More Than a Building
Lincoln Park is a community that stretches from Oakwood northward to Sharps Ridge which is the highest point in the city of Knoxville and from Broadway on the east to Central Avenue on the west. It was originally farm land where cattle grazed and corn was grown. The Edgewood Land Company bought and subdivided the land in the late 1800's. Then it grew into a small town that began as a mineral spring resort. It was incorporated in 1899.
There were three mineral springs named Epsom, Lithia and Chalyluate, located where the Lincoln Park Elementary School now stands. This area had a delightful park-like atmosphere which drew many people to visit and later to live. They had good water from the springs and transportation from a steam engine train called the Dunning line that ran from Knoxville to Fountain City. This was used until 1907 when it became a part of Knoxville's trolley line which used an electric car. The trolley's last run was on July 31, 1947. The town of Lincoln Park became so populous it was annexed to the city of Knoxville in 1917. The population of Knoxville at that time was approximately 35,000.
A small group of Lincoln Park people committed to serving God saw a need for a house of worship. Our church grew out of Sunday School that had met for several months in the old school house at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Kenyon Street. This school built in the late 1800's was a white frame building and had two teachers teaching grades 1-7. Ninety - two students were enrolled at the time.
On February 14, 1909 this group of people met in the Odd Fellows Hall on Chickamauga Avenue and established Lincoln Park Baptist Church. The first pastor called to the church was Rev. M.C. Atchley. There were thirty-five (35) charter members. From an old news clipping we learned that they were C.E. Buckles, Stella Buckley, J.B. Hicks, W.B. Goins, G. S. Bryan, E. W. Ferguson, J.A. Wilson, J.W. Smith, Frank Sanders, Martha Wilson, Will Wilson, Jennie Hicks, J.J. Gillenwaters, Alice Gillenwaters, James B. Lovelace, Mary Davidson, Carrie Dowell, Hannah Dowell, J.W. Brown, C.W. Buckles, Hannah Ferguson, Fannie McCloud, F.F. Dowell, Bennie MeHaffey, Mrs. W.H. Allen, Mrs. G.S. Bryan, Mrs. M.J. Stern, Oran Ferguson, Mrs. W.B. Goins, Bessie McGill, J.F. Hodge, W.H. Bailey, Edith Kropff, J.W. Kropff, and Mary Yeatman.
The last, Mr. J.B. Hicks died in May, 1976. The membership grew to 297 in 1924, after ten years under the leadership of the Rev. H.F. Templeton it had grown to 667. In October, 1947, the membership was 767 and during the Rev. Charles Ausmus' ministry it grew to over 1300.
The women organized themselves into a group called the "Willing Workers."
Our present day Women's Missionary Society is an outgrowth of that group.
A quote from the Knoxville News Sentinel dated February 15, 1909 said, "The Lincoln Park Baptist Church promises to be one of its kind in this section. It has not had the aid of any of the larger city churches and is representative of the wants of a large and respectable citizenship of the suburb." The church met at the Odd Fellows Lodge Hall at 601 Chickamauga until the first building was built at 706 Chickamauga in 1910. An addition was added in 1913. This building is still standing, but is now an apartment house.
The next building, the Templeton Chapel named for the Rev. H.F. Templeton, was built in 1928 at a cost of $30,000. In 1932 this building was partially destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt quickly. During the ninety days that the church was being rebuilt the congregation met in neighboring churches and the Lincoln Park Elementary School.
In the Knoxville Journal, Monday, November 12, 1934 Lincoln Park Baptist was the subject of an article written by Ray D. Webb. The occasion was the Homecoming and Special Anniversary sermon honoring the Rev. Templeton for ten years of service. The article stressed that our church was known throughout the convention as "The Home-like Church" and that the members lived up to that slogan by being both friendly and appreciative. Later, an addition was added on the west side during the ministry of the Reverend David Livingstone, who served the church for eight years.
