The Church at Station Hill was part of the Middle Tennessee Initiative before we knew there was a Middle Tennessee Initiative. In 2007, a demographic study revealed that a growing number of Brentwood Baptist families lived in the Spring Hill area and that 83% of that community was unchurched. A team formed to begin praying and dreaming about what God might do through a regional campus of Brentwood Baptist. By 2009, fifty families committed to serve as the launch team for the new campus. They began meeting for a Sunday evening service each week in preparation for new roles of leadership. This team also began serving in the Spring Hill area, intentionally spending time participating in local events and serving in the community. They also built strong relationships in the local schools and regularly met for prayer meetings with other pastors in the area to build unity within in the faith community.
On February 28, 2010, The Church at Station Hill held its first service. For the first five years, The Church at Station Hill operated in leased space behind Kroger Marketplace on Thompson’s Ridge Rd. In 2013, 30 acres of land was purchased just off Saturn Parkway between Port Royal Road and Kedron Road. The permanent campus of The Church at Station Hill was completed in the fall of 2015, with about 50,000 square feet of Worship, Preschool/Children’s/Student Ministry, and office space. God has strategically placed The Church at Station Hill in a prime location to continue to connect more people to Jesus Christ through worship, discipleship, and service where they live, work, and play.
Positioned in one of the fastest-growing regions of southern Middle Tennessee, The Church at Station Hill is poised to be a significant place for ministry and outreach for decades to come. Led by long-time Brentwood Baptist minister, Jay Strother, this campus has grown from about 150 core members in 2010 to weekly worship attendance of roughly 1,000 by 2018.
While a Nashville campus had been envisioned for several years, it wasn't until we launched the NEXT giving campaign to support the Middle Tennessee Initiative that a home for this new work could become a reality. Located in the heart of south Nashville, The Church at Avenue South reaches people living in the communities of Melrose, Berry Hill, Belmont, 12 South, and surrounding areas. In the fall of 2012, Aaron Bryant (Campus and Teaching Pastor for Avenue South) and a group of core leaders began to pray about beginning efforts to reach the growing population of Nashville with the gospel. By the spring of 2013, the vision of establishing a second regional campus was born. The Church at Avenue South followed suit in The Church at Station Hill’s model of building relationships in the community. Approximately 100 adults and their families from the Brentwood campus began praying, meeting, and worshiping as the core members of the what would become the Avenue South campus in Nashville.
On September 7, 2014, The Church at Avenue South held their inaugural service in the Acuff-Rose building in the thriving area of Melrose. The Lord has placed this campus in a building with roots that reach deep into the history of Music City, where they may reach out to thousands of neighbors within walking distance with the hope of the gospel. This campus has embraced the music culture of Nashville with both the location and venue. In the church’s first year, this campus grew to an attendance of 300-400 people on Sunday mornings. The church has also built great relationships with local businesses and schools in the area, allowing for important ministry opportunities to take shape. Since then, The Church at Avenue South has expanded to two services every Sunday, and Easter Sunday attendance topped 600. The church has also built great relationships with local businesses and schools in the area, allowing for important ministry opportunities to take shape.
About the same time Brentwood Baptist was gearing up to launch a second regional campus, an existing church, West Franklin Baptist Church, initiated conversations about joining Brentwood Baptist in ministry. In June of 2014, after months of prayer and negotiations, West Franklin Baptist Church voted to become The Church at West Franklin, a regional campus of Brentwood Baptist. This merger largely contributed to the development of the Middle Tennessee Initiative, which more broadly defines Brentwood Baptist’s church growth strategy. MTI includes not only starting new regional campuses and church plants, but also mergers with existing churches looking to expand their ministry.
In late 2014, Matt Pearson was called as the new Campus and Teaching Pastor of The Church at West Franklin. With a desire to reach the diverse communities in this area and become a church the city of Franklin loves, this campus of Brentwood Baptist is motivated and positioned to see many come to faith in Christ.
