Nashville’s ‘Mother Church’ of Black churches celebrates 174 years

Spruce Street Baptist Church

Spruce Street Baptist Church will celebrate its 2018 Homecoming celebration marking its 174th anniversary. The community is invited to join the church for a special weekend of activities, and special recognition for Rev. Raymond Bowman, who has served 30 years as pastor.

As the ‘Mother Church’ of Black churches in Nashville, Tennessee, Spruce Street has played a tremendous role in not only shaping the Christian experience in Nashville, but has been a pioneering spirit of committed service and unwavering faith. The 2018 Homecoming theme is ‘For We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight” and compliments 2 Corinthians 5:7.

“We have had many stellar observances in the past, and look forward to another uplifting celebration completed with outstanding music, fellowship, and a powerful message and service,” said Rev. Angela Pulce-Reed, interim pastor, who is the first woman to serve in the role. “Our vision is bold and is guided by our faith in God. We also look forward to extending a well-deserved salute to our leadership over the past 30 years.”

Spruce Street marker

Activities will take place at the church, located at 504 Spruce Street, and will include a Family Fun Night on Friday, Oct. 12, 6 pm and the Morning Worship Service on Sunday, Oct. 14, 11 am.

The worship speaker will be long-time member and deaconess, Ola G. Hudson. Hudson is a community volunteer and educator who devoted 40 years to the Nashville public school system. She taught and served as coordinator of Home Economics and as interim director of Vocational, Adult and Community Education. She is a past president of the Metropolitan Nashville Retired Teachers’ Association and, in 1997, was inducted into the Tennessee Teachers Hall of Fame. A native of Nashville, Hudson has also served Spruce Street as Sunday School general superintendent, where she served for 27 years. She has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for more than 60 years.

“We are thankful for the dynamic history, legacy of leadership, and impactful community outreach of this church. This will certainly be a day of high praise to Almighty God, who has guided Spruce Street through the years making this occasion, and so many other milestones, possible,” said Deborah Barnes, Spruce Street’s Homecoming Committee chairperson.