Since 1903 Bellevue Baptist has been a spiritual leader in Memphis, Tennessee. It is one of the largest churches in the Mid-South and even one of the largest churches in the nation. It has approximately 29,000 members, a number that continues to grow. The church attracts people from all over the world with its lively services and its spiritual programming. Even if you aren't a religious person, it's worth it to experience the church. It's a big part of Memphis cultural
Bellevue Baptist was founded in 1903. The original church in Midtown Memphis was very small and has been described as "log cabin-like." It was nearly fifty years before Bellevue erected a new church, a 3,000 seat building that was one of the area's first air conditioned churches. Between 1952 and the mid-1980's, Bellevue experienced massive growth. This growth prompted the church to construct yet a larger facility for their main campus. The church building, located in Cordova, was completed in 1989 and seats more than 7,000.
To date, Bellevue Baptist Church has had only seven head pastors in its hundred-plus years of existence. Of these, the most notable include Dr. Robert G. Lee who pastored Bellevue from 1927 to 1960 and Dr. Adrian Rogers who pastored the church from 1972 until 2005. Dr. Rogers led Bellevue as it grew from 9,000 to more than 29,000 members. Today Dr. Steve Gains is Bellevue's head pastor.
With so many members and a 400-acre campus, it is no wonder that Bellevue Baptist Church has so many activities available to people from all walks of life. These activities include: children's programs, singles groups for singles of all ages, sports teams, music lessons, college-age gatherings, men's and women's ministries, and Bible classes. In addition, the facility houses a bookstore and reference library.
The church posts a newsletter with all the events having everyday. It also has an extensive website with sermon notes (in case you missed services), resources for all types of congregants from kids to senior citizens, and more.
Singing Christmas Tree
Every year during the holidays, Bellevue Baptist Church hosts a large-scale community performance known as the "Singing Christmas Tree" which draws crowds in the thousands from around the region. It's an artificial Christmas tree filled with singers that is part of the nativity play.
Bellevue Baptist Church has three locations. Their main campus is at 2000 Appling Road in Cordova and is surrounding by a sprawling parking lot. There are three enormous crosses on display near the church, visible from the highway and the surrounding area.
Bellevue has two other campuses. One is Bellevue Bella Vista located on Highland that stages Spanish speaking services. The other is in Fraser that serves the inner-city community. It holds a food pantry for families in need.