In 1953 the present auditorium was constructed, along with educational space of three floors between the present auditorium and the Templeton Chapel. The first worship service was on Sunday, February 15, 1953, which was the 44th Anniversary of the church. There were more than 1300 in Sunday School in spite of six inches of snow on the ground. Clarence Jett was the music director and he sang a solo. Charlotte Hood and Jean Upchurch sang a duet and then the Paschal Sisters Trio, Louise Luttrell, Geneva Flinchem and LaFerne Davies sang. Pastor Charles Ausmus preached the first sermon, "Crown Him Lord of All." What a wonderful day!
During the building construction no one was allowed to see the auditorium so everyone was anxious to get the first glimpse. On Saturday night, February 14, the first service was held to unite Jerry Brittain and Tom Hawkins in holy matrimony. The auditorium, which can seat 1080, was full. This number certainly exceeded the number of invitations. The church was so beautifully decorated with all white. The bridesmaids wore white and the only color was red roses in their bouquets and "red opera pumps." The flickering candles reflected off the beautiful windows and no one knew that some of the men had worked all night to install the last of the carpet and pews.
The Charles R. Ausmus Educational Building was built in 1954-1955, making additional classroom space. A two-story west wing was added to the main building in 1963. In 1979 under the leadership of Pastor Ted. J. Ingram, the interior of the auditorium was remodeled and the first service was held on September 2, 1979.
The Ted J. Ingram Family Life Center was dedicated on July 11, 1999, at an approximate cost of $534,000.00. The building consists of a full size gym, indoor walking track, a game room area, an exercise room, a snack and greeting area and a family room dedicated to the Roscoe Lilly family. Our most faithful walker, Georgia Croley, has walked over 8,000 miles since the center has been opened. The purpose of the Family Life Center has been to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the church members and community.
The church has owned three parsonages. In 1923 a house was purchased at 625 Hiawassee. Later it was sold. In 1940 a home at 810 Chickamauga was the parsonage. That house was torn down to make the present day parking lot. In 1949 a beautiful brick home was built at 478 Watauga Ave. The contractor's price was $12,825 plus $701.26 for the heating system, $76.00 for Venetian blinds and $198.82 for drapes for a total cost of $13,801.08. The parsonage was a brick veneer house with six rooms and a full basement on a 100x150' lot. Ground was broken on August 18, 1949, and Brother and Mrs. Ausmus moved in on December 29, 1949. After Brother Ausmus passed away, Helen continued to live there the rest of her life. Following her death the home was sold. Now the pastor is given a housing allowance.
One outstanding achievement of the Reverend Ausmus came on June 27, 1968, when the Honorable John J. Duncan entered into the record of the House of Representatives a sermon by Rev. Charles Ausmus, Pastor of the Lincoln Park Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, and President of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The sermon titled, "The American Dream," was read to the United States House of Representatives on Independence Day, July 4, 1968. He concluded with these words, "May God help us to realize the American Dream."
The following is a list of gifted pastors whom God has called to
preach and teach His Word at Lincoln Park:
M.C. Atchley - 1909
J.C. Davis – 1910
M.C. Lunsford - 1910-1911
A.R. Pedigo - 1911-1915
J.C. Clevenger - 1915-1916
C.P. Jones – 1916
T. E. Elgin - 1916-1919
L.W. Clark - 1919-1922
T.P. Lorraine - 1922-1923
J.C. Cullum - 1923-1924
H.F. Templeton - 1924-1939
David Livingstone - 1939-1947
Charles R. Ausmus - 1947-1974
James A. Atchley - 1974-1977
Ted J. Ingram - 1978-1999
Keith Walker - 2000-2007
Eddie Schwarberg - 2011-2014
Trey Black - 2017-Present
The Reverend John Holland completed just over 3 1/2 years as our Interim Pastor in September, 2011. Before retirement he served as pastor to three churches in Tennessee and one in Kentucky. He and his wife Pat, who grew up as a member of this church, were married at Lincoln Park on March 26, 1960. She is the daughter of the late Carl and Lillian Elmore.
