Skyline temporarily changes as 92-foot church steeple goes in for year-long repair

Posted at 7:54 AM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 12:10:45-04

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — Brentwood United Methodist Church sent its 46-year-old steeple in for repairs during the last week of July, changing the skyline on Franklin Road for a year.

"Nothing lasts forever," explained 43-year church member Tom Blose. "Everything needs to be rehabbed at some point in time and we actually did rehab in 2009, but it was all internal and done on site. This time the steeple is gonna be shipped off and completely rebuilt."

He and his wife raised their children at the church and their kids are doing the same.

"When we first joined, we had 1,600 members in 1979," Blose said. "Now we have 8,500 members, so we've seen a lot of growth."

In 2010, he said he fell into a "church project" and while he does not have an official title, he may have earned one.

"I’m sort of the unofficial church historian and archivist," he explained.

Brentwood United Methodist Church 43-year member Tom Blose led the archiving project at his church for years, piecing together a full story of his church's history.

Blose said he and a few other volunteers archived about 70 boxes of material that pieced together the history of the church.

"The first church blew away in a windstorm and they rebuilt. The second church burned rebuilt. The third church was got too small, and [then] we moved [here]."

His team's research chronicled stories that had been little known in recent years.

"Lightning hit the steeple and burned down in 1934 and the church was rebuilt in 1936 on the same foundation," he pointed out. "That was the church before we moved to our current location on Franklin Road."

The church's first location had a steeple, the second did not and the third and current location did not have a steeple for its first few years.

He explained that at the time the current church campus was built, there wasn't enough money in the budget for a steeple. The steeple that the community has come to know on Franklin Road came four years later in 1976.

For 46 years, the steeple stood high above its church, boasting a 16-foot cross on the top.

"The steeple has speakers in it so it doesn't have bells," Blose said. "So every once in a while during the day, you'll hear hymns play."

Those hymns are known to draw a crowd in the church's parking lot when they sound during lunch hour every day.

During the last week of July, the company that first installed Brentwood United Methodist Church's steeple came back to take it down to restore it.

Like all structures, the steeple needed repairs and Blose said, "It went up into two pieces, probably gonna come down to two pieces."

It did come down in multiple pieces during the last week of July and was taken to its original steeple-makers in Kentucky.

"When you go around, especially around the southeast, you'll look at every steeple, it's Campbellsville Industries," he explained.

The project is a refresh for the church topper that Blose said he hopes will usher in the next generation.

"We consider the steeple, and steeples all across the country and across the world where to point people to God," Blose said. "So it's a very powerful symbol of that and that's what we're here for, we're here to unite people in God."