrolled on the first Sunday. The Sunday School and worship services, led by Rev. Tanksley, were on Sunday afternoons.

It was agreed that all who were saved and joined the mission at Madison Creek School would become members of First Baptist Church, Goodlettsville. During the first year of the mission, 19 people joined.

The mission lasted about four years, or until 1947. Gasoline and tire rationing during the war made travel difficult. Mr. Penuel's job required shift work that caused him to have to give up being Sunday School superintendent. No one else was found who could assume the responsibility for the Sunday School work, so the adults, youth, and children were bussed to First Baptist and the mission was closed.

On June 17, 1953, Madison Heights Baptist Church in Madison, Tennessee, acted on a recommendation from their deacons to "extend an arm to the Madison Creek Community" by establishing a mission.

Two members of Madison Heights were elected to lead the work at the mission. Robert B. Dorris, Jr., was elected as Associate Pastor of Madison Heights and Mission Pastor at Madison Creek. Willis Horton was elected as assistant to Dorris in the Madison Creek work.

Rev. Dorris and Rev. Horton began to visit in the community taking a census and inviting those interested to services on a certain Sunday. The two men made cardboard signs and nailed them on posts throughout the community. The opinion of the people contacted was very positive as to the need for a church in this area. It is all summed up very simply, but also very meaningfully, in the statement of one of the ladies of the Madison Creek Community, who when questioned by Bro. Horton replied, "I need the Lord."

The mission met in the Madison Creek School house. The old, two-story building had served as a school for many years. Chairs were borrowed from Madison Heights Church and 24 new Broadman Hymnals were given. They were given an old pulpit stand from the director of the Cora Tibbs Mission. They bought a piano for $25 from a co-worker of Rev. Dorris, and took pie tins and cut out towel bottoms which were glued in for offering plates. The mission arranged to get one quarter's literature from the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee.

After much prayer, deliberation, consideration and investigation Madison Creek Baptist Mission had its official beginning on August 26, 1953.

The first officers of the mission were Ted Carr, church clerk; H. G. Heath, treasurer; Thomas Kemp, Sunday School superintendent; O. B. McDuffee, Training Union director.

In 1954 Rev. Dorris resigned to move to Alabama and Rev. Horton was elected as pastor.

By 1955, the two-year-old mission was ready for a change in its status and its relationship to the church that had begun the work. The missionary zeal, the faithfulness and determination of those who began the work of the Lord at Madison Creek soon led the mission to be established as the Madison Creek Baptist Church.

On February 27, 1955 at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, Madison Creek Baptist Mission was duly organized as a Southern Baptist Church. R. T. Whitehead of Madison Heights Baptist Church brought a recommendation from that church that Madison Creek Baptist Mission be organized into a church.

A statement from Thomas Kemp brought 51 names that requested that these people be organized into a church and thanking Madison Heights for their assistance. H. G. Heath gave a financial statement showing that the mission had $1,086 on hand. Bro. Horton was elected pastor.

The 51 Charter Members of Madison Creek Baptist Church were as follows:

1. Mrs. Grace Diatikar 26. Edwin McDuffee
2. Miss Barbara Diatikar         27. Brown Carr
3. Mr. Luther Jones 28. Hazel Carr
4. Mrs. Luther Jones 29. Betty Taylor
5. Mr. O. B. McDuffee 30. Billy Jo Taylor
6. Mrs. O. B. McDuffee 31. Saddie Long
7. Mrs. H. G. Heath 32. James Long
8. Mr. J. R. Compton 33. Annette Briley
9. Mrs. J. R. Compton 34. Paul Johnson
10. Jackie Sue Thomas 35. Margaret Johnson
11. Albert Thomas 36. James Fredrick
12. Robert Carr 37. Mildred Fredrick
13. Mrs. Thomas Kemp 38. Jimmie Fredrick
14. Mr. Thomas Kemp 39. Terrell Fredrick
15. Mr. Leonard Briley 40. Ted Coleman
16. Mrs. Leonard Briley 41. Joann McCoin
17. Mrs. Eddie Escue 42. Gladis Pryor
18. Ted Carr 43. C. B. Pryor
19. Clyde Carr 44. John Fultz
20. Hillman Carr 45. Velma Fultz
21. H. G. Heath 46. Jackie Fredrick
22. Mrs. Henry Escue 47. Mrs. Arddie Heath
23. Mr. Henry Escue 48. Barbara Eubanks
24. Ted Hood 49. Henry Diatikar
25. Ann Perry 50. Dean Eubanks
  51. Donnie Armstrong

The first deacons of Madison Creek Baptist Church were Thomas Kemp, Paul Johnson, and O. B. McDuffee.

