Little Church with Long History in Lawrenceburg

From left: Edwin McKee, Pastor Ramon Smith, Verna Smith

Among the larger and older churches of Anderson County, there’s one small church right off of the downtown area that has been home to a couple of different congregations for over 160 years.  The Second Christian Church, which is located opposite of Lawrenceburg Supply on Court Street, has a very long and interesting history in our town.

It started way back in 1847 when Thomas Ellison conveyed a piece of land to the original trustees of what would become the First Christian Church.  Originally just called the Christian Church of Lawrenceburg, the building was unique where it had two front doors for men and women to enter separately.  For all services at the church, men and women would be seated on separate sides of the building.

As the Civil War approached, free African American residents felt they needed to create a congregation in addition to the four larger churches already in town.  A congregation formed in 1857 but it wasn’t until 1869 that they were able to have a building of their own.  The original Christian Church sold their building to the African American congregation and relocated to a new building that was located where Cinnamon’s Flower Shop is now.

The old Christian Church building was then renamed as the Free Christian Church and served the community for many years.  However, like almost every building in the downtown area of that time, it burned down in the first few years of the twentieth century.  It was, however, quickly rebuilt by 1905 and renamed the Second Christian Church.

Today, the church is home to a small but active congregation.  Led by Pastor Ramon Smith, the congregation tries to help the community where it can including the food pantry and Salvation Army.  Pastor Smith, who also was a clinical social worker before becoming a preacher, is interested in helping the community especially with mental health and substance abuse issues.  Although small, the church has a long history and is a significant part of our community today.

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Posted in Faith & Values, History & Heritage.

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