“To proclaim to all people everywhere the good news that Christ is the way of salvation; to magnify God through the preaching and teaching of the Word; to promote individual and collective divine worship; to provide opportunities for training, service, fellowship and Christian growth; to administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; to care for the physical and spiritual needs of it members; and to strengthen and uphold the moral fiber of its members and society in general.”
Praise God by teaching the Bible, loving others, and sharing Jesus as we grow in the family of Christ.
Members of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in North Knoxville voted in February 1962 to start a mission church in the large suburban neighborhood of Cumberland Estates in Northwest Knoxville. Cumberland Baptist Church was constituted as a mission church in February 1964. The first meetings were held at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School. A building program was initiated and the current facility was constructed in three phases over approximately twenty years; chapel and classrooms, classroom wing, and fellowship hall and office wing. Additional land, adjacent to the church, was purchased in the 1990s. The approximately three acres are currently used for recreation, but could be used for a building program in the future. In the last 5 years renovations have been made to the children’s playground and the church interior.
Cumberland Baptist Church has been served by only six full-time pastors in its 50 year history. The Rev. Hershel Chevallier led the congregation for 25 years before retiring in 1999. Our current pastor is Dr. Kerry Bond who began as our senior pastor in October 2007.
At present, the church has approximately 790 members on the roll, with about 150 in Sunday School attendance each week. There are 35 charter members still on the church roll. Cumberland Baptist Church is a missions-minded church that hosted a Korean congregation from 1985 until 2011. The church is dually-aligned with both the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We support women in leadership positions and have women deacons. The church is also a member of the Knox County Baptist Association.
Cumberland Baptist is a warm, friendly church that loves its people and takes care of its extended family through calls, visits, cards, food and prayer. It often responds to needs in the church and in the community. Church and individual ministries are many. A food pantry is run weekly by the senior adults and a free clothing closet run by the young adult Sunday School class. We have a church supported cookie ministry to a local hospital, and Christian Women’s Job Corp. Women on Mission maintain a sewing group that provides toiletry bags, children’s clothes and baby blankets to mission efforts in Belize and Romania. We have supported various disaster relief ministries by providing supplies and hands-on help. Three times a year, church members take school supplies in the fall, throw a school’s out party, and take Christmas presents to children in rural Kentucky through the Mission of Hope. We have many individual hospital and nursing home volunteers. The church also partners with Kids Hope USA for mentoring in a local elementary school.
Cumberland Youth have participated in local missions projects, summer youth camps, annual Disciple Now conferences and a variety of other activities. They are a vital part of our Vacation Bible School (VBS) planning, worship planning and execution and with our efforts in Mission of Hope. Children’s activities include Trunk or Treat, Wednesday night mission and music activities, and VBS. The Youth and College group also conduct a weekly worship service called “The Awakening” on Wednesday nights.
The church enjoys a variety of activities for fellowship. A Church Picnic sponsored by the Sunday School at a local park is an annual event in the Fall. The Senior Adults meet monthly for a pot luck meal and special program. The annual Festival of Tables event is an entertaining event for the women of the church. An annual Chili Cook-off and dessert and specialty item auctions are used as fundraisers for youth mission projects and trips. A Deacon-sponsored Widow/Widower’s banquet is held each fall. These are just a few of the opportunities for fellowship at our church.
We characterize our worship as a contemporary/blended style. During the morning service, we have a time of fellowship for our congregation to meet and greet one another. We think of our church as being Christ-centered and we understand that worship is offered to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We use digitally projected words for the music in the Sunday morning service and a combination of hymnals and projected words in the more traditional formatted pm Sunday service. We use combination of guitars, drums, piano, organ, electric bass, and other instruments to accompany worship leaders and congregation at the morning worship service and piano only during the evening service. On the months that have a fifth Sunday, we usually have a fifth Sunday singing, which showcases our congregation’s musical talents. Our youth are an integral part of our ministry and participate in Youth Sunday and musical presentations. A youth and college band leads a student worship service on Wednesday night. The church strongly supports our children and youth.
Church administration for activities and planning is established through a number of committees and offices. A church council, which is made up of department heads and staff members focus on planning and coordination. The deacon body is composed of fifteen active deacons who serve three year terms. Deacons attempt to serve as pastoral support and conduct ministry duties rather than act as business agents for the church. We have a deacon family ministry program in which every church member is assigned a deacon representative.
The future looks bright for Cumberland Baptist Church. Growth has changed the area surrounding our Church from a suburban to a semi-urban area with a diverse population. Now our challenge is to find ways to attract people from the surrounding neighborhoods and those who drive past Cumberland Baptist.
Cumberland is planning and striving to grow, both numerically and spiritually. We have gone from two Sunday morning services (one contemporary and one traditional) to one combined contemporary/blended worship service, started a new high energy praise and worship children’s service, changed the children’s Sunday school program, and have started a singles and new members Sunday school class. We actually had more volunteer workers than ever this year for VBS.
Stewardship is a high priority at Cumberland. We encourage each member to contribute. Due to economic conditions, we haven’t quite met our target budget goals in recent years, but we have always managed to meet our needs. Currently, we have a long range planning committee, which is tasked with mapping the future plans and needs of the church.
From our Purpose Statement, “teaching the Bible, loving others, and sharing Jesus”, some of the stated goals of Cumberland Baptist are as follows.
- Focus on our children, youth and young adult ministries to reach more people for the cause of Christ.
- Provide support to our senior members and home bound
- Minister inward to our church population for the purpose of discipleship.
- Outreach to the community to provide a positive influence for Christ.
- Provide biblical teaching and mission outreach.
- Provide help to the less fortunate.
Interim Ministers of Music: Ean Hurst and David Whipple
Pastor of Children, Youth and Young Adult: Steven Hoover
Volunteer Kids Hope Director: Ruth Patraw
Financial Assistant/Pastor’s Assistant: Tami Hurst