Rev. Fred Johnson became pastor on October 1, 1956.

At the July 1957 business meeting, Mrs. Brown Carr made a motion that the church begin a WMU (Woman's Missionary Union) for women. The motion passed. At the same meeting, the church voted to buy the house next door from Aubrey Moore for $3,100. The house was to be used as rental property and/or as the pastor's home.

Rev. Johnson served as pastor of the church until May 4, 1958.

Rev. John D. Carnes became pastor of the church on May 25, 1958, and served as pastor until November 30, 1958.

Rev. John Taylor became the pastor on May 24, 1959 and served until February 7, 1960.

Rev. Paul Williams became pastor in February 1960, and served until September 1, 1961.

In November 1961, the church organized a Brotherhood for the men for the first time.

On November 16, 1961, Rev. Fred Johnson became pastor of the church for the second time. Robert A. Gammon was the music director and Bobby Gammon was the pianist. During Bro. Johnson's ministry many progressive steps were made.

On January 9, 1963, the church voted to build a new church building and to sell the house owned by the church including ten feet of land next to the church.

Madison Creek started out as a part of the Nashville Baptist Association, but in December 1963, the church voted to transfer to the Bledsoe Association.

At the January 8, 1964 business meeting the church voted to sell the old school building. In February, the old building was sold for $105.

In April 1964, the church made plans for the dedication of the new church building. The date for the dedication service was set for May 17, 1964.

Bro. Johnson resigned as pastor on November 9, 1966, and he and a group of former Madison Creek members shortly after formed Page Heights Baptist Church in Goodlettsville.

On February 15, 1967, Rev. James H. Mayes was called as the first full-time pastor. James Conner was the music director. Also that year, the church purchased its first organ.

On April 5, 1967, Mrs. Nellie Seigenthaler was elected as church secretary, and served in this position until her death in March 1970.

The church constitution and by-laws were adopted in June 1967.

It was on August 2, 1967 that the church voted to proceed with the building of the educational building and furnishings. On August 6, 1967, ground was broken to mark the beginning of the new educational facility. It was to be 50 x 80 feet brick veneer. Richard Helton was the architect and Guy Bellar was the contractor. No figures are available on the exact cost of this building since much of the work was donated by members. The church planned to finish and utilize only the lower floor for classrooms at the time. The building was completed in December 1967 and dedicated on July 14, 1968.

Bro. Mayes served as pastor until April 23, 1969.

Rev. W. W. Harrison became pastor of Madison Creek on September 3, 1969.

By November 1969, the church auditorium needed to be enlarged, and the church voted to extend the auditorium 15 feet back toward the creek, with the men of the church doing the work. This would give the auditorium a seating capacity of 250. At the same time, the second story of the educational building was finished for additional classrooms.

The record breaking day in Sunday School was on Sunday, August 27, 1972, when the attendance total was 274. The highest number of annual baptisms was 53, also in 1972. The highest church membership on record was 680 in 1977.

In April 1977, the church purchased 9 acres of land adjoining the church property for a total cost of $55,000. The 9 acres included a nine-room house and two buildings.

W. W. Harrison served as pastor until November 6, 1977. Shortly after his resignation, Bro. Harrison and a group of former Madison Creek members started Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville.

Rev. Curtis Tuggle became pastor of the church on April 30, 1978 and served as pastor until June 11, 1978. Steve LeMay was minister of music and youth.

In the summer of 1979, the house on the 9 acres owned by the church was completely remodeled and redecorated. Dale Penuel coordinated the work and many of the members worked on the house getting it ready to serve as a home for a new pastor.

Rev. James G. Munro became pastor of the church on September 2, 1979. He served until November 15, 1981. Don Stringfellow was minister of music.

On February 7, 1982, Rev. James H. Mayes returned as pastor. James Conner was music director; Gaby Hardison, organist; and Bonnie Derrick, pianist.

