Fairview Baptist Church is nestled in the beautiful hills of Athens, Tennessee and has been ministering to the community for almost 65 years.
As a conservative, local, independent, Bible believing church, we are focused on:
1. Spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not have a personal relationship with him,
2. Discipling believers and encouraging them in their daily walk with Christ, and
3. Affecting the spread of the Gospel around the world through our focus on Global Missions.
While we work to be relevant in today's society, we hold fast to the doctrines and principles found in God's Word. We utilize the King James Version of the scripture and believe it to be the preserved text for English speaking people.
We still have an old fashion altar where people can humbly come and pray and find the spiritual help they need to live a victorious Christian life. We also believe that music is a vital part of worship. It should be spiritually uplifting and honoring to God and should not be used as a platform for personal attention.
At Fairview Baptist Church, believers are encouraged to live godly lives, separating themselves from worldly, compromising trends. We believe our God, Who is holy, wants His people to obey scriptural, lifestyle principles. We believe all who are in Christ are new creations with old things passing away and all things becoming new.
The Fairview Baptist Church began as an afternoon Sunday School for the Fairview community. Those meetings were organized and conducted by two men, Mr. Harry Johnson, Sr. and Mr. Gene Cox from the First Baptist Church of Athens, Tennessee. The classes were held in a building owned by the Holston Methodist Conference that had been vacated in the late 1940's. These classes continued from the early 1950's to the official organization of the church. Mr. Johnny Powell, his wife, Nell, and their three daughters were key participants, along with involvement from the Patterson and Slack families who made their homes in the Fairview community.
From its inception, the church was declared to be an independent Baptist church with a strong belief in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures and the mandate of the great commission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Wednesday night, September 9, 1953 the following believers met for the purpose of organizing a local church. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. William F. Patterson, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. William H. Patterson; Mr. and Mrs. John Patterson; and Rev. and Mrs. Charles W. Shock. A motion was made that the proposed church be named Fairview Baptist Church. On November 22, during the Sunday morning worship service, those desiring to be charter members of the Fairview Baptist Church gathered at the front for a dedication prayer.
On Sunday afternoon, December 6, 1953, at two o'clock, a public recognition service was held for the Fairview Baptist Church. Rev. Charles Shock was called as the church's first pastor.
The church remained in the white-framed building, originally acquired from the Holsten Methodist Conference, from 1953 until 1970. The first parsonage was built on a half acre lot joining Earl Easter's property on Fairview Road approximately 1/10 mile west of the church.
Charles Shock was pastor at Fairview for approximately seven and a half years. Hafford Sharp was called on March 3, 1961, and remained as pastor for the next three years. Bob Kelley served the church as pastor beginning April 4, 1964, for two years and was replaced by Steve Byrd on October 2, 1966. Both Bob Kelley and Steve Byrd were students at Tennessee Temple Schools during their tenure. Marion Stanley accepted the pastorate on July 28, 1968. Under the leadership of Pastor Stanley, a church auditorium and Sunday School wing were completed and dedicated in 1970 at a cost of just under $70,000.00. Ray Womac became pastor on September 19, 1971, and stayed in that position for a little more than one year.
On the first Sunday in September 1973, Pastor Jack Scallions began his ministry. In the spring of 1974, Mr. J.M. Ware donated to the church his 150-acre farm on Clay Hill Road. It was his wish that the property be used for a camp ministry similar to Camp Joy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since that time, the property has been developed to include eight cabins, a lodge building with a full kitchen, dining and chapel facilities, bathhouses, a 20 X 40 ft. swimming pool and acres of playing fields. Camp Fairview has operated since its inception for 12 weeks in the summer with an estimated 700-1000 campers attending each year. In 2004, a missionary house on the property was completed by the men of the Fairview Baptist Church.
The first floor of an educational building was constructed in 1977, and Fairview Baptist Church started a Christian academy that same year named the McMinn Christian Academy, later to be renamed the Fairview Christian Academy. The building was expanded in the early 80's to include a second floor. (See History of FCA). The first parsonage was sold and a split foyer home was built adjacent to the church on a one-acre lot purchased from John Patterson in 1975.
