Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What are churches of Christ?

In Romans 16.16, Paul wrote,“All the churches of Christ greet you.” Churches of Christ are independent local churches made up of Christians whose hearts are knit together by love for Jesus and belief in the New Testament as His revealed will. The unity enjoyed by these congregations is based on shared beliefs and practices set forth in Scripture (1 Corinthians 1.10). Our aim is to please God by going back to the Bible to see how He would have us live, worship and serve. It is our joy is to proclaim forgiveness through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection; to share Christ’s love by helping people in need; and to encourage spiritual growth and service among Christians as we look forward to Jesus’ return. We seek to do what is so clearly biblical that everyone can participate in good conscience and full fellowship with others. We have no extra-biblical name and prefer to be called simply Christians.

Tell me about your vision and values?

We exist so lost people may have eternal life and saved people may have abundant life. Our twin goals are to help people live eternally and effectively (John 10.10).

Our leading values come from 1 Cor 13:13:

  • Faith - Sound Beliefs (Rom 10:17)
  • Hope - Positive Emotions (1 Cor 13.7)
  • Love - Caring Relationships (1 Cor 16.14)

Consequently, we ask 3 questions with every decision we make. 

  • Is it biblical? (Col 3.16-17). 
  • Is it hopeful? (Luke 1.37). 
  • Is it caring? (1 Cor 16.14)
What is your average attendance?

Our worship attendance currently averages 240 on Sunday mornings. Our members come from Old Hickory, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Mount Juliet, White House, Gallatin, and Thompson's Station.

When was the congregation established?

The congregation began meeting in 1919. The original facilities were built in 1920.

Tell me about your Preacher?

Aubrey Johnson is our pulpit minister. Aubrey's sermons are designed to ground, equip, inspire, and connect our members by proclaiming the whole counsel of God. If you love practical, positive preaching, you are going to love Old Hickory. Aubrey began working with us on January 1, 2019. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University (B.A., M.A.R., M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (DMin, Church Leadership). Aubrey is the author of twelve books and a frequent contributor to Gospel Advocate Magazine. He also conducts Dynamic Deacons and Effective Elder seminars for churches. He and his wife, Lisa, have three sons (Buddy and Angela, Matt and Kathi, Will and Amy) and eight grandchildren (Luke, Abby, Levi, Ari, Margie, Ada, Gigi, and Mattie). Aubrey believes in promoting church growth through church health. If you want abundant life and encouraging friends, Old Hickory is a great place to call home.

Tell me about your Associate Minister?

Our associate minister is Don Loftis. Don served as Old Hickory’s preacher for 26 years before opting for a part-time role in 2019. He will continue serving as one of our primary adult Bible teachers and be available to minister to individuals and families who are facing illness, grief, and transitional life issues such as retirement. Don grew up in Springfield, TN and preached for 17 years in Indiana before moving here. He and his wife, Pam, have three children and seven grandchildren. The soundness and loving atmosphere at Old Hickory are a reflection of Don’s tireless work.

Who is your Youth Minister?

Our youth minister is Mason Hale. He is a Texas native who moved to Tennessee to attend Freed-Hardeman University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Bible in December of 2015. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Freed-Hardeman University. Mason has been serving in a full-time ministry role at Old Hickory since 2016. Mason and his wife, Savannah, met at Freed-Hardeman and married in May of 2016.

Tell me about your office staff?

Our church secretary is Andra Mullins. Andra has a sweet spirit and a servant heart. She and her husband, Randy, have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Two of Andra's favorite pastimes are baking and reading a good book. Another delight is helping members and visitors in need. If you need information or assistance, please call on Andra. Helping you will make her day!

Who are your elders and deacons?

We currently have 4 elders and 6 deacons. The elders meet every other week and are available to meet with you at your request.

Our Elders

  • Keaton Bell (Lisa)
  • Carl Johnson (Harriet)
  • Steve Pilkinton (Sherry)
  • Nathan Miller (Jacki)

Our Deacons 

  • Miles Cotham (Cherry) - Missions
  • Gary Dickens (Lori) - Building and Grounds
  • Don Kinzer (Marie) - Benevolence and Worship
  • Steve Powell (Sharon) - Building and Grounds
  • Paul Sears (Jan) - Education and Faith Village
  • Andy White (Amy) - Outreach and Shut-Ins
Do the elders have a long-term plan for growth?

Absolutely! We call the next ten years “The Decade of Growth (2019-2029). Continual growth is what Jesus’ abundant life vision of church is all about (John 10.10). Paul’s teaching on the fruit of the Spirit explains how we need to grow to fulfill our Lord’s dream (Galatians 5.22-26). By maturing in these nine virtues, we will flourish in faithfulness and fruitfulness. The abundant life is about spiritual, relational, and emotional growth. The more people see Jesus in our encouraging words and loving deeds, the more they will be drawn to the Old Hickory family. A Christlike life is not only abundant, but attractive. That is the power of the 10:10 life.

