Galilee Baptist Church – The Church Journey

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19 February 2020

I had the privilege to visit Galilee Baptist Church. The church was established in 1896 and the current church was built in 1965. Galilee Baptist Church is a conservative Southern Baptist Church that proudly proclaims belief in the Bible as the inspired [1].  The church is located 2 miles off the main highway down a country road surrounded by trees and homes built in the 60’s. This church has a long history, but surprisingly I wasn’t able to find much history beyond the last sixty years. The latest newspaper article was in 1944 related to the East Tennessee Old Harp Singers uniting with singers from Sevier and Blount counties in an all-day event held at the Galilee Baptist Church. [6] In 1906 it was printed that five members of the church were baptized.  In addition, there was several funeral notices listed with the latest going back to 1920’s. There exists cemetery down the road from the church’s current location. I will share some pictures under the details section.  

What I did find was a story of a dedicated pastor being used by God to achieve great things by serving God.  In the summer of 1960, a young pastor Guy Milam was hired as the new pastor for Galilee Baptist church.[3] One year later in 1961 Rev. Guy Milam in his twenties was expanding the church on newly purchased land. 15 July 1961 ground breaking of a new educational building. The Knoxville Journal reported ground was broke for a new educational building expected to cost $60,000. It will be constructed on a new lot and the old sanctuary would be moved to the new location and would stand beside the new educational building until a new sanctuary can be built. The new sanctuary was built in 1965. [2] Through God’s grace Milam was able to lead the congregation to build the current church facilities that is still serving the community. “Praise God from whom all blessing flow”

In 1967 he was hired by North Knoxville Baptist Church. Another fascinating fact in 1989 Rev. Guy Milam was the left in charge as the caretaker for the Blue Tick Coon hound 4-legged mascot for the Tennessee Volunteers football team. I do not know how long he performed this duty, but it shows how connected he was with the city.[4]  In December 2013 After 58 years in the ministry, the 78-year-old Milam preached his final sermon Sunday morning at North Knoxville Baptist Church,  Milam who served as pastor at the church for 35 years over two stints (1967-1989 and 2000-2013).

I arrived at the church early Wednesday evening they did not have a church service scheduled, but they did have an Awana program scheduled at 06:30 PM. Because I arrived 30 minutes before the start of AWANA I was able to stop by Pastor Dwight Singleton’s office for a short conversation. This also allowed me time for prayer and meditation in the church sanctuary.  I left when Awana started. I was happy to see several middle school and high school age students taking advantage of the program.

For over six decades, the Lord has used the ministry of Awana to reach kids, equip leaders, and change the world. The unchanging truth of the gospel drives the same vision held to reach children in every corner of the globe.  Awana provides structure and consistency in its biblical teaching for ages 2-18. Awana gives children the opportunity to know, love and serve Jesus.

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Fellowship:

During my visit I had the privilege of partaking in a brief conversation with Pastor Dwight Singleton in his office. He has been a pastor for 10 years. Like many pastors he is very busy, and his workload has recently increased in the absence of an office administer. I enjoyed the conversation, and I hope to meet with him again in the future.

Details:   

Church Website: http://www.gknoxville.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GalileeBaptistChurchKnox/

Location: 8622 Pickens Gap Road, Knoxville, Tennessee

Date Visited: 2020 February 19th. 

The current sanctuary was built in 1965, and is made of solid red bricks. The front of the building has a Colonial Revival look with concrete steps leading up to the main entry, which features double doors allowing access to the sanctuary. The church has a stunning steeple with a brick tower supporting the belfry and lantern topped with a green copper spire pointing up into the blue sky.

The sanctuary has high ceilings allowing room for a balcony at the back. The ceiling supports multiple hanging hexagonal pendulum lights that illuminates the worship area. The pews are made of grained wood, and are divided into three sections in the lower level.  

The steps lead up to the raised pulpit where the sermons are preached. The red chairs in the back provides seating for the choir and music program. 

This is a view of the wooden pews with comfortable cushion on the bench seating.

This is the church cemetery located about a quarter mile from the current church location.

This was the oldest grave marker I found dated March of 1900, which would be four years after the church was founded in 1896.

Final Thoughts:

As much as I enjoy church history it’s not as much about what was achieved in the past, it is more about what is being accomplished now and in the future. I was happy to see the good turnout for the Awana program. The future lies in the hands of our children and grandchildren we need to teach them well. The children are not only the future of our world they are the future of our church. Investing time in our children is one of the greatest gifts you can give.  Please pray for our children and the Awana programs that are used in many churches to teach the love of Jesus.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6) NIV

As I was visiting the church cemetery, I saw a unique tombstone. Have you heard of a cemetery referred to as a RESTING PLACE.  A resting place can be defined as a place where someone is buried.  This park bench tomb stone brings a new meaning to a resting place. It also provides a seat for family to spend time at the gravesite. Whatever the intent I have never seen a grave marker similar to this and I must say I liked it.

If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.

May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7) NIV

Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.

May this find you well and happy, God Bless

Picture Gallery:

 

References:

  1. Galilee Baptist Church website, “About” (2020, February 24) Retrieved from http://www.gknoxville.com/
  2. Newspapers.com, “Ground Breaking”. The Knoxville Journal, Knoxville Tennessee, 15 July 1961. Page 2
  3. Newspapers.com, “New Pastor”. Baptist and Reflector, Nashville Tennessee, 16 June 1960. Page 8
  4. Newspapers.com, “UT’s football mascot gets lazy in off season”. Kingsport Times, Kingsport Tennessee, 28 April 1989. Page 19
  5. “N. Knoxville Baptist Says Good- Bye to Their Pastor”. News Sentinel – Article excerpt, (29 December 2013) Retrieved from: https://www.questia.com/newspaper/1P2-36367568/n-knoxville-baptist-says-good-bye-to-their-pastor
  6. Newspapers.com, “Harp Singing at Galilee”. The Knoxville News Sentinel, Knoxville Tennessee, 04 November 1944. Page 2. 

 

 

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