The Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ building was built by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1894 and sold to its present congregation of the Church of Christ in 1920. Designed by local architect Robert Sharp, the building has a semicircular auditorium ringed with classrooms which can be opened into the larger room. Its architectural significance lies in its unique decorative treatment which sets it apart from the typical. The building’s irregular outline and lively silhouette are complemented by a great deal of decorative detail in stone, brick and terra cottas. The decorative exuberance is unmatched in existing Nashville churches.
Information from the Nineteenth Century Churches of South Nashville Thematic Resources National Register Nomination, dated 1984.
The building also derives significance from its association with the oldest Church of Christ congregation in Nashville. The Lindsley Avenue congregation traces its origins to a service held in 1855 by David Lipscomb, one of the founders of David Lipscomb College and early church leader in the Church of Christ.
An early church record March 1919 lists elders, J. T. McQuiddy, W. A. Rash, George J. Tompkins, and T. F. Moser. The member’s addresses indicate a neighbor congregation. Three of the neighborhood members living at 73 Rutledge St were Mrs. T.G. Ryman, wife of Captain Tom Ryman, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Ryman, their son and his wife. Paul, an accomplished tenor, performed at the Ryman Auditorium in March of 1919.
Early church records give details of the first meeting in the building at 3 Lindsley Avenue. There was an estimated 1600 people in attendance for the October 17, 1920 meeting. This was the merger of South College Street Christian Church and Carrol Street Christian Church with the new name of Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ.