Our History

Cumberland Association records indicate that Stones River Primitive Baptist Church had representatives at the Cumberland Association of Primitive Baptists Annual Convention in 1888.

In the 1800’s, a few Christian community leaders united to form Stones River Primitive Baptist Church. We believe that the founders of this local body were people great commitment, dedication, and faith. In the Gospel according to St. Mark 11:22b, Jesus tells Peter… “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.”

History indicates that the founders of Stones River Primitive Baptist Church held worship services on the first Sunday of each month on the land located across the street, which is currently the Stones River Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

In the early years, there was neither a structure nor even land on which to place a building. The founders of Stones River had a sincere desire to worship the Lord and trusted Him to provide. The faithfulness, commitment, and dedication of the founders were an example of sincerity and endurance and thus “A Light,” as it is written in the Gospel according to St. Matthew 5:14 ~ “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”

The Lord acknowledged the faithfulness of the Stones River congregation and blessed the congregation to purchase a ½ acre tract of land, located at 700 County Farm Road. For $15 on October 29, l895. The founders then began the effort of building a structure to house worship services.

The initial Pastor of Stones River Primitive Baptist Church was Elder Albert Bedford. Under his leadership, Holy Communion and Feet Washing Service occurred the first Sundays in May, July, and October. As Stones River continued to “Be A Light” the Lord continued to bless, and the land located across the street from the church was purchased for $30, (this land was used as a cemetery) on November 7, 1896.

During the early years, some of the deacons and leaders were: Felix Webb, George Garner, George Butler, Sis. Hudson, and Bro. Gene. The initial church building was destroyed by fire the end of April 1928, approximately one week before Holy Communion & Feet Washing Service (scheduled for the first Sunday in May). The Stones River Church family was blessed by the Mt. Zion Rucker Missionary Baptist Church who let the congregation use its church the first Sunday in May 1928 to observe Holy Communion & Feet Washing Service. Later, worship services were held at the Happy Hill School (on Shelbyville Pike) until the church was rebuilt. In later years, Deacon Anderson King, Sr. was the treasurer and Mo. Nancy (Sugar) Lytle was the secretary for Stones River Primitive Baptist Church. Elder Albert Bedford faithfully served as the Pastor of Stones River for over 62 years, until his death in 1950. The Lord then sent Elder Ernest Floyd to be the 2nd under-shepherd of the Stones River Primitive Baptist Church. During his leadership the Choir Stand, Finance Room, and Ladies Room were added to the church. Stones River continued to be blessed by the Lord for “Being A Light.” Elder Floyd was a blessing to the Stones River Church Family until his death in 1967.

In 1967, God then sent Elder Keelam Hayes to serve as the 3rd under-shepherd of the Stones River Primitive Baptist Church. Under his leadership a Youth Choir and Sunday School were organized. Also under Elder Hayes direction a piano was added to the worship service and a Fellowship Hall was added to the building. The Lord continued to bless Stones River by leading Henry and Anne Cooper, May 16, 1974, to give the back tract of land behind the church to this local congregation. We praise God for continuing to bless us as we diligently seek to serve Him. Some of the deacons in the 1970’s were: Sam Marable, Gene Smith, Robert Wade, Donnel Davis, Dave Cross, Earlie Garner, and Floyd Verge (all are deceased). Under the leadership of Elder Keelam Hayes, we began to have weekly worship services. Elder Hayes faithfully served as Pastor until his death in l975. The Lord then blessed the Stones River Church Family with the leadership of Elder Elbert D. Johnson to serve as Pastor. Under his leadership Wednesday Evening Prayer Services and Bible Class were organized. Also during his Pastorate a central heating/cooling system was purchased. Elder Johnson served as our Pastor until 1987. Elder John C. Lee served as the 6th Pastor of Stones River Primitive Baptist Church.

The Lord placed on Elder Lee’s heart that we should build a new edifice. Our last service in the building was August 13, 1989. During the time when the new building was under construction, we held worship services for several Sundays at H. Preston Scales & Sons Funeral Home in the Chapel. We thank God for blessing us to be able to use this facility. Later, we moved our worship services to the Smithfork District Tabernacle (on Halls Hill Pike) until our building was completed. God continued to bless us by placing upon the hearts of the members of Belle Aire Baptist Church (Murfreesboro) to bless us with the back wing of the church which includes the Pastor’s Study, 2 Bathrooms, Fellowship Hall, and Lounge. Our only expense was having the structure moved to the site of our new building (praise God!) The 5th Sunday in April 1990, we were blessed to enter our new building. We praise God for continuing to bless us for “Being A Light On A Hill.”

Elder Lee served as Pastor until 1991. In 1992, Elder Larry Clardy was installed as the 7th Pastor of the Stones River Primitive Baptist Church. Under his Pastorate the Youth Ministry, Mid-Week Service and Scholarship Fund were established. Elder Clardy served as Pastor until 1993. The Lord then sent Elder Buford, November 1993, to serve as Interim Pastor. In 1984, Elder H.Andre’ Buford was installed as the 8th Pastor of the Stones River Church Family. He is a man of God, whose life shows his connection with God. Under his leadership we have been blessed with his teaching Bible Class and many have become members through Christian experience and Baptism. Under the leadership of Elder Buford, the following have been added: Remodeling projects in the Fellowship Hall including ceiling fans, new doors, storm windows and dividers to make more classrooms. Also, we have paved the parking lot, added a security system, furniture for the Pastor’s Study, and a Grand Piano. In addition, our ministries have expanded to include a monthly Women’s Bible Study, Mass Choir, and Praise Team. We are excited about the way the Lord has blessed and continues to bless us for “Being A Light On A Hill That Cannot Be Hid.”

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