Our History

If the southeast region of the United States is considered the Bible Belt of the nation, then Lawrence County would surely be considered the buckle. Congregations have been in existence in this area for many, many years and one of the oldest is the Leoma church of Christ in Leoma, Tennessee.

The church at Leoma was formally organized by Bro. T.C. King on April 20, 1913 when he read from the Bible concerning the selection of Elders and Deacons and L.T. Nipher and A. Jordan were chosen to serve as Elders and J.T. Kennerly and C.P. McLean were appointed deacons.

 The roots of the church at Leoma began in 1899 and before, when Mary Jane McDougal Freemon began teaching others and making arrangements for preachers to come and work with the people in Leoma. When her husband, Allen Howard Freemon, built a general store in 1899 on the east side of Andrew Jackson Highway, the second floor, which came to be known as Freemon’s Hall, was used as a community hall where people could assemble for meetings, Sunday School, preaching, singing, Christmas plays and other gatherings. Two other groups, one from the Dunn community and the other from the Pleasant Point community, merged with the group at Leoma and began meeting with them at Freemon’s Hall, bringing the total attendance to approximately 20 families. Unfortunately, Freemon’s Hall burned in 1909 and the church began meeting in the Fair building at the Leoma Fairgrounds on the south side of Fair Street in Leoma. The church continued to grow and by 1912, they felt the need to erect a building. A half-acre tract of land was given by the Freemons for $40.00 next to the Fairgrounds property and a one-room building, built with materials donated by members of the congregation, was constructed on that lot. 

In 1913, when the church at Leoma was formally organized, forty-four members were listed in the church registry. When the church had grown to sixty members shortly thereafter, they decided it was time to pay off the debt for the building. Congregations throughout the county set aside one Sunday’s contribution to help the church at Leoma and Bro. J.H. Stribling, from Lawrenceburg, spoke that Sunday at Leoma and asked everyone to double their planned contribution. With God’s blessing, Bro. Stribling’s encouragement and the help of the other congregations, the debt was paid off with that one day’s contribution.

The church at Leoma continued to meet in this building until 1944, when they decided to purchase new property and build a new building to provide more meeting room and parking space. Three members, A.L. Simpson, Emmet B. Richardson and Bob Richardson, provided a lot on the east side of Highway 43 for the construction of a new building near where the current Lawrence County Archives building exists today. On November 2, 1947, the first services were held at the new building, which included a basement for classrooms. The new building also included indoor restrooms, a hot air furnace and even had padded pews! This building served the Leoma church until 1975, when the current church building on the east side of Highway 43 just north of Leoma Elementary School was completed. The new building was the first in the community to have a built-in baptistery. Until this new accessory was available, new converts had to travel down to Shoal Creek or to Downtown or Pulaski Street Church of Christ in order to be baptized. In June of 1995, a beautiful painting of a riverside scene was completed on the back wall of the baptistery by Frank White, the grandson of Allen and Mary Jane McDougal Freemon. A new two-story building on the south side of the auditorium was completed in 1998 to be used for classrooms and a fellowship hall. 

The church at Leoma has always enjoyed a spirit of unity and peace as they have built on the foundation laid by so many in the past. We never know how God will use our actions to produce fruit for His kingdom. Little did Mary Jane McDougal Freemon know of the fruits her efforts would produce over 100 years ago in simply providing a place for the church to meet at Leoma.