— As you grow, so grows the church.

  • 2019 - The Year of Growth
  • 2020 - The Year of Love
  • 2021 - The Year of Joy
  • 2022 - The Year of Peace
  • 2023 - The Year of Patience
  • 2024 - The Year of Kindness
  • 2025 - The Year of Goodness
  • 2026 - The Year of Faithfulness
  • 2027 - The Year of Gentleness
  • 2028 - The Year of Self-Control
  • 2029 - The Year of Sacrifice
Tell me about your youth ministry?

The purpose for our youth ministry is to engage, encourage, educate, expand, and invite. All of our activities serve to promote this purpose. We organize weekend retreats, summer Bible camp, attend youth rallies that promote evangelism and healthy biblical perspectives on living and self-identity. We participate in service opportunities to assist homeless, sick, hungry and more. We host devotional times, and attend area-wide youth gatherings. Our local Bible classes are organized to promote a balanced exposure to Old Testament events and the New Testament covenant so our teens can grow in wisdom and in favor with God. We are intentional about cultivating faith that is personal, and owned by each student so they can stand confidently in a world that looks down on Jesus’ followers. We provide a top-of-the-line experience within our youth ministry that focuses on Jesus’ mission: to love God and others in order to build disciples. We hold tightly to the reality presented in 2 Timothy 3:15, “from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Do you have a child care program?

One of the best. The Old Hickory Day School is a Tuesday Thursday school that provides a safe, loving learning environment for children (ages 2-4) and peace of mind for busy moms. Hillary Bell Sears directs the school, and she would love to meet with you if you have any questions.

What are some of your ministries?

Opportunities for involvement include the following:

  • Family Ministry
  • Building & Grounds
  • Special Projects
  • Education
  • Nursery
  • Children’s Bible Hour
  • Audio-Visual
  • Ladies Events
  • Men’s Nights
  • Lads to Leaders
  • Missions and Local Benevolence
  • Bus Maintenance
  • Bus Drivers
  • Jesus’ Lambs Preschool Ministry
  • Sprouts Elementary Ministry
  • Website
  • Ushering
  • Visitation
  • Bible Correspondence
What mission and benevolent works do you support?

Doing good and sharing Christ are Old Hickory passions. See below for efforts we support financially.

  • Brazil Mission
  • India Mission
  • Bataam, Indonesia
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • South Africa Bible College
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Sneedville, TN
  • Nashville Inner City Ministry
  • Old Hickory Youth Mission Trip
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Disaster Relief

Our greatest mission work is outreach to our community through friendship evangelism.

What are some of your special events?

Ministry Expo, Valentine Dinner, Fifth-Sunday Fellowship Meals, Summer Spark, Fall Festival, Quarterly Singings, Holiday Dinners, Winter Wednesday Night Men’s Rotation, Game Nights, Ladies’ Retreat and Inspiration Day, Teacher Appreciation Dinner, Water Walk, Soul Sunday, Summer Ice Cream Fellowships, Night Out Against Crime, Youth Bible Camp and Retreats, Sprouts Elementary Activities, Effective Elders Seminar, Prayer Emphasis Month, Congregational Retreat, Children's Christmas Breakfast, White Christmas Gift Project, Fruit Baskets for Shut-Ins.

Tell me about your ladies activities?

On Sunday mornings, we currently offer three excellent ladies classes. In addition, there is a class for women on Wednesday night and another on Thursday morning. The annual ladies retreat and inspiration day are highlights of the year. Many women from Old Hickory also enjoy the W.I.N.G.S. conference hosted by Harding University (Women In God’s Service). Throughout the year, there are a multitude of outreach, service, and fellowship opportunities, including a monthly lunch outing.

Do you have an active group of seniors?

Steve and Sharon Powell head up Old Hickory’s Second Milers Ministry for our active empty nesters. The second mile refers to that special phase of life when you can give back for all the blessings you have received over your lifetime. In fact, part of the joy is giving a little more than might be expected (Matthew 5.41).

Life after 60 should be a time of sprinting to the tape with all you have in you rather than sitting on life’s sidelines. Paul said, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3.14). Why not dedicate your best years and best efforts to God. He certainly gave His best for you (John 3.16).

The Second Milers enjoy rich fellowship as they participate in a variety of activities including work projects, Bible classes, devotionals, meals, and trips. If you are not quite ready to hang up your sneakers, come and join us. And remember, the second mile is the best mile!

What translation of the Bible do you use?

Our minister preaches from the English Standard Version. We do not have a policy for or against any particular translation because we have confidence in our members’ ability to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each and to use them appropriately. We know of no translation from which a person cannot be taught the gospel plan of salvation. Caution is in order when choosing your primary text, but we believe that a person’s soundness should be judged by his life and teaching rather than his translation.

What are some of your basic beliefs?
  • We believe Jesus is Lord and Savior of mankind.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).

  • The Bible is God’s revealed will.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

  • Love is the greatest commandment.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

  • The church is God’s family on earth.

