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History of Ivy Memorial Baptist Church

At one time this area of Nashville, known as Northeast Nashville, had many large churches. Today Ivy is one of the few churches that has remained in the neighborhood in which it began.

Some of you will remember when you went to church; you only wore your best dress clothes. Some children in this part of town did not own any dress clothes and felt out of place attending church.

Walking to Grace Baptist Church in 1929, Mrs. Ivy Richards met some of these children who only had play clothes to wear. When she invited them to come with her to church, they told her they did not want to go because they felt like others made fun of them because they did not have the proper clothes and shoes to wear.

This burdened Miss Ivy so much that she began to hold Sunday School classes in her home. Their clothing was not important to her, but letting these children know about God’s love and the Bible was very important to her!

Soon parents and other adults were interested in these classes. In 1932 these interested people begin meeting in a rented building on the corner of King Street and Dickerson Road.

In 1934 Grace Baptist Church decided to give their assistance to this new mission to help them organize as a church. In January, 1937, Ivy Chapel was organized with 48 charter members. In November, 1937 they began meeting in their own building on Queen Street.

When a fire burned the Queen Street building in January, 1950, a new location for the church had already been chosen and the basement was under construction at the present location of 425 E Trinity Lane. Until it was finished in May, 1950, Ivy Chapel met at the old Tom Joy School on Lischey Avenue. In 1955, the building that we know today as Ivy Memorial Baptist Church was completed.

Miss Ivy was only 50 years old when she suddenly died in 1947. Because of her faith and concern for others, she influenced a lot of people in her lifetime.

Over the years there have been times when attendance was very large. And there have been times when Ivy was considered a small church. The numbers are not important. What is important is that we continue to serve God and let people around us know about His love for that is the way Miss Ivy always did.