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A Brief History


A Historical Sketch of  Berean Baptist Church

Seeing the need for a Baptist church in the Treppard Heights subdivision, an organizational meeting was held on October 19, 1969. The thirty-five persons present agreed that a church should be established in an effort to remedy the situation. Six people covenanted and accepted the “Baptist Articles of Faith.” The name Berean Baptist Chapel was adopted, taken from Acts 17:10-11. The church was declared and organized as a Baptist church by REVEREND CHARLES FITZGERALD, now deceased. The REVEREND DR. WILLIAM J. CAMPBELL was called as the first pastor.

Rev. William Campbell

The first full worship service, including the Lord’s Supper, was held on the first Sunday in November 1969, at 3010 Hummingbird Drive. Many ministries were opened to the community, including a daycare/kindergarten. Dr. Campbell’s motto was, “A community church with a metropolitan outreach.”

Dr. Sid Smith, Arnette Smith, and Sid III

The REVEREND DR. SID SMITH—who had joined the church along with his family—became the second pastor of the church in March 1981. Under his leadership the first constitution of the church was adopted, deacons were ordained, and other significant ministries were established, including a strong Sunday school. One of the most significant events in the church’s history happened during Dr. Smith’s administration. Through a three-church arrangement, the present facility—located at 4825 Fairmeade Court—was secured in 1982. After moving the church forward significantly, Dr. Smith resigned to pursue denominational ministry full time.

Dr. Kelly Miller Smith, Jr.

After an interimship by the REVEREND DR. CHARLES EMERSON BODDIE (now deceased) the church called the REVEREND KELLY MILLER SMITH, JR. as Berean’s third pastor. Reverend Smith assumed the position of pastor on the first Sunday in October 1984. Under his administration, the seven ministries of the church were established and remain fully operational today. During the 1989-1990 church year, Berean undertook a major renovation project that produced the beautiful facility that Berean now enjoys. In early 1991, Rev. Kelly Smith was called to a full time pastorate at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

In December 1991, the REVEREND MARTIN L. ESPINOSA was called as full time pastor to lead the congregation of Berean. During his tenure, the church purchased additional acreage, which increased the church’s property from 6.44 acres to 11.73 acres. On December 21, 1997, Rev. Espinosa resigned the position to form another church.

During this time of transition, the Nashville Baptist Association provided assistance and guidance to the fledgling body of believers. The Lord led the membership to call MINISTER PHILLIP B. TRANK as interim pastor on Sunday, April 19, 1998. The church voted to ordain Minister Trank into the Gospel ministry and accepted him as interim pastor thereafter. In December of that year, Rev. Trank and a few followers departed to organize a another church.

With the help of the Nashville Baptist Association, Berean again reorganized and, after much prayer the REVEREND JOHN SCOTT accepted the position of interim pastor on December 27, 1998. His leadership signaled a time of healing as the Berean family prepared for the next phase of Kingdom work.

During those uncertain days, the Berean family prayed for the faith to survive the storms in the wilderness. God answered those prayers by sending the Reverend John Scott, the Nashville Baptist Association, and a man who was sent by God to work with Rev. Scott to learn and love the flock he would later pastor—the REVEREND DR. ROBERT L. STOUT. From the very beginning, Dr. Stout has allowed God to use him spiritually to take Berean to another level. Dr. Stout was installed as pastor on October 17, 1999.

Dr. Robert and Mrs. Yvonne Stout

Dr. Stout’s emphasis has taken on the spirit of our founder, Dr. William J. Campbell, to be  “A community church with a metropolitan outreach” in the new millennium. Dr. Stout has dedicated his vision and focus on ministries that can show an example to the world of what God’s people can do. During his time of service here, God has been with Berean and Pastor Stout in nurturing the saints during times of joy and times of need.

A retrospective look at Berean’s journey under the leadership of Dr. Stout, a humble shepherd of the Lord, reveals one who is leading the Lord’s flock in kingdom building. Under Dr. Stout’s leadership, the following advancements have been implemented.

•    Equipping the saints through the Sunday school, Bible study, and new members’ classes.
•    Blessed thousands through the Ministry of Communication with a new church marquee, located at Fairmeade and Clarksville Highway.
•    A new 15-passenger van to initiate a van ministry, used to transport persons needing transportation.
•    Through the Ministry of Stewardship, members emphasize the biblical method of tithing.
•    Leased space for a cell phone tower on the premises, the proceeds from which are used to enhance ongoing ministries of the church.
•    The Ministry of Congregational Care has helped to feed large numbers of people (over 750), and giving more than 1200 pounds of food at Christmas, reaching out to families with clothing and gifts
     of love through the caring and sharing of our members.
•    Demonstrate active support of missions ministries to support both members and persons in the community.
•    Acquired five (5) additional acres of land to tie the north and south campuses, bringing the total amount of acreage to eighteen (18).
•    Landscaped additional acreage to include a prayer trail and recreational facility for the church.
•    Added numerous souls to the church, many by baptism.
•    Implemented a marriage and counseling ministry so that marriages will be a union of three—God, bride, and groom.
•    Distributed over $5,000.00 in scholarship funds to college students.
•    Installed new carpeting in the vestibule and hallway.
•    Ordained the Reverend Olivia M. Cloud into the Gospel ministry.
•    Conducted workshops for the edification of the membership.
•    Upgrading equipment and facilities in the church, including public address system, plumbing, audiovisual, and office equipment.

The Berean Church family continues affiliation with the Stones River District Association of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., and Nashville Baptist Association of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our prayer is that God will continue to lead us forward under the caring and dedicated leadership of Dr. Robert L. Stout and his family. We are blessed that God has allowed them to pass this way. We believe that, under Dr. Stout’s leadership, the providential hand of God has demonstrated that the best is yet to come.