I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

  • Unity is every believer’s responsibility.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (1 Peter 3.8).

  • Baptism is the moment of salvation by grace through faith.

He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16).

  • Worship that pleases God must be in spirit and truth.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

  • Service is the path to significance.

But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:11).

  • Evangelism is our first order of business.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

  • Prayer and Bible study are fundamental to spiritual growth.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42).

How can I become a member of the Old Hickory Church of Christ?

If you are a Christian (see below) and desire to be identified with this congregation, please inform the elders, and they will arrange a time to meet with you to discuss the privileges and responsibilities of membership in the Old Hickory Church of Christ.

If you are not a Christian but desire to become a follower of Jesus, congratulations on the greatest decision of your life! God’s plan for becoming a Christian and being added by God to His church is clearly set forth in the Bible. The steps to salvation were preached by Jesus and recorded in the gospels.

  • Believe - John 3:16
  • Repent - Luke 24:47
  • Confess - Matthew 10:32,33
  • Be Baptized - Mark 16:15-16

The conversion stories recorded in Acts provide clear examples of the way men and women became followers of Jesus and received forgiveness of their past sins.

  • Acts 2:36-41 - People in Jerusalem
  • Acts 8:12,13; 27-39 - The Samaritans
  • Acts 8:27-39 - The Ethiopian
  • Acts 16:13-15; 25-33 - Lydia
  • Acts 16:25-33 - The Jailer
  • Acts 18:8 - The Corinthians
  • Acts 22:6-16 - Saul of Tarsus

You can become a Christian by following these commands and examples. If you would like more information on this subject, we will be happy to meet with you personally or send you material you can study privately. If you need assistance in being baptized, we are ready to aid you at this very moment. Please, let us know how we can help.

Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name. — Acts 22.16

Special Questions

When searching for a church home, there are typically a handful of questions that help people know if they are compatible with a congregation. These are telling questions that cut to the chase by revealing how church leaders view the authority of Scripture. In our time, those questions often revolve around matters of fellowship, worship, marriage, and gender roles. Old Hickory is deeply committed to New Testament Christianity, and we hope our answers assure you that Old Hickory is a great place to call home. 

What is your relationship with area denominations?

While we rejoice in our common faith in Jesus as God’s Son, our fellowship is limited due to significant doctrinal differences. For example, we believe in the necessity of baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We also hold different views of how God desires to be worshiped. Our aim is to please God by limiting our practice to what is revealed in the Bible. That is why we sing a cappella and partake of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. Whatever differences exist, they are overshadowed by love and goodwill for all our neighbors.

Why don't you have a piano?

Paul instructed Christians to sing and make melody in their hearts. The heart is the instrument of our praise to God. We do not use other instruments because there is no command or example for their use in the New Testament. History confirms that early Christians sang without accompaniment for more than a thousand years. Since our commitment is to promote Christian unity by doing Bible things in Bible ways, we choose to worship in the manner of the early church by singing a cappella. Unaccompanied singing is biblical, unifying, and more consistent with the spiritual nature of worship.

Do you feature special musical performances by praise teams, choirs, and soloists?

The entire congregation is our praise team! For accomplishing God’s purpose, nothing compares with the joy and beauty of believers uniting their voices in praise.

Why doesn't the congregation applaud during worship assemblies?

It is not our practice to applaud speakers because our focus in worship is on God rather than man. It is not our custom to clap following baptisms because we believe that songs and prayers better communicate the sacredness of what is taking place. There are some occasions when the congregation will clap to express appreciation for the accomplishments of members, but this is usually during the announcement period and not connected with worship.

Does the church clap along with worship songs?

Our aim is to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4.24). Since there is no New Testament example of clapping with worship songs, we choose not to do it. We are convinced this is the best course for those whose purpose in worship is to please God. No one should be asked to violate his or her conscience to accommodate worship preferences unsupported by the New Testament. We believe this position honors Christ and promotes unity (Psalm 133.1).

What do you teach about divorce and remarriage?

Our wise and loving Heavenly Father provided the answer to this question in His inspired Word. In Matthew 19.9, Jesus declared, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Jesus realized this teaching would not be popular, but He knew it was best for children, the church, the community, and for couples themselves. Several of our members have experienced the emotional and financial devastation of divorce, and we are committed to providing them with every possible support. Divorce prevention is our top priority, and we supply teaching, activities, and resources to strengthen families.

Do women take a leadership role in your congregation?

The women of this congregation are great leaders in the best sense of the word. They do not serve as elders or preside in public worship, but they are active in countless ministries and exert a powerful influence for good. Christ elevated the place of women in society by affirming their equality with men. Still, He revealed that there are functional differences between the sexes and that each has a unique role to fulfill. Paul said the relationship between husbands and wives should be like that between Christ and His bride, the church. Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and women are to yield to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. We are convinced that this faith-prompted cooperation results in the greatest possible happiness for families and congregations.