Congregational History

1949 early: Conversations about the need for a Christian Church begin.

1949 July: Thirteen people met at the home of Tom and Elsie Burkett, 100 Pearl Road, Oak Ridge, with student minister William A. Loft, to form a Christian Church.

First Worship Service held at old Robertsville School.

1949 September: Arkansas House obtained as meeting place. Tom Burkett becomes temporary minister.

1950 May: First full-time minister, Stanley H. Dysart, arrives. Parsonage rented at 183 California Avenue.

1950 September: Charter signing by 87 members.

1952 July: Deed signed for church property on Michigan Avenue, 3.47 acres costing $1,041.00.

1953 February: Arkansas House destroyed by fire.

1953 October: Ground-breaking services for sanctuary building.

1954  First constitution adopted;


1954 September: Moved into new sanctuary building at 203 Michigan Avenue.

1955 October: Dedication Day for Sanctuary Building.

1956 September: Alvin B. Amos installed as minister.

1957 January: The first newsletter, “The Proclaimer,” started by Mr. Amos.


1962 May: Benjamin Dinsmore Nisbet, Jr., begins ministry.

1964 March: Ground-breaking & November: Dedication of Education Building.

1966 June: New parsonage, next to the church, dedicated.

1967 June: The Honored Minister’s Pin presented to Virgil P. Glass, commemorating his 50th year in the ministry.

1968 September: Edward Charles Weber installed as minister.

1969 June: Ordination of Tommy Ray Akers, our first Timothy. Lester G. McAllister, speaker.




1974 July: 25th Anniversary of this church. Tom Burkett, speaker.

1976 April: First women elders elected.

1976-1979: The Youth Choir, “The Joyful Sounds”, organized and directed by Janice Ketterer; Tours southeastern states.

1978 July: Johnny and Martha Wray arrive to begin their ministry.





1978 September: Acolyte Program started in the church.

1979 March: Johnny Wray ordained into the Christian Church ministry in our sanctuary. Stephen Cranford, speaker.

1979 November: Dedication of Sanctuary Building after capital funds improvements.

1982 May: Le Nhu Linh, Vo Thi Kim Sa, and son, Le Nhat Dang, arrive at Knoxville airport from Vietnam.

1984 June: Church’s 35th Anniversary celebrated; “The Congregational Window” dedicated.


1986 August: Charles Leroy Cox begins his ministry.

1987 November: Jesse Bradshaw begins his ministry in this church.

1988 May: Joseph Michael Peacock, our second Timothy, ordained into Christian ministry. Loren Broadus, speaker.

1990 May: Walter Taylor installed as Associate Minister.

1992: Oak Ridge’s 50th Birthday. Brick walk in Jackson Square honors donors of bricks with names inscribed. First Christian Church’s name is inscribed on one brick.

1993 June: Homecoming Celebration with speakers Tommy Ray Akers and Joseph Michael Peacock, our two Timothys. The Elders Emeritus honor established. Karl Rapp Jr. and Floyd Glass elected as the first two recipients.



 1996 January: Danny Plaster makes his first missionary trip to Haiti with others from the Christian Church in Tennessee.

1996 October: Adrianne Hopper Prentiss, our third Timothy, ordained into Christian ministry. Lori Adams, speaker.

1997 January; Brice Hughes begins his interim ministry – the first full-time interim in the congregation’s history.

1998 February: Laura Odiorne begins her ministry in this church.

2000 July: Davis Babcock begins his interim ministry.


2002 February: Jack Russell begins his ministry in this church.


2004 December 31: An arsonist destroys the facility.

2005 Several members make mission trips to Haiti and Vietnam.

2005 March 20: The church moves into its interim facility at 116 East Division Road.


2005 October 1: Congregation votes to build its new facility at corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Gum Hollow Road.

2008 May 11: Congregation approves design and construction of new facility.

2008 August 1: Michael Fetty begins his ministry in this church.



2008 September 29: Construction of new facility at 100 Gum Hollow Road begins.

2009 October 18: First worship service in New facility at 100 Gum Hollow Road.

2012:  Heather Godsey begins her Interim Ministry in July.

2013:  Steve Sherman begins his Ministry in March.

2017:  Congregation voted unanimously in approval of the Identity Statement discerned by church Elders to be “Sharing God’s Word & Living God’s Love”

2018:  Congregation voted unanimously in favor of adopting the Principles for Our Common Life drafted by congregational leadership and in favor of Constitutional changes necessary to implement new organizational design.

March 24, 2019:  Church decided to serve as a host congregation for Family Promise of Roane County.