W.M. Parry 1938-1939
Clyde M. Glass October 1963-1973
Tom King 1983-1994
Donnie Douglas 1995-2013
Organizations and Ministries
Some organizations of our church with the task of teaching the Bible and caring for people are Sunday School, Golden Age Club and the Special Education Department.
Our Sunday School department is dedicated to Bible teaching and stresses that our strength are unity, fellowship, concern for the welfare of each other, and witnessing. From 1955-1967, the Sunday School averaged over 1000 each week. On our 58th Anniversary, February 12, 1967 we broke all previous records with 1690 in Sunday School. Whether our numbers are large or small, we love God and each other.
Our Golden Age Club under the leadership of Ethel Viles meets on the second Thursday of each month for Bible study. Our church bus is used for many trips that are planned to enrich the lives of our senior adults. Mary Davis coordinates the special activities.
Our Special Education department was started on a trial basis on August 10, 1969. The beginning enrollment was 12 students with 8 workers. It was begun by Estine Bush who worked tirelessly as long as she was able. This department has met great needs and offered aid and comfort to many families. Under Mrs. Bush's leadership, group homes for special needs people have been established. The present enrollment is 35 and the leaders are Merry Brown, Pauline DeMarcus, Johnny Collins and Faye Summers. This program is open to all special needs persons regardless of color or creed.
Each week the children come together several times to learn God's Word, fellowship with each other and hear that Jesus loves each and every one of them. Sunday School is a wonderful time of studying the Word. Our Children's Church time allows us to expand on the Word, play games together, watch Christian movies and pray for one another.
Our children learn about giving to others during the ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) program. We have been caroling to shut-ins, baked brownies for the church family, taken dinner & visited with sick church members, and we participate in the Operation Christmas Child filling shoe boxes with Christmas gifts and scripture cards for underprivileged children in foreign countries. We want to instill a giving spirit and give the children an opportunity to feel the joy it brings to serve others. The children also participate in children's choir. It is a fun time of praising God and singing about Jesus' love for us. We perform several times a year in the worship services.
We also have a week of learning and FUN in Vacation Bible School. We have had several professions of faith made during this time. Sharing God's love with children is a real joy. We want them to know that no matter what, Jesus loves them and He died for them. It is truly a blessing to have the church family support our children's ministry. The children are a part of the future of Lincoln Park.
God has always blessed Lincoln Park with an outstanding Music Ministry. Many gifted people have thrilled our hearts with their God-given talents. Our Music Ministry thrills our hearts in worship as they present God's Word with both voices and instruments.
Music Directors have been:
Mrs. C. V. Hall
Beth McDonald Smith
Lincoln Park is committed to local, national and international missions. We have sent several teams to Guatemala since 2001. Their ministries there have included church construction, children’s ministries, medical and dental ministries, pastor education and women’s ministries. After Hurricane Katrina a group went to Mississippi for home reconstruction. Each of our mission projects has been organized with the following purposes in mind:
To obey the Great Commission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To provide our members an opportunity to engage in mission work while seeing first-hand the sacrificial service of full-time missionaries working in the field.
To assist a church fellowship that is growing but lacks the material resources required to build adequate facilities for worship and Bible study.
To assist the work of God's church in a region that receives very little support from outside missions organizations.
To allow our church fellowship to be directly involved in mission work through in-the-field involvement, financial support, and intensive prayer.
Our Church Today
Our future is as bright as the promises of our Lord. We have a good physical plant. We have a location that can be easily reached, we have great love and fellowship and are part of a great denomination. As we celebrate the past we are anticipating the continuing blessings of God upon our worship and service together.
For over one hundred years our church's focus can be summarized with these words:
May the Grace of God the Father and the peace from the Lord Jesus Christ be unto each and all who worship Him this day.
To those who are tired and need rest.
To those who are weak and need strength
To those who are homeless and need a home
To those who are friendless and need a friend
To those who are lost and need a redeemer
An Invitation to Each and All
The Savior of the world – Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that God will continue to use our church for His Glory.
This history was prepared for our church's centennial celebration in February, 2009, with some revisions since then to reflect recent events that are important in the history of our church.