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Image by Chris Lawton

OUR HISTORY

The church of Christ at Riggs exists today because of the dedication, sacrifice and faithfulness of many men and women.

The history of Riggs church of Christ

The church began in 1872, when a brush arbor was built so Brother James H. Morton could preach the gospel. However, the weather became unfavorable and two denominational churches refused to let their buildings be used to continue the meeting. R.D. Tatum, who had built the brush arbor for the meeting, met G.W. Riggs, Sr. and told him about the situation. Riggs, who did not claim to be anything religiously, offered Brother Tatum $100 and a piece of land on which a church building could be constructed. 

On May 5, 1872, the church met in the new building for the first time and kicked off a two-week gospel meeting. James H. Morton and Frank H. Davis led the preaching in the meeting, and Brother Davis went on to preach for the church for about 20 years. The members of the church at Riggs Cross Roads signed a commitment that stated: 


And we agree that we are to take the books of the Old and New Testaments, as commonly received, as the inspired work of God, and that we take the same and especially the New Testament scriptures as our guide in faith and practice and will endeavor in all things to be guided and governed by the teaching of the Holy Script therein contained.


The church experienced numerical growth and listed one hundred and forty two names in the membership list.  


In 1880, the church at Riggs Cross Roads became involved in establishing the Lord's Church in Eagleville, Tennessee. According to The History of Eagleville*, "The Eagleville Church of Christ had its roots in the revival held in Simons School House. The Riggs Church of Christ sent and financially supported W.T. Todd of Nashville to hold this meeting." (p. 14)  


With new congregations being built in surrounding towns and communities, the attendance at Riggs declined. In 1884 the average attendance was twenty-two.  


L&N Railroad built a railroad in the early 1900s that had a right-of-way demand, which took most of the property that belonged to the church. The old building was abandoned.  


The late Doug Harris wrote a history of the church at Riggs in which he stated, "After the congregation was forced to abandon its old building, they were deeded approximately one acre of land by O.R. and Minnie Brittan." A new building was constructed on the land obtained by the Brittans.  Through the years, additional land was purchased and the church building was renovated with additions of classrooms and an annex at the back.  

In 2004, a significant decision was made by the elders of the Riggs church of Christ. Because of the deteriorating condition of the old building and the location being "across the tracks," the plan to build a new church building on Highway 31-A was announced. At the same time, the elders announced that all fifth Sunday contributions would be used for a Building Fund.  


After the efforts to secure land at the corner of Greenwood Road and U.S. 31-A failed, Bo and Darlene Warner agreed to sell the church five acres of land on U.S. 31-A.  Todd Warner brought in several pieces of heavy equipment and prepared the land for the construction of the new building, which saved the church about $100,000. After several delays, the building was finally completed. 


On September 1, 2006, the church assembled for worship in the new building. Since that date, the church has been blessed with numerical growth, as many have been baptized and added by the Lord to the membership, and many new families have placed their membership with the church at Riggs.  

In February 2016, the congregation finished a long project of  adding a new structure behind the existing church building. This new Fellowship building is now used to host many events such as school supply give-a-ways, ladies days, our Great Day in May, and a host of other fellowship activities and bible classes. 

This church building is a compliment to the Lord's church, and the building is dedicated to the glory of God. 

Sources:

Tom Holland, Preacher (2001-2014)

Russell Wyatt, Preacher (2015-2022)

Records kept by the late Bessie Chrisman

*Minnie Fairfield Dyer, The History of Eagleville, 1972.

Image by Clay Banks

Preachers

Through the years, many well-known preachers have preached at Riggs.

Those who have preached on a regular basis include:

Joe A. Gourley (1970-1980)

Frank Carter (1980-1985)

Jimmy Carver (1986-1992)

James McGill (1992)

A.T. Pate (1993-1996) 

Jimmy Carver (1996-2001)

Tom Holland (2001-2014)

Chris Clevenger (2013-2014)

Russell Wyatt (2015-2022)

Tim Lavender (2022-present)

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