Beech Creek History
The former pastors of Beech Creek were the late Rev. Ike Easley, Rev. Tom Watkins, Rev. Rouse and Rev. Grisby. Rev. Ed Harris pastored the church until his health failed. At that time, the late Rev. Will Easley acted for a short time as pastor until Rev. John H. Garnett, Jr. was called to pastor.
Church services continued in the country for over 17 years under the pastorate of Rev. John H. Garnett, Jr. In January 1964, the membership voted to move to Nashville since many of the members were deceased or had moved out of the community.
The move would give greater opportunity for growth, so a small frame church building was rented the Trimble Bottom area of Nashville. The members worshipped at that location for about nine months. At that time, Rev. Garnett was pastoring at Beech Creek and at New Shiloh in Lebanon, Tennessee at the same time. On the Sundays when he was at New Shiloh in Lebanon, Rev. Henry Tucker carried on for him at Beech Creek. In October 1964, we were blessed to purchase a small frame church building at 2023 10th Avenue South in Nashville. Church services began in November 1964 at the new location. Rev. Garnett’s pastorate continued until April 1969 at which time he resigned to pastor full-time at New Shiloh since he had made Lebanon, Tennessee his permanent residence.
Through the direction of the Holy Spirit, Rev. Garnett led our congregation for a total of 23 years. Upon his resignation, Rev. Henry Tucker acted as Pastor until Rev. O.R. Parks was called to pastor Beech Creek in June 1969. A few months later, we purchased a flat top brick building at our present site and motorcaded from 2023 10th Avenue South on November 9, 1969.
Rev. Parks’ pastorate continued until August 18, 1974. Upon his departure, Rev. Leon Rucker acted as Pastor until Rev. Frank Kelly was called to pastor in January 1975. During Rev. Kelly’s 11 years as Pastor, the church was bountifully blessed. Our membership grew by approximately 240 members and the building was renovated under the prayerful leadership of Rev. Kelly. The dedicatory service of our new edifice was held on October 24, 1976. Other accomplishments under Rev. Kelly’s leadership included the purchase of an organ, church van, and three solar lights for the church lawn.
In September 1985, Rev. Kelly resigned as Pastor. While seeking a new leader, Rev. Gary Long, Sr. was elected to serve as interim pastor. For five months, he faithfully and diligently worked with the congregation as the Holy Spirit directed.
In February 1986, God sent Rev. Barry Burns. Although, Rev. Burns pastored Beech Creek for only 13 months, the Lord had endowed him with an unsurpassed spiritual determination and powerful vision for leading God’s people. During this time, the church was blessed with 28 new members, a midweek Wednesday night service as added and tithes and offerings increased by 50%.
Beech Creek Missionary Baptist Church
The choir stand was enlarged, new dining chairs purchased as well as new hymnals books and a public address system. Rev. Burns’ pastorate ended abruptly on May 8, 1987 due to his untimely death. Rev. Kerry Frazier was elected as interim pastor shortly thereafter.
In January 1988, Rev. Grant Watkins, Jr. became pastor of Beech Creek. At the time, there were about 60 regular members and only 11 were men. Soon after Rev. Watkins arrival, God’s Way began to work. The congregation grew to approximately 200 members, eight deacons, five mothers, four associate ministers, four choirs including a youth choir. He formed a lively brotherhood, women’s guild, youth department. The Lord blessed Beech Creek to burn its mortgage, beautify the church, added two new restrooms; new choir robes and chairs, and installed a steeple and other great things.
In the fall of 1993, Beech Creek was fortunate to pave the parking lot. In the spring of 1994, a balcony was built, purchased new choir robes, a computer and a church sign. The Lord added to the church ten deacons, eight mothers, five associate ministers, a Nurse’s Guild, Missionary Society, and purchased an organ. Rev. Watkins led Beech Creek until his retirement in December 2006.
In January 2007, Rev. Davie Tucker, Jr. was selected as interim pastor. In February, 2007, he was selected to pastor Beech Creek. Under Pastor Tucker’s leadership, Beech Creek has grown and expanded beyond its church walls. In 2007, the new Fellowship Hall and multipurpose building construction was completed. The two (2) houses the church purchased on Goodrich Road were demolished and the new additional parking lot was paved. The Center for Imagination youth enrichment program was created and in 2008, Beech Creek Ministries, Inc., a 501c3 organization was established.
In 2008, Pastor Tucker was instrumental in rediscovering the church’s cemetery in Brentwood, Tennessee. The Beech Creek Cemetery is located on about an acre of land on Johnson’s Chapel Road and is maintained by the church’s Men and Young Men’s groups annually. The church sanctuary was remodeled including the Pastor’s study. The church purchased a 14-passenger van after a successful fundraising campaign. The youth ministry was expanded as well as the Men’s Ministry to include a monthly breakfast. The following annual events were instituted under Pastor Tucker’s watch to the schedule: Thanksgiving Day Service, Seniors Day, Men’s and Women’s Conferences, and Women’s and Men’s Retreats.
An 8:00 morning Sunday worship service was added to the weekly service schedule, as well as Tuesday Noon Bible Study and Women’s Bible Study classes. A Young Adult Choir and Praise & Worship Ensemble were established and a new minister of music was hired. The Usher Board was increased to include an all-male corps, five new deacons and four new mothers were added to their respective ministries. Beech Creek outreach ministry included providing a continuous service at the Family Life Center, a shelter for women and children.