For a small town, Nolensville sure packs a lot of history.
One of the first things that struck Amy & I when we moved here in 2005 was Nolensville’s strong sense of community. Even though change is coming rapidly to this town which dates back to 1797 (just in 7 years we’ve seen the loss of the old Piggly Wiggly, the rise of local landmarks like Martins’ BBQ Joint, and the development of neighborhoods like Bent Creek & Silver Stream), you still have the touchstones which bind it together over time.
Last weekend, Nolensville First United Methodist Church celebrated its 175th anniversary, with a luncheon for a packed house which included a number of special guests. It was a clear reminder that Nolensville’s past isn’t just stored away in musty drawers, it’s part of the daily life of our community.
One of the highlights of the event was the dedication of a quilt presented by the United Methodist Women (seen below), which depicts the names of church members from 1858-1959. The idea originally was to celebrate 100 years of the church’s membership, but as Dot Arnold confessed, she and her husband joined the year after that, and she wanted to sneak in (nobody’s going to complain, as Dot’s handiwork played a huge part in the quilt’s creation).
It’s amazing to look upon a work like this and see family names that reach back through the decades and centuries, yet are still part of the community today, like Battle, Green and Edmonson. Even though I’m not a religious person myself, I can appreciate the identity that a strong, long-lasting church family brings to a town like Nolensville.
Perhaps what is most remarkable here is that along with this sense of history and family comes a genuine welcoming spirit. New families are made to feel right at home (whether at NFUMC or in the town at large), and that’s a big part of why we’ve put down roots here. Just as this church marked 175 years, Nolensville Elementary School will graduate its first class of kids who made the entire K-5th grade journey there this spring. That class (which includes two of our children) has that sense of history and identity with Nolensville, too.
This town is certainly going places, but it hasn’t forgotten where it’s come from.