The Lenoir City Church of God was organized in 1916 in a room in the back of a building at 300 A Street. This building is now known as Grubb Apartments. There were nine charter members. The baptismal was conducted in Towne Creek, behind the Hosiery Mill. At first the little church of nine members had no regular place to meet, so they coninued to meet in the homes of members and friends. They later located in a small building behind the present Middle School on Fifth Avenue. The small church membership could not afford a full-time pastor at this time, so they had several part-time pastors who filled in. Rev. and Mrs. L. C. Yates served as the first full-time pastor
By 1920, the little building on Fifth Avenue was overflowing. Mr. P. L. Brooks purchased a building lot on Sixth Avenue and gave it to the church. The church members were so encouraged they embarked on a building campaign in the fall of 1920, and through various projects they raised the necessary funds. A wooden frame building, 24' x 40' was erected in the spring of 1921 and became known as the Sixth Avenue Church of God.
In 1941, when the war clouds were forming, prosperous times came to Lenoir City with the beginning of Fort Loudon Dam. People were come to Lenoir City from all over the southeastern United States for jobs that were available in building the dam. The Sixth Avenue Church, the first and only Pentecostal church in the area, had new growth from the influx of so many new families. In September, 1941, C. M. Newman was appointed by the General Assembly to pastor the church. Through the efforts of this pastor and the church, the church experienced the greatest growth they had ever seen. The church's seating capacity was about 125, and it was soon evident that a larger church was needed. The new church was constructed in 1943-44 on land the church already ownded immediately beside the old church, and it would easily accomodate 300 people based on 1943 standards.
The combination of a great six week revival in 1944 with Pastor Newman and later Sister Kinsley, a returned missionary from Africa, and the return of servicemen from the war in 1945-46 resulted in a great period of growth for teh church. Many times the Sunday School records show attendance of 500 and more for standing-room only crowds. However, things began to slow down in 1949-50.
In 1950, Rev. W. M. Wood came to pastor, and this was a healing time for the church which had gone through a state of turmoil. A nice addition was made to the Sunday School area and teh church was air-conditioned during his pastorate. Sixth Avenue also bought a station wagon to serve as its first church bus.
In 1956, Rev. Raymond Morse came to pastor, and Lenoir City was ready to grow. The old church was paid off and a new modern parsonage and fellowship hall were built. However, Rev. Morse never lived in the parsonage because he resigned to begin his long years of service in missions. His brother-in-law, Dr. R. Leonard Carroll, who had just resigned the presidency of Lee College, came to follow him as pastor of Sixth Avenue. Rev. Carroll had a great vision and quickly translated it to his congregation. During his pastorate at Sixth Avenue, he received his Doctorate of Education degree in Education and School Administration. The church was remodeled to enclose the old entrance with a nice vestibule and offices on either side. A large porch with colonial-type columns was built across the entire front of the building, and a new stairway to the basement was added as well. In 1964 Dr. Carroll was elected to the Church of God Executive Committee and was General Overseer at the time of his death.
Rev. Paul H. Walker was appointed to fill the vacancy of Dr. R. Leonard Carroll when he was elected Assistant Genral Overseer of the Church of God in August, 1964 at the General Assembly in Dallas, Texas. Before coming to Lenoir City, Rev. Walker distinguished himself as a successful leader in many capacities. He was State Overseer for 36 years, Foreign Missions Executive Secretary and Assistant General Overseer to name a few. Two of his three sons are prominent ministers in the Church of God: Dr. Paul Laverne Walker and Dr. Donald Walker. As strange as it may seem his first official appointment to pastor was at Sixth Avenue, although he helped dig out more than 70 churches and pastored them for a short duration. Sixth Avenue had its first church bulletin under Rev. Walker's pastorate, and we had a weekly radio program broadcast of the eleven o'clock Sunday Morning Service. In addition, a new 24 passenger Chevrolet bus was purchased by the church. The property on the corner of "A" Street and Sixth Avenue was purchased and made into a parking lot. Rev. Walker pastored at Sixth Avenue until he retired at age 65 in 1966.
Following Rev. Walker were several other wonderful pastors: Rev. Garland Griffis (1966-1968), Rev. F. W. Goff (1968-1969), Rev. Doyle Stanfield (1969-1970), Rev. Paul Shoemaker (1970-1974), and Dr. Edward Williams (1974-1975). The church continued to minister to Lenoir City through these years and there were new churches organized and remodeling of the current facilities that took place.
1975 marked the beginning of the long and successful pastorate of Rev. Fred Cook and his wife, Jeanette. The Cooks had three children, and two of them, a son named Bill and a daughter named Tracey, had Cystic Fibrosis. They each died at the young ages of 16 and 18, respectively. Tracey was about nine years old when the Cooks came to Lenoir City, and she won the hearts of everyone. Upon her death in 1983, the Sixth Avenue Church of God built the Tracey Cook Memorial Church of God in Guyana, South America in her honor. This was the first memorial Church of God ever built although many have followed. Missions have long been a key word for Sixth Avenue, and they continue to support missionaries and take on regular mission building projects and trips.
Several other churches were added onto the Lenoir City district during Pastor Cook's pastorate. Also more property was bought, including the property where the new sanctuary would be built. Interest was increasingly being generated for building a new church facillity, and when the ideas was presented to teh whole church body, there wasn't a single dissenting vote. In only a few months, the large 12,000 square foot building was completed with a large fellowship hall downstairs. This is the current sanctuary building, and ministry continues to flow from these walls. Pastor Cook was tranferred to a new pastorate in Hamilton, Ohio in June, 1986.
Following Pastor Cook, Rev. Ray Pace came to serve as pastor. Rev. Pace served until _____, and then Rev. A.J. Crawford came to pastor. Rev. Crawford pastored until our current pastor, Dr. Ernie Varner, came in ____. Dr. Varner and his wife, Angeleea, have had a long and successful pastorate at Sixth Avenue and they continue to be well respected and loved by the Sixth Avenue Church. Dr. Varner earned his doctorate while pastoring at Sixth Avenue and has been able to add to the pastoral staff and lead many successful mission projects. The future of Sixth Avenue is looking bright!
Sixth Avenue Church of God
700 N A Street
Lenoir City, TN 37771
All the latest news and events from our church.
Sunday School Classes 10 am
MPACTKIDZ Worship 11 am
10 am & 11 am
First Sunday of the Month
Adult Class -Sanctuary 7pm
Contemporary Adult Class 7pm
AVENUE Youth Group
Doors Open 6 pm
Worship/Church 7 pm
MPACTKidz (ages 4-12) 6 pm
Family Life Center/Gym Time
Worship 7 pm