With its commitment and vision to serve the needs of poverty, healthcare, and education for the sake of evangelism, the Middle Tennessee Initiative seeks to be open to God-given opportunities like the one presented by Woodbine Baptist Church in 2013.
Woodbine Baptist Church has been faithfully serving, caring, and sharing the gospel with a community in a constant state of transition. From its beginning in 1934 with 69 members, to the dedication of a new chapel in 1960, to its eventual height of 1,200 members in 1968, Woodbine Baptist found its place in Nashville as an innovator of ministry and a home for hundreds of families in a growing city.
Over the years, the Woodbine community has witnessed a multi-cultural integration, bringing together people from all over the world, of different languages and cultures.
Like West Franklin Baptist Church, Woodbine Baptist Church reached out in 2013 about the idea of a partnership. Having been one of Nashville’s premier churches in the 1960s and 1970s, they had unfortunately experienced a significant decline in membership and attendance in recent years. In June of 2014, Woodbine Baptist Church voted to become a campus of Brentwood Baptist. The Church at Woodbine is uniquely focused on serving as an outpost for ministry to its culturally diverse community. In July of 2015, Doug Jones began to serve as the Campus and Teaching Pastor at the Woodbine campus and will continue to lead the church in new opportunities to reach the local community with the gospel.
The Church at Lockeland Springs is an exciting addition to the Brentwood Baptist family. The former Lockeland Baptist Church has been ministering in this area of East Nashville since 1903. Much like the other church mergers we've completed as part of the Middle Tennessee Initiative, this partnership came as a result of the remaining congregation at Lockeland Baptist recognizing they were no longer positioned to meet the needs of their changing community.
Lockeland Baptist and Brentwood Baptist congregations voted to come together in the spring of 2016, planning and dreaming about how best to reach this thriving community in East Nashville. David Hannah became the Campus and Teaching Pastor at The Church at Lockeland Springs in 2017.
The Church at Nolensville is the newest regional campus of Brentwood Baptist Church. This campus is led by Wade Owens, Campus and Teaching Pastor. A launch team is already meeting regularly along with LIFE Groups in the Nolensville area in preparation for the campus launch in 2018.
Equip | Expand | Engage
The Ministry Residency at Brentwood Baptist
We have recognized that the Middle Tennessee Initiative will require strong leadership. To that end, we acknowledge we must be diligent to identify, equip, and deploy leaders in all areas of ministry in the church, including many of the new works initiated through MTI. This was largely the motivation behind the establishment of The Ministry Residency at Brentwood Baptist. While funded through sources outside of the NEXT giving campaign, The Ministry Residency is an integral part of the Middle Tennessee Initiative.
The Ministry Residency at Brentwood Baptist is a one year residential ministry experience that equips the next generation of pastors, ministers and church planters to serve and lead the local church through mentored ministry and teaching. The Ministry Residency provides a unique opportunity for young men and women called to the ministry in the local church to gain practical experience in a dynamic multi-campus church setting.
For over four decades, Brentwood Baptist Church has invested in hundreds of men and women who are now impacting the Kingdom of God around the globe. By virtue of its many resources, strategic location and distinctive approach to ministry, Brentwood Baptist is well-positioned to serve as a teaching and sending church.
In addition to current efforts with our regional and ministry campuses, Brentwood Baptist is exploring a number of other church multiplication opportunities in Middle Tennessee, including additional regional campuses, ministry campuses, church plants, people group congregations, and partnerships with existing churches for repurposing. All of these efforts will require funding to assess, launch, and initially operate. The heart of the Middle Tennessee Initiative is to share the Gospel of Christ by establishing local bodies of believers who can best meet the physical and spiritual needs of its community.
Poverty, Healthcare, and Education
Once in place, a new campus, church plant, or repurposed congregation will only be as effective as its reach into the local community. Supporting the ministries of these new works and the outreach of their ministers and members through community involvement will be key to their success. Direct involvement in the areas of poverty, healthcare, and education will be integral parts of this strategy of engagement.