THOMPSON CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH (BEDFORD COUNTY, TENN.) RECORDS,

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1 State of Tennessee Department of State Tennessee State Library and Archives THOMPSON CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH (BEDFORD COUNTY, TENN.) RECORDS, COLLECTION SUMMARY Creator: Thompson Creek Baptist Church (Bedford County, Tenn.) Inclusive Dates: Scope & Content: Records consist of three historic books dated Record books for 1825 to 1876 are missing. Each volume was compiled by the church clerk. The clerk maintained the lists of current members in good standing; prepared records of members being formally added to the church roll; baptisms; letters of membership transfer; and lists of congregants deaths. These church records survived a house fire in the 1990s. Thompson Creek Baptist Church continues to maintain minute books, but chose to limit this collection to books no longer in use. All ledgers contain membership rolls organized by date of addition, baptism, or letter of transfer. The earliest membership date is Each ledger includes the Dead Roll or Roll of Dead Members which lists individual death dates. Each ledger contains minutes of monthly business meetings. These note appointments of deacons, ministers, and elders, and record the congregation s benevolent activities. Minutes also include discussions related to Duck River Association business, selecting church representatives to Association meetings, and hosting Association events at Thompson Creek. Minutes detail the 1889 construction of a new church building and its care and maintenance; building additions are also chronicled. 1

2 The collection contains various Association pamphlets about annual meetings and history. A few photographs exist. Finally there are research notes and articles of congregation history compiled by former Clerk and Historian, Gilley Stephens. Stephens s article, Some Early History Notes of Thompson Creek Baptist Church, specifically lists almost every delegate to the Duck River Association Meetings between 1827 and Physical Description/Extent: 1 reel : 16mm. Accession/Record Group Number: Mf Language: English Permanent Location: Mf (Available only on microfilm) Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee, Administrative/Biographical History Since 1827, a Baptist church has been located along the Thompson Creek in southern Bedford County, Tennessee, near the junction of Highway 130 E and Smith Chapel and Elijah Parker Roads. The congregation began meeting as early as 1825 as Bethlehem Baptist Church and was part of the Elk River Association. i Bethlehem was physically located on a unique tract of land. Four State of Tennessee land grants of the 1840s and 1850s identify this location as a four-acre tract set aside for a meeting house. Each grant used the acreage as a boundary and several used the meetinghouse spring as a landmark. Presley Prince, Wilkins Blanton, Willie Blanton, and Elijah Parker were the grant recipients. ii Bethlehem built a small building on this meetinghouse tract to suit the growing membership. It also included a brush arbor that was available in fair weather, and it easily doubled space for worship and events. The brush arbor was available for other religious meetings and preaching when circuit-riding preachers visited. For a brief time in 1834, Bethlehem was in the Mt. Zion Association of churches. Soon Bethlehem created joint memberships in Mt. Zion and Elk River, but when Mt. Zion changed geographically in the expanding Cumberland Plateau area, Bethlehem continued with Elk River. iii 2

3 By 1838, there was a division within the Elk River Association of Churches regarding doctrine. The division resulted in the new Duck River Association, and Bethlehem joined that new association. It also resulted in the change of the name of the congregation to Thompson Creek Baptist Church of Christ. The Association was more commonly affiliated with the Separate Baptist Association, than the Southern Baptist Associations. iv Although congregational records are missing for 1820s to 1870s, other historical records such as two loose pages of history, Constitution, and Rules of Decorum define the name change. By the 1850s the Association encouraged the congregations to drop of Christ to avoid confusion with congregations of the Disciples of Christ. In the 1870s and 1880s, the congregation s membership maintained around two hundred members and needed a building to accommodate the growing group. In February 1889 a Solicitation and Building Committee was established to raise funds and build a new building. The extra meeting minutes and reports describe the basics of design, construction costs, and identify those who subscribed or donated to the construction. v Local general store owner Manuel Riddle also kept some later records of construction supplies and other donations in his store ledgers. vi The church s first smaller building was moved across the meetinghouse tract to be reused as a schoolhouse. The small building became a wing of the new construction of the 1890s school building. In 1891 this small community of new school building, general stores, and church changed its name from Thompson Creek to Raus as part of the reorganization of all state Post Offices. There were too many Thompson names across Tennessee; so, the community, school and stores became Raus. The church continued with its historic name, Thompson Creek Baptist Church. vii The small wing to the rear of this school building was considered the first Thompson Creek Baptist Building. (Raus Schoolhouse, circa 1900) Throughout the early twentieth century, the congregation maintained a substantial membership, continued its involvement in the Duck River Association, hosted several Association meetings, and kept a strong presence in Raus. During this 3

