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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Picturing the Past 29: Church on the Corner

Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009, at 9:43 AM

(Photo)
First Christian Church, at the corner of Depot and South Jefferson Streets in 1959. (T-G file photo)
Depot Street just off the square has changed so much over the past 50 years.

Here's First Christian Church when it was on the corner of Depot and South Jefferson Streets in 1959. Look closely at the building next to the church and you'll recognize the location: The church stood in the location of today's large telephone tower which dominates Shelbyville's skyline from a distance.

Across the street was the furniture store which went by so many different names over the years -- was it Woosley and Thomas in '59? -- and Cannon Chevrolet.

South Jefferson in those days was a narrow, two-lane road rather than the wide road now known as 82 Bypass.

Up Depot toward the square were such stores as Shelbyville Record Shop -- was it on Depot in '59? -- Castner Knott and the Princess Theater.

I found another Depot Street photo from the early 1960s which will be posted in a few weeks. For now, remember this intersection.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog.


Comments
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Thanks David for another great picture. I very well remember when the First Christian Church was at this location. Bro. Jim Kelly was the Pastor there about this time if I am remembering correctly, and he was well thought of in Shelbyville. Just to the left of the picture and across the corner of South Jefferson was the First Baptist Church where Bro. Homer Cate was the Pastor about that time or maybe a little earlier. He was another man that was well thought of in Shelbyville.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 9:59 AM

Having been gone for 50 years it is impossible to imagine how the old Christian, Baptist and Methodist Churches could have been torn down...Only a population explosion could have explained it....You would think the exterior walls would have been retained regardless...

But then, the car in front looks better than most of today's models...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 12:07 PM

FlaDon, if I am not mistaken the First Methodist Church on the square is still standing as well as the educational building.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 1:00 PM

leeiii, I'm sorry, I meant the original Methodist Church which was replaced in the early 1950's ???

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 1:06 PM

FlaDon, I had forgotten that the church that stands now is the new church. I am sure that there are several buildings around town that I think of as being old when they are actually the new building. Sorry about that.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 1:39 PM

David, your parents were married in the church shown above on June 23, 1957. Since the First Christian Church was between pastors at the time, we were married by the Presbyterian pastor, Adrian Kolean. We think we were the last couple to be married there.

-- Posted by bomelson on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 3:17 PM

Bo, since First Christian was without a pastor in June of '57 I am guessing that Bro. Jim left earlier that year. Would that be correct?

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 3:28 PM

I think that the minister that followed Jim Kelly last name was Winkler. I was raised in that church, so there many good memories that I have from my early childhood to high school. The church always had a wonderful youth program that brought the youth from other churches. I remember Saturday and Sunday youth meetings with food supplied by parents, and even dances on Saturday nights.

My Father, Morton Overcast was Sunday School Superintendent for many years, and my Mother taught Sunday school, so this has brought back many memories.

The stain glass windows seen in the picture, were carefully removed and placed in the present First Christian Church on Madison Street. The building on the right was the educational building.

Thank you David for another great picture from the past.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 6:31 PM

leeiii....you mentioned that Jim Kelly was very well liked.....and you are absolutely right. One of the main reasons he was so well liked is that his Sunday morning church service was "short and sweet". His 11:00 AM service was usually over at 11:45, while the Baptists and Methodists were in church 'til noon. The folks from First Christian were always the first ones to reach the drug store soda fountain following their service ordering those cherry cokes and orangeades.

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Wed, Oct 7, 2009, at 2:46 PM

LOL steadyeddie, that would surely make any preacher likeable.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 7, 2009, at 5:12 PM

I believe The Shelbyville Record Shop had moved to Depot Street by 1959. The record shop was owned by Austin Davis and opened about 1956-57 on Madison Street by the old Renegar Drug Store.

And the Sucessor to Reverend Kelley was a Rev. Winkler and Rev. Cate had a son David who was in my classes throughout the years.

-- Posted by LarLMoore on Wed, Oct 7, 2009, at 5:30 PM

LarLMoore, David was Chancellor here in Knoxville for many years and just retired a few years ago. Bro. Homer Cate was living here until he died back several years ago and his widow continues or continued to live here.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 7, 2009, at 6:46 PM

leeiii...please educate me....David was Chancellor of what?...I do remember David and the Cates from the earlier years.

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Wed, Oct 7, 2009, at 9:03 PM

David, thanks for the memories. I too was raised in this church. Jim Kelly was a well loved pastor who was known for his thoughful 15 minute sermons. Even as a young boy, I understood his messages and paid attention. Quite a feat for todays pastors. Brother Kelly had a great sense of humor. I can tell you many stories, here is my favorite: I had an aunt that was known for singing loudly way, way off key. There were two other ladies who were just as "musically" challanged. Well, Brother Jim thought it would be funny to get them to sing in a trio, during the Sunday morning service. He called my aunt and said the other two will sing if you will. He called one of the other two and said, they will sing if you will..you get the picture. You had to be there, they brought the house down with laughter and Brother Kelly preached a message on "Make a joyful noise" and how God wants us to be faithful and available, even if we are not talented, that I remember today some fifty years later. The building to the right of the church was the "Educational Building." One of my heros of all time was the youth pastor, Chuck Mathias. He later became an Army chaplain stationed in Turkey. He contacted lukeima and was transfered to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D. C. I was in the Navy and stationed in D.C at that time. He and I renewed our friendship and he has had a lasting influence and effect on my life. The youth during the fifties and sixties at First Christian were very active and we had many good times there. John Winkler was called to preach after Jim Kelly and was just as well liked. He too had a sense of humor. He could recite all of Archie Campbell's rendercella and free threy grox stories from memory. We never got tired of hearing them. The church was very progressive for it's time and for being a youth oriented church, kept many of us out of serious trouble. I will always be grateful that my parents took me to church there. I never had to be made to go. To First Christian Church, thank you for your influence on my life and I hope God continues to bless you many more years.

-- Posted by chs61 on Wed, Oct 7, 2009, at 11:44 PM

steadyeddie, David was the Chancellor of the Knox County Chancery Court.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 7:33 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.