A Short History of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Clarksville, Tennessee
First Christian Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, has proudly ministered to the Clarksville community for almost 175 years. Beginning with the founding of this congregation in 1842, First Christian Church has been characterized by its people: the men, women, children and young people who have brought life and outreach to the bricks and mortar of the buildings that span from 1842 to the present. From 1851 when the congregation erected its first permanent church building at the corner of Madison and Third Streets, FCC has been located in downtown Clarksville. The present building has stood at the corner of Madison Street and Academy Avenue since its completion in 1922. The church facilities have expanded in size and in ministry in the almost-100 years since that time.
First Christian Church in Clarksville reflects the tenets of what is sometimes referred to as “the Second Great Awakening” in American religion. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was born in the early 1800s during the time when the United States was pushing its boundaries into new frontiers. Geographically, the “new frontier” was anything west of the Mississippi River. Just as frontier people were redefining themselves and their ideas as they forged ahead to build their lives in a new territory, the church on both sides of the Mississippi was also redefining itself and affirming what was singularly important. Under the leadership of Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone, two frontier preachers of the eighteen-hundreds American Restoration Movement, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was born as a church in which Jesus Christ and New Testament Christianity were at the center. In November of 1858, Alexander Campbell preached in the Clarksville Christian church, where he was welcomed as the leader of the new movement. First Christian Church in Clarksville is proud of that tradition today as we move ahead in the twenty-first century.
The congregation of First Christian Church called a new senior minister in 2013. With joy and anticipation, we welcomed the Reverend Craig Wascovich as our pastor! Dr. Wascovich almost immediately started meeting with church committees and leaders to discuss new opportunities for our church’s ministry to others. With Dr. Wascovich’s leadership, we are continuing important community ministries such as The Lord’s Pantry, which gives bags of food staples on Tuesdays to people who come to us in need. We are continuing our close alliance with the Pastoral Counseling Center of Clarksville, which has been housed at FCC since the Center’s beginning over twenty years ago. We furnish an office suite and utilities for the Center. We are also working to improve the lay leadership within our congregation. Through our new Shepherding and Compassion Ministries, we are seeking to keep in closer touch with everyone in our membership, especially those who are shut-in and unable to attend regular services. An additional mission we would like to expand is our outreach to the Fort Campbell community. We have been blessed with many children in our midst, and we are enriching our programs for children and young people that they and their families may grow in Christian love.
Our location near Austin Peay State University favorably positions us to reach out to APSU students, faculty, and staff. We anticipate growth
and new ideas in these and other ministries of First Christian Church in Clarksville, and we hope you will join us in our church and its ministry
to the community.