History of Neely's Bend
Church of Christ

Early History
Song Leaders
Bus Ministry
The future as God wills...

The Neely's Bend area was settled in 1848 after the Indians stopped their raids on settlers. There was not a church building in these early years so neighbors would meet in each others homes to worship.

The Neely's Bend Church of Christ was established in April of 1872 when 12 members of the church began meeting at the school house in the Bend located 10 miles from Nashville. "They meet regularly every Lord's day, read and talk over the Scriptures and show forth their love for the Saviour," stated W. D. Gentry who held a meeting for them in July of that year. During the meeting, which lasted from Sunday through Thursday, one person was added to the church. He also spurred them on with the statement, "Go on Brethren, continue faithful in well doing. The Lord will bless and prosper you in every good work." (Gospel Advocate, September 12,1972 ) Top of page

William Lipscomb (1829-1906) was one of the first preachers in the Bend. He was an older brother of David Lipscomb and a very able Bible scholar. E.G. Sewell (1810-1924) was another of the pioneer preachers in the Bend. He had been a student of William Lipscomb at Franklin College. Most converts during this period were baptized in the Cumberland River.

For a long time the congregation had no regular preacher. Students from the Nashville Bible School/David Lipscomb College (circa.1918) came to assist in the worship. Among those were A.T. Richie Sr. and R.V. Cawthorn. Later, when interest and attendance were at a low ebb, Lipscomb students again assisted. In particular, Andy T. Richie Jr. was active in arousing new interest and attendance increased at all services. Clyde Shacklett and other members of the Chapel Avenue congregation encouraged the members and worked to increase growth. During the 1920s, when the congregation was composed primarily of women, a Brother Sanders led the prayer, singing, waited on the table and did the speaking. From 1935 to 1940, Noah Chaffin served the congregation in the same manner. Some of the preachers who served once a month were: Andy T. Richie Sr., Sam Litton, Alvin Dunkleberger, Clyde Shacklett, James Allen, Joe Sanders and John Winkler.

The first full-time preacher was W.A. Thomason (1951-52).Others were C.J. Garner (1953-58) Cliett Goodpasture (1959-62), Noel Meredith (1963 to August 1965), Tom Cook (August 1965 to November 1968), John Hudson (1969-72), Norman Trevathan (1973 to May 1976), Lonnie Blackwell (June 1976 to 1977), John Jarrett (1978 to April 1979), Ted Carruth (May 1979 to June 1983), Jim Costello (June 1983 to January 1996), Bill Shipman (1996 to 2002), Norman Slate (2002 to 2003), Don Readhimer (2003 to 2010), Mike Tidwell (2010-2022), Phillip Staggs (2022-2023), Our current minister is Jay Scott.

Rob Hatchett was an Associate Minister
(2006-2007), Jim Bill McInteer was an Associate Minister and Adult Bible class teacher (2002 -2010). Norman Slate was our Associate Minister and Adult Bible class teacher for the first half of 2014 and from 2014 - 2019 our Associate Minister and adult Bible class teacher was Carl Goad. Our Associate Minister and adult Bible class teacher is John Miller, who filled in as minister until Jay Scott joined us in August, 2023 as our minister. Andrew Curle and Jonathan Dedmon filled in for Wednesday Night Bible Study teacher.   

Some of the preachers who have held Gospel meetings are: H. Leo Boles, Harris Dark, Batsell Barrett Baxter, Mack Wayne Craig, Willard Collins, G.E. Woods, Guy N. Woods, Lewis Maiden, Jack Wilhelm, Charles Chumley, Thomas Whitfield, Paul Hunton, Yater Tant, Rufus Clifford, J.B. Gaither, G.C. Brewer, John Allen Chalk, Robert Hooper, J. Roy Vaughn, James Watkins, Bill Ruhl, B.C. Goodpasture, Skip Stewart, W.A. Bradfield, Basil Overton, Don Castleman, Homer Daniel, Ira North, Carl McKelvey, Jimmy Dorris, John Hudson, Cliett Goodpasture, Clarence Daily, Tom Holland, Milton Irvin, Billy Shipman, Myron Keith, Phil Powers, William Woodson, and Jim Brown. top of page