4 time, the Baptist Church shared its location on the meetinghouse tract with other structures: the Raus Cumberland Presbyterian Church, established about 1900; the Raus Church of Christ, established in 1917; and the Raus schoolhouse. Raus Community, circa 1965; Left to right: Raus Church of Christ, Thompson Creek Baptist Church, Raus Presbyterian Church, and Raus Schoolhouse (slightly hidden by trees). Throughout the twentieth century, the physical Baptist building changed, especially the façade. Beginning in 1955, the original typical two-door entrance changed to a one-door entrance with porch. In 1974 the first porch was enclosed to add restrooms, a vestibule, and an extended front porch. In 1991 a wing was added to the back of the building for classrooms. Finally, a fellowship hall finished in 1994 completed the current structure. viii Today, Thompson Creek Baptist Church continues to maintain a strong, faithful, benevolent presence in the community and a strong membership in the Duck River Association. Notes: 1 Gilley T. Stephens, History of Baptist Churches in 24 th District, Bedford County Historical Society Quarterly 6, no. 2 (1980): State of Tennessee. Grant number 19486, to Presley Prince," March 15, Record Group 50 ( Land Grant Records ). Tennessee State Library and Archives.. Grant number to Willis Blanton, September 28, Record Group 50 ( Land Grant Records ). Tennessee State Library & Archives.. "Grant number to Wilkins Blanton," March 12, Record Group 50 (Land Grant Records ). 4

5 . "Grant number to H. C. Ferguson," March 12, Record Group 50 ( Land Grant Records ). Tennessee State Library & Archives. 3 Garner, R.J. and Patton, Mrs. James F.; History of Mt. Zion Association, Stephens, Thompson Creek Baptist Church Minutes, February 16, TSLA microfilm no A. H. Riddle & Co. General Store Ledgers, Raus, Tennessee, TSLA microfilm no Bedford County Historical Society. Raus Community, Bedford County, Tennessee, Family History (Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 2002). 8 Bomar, Bruce. Unpublished notes, Organization/Arrangement of Materials Collection arranged by document type. Conditions of Access and Use Restrictions on Access: No restrictions Restrictions on Use and Reproduction: While the Tennessee State Library and Archives houses an item, it does not necessarily hold the copyright on the item, nor may it be able to determine if the item is still protected under current copyright law. Users are solely responsible for determining the existence of such instances and for obtaining any other permissions and paying associated fees that may be necessary for the intended use. Index Terms Corporate Names/Organizations/Government Bodies: Thompson Creek Baptist Church (Bedford County, Tenn.) -- History -- Sources Duck River Association (Tenn.) -- History -- Sources Subjects: Baptists -- History -- Tennessee -- Bedford County -- Sources Geographic Names: Raus (Tenn.) -- History th Century -- Sources Raus (Tenn.) -- History th Century -- Sources Shelbyville (Tenn.) -- History th Century -- Sources Shelbyville (Tenn.) -- History th Century -- Sources Tullahoma (Tenn.) -- History th Century -- Sources 5

6 Tullahoma (Tenn.) -- History th Century -- Sources Document Types: Membership lists Minute books Notes Pamphlets Photographs Transcripts Acquisition and Appraisal Provenance and Acquisition: This collection was loaned to the Tennessee State Library and Archives by Thompson Creek Baptist Church and congregational clerk, Joyce Bomar King, of Bedford County, Tennessee in November The collection was microfilmed by TSLA and returned to the donor. Processing and Administrative Information Preferred Citation: Thompson Creek Baptist Church (Bedford County, Tenn.) Records, Processing Information: The collection was reviewed and prepared by Carol Roberts, December Existence and Location of Originals: Records are held privately by the Thompson Creek Baptist Church. Publication Note: One hundredth anniversary of the Thompson Creek Baptist Church House, : one hundred and sixty-third anniversary of the formation of Thompson Creek Baptist Church and the Duck River Association of Baptist, / clerk and editor, Gilley Stephens. Author: Stephens, Gilley. Publisher: [Raus, Tenn. : The Church, 1989] Electronic Location and Access: 6

7 DETAILED COLLECTION DESCRIPTION CONTAINER LIST Contents/Item Title Date Box Folder Minute Book Feb 19, 1876 August 30, Minute Book September 20, 1902 December Minute Book January 14, 1961 March 19, Pamphlets of Association Meetings and Histories Photographs, original and notes related to church Research and Notes of Church and Association History compiled by Gilley Stephens, Historian undated 1 6 7

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