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Picture of Sweet KissingPicture of Christ the LightgiverAll Saints Old Catholic Church

An Old Catholic Church  located in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Married Clergy allowed. 

Ordination information, Old Catholic Church History, and more.

Old Catholic Diocese of the Holy Spirit of the Old Catholic Communion in North America

AKA as the Old Catholic Church of America Inc.*

 

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Saturday, January 31, 2004

 Local News


Coming Home
Members of All Saints Parish celebrate new worship space


The Leaf-Chronicle


Photo
Alicia Archuleta/The Leaf-Chronicle

Bishop Michael Nesmith performs consecration rites over the altar at the new All Saints Old Catholic Cathedral on Salem Road. Nesmith and Randall Bailey constructed large wooden crosses for the windows of the sanctuary, like the one above the altar.


Photo
Alicia Archuleta/The Leaf-Chronicle

Bishop Michael Nesmith delivers the sermon during the consecration Mass. After five years of meeting in rented spaces, the All Saints Parish celebrated its first service in their own building.


Photo
Alicia Archuleta/The Leaf-Chronicle

Lisa Dodson, left, and Suerita Nichols-Redman sing during the consecration Mass of All Saints Old Catholic Cathedral on Jan. 25.


Photo
Alicia Archuleta/The Leaf-Chronicle

Father Marvin Moore, front, spreads holy water across the congregation as he and Bishop Mike Nesmith enter the new sanctuary.



Lisa Dotson, Holly Gillon, Marcia Pelick and Donna Dodson stood with tear-filled eyes as another page turned in their church's history.

After five years in two separate strip-mall locations, members of All Saints Old Catholic Parish now have a new church home on Salem Road.

About 70 parishioners celebrated a consecration Mass on Jan. 25 that culminated a dream come true. Families gathered in the 3,800-square-foot structure to offer thanks, raise their voices in praise and receive communion.

"We all feel like we're supposed to be here," Dotson said, "For every obstacle, God gave us a way past it, and now we have a beautiful place."

Bishop Michael Nesmith reminded parishioners during the morning Mass that "as disciples we come together, but we must not forget it is Jesus who builds his church."

"A church is a home, a temple, a place where truth is proclaimed, a sanctuary, and a place where the good news is proclaimed," he said.

In his sermon Nesmith recalled the early days of All Saints.

"Our first service in September of 1999 included about six people. We rented a storefront with a bagel shop on one side and a bar and costume shop on the other. We had folding chairs," Nesmith said. "Then we moved to another storefront with used pews for seating."

"I remember reading an article about this new church meeting in a mini-mall. I went to a service and knew right away that this church was for me," said Dodson, who has attended All Saints services for almost five years.

Pelick saw the same article and has been an All Saints regular ever since, too.

"There is such a close relationship of all of the members. Everybody works together and Father Mike is there for you always no matter what," Pelick said.

Nesmith reminded parishioners during the Mass that "even a little church can become part of the big church of Jesus Christ."

Members of All Saints are elated to finally be in their new home.

"It's so nice to see everybody come together in our place that's not a rental," said Nicole Gillon, 28.

Toni Frisby said the simplicity of the new church makes its beauty even more special.

She and Charles Nichols-Redman, 20, agree a new building is wonderful, but the heart of All Saints is the people.

"I come with my family, and I stay because I feel at home here because the people are so helpful," Nichols-Redman said.

James Gipson, 18, said the willingness of parish leadership and lay members to include youth has contributed to the growth of All Saints.

"Young people are treated equal with adults as it should be," Gipson said.

Montgomery Central Elementary student Joseph Hawks, 11, said a smaller church like All Saints appeals more to him than the larger church his family attended in Nashville.

"There were too many people in Nashville," Joseph said. "It was always crowded and you could hardly hear the priest."

Nesmith said he prefers a church with a smaller congregation as well.

"The Old Catholic tradition tries to stay at a church size of 75 to 100 people. If we were to grow beyond that we would look into starting another church," Nesmith said. "We feel we can serve the needs of our parish better with smaller numbers, that way the people stay more like a family."

From zoning issues to architectural blueprint changes, church members agree God's providence ensured the construction of their new building.

"For example, at the very end we were told we needed another $2,900 for the closing. We didn't have it. We prayed and the next day the bank called and said there was an error in their calculations to the tune of $2,900," Dotson said. "It's awesome. God really works for those who love him."

That sense of love, of family, of warmth permeates the white-sided steeple-topped building.

Nestled on a hillside with a gravel parking lot, the All Saints Parish now has a place to call home, with doors that open into a sanctuary of worship that echoes a message that still rings true in the 21st century.

Thirteen-year-old Chris Nesmith summed up the emotions of his church family: "Opening this church is special. I feel closest to Christ when I'm here, and he gives me strength to know in today's time that you can live by God's word."

Ann Wallace can be reached at 245-0287 or by e-mail at annwallace@theleafchronicle.com.

Originally published Saturday, January 31, 2004