In the early ‘40s, the men of the congregation studied the attributes of the elders for six weeks. Included in this group were: J.C. Baird, Jeff Beck, Grover Cammuse, L.C. Huffines, Elbert Kelly, Ed Menees, Andy T. Richie Sr. and Andy T. Richie Jr.  As a result of this study, the first elders were appointed: Jeff Beck, L.C. Huffines and Andy T. Richie Sr. Other elders who have shepherded the flock are: Andy T. Richie Jr., J.C. Baird, Ed Marlin, Cliffe Traylor, Homer Roark, Harris Knowles, Jeff Beck, Lynn Banks, Glenn Burton, Jerrell Campbell, Thomas Smith, Billy Shipman, Richard Botts, Tom Garner, Joe Burns, and Doug Crabtree. Our current elders (or shepherds) are: Rick Brewer and Tom Staggs.  Top of page

Deacons who have served the congregation are: J.C. Baird, Andy T. Richie Jr., Ben Morgan, Ed Menees, Thomas Smith, Elwood Traylor, Tommy Rains, Richard Fox, Lynn Banks, Grover Cammuse, Bernis Shipman, Robert Moore, Tom Garner, Billy Shipman, J. R Compton, Tim North, Al Akin, Robert Pettus, James Hudgins, Rick Brewer, Joe Burns, Doug Crabtree, Bill Rucker, Tom Staggs, David Adams, and David North. The Deacons at the present time are: Woody Harris, and Van Maxwell.
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Song leaders for the church have been Jimmy Garner, Tom Garner, Elbert Kelly, Tim Pate, Grover Cammuse, Billy Holt, Ben Hawkins, Jeff Beck, Neil Logue, Jeff McKinley, Paul Ladd, Hollis Morrison, Jeff Sherrill, Will Shipman, Brandon Johnson, Tim North, Rob Hatchett and Tom Staggs.  Presently, singing is led by Rick Brewer.  Top of page

First Building 
The original building of the Neely's Bend Church of Christ was built in 1880 on a lot donated by the Washington Hudson family. All classes were conducted in the auditorium. As the congregation grew, additional space and equipment was needed.  So in 1940, two classrooms and a basement furnace were added to the old building under the supervision of E.W. Traylor Sr. and A.T. Richie Sr. This building was home for the congregation until 1956 and was used as a recreational building after worship services were moved into the new building. The old building was destroyed by fire in the mid-1970s.

The present brick building was built on a lot donated by Richard and Vivian Fox and was completed in September 1956 at a cost of $44,000. The benches, podium and Lord’s Supper table were purchased for $4,400. The Elders, L.C. Huffines, J.C. Baird, Jeff Beck, Ed Marlin and Cliffe Traylor, supervised the construction of the building. C.J. Garner was the preacher at that time and was instrumental in building the new place of worship. Additional classrooms and a fellowship room were built in 1963.   Top of page


Neely's Bend was one of the first churches in the area to have a church bus. Brother Huffines’ milk truck ran on Bible study nights in 1941.

A new 40-passenger bus was purchased in 1943 and operated into the 1950s. The bus allowed the members to attend meetings throughout the area.
Click on above picture for enlargement and identification of members pictured.
(Very large picture and will take a while to download)
Booster Carter, then Ed Menees were our first bus drivers.

A new bus was purchased in 2002 and a growing Bus Ministry is planned.  

Bus and one of our drivers  Debbie McMasters

A second bus was added in March of 2006 to the Bus Ministry.
This bus will be primarily used by the Youth Ministry and smaller groups.

The future as God wills...

As we look at where the congregation has been, we realize that it has importance only as a measure of how much it has served, loved and ministered to people and, more importantly, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With the full realization that we are here for only a little while, our focus is on pleasing our God today by striving to live as He would have us to live. We accept the Bible to be the inerrant word of our God to each of us and so we read and study it. We believe that every promise made to us in this book will be kept by a loving God and so we preach the good news contained in His word.

As you have time and opportunity please come visit and even become a part of this fellowship of believers who truly love one another and are in love with our Lord. Our yesterdays have been filled with memorable occasions and accomplishments in service to man and to God and we rejoice in remembering.  Our greatest joy, however, is looking to our future walk of love in His service.  

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at Neely's Bend Church of Christ soon!


  Neely's Bend Church of Christ
  1502 Neely's Bend
  Madison, Tennessee 37115
  Phone (615) 865-1836

  Email us here





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