BRENTWOOD — Approximately 45 years and one week after the cornerstone was placed in the new Tennessee Baptist Convention office located at 5001 Maryland Way, a ceremony was held to remove the time capsule that was placed in it.
“This is part of the grand plan for our transition celebration,” TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis told nearly 200 people in attendance on May 19.
TBC offices are moving this week to a temporary site off Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood, about two miles from the current location.
Brentwood Mayor Betsy Crossley spoke, noting that when the TBC building was dedicated in 1969, “it was in the middle of nowhere.”
Brentwood at the time had a population of about 3,600, she said, noting that it has grown to more than 40,000 today.
Crossley observed that the stained glass windows in the Baptist Center are a reminder of “the light that shines through our life every day through our Lord.
“The windows have been a continued witness to the citizens of Brentwood and to those that pass through,” she said.
Referring to the opening of the cornerstone Crossley thanked Tennessee Baptists for “being the cornerstone of our community.”
Frank Page, president of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, noted that “we are standing here today on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.”
The SBC leader expressed appreciation for the partnership the national convention has with the TBC.
Page observed that “we’re not here today about a building or churches.
“We’re here about our Lord. It’s about Jesus and that’s why we’re honoring Him today.”
After the time capsule was removed Davis cited some of the items that were inside, including copies of the Baptist and Reflector, the Nashville Banner and The Tennessean as well as two Bibles.
One of the Bibles belonged to David Byrd, who served on the TBC Executive Board and was on the committee which acquired the Brentwood property.
In attendance were Byrd’s two daughters and grandchildren.
“We praise the Lord that our forefathers put items connected to the day inside the time capsule as well as the book that is timeless —the Bible,” Davis said.
While the office location of the entity called Tennessee Baptist Convention will change, its calling will not, Davis pledged.
“The Lord Jesus has not changed. The spiritual condition of mankind has not changed; therefore, we will keep plowing ahead,” the TBC leader promised.
During the ceremony, Eugene Cotey, retired pastor of First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, and a member of the TBC Executive Board in 1969, read the same Scripture that he read at the dedication of the building.
Others on the program included former TBC Executive Director James Porch, former staff member Julian Suggs, current staff member Paul Clark, and Larry Robertson, president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and pastor of Hilldale Baptist Church, Clarksville.