MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BNC) — The Daily News Journal followed up its story of the Stones River church’s decision to use instrumental music in worship with a flattering article on the first congregation in the city, East Main.

The article touted the congregation’s “rich heritage” in the headline, with details of its formation and development, and visits by Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, and James Garfield.

Much of the article was devoted to the construction of the East Main building in the 1800s. A photo of the historic building was included in the report.

From the headline, the article apparently is part of a series on local history.

Hence, the article did not mention East Main’s strong support of evangelism and missions outside the city. The congregation’s website mentions support of works like the television program, “In Search of the Lord’s Way,” now featuring Phil Sanders, schools of preaching, efforts in Tanzania and Latin America, as well as mission points in several states in the US.

The newspaper article noted that the congregation had been key in beginning new works in the area.

“The congregation is a special and active place of worship that has freely exemplified goodwill over 180 years,” the second paragraph stated.

While not delving into the teachings of the congregation, it mentioned influence by Alexander Campbell.

“The members based their principles on the directives of the Bible opposed to specific laws dictated within a religious body,” the unnamed reporter said.



  1. Our minister at the Casa Grande church of Christ in Arizona descends from the Campbell family through Thomas Alexander’s brother who decided restoration was the way to go several years before Thomas and Alexander did. However, of course, Alexander became much more well known through his “Millennial Harbinger” and travels and Bible college.

    I’m proud of the congregation featured in this article. Good for them!

  2. Randall, please keep the Restoration principle fresh in our minds by your continuing to write in your website. Thank you so much. I try to emphasize this principle in my weekly newspaper articles in Fort Worth Star Telegram, now over 7 years each week. I am putting all these into a printed book. We have four congregations here now that have added instruments of music, and one or two more are weakening, never preaching on those ancient principles. Thank you so very much for all you do to point in the ancient path direction. Alvin Jennings

    1. If we spent more time in Bible reading, prayer, and the communion, we wouldn’t have time for all the singing. If music is a major part of the service, people tend to want to improve on it. Can’t be done. Jesus, forgive us.

  3. What bothers me about the restoration movement is not only the lack of teaching about the importance of this movement but our having individuals over the last twenty years who think they needed to rewrite restoration history. Their purpose becomes clear in that they believe that the churches of Christ are just another denomination among the other denominations. That was not the conclusion drawn from their study though they claim it to be but in fact the belief that already had before they began their study. I agree with brother Jennings and cannot help but wonder how many of our young people have ever had a study on this great theme.