Our History

Our History






Although the church has existed in Shelbyville since 1866, the Fairlane congregation was formerly the Main Street Church.

During the 1960s, Main Street Church prospered and grew.   During this time, approximately 100 members of Main Street, which lived in South of town left to form the nucleus of the Southside congregation. However, Main Street continued to outgrow its facility. When the elders learned there was interest from City of Shelbyville's Urban Renewal project in purchasing the church's property, they decided it was a good time for a building program to begin.

In 1971, 16 acres in Fairlane Estates was purchased for $16,000. The Urban Renewal project had paid $165,000 for the Main Street property. Members bought church bonds to help in the financing of the $500,000 cost. It was completed in 1973, and in March of that year a dedication ceremony was held.

Paul Matthews was serving as minister at the time and continued on at Fairlane until his death from a heart attack in September of 1975. During this period Fairlane employed its first youth minister, Eddie Cassetty.

Hugh Fulford came as a minister in January 1976 and served until 1984. During this interval, several men held the position of youth minister. Eddie Cassetty was followed by Steve Baggert, who was then followed by Paul Isom, who served until 1984.

From 1984 until Russ Countess arrived in June of 1991, Fairlane was without a youth minister. Russ served as youth minister until the end of 2007. At this point Josh Schwartz accepted the youth position while Russ became the family minister.

During the late 1970s a second building was erected as storage for mowers and other equipment, and for used furniture and clothes that could be distributed to the needy. A few years later it was remodeled and used for other projects such as daycare space, classroom space, and a workroom for the Rag Doll Ministry.

In the fall of 1980 Fairlane Christian School began as a non-profit organization in response to a need the Elders saw for day care in a Christian environment for children of working mothers. The Christian school now serves approximately 70 children from 6 weeks of age to the pre-kindergarten age. It also serves children up to 12 years of age in after-school programs, summer programs, and other times that school is not in session. The school closed in the summer of 2008.

Randell Jernigan began his ministry with Fairlane in June of 1984 and served until his semi-retirement, December 31, 1998. He worked part-time as an assistant minister for the Fairlane Congregation until his sudden death on January 1, 2004.

Ed Boggess began his ministry with Fairlane in January 1999 and served through July of 2004. Buddy Koonce and various visitors served through December as a full-time pulpit minister was selected.

With a Sunday attendance of approximately 400, and classrooms and fellowship activities inside the church becoming ever-more crowded, the elders saw the need for a new fellowship hall, which includes classrooms, a commercially-equipped kitchen, a large fellowship hall, office space, and restrooms. In 1999, the 6,000 square-foot building was completed.

Geoff Geissman began his service at the Fairlane congregation in December of 2004. He and his wife Patti came from the Atlanta area. Geoff stayed until 2015, when Ed Boggess returned to Fairlane.

In late 2007 the Church began a full-time Hispanic Ministry. During this time a portion of the eastside of the building was renovated to accommodate the needs of a Hispanic congregation. It now has three class rooms for bible studies, a kitchen (which was already in place) and an auditorium that accommodates over 100 seats.

Lance Bennett began his ministry with Fairlane in March of 2018.  Prior to his work at Fairlane, he served as preaching minister at Riverside Church in Louisiana, and also served as youth minister at the Timberlane Church in Tallahassee, Florida and East Brainerd Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Michael Rector came on board as the Youth and Family Minister in September of 2018. Prior to his work at Fairlane, he served as the youth minister for the Kingston Church of Christ in Kingston, TN for almost 7 years.

We pray that the 21st century sees the cooperative spirit among Fairlane members continue to flourish and God's kingdom continue to grow as we strive to build a healthy and strong church.