Well, here is something that you don’t see or hear about every day, a tourist ministry church. Nashville, Indiana, in beautiful Brown County, has had just that since 1994.
It all started when Charlie and Roxann Waggoner, of Salem, Indiana, were asked to go to Brown County to play the music for a new mission geared towards the country music fans who come to attend the country music shows in the area.
A pastor and his wife, two single women, and one other couple made up the ministry team. Praying it would last at least one season, all are thankful it was a success. Since that first Sunday service in 1994, over 5500 visitors have attended this little country church.
Country-style gospel music and a short bible-based message seem to be the right combination for folks from out of town who are looking for a place to worship. Add in “Howdy Hug” time and guest singers and musicians, and you have the makings of a truly unique church.
From 1994-2007, the group met in rented facilities, Ski World, and the Brown County Fairgrounds. Early in 2007, God made it possible to start a building program. With an anonymous gift of $75,000.00, we were able to break ground and make the down payment. Members all chipped in on work and funds to get everything accomplished. A lot of prayers and sweat went into this wonderful work. Listen also to the great First Family of Bluegrass Gospel, the Lewis Family.
Sunday, August 5, 2007, was the first Sunday service in the church’s new home. At that time only 21 actual members were on the books. Since then, the church has gained over 50 new members, plus all of the visitors who attend each week. God has truly blessed! Read here more about the origins of Gospel music.
The Waggoners are still with the church after all this time. “Jesus is the reason for all we do here. Each of us just wants to lift up His name and spread the gospel. If that means doing some things differently, then so be it.” said Roxann. No fancy clothes are required, and we always have the coffee pot on. The church has always had local folks who are here all the time, but we still cater to the tourists.
As untraditional as this ministry might seem, the message remains the same. Jesus Christ lived and died for our sins. If we believe in His name, and surrender ourselves to Him, nothing is impossible.
Country Gospel Music Church is proudly a part of American Baptist Churches of Indiana/Kentucky, and a member of the Mt. Zion Assn. Dr. Merideth Wilfong is the pastor.
The Country Gospel Music Church is located at Gnaw Bone just 5.3 miles east of the stoplight at the intersection of state roads 135 and 46 in Nashville. It is about 11 miles west of Interstate 65 at Columbus on State Road 46.
Nashville, Indiana is a very unique town that draws people from around the world. It is a town of unusual shops and entertainment opportunities. Bluegrass Gospel Music – How it all started.
People come by the thousands to visit the music theaters of Nashville. The Country Gospel Music Church was founded to provide a place for these music lovers to worship and praise the Lord. Some of the very best musicians available have dedicated themselves to leading a service that is music-based.
The primary purpose of the church is to share the good news of salvation and to present Jesus as Lord. A number of people have accepted Jesus as Saviour while visiting the church.
The nature of the church is such that it does not build a large local membership. It does have a small group of members dedicated to the purpose of supporting this specialized ministry.
There are churches of almost every denomination in the area which have a full program of training classes and services and we do not wish to interfere with their good work.
Our ministry reaches far beyond the local area. Visitors who visit our city find a warm and inviting worship service at The Country Gospel Music Church. A number of people who make repeat visits to Nashville come regularly to visit the church.
The work of the church is really a missionary endeavor. Instead of going to people of other areas the people come to us and go back home to become a part of a church in their community.
If you would like to be involved in real missionary work we invite you to become a part of the support group of The Country Gospel Music Church.