Three days later, on February 10, 1982, while O. T. Sloan was attempting to light a propane heater in the parsonage on the property, the heater exploded. The house was completely destroyed by fire and Bro. Sloan received third degree burns over a large portion of his body. He recovered after a lengthy stay in the hospital.

In the May 4, 1983 business meeting, the House and Grounds Committee recommended that a 1,200 square foot picnic shelter be built on the property complete with water and electrical power.

Bro. Mayes served as pastor until October 9, 1983 when he resigned to move back home to Franklin, Kentucky, to care for his aging parents.

On November 9, 1983, Dr. James L. Ryan began his ministry as pastor of Madison Creek and served until October 20, 1985.

The picnic shelter was used for the first time for a church-wide picnic on September 15, 1984. A dedication service for the picnic shelter was held on April 14, 1985.

In April 1986, Rev. Philip Dougan began his ministry as pastor of Madison Creek.

Renovation and remodeling of the church auditorium and choir loft began in 1987, complete with installation of beautiful stained glass windows. The large windows were donated by various families in the church in memory of loved ones passed on.

Bro. Dougan resigned as pastor of Madison Creek on November 19, 1989.

Bro. Fred Davis was called as pastor in 1991 and served until July 1993. Gary Valentine was minister of music during this time; Gaby Richards was the organist and Rick Warren was the pianist.

Bro. Andrew Higgins was called as pastor on March 27, 1994 and served until January 13, 1999. Jon Briggs was minister of music; Gaby Richards, organist; and Linda Stevens, pianist.

In May 1999, Dr. James L. Ryan began his second ministry at Madison Creek as pastor.

In 2001, Mrs. Louise Crawford made beautiful pale blue choir robes with white collars for the choir to use for special occasions. Kimber Norris was minister of music at this time and Linda Stevens was the pianist.

In May 2003, the church voted to enlarge and remodel the kitchen and fellowship hall with the work being done mostly by members of the church. This would double the size of the fellowship area and kitchen. The newly renovated area was first used for the 50th Anniversary/Homecoming Day, August 24, 2003. The official dedication of the new area was September 28, 2003.

God has indeed been good to Madison Creek Baptist Church, and we pray He will continue to bless as He is today.


Rev. Robert B. Dorris Jr.          Started the Mission August 26 1953
  Resigned January 21 1954 to move to Alabama
Rev. Willis Horton January 21 1954 to September 30 1956
Rev. Fred Johnson October 1 1956 to May 4 1958
Rev. John D. Carnes May 25 1958 to November 30 1958
Rev. John Taylor May 24 1959 to February 7 1960
Rev. Paul Williams February 1960 to September 1 1961
Rev. Fred Johnson October 16 1961 to November 9 1966
Rev. James H. Mayes March 23 1967 to April 23 1969
Rev. W. W. Harrison September 3 1969 to November 6 1977
Rev. Curtis Tuggle April 30 1978 to June 11 1978
Rev. James G. Munro September 2 1979 to November 15 1981
Rev. James H. Mayes February 7 1982 to October 9 1983
Rev. James L. Ryan November 9 1983 to October 20 1985
Rev. Philip Dougan April 1986 to November 1989
Rev. Fred Davis 1991 to July 1993
Rev. Andrew Higgins March 27 1994 to January 13 1999
Rev. James L. Ryan May 1999 to the present

Interim Pastors Music Directors Musicians
Harold Gregory 1/67-3/67 Thomas Kemp JoAnn Williams
Charles Treadway 8/78-1/79       Robert A. Gammon        Elsie Bagsby
Wayne Todd 2/79-9/79 James Conner Christine Bagsby
Truman Brown 1/86-4/86 Barry Lord Shirley Reding
Mic Morrow 4/90-9/90 Gene Grooms Louise Wood
Ralph Hodge 11/93-3/94 Jack Watkins Karen Neeley
  Clarence Jackson Sandra McCormick
  Steve LeMay Gaby Hardison Richards
  Don Stringfellow Bonnie Derrick
  Larry Littlefield Chauncie Davenport
  Eric Hinson Barbara Reding
  Phillip Little Angie Redding
  Jon Briggs Charlotte Frakes
  Gary Valentine Elizabeth Beadle
  Rick Stephens Wanda Little
  Kimber Norris Rick Warren
    Linda Stevens
    Patty Beckwith

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