Tennessee's Oldest Baptist Church

We thank God for His hand in the history of Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church. The fact that this church still stands for the same things today as when it was started, is a testimony to the power of God and the unchanging truth of His Word. The history of Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church is a manifestation of what God can do in the lives of people and proof that God’s way works. Any church that chooses to stand for the truth in their day provides an opportunity to following generations to hold the truth and pass it on themselves.

Tennessee Oldest Church Tennessee Historical Commission


Oldest Baptist Church in Tennessee

Back in the 1700s, George Whitfield was used mightily by God. Through his preaching, many came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Among those reached through his ministry was a man named Shubal Stearns. After receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, Shubal Stearns established a church in Sandy Creek, North Carolina. During his time there, a great revival broke out with many people being saved and men going out from that place to start more churches. It is said that over one thousand churches can trace their roots back to Sandy Creek Baptist Church. Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church is one of those churches.


In the early 1770s, a man by the name of Tidence Lane was saved and discipled under the ministry of Shubal Stearns. Later in the 1770s Lane moved his family over the mountains into eastern Tennessee while attempting to avoid unrest in North Carolina. Once they arrived in Tennessee, Tidence Lane and his family established the Buffalo Ridge Church in 1779. When they came over the mountains into East Tennessee there were no cities or towns, so the churches were named according to their locations. Many of the churches were located near creeks, rivers, springs, ridges, or mountains. Our church was started on Buffalo Ridge from which the church took its name.



Over the past 235+ years, Buffalo Ridge has been pastored by thirty-one different men including Tidence Lane, Jonathan Mulkey, Samuel Tindell, Gene Lasley, Jody Jenkins, and, currently, John Herdman. Each of these men has made important contributions to the ministry of our church. Gene Lasley came to Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church in the summer of 1963 and pastored the church for forty-six years. God greatly blessed the ministry of Pastor Lasley. In 1965, the decision was made to build a new building and relocate the church. Ten years later, a larger auditorium was built on the same property. God has continued to bless our church and through it, many people have been reached with the gospel both locally and around the world through Faith Promise missionary offerings. It continues to be our desire to see Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church continue in the truth that has been passed from one generation to the next and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone in our area and all around the world.