The parsonage was deeded to Pastor Scallions in September 2001 in recognition of twenty-eight years of service to the church. The church also purchased an additional twelve acres of property from the Henry Russell estate to add to the present property extending the land holdings of the church to the railroad tracks on the east.
A family life center/gymnasium was constructed in the late 80's giving an additional 12, 000 square feet of recreational area with 4,000 sq. ft. of classroom and office space.
The Fairview Baptist Church became debt-free in 1995 and has remained so to date. Paved parking areas around the church and in front of the gym were added in 2002 giving spaces for a hundred plus vehicles. A fellowship hall/dining hall was dedicated on May 21, 2000.
In March 2005, the church purchased the house and one acre lot adjacent to the property on the west. The house was constructed in the 60's by J.R. Queen and shares the church entrance drive. In the fall of the same year, the remaining ten acres on the west side of the church was acquired from the Mayfield estate, bringing the church's on-site acreage to over thirty.
Site preparation began in the summer of 2005 for the construction of a 16,000 square foot auditorium complex. This building houses a 500-seat auditorium and 4,000 ft. of classroom and office space. Construction was completed in May 2009 debt-free.
A Spanish ministry was started in 2005, and Carlos Mauricio was called as the first Spanish pastor. The church presently supports 83 missionaries. Fairview remains strongly evangelistic with converts and baptisms routinely seen.
In November 2016, a tornado extensively damaged the main auditorium and damaged the other four buildings beyond repair. Repairs to the main auditorium were completed in May of 2017. In April 2018, construction began on a new 36,000 square foot educational facility. It is scheduled to be completed in early 2019.
On January 1st of 2019, Pastor Jack Scallions was promoted to the role of Pastor Emeritus, after serving faithfully for 45 years as Senior Pastor. He continues to serve in many aspects of the church, school, camp, and radio ministries. On that same day, Pastor Matt Herrell began his role of Senior Pastor of our church.
Under the leadership of Pastor Herrell, the church continues to focus on the goals of glorifying our Savior by reaching Athens, TN with the Gospel and supporting the work of missionaries doing the same around the world.
We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God, inerrant in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in Faith and Life.
We believe God is one, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God, and true man.
We believe that man was created in the image of God, and that he sinned and thereby incurred physical death, and also spiritual death, which is separation from God.
We believe all men are born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed.
We believe Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the scripture, as a propitiatory and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who by faith receive Him as the personal Savior are justified on the grounds of His shed Blood on Calvary, are born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby become the children of God.
We believe all who are born again by the Spirit, through the Word, receive Eternal, Divine Life.
We believe Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again bodily from the grave, that He is now ascended into Heaven, as our High Priest, to appear in the presence of God for us.
We believe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is imminent and that it will be bodily, personal and pre-millennial.
We believe the Holy Spirit is a Divine person, indwelling each born again believer, leading him into all truth, and energizing him in prayer and service; and that through the believer, He, the Holy Spirit, convinces the world of sin and restrains evil.
We believe the believer should not be conformed to this world, and that it is incumbent upon him to live a life of Separation, unto God, from all sinful practices and associations.
We believe all the dead will be raised, the Just at the Rapture of the living saints and the unjust after the one thousand year, righteous reign, of Christ on the earth.
We believe the saved will enjoy eternal, conscious bliss in the presence of God, and that the unsaved will suffer eternal, conscious punishment in Hell with Satan and His angels.
We believe the church Spiritual is the body of Christ, made up of the whole company of born-again believers of every nation, kindred, and tongue.
We believe the local church is His representative body in the world, having the right, under God, to autonomy, and that Christ is the head, and the pastor is the under-shepherd, and that deacons are his assistants.
We believe the two ordinances of the Church are Baptism, by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and the Lord’s Supper, remembering the broken body and shed blood of the Lord, till He come.