Church celebrates 116 years of service in Nashville

Min. Calvin C. Barlow, III gave the sermon at the SMBC 116th Anniversary Celebration. (photo by D. Culp)

The Nashville, TN based Second Missionary Baptist Church (SMBC) recently celebrated 116 years of service to the city and beyond. Of course when this historic legacy began, there was no internet or live streaming but thanks to modern technology; the SMBC message now has a worldwide reach. During a recent August Sunday service, the church celebrated the landmark years. But before the congregation broke bread with a full course home cooked meal, Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. eldest son, Min. Calvin C. Barlow, III brought forth a mighty word of God.

Second Missionary Baptist Church was organized in the turn of the 19th century in the Hightower Building. This structure was in the area of the Sears and Roebuck building off of Lafayette Avenue. The church was organized under the leadership Dr. Gilbert B. Taylor. Its name at that time was Second Baptist Church. It was identified as the Colored Second Baptist as not to be confused with the white Second Baptist Church. The first corner stone was laid in 1902 at 9th and Steven Street. The church remained at this address until it was forced to move due to urban renewal. The church relocated to 9th and Valux Lane.

During its stay at 9th and Valux Lane it merged with Ewing Baptist Church. The matriarchs of this church were Catherine Jackson and Lennie Caruthers. The church moved to its current address, 1000 Halcyon Avenue, in the earlier seventies.

After the death of the founding pastor, Dr. G. B. Taylor, the church called Pastor C. R. Williams, Senior. The third pastor of the church was Dr. Amos Walker and the fourth pastor was Dr. J.W. Alexander. Under Dr. Amos Walker, he changed the name of the church to Second Missionary Baptist Church.

The current pastor is Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. He is a native of Ripley, Tennessee. A dedicated, humble servant of the people and the community at large, always empowering people through the word and his diverse wisdom.

A devoted graduate of both; Tennessee State University, and Pensacola Christian College. A member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and the president and founder of Lowbar Publishing Company.

Under the leadership of Bishop Barlow, the church built a new sanctuary and educational wing. As of this date, the church has had only five pastors and Bishop C.C. Barlow proudly holds that position.

The keynote sermon was delivered by Min. Calvin C. Barlow, III; Nashville native and the eldest of three sons of Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and First Lady Rutha L. Barlow.

SMBC is located on the south side of Nashville at 1000 Halcyon St. at the corner of S. 10th St.

“It is safe to say that after a well deserved rest break, SMBC will move ahead for the 117 year celebration. Hope-fully our senior Sheppard of the house will still be Bishop C. C. Barlow, Jr. we are blessed to have him as our Pastor”, stated an SMBC member.