Columbus in Lowndes County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
First Christian Church
Erected 1966 by Mississippi Historical Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi State Historical Marker Program marker series.
Location. 33° 29.787′ N, 88° 25.64′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Mississippi, in Lowndes County. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Avenue North and N. 6th Street on 2nd Avenue North. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Columbus MS 39701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Methodist Church (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Baptist Church of Columbus (about 500 feet away); Franklin Academy (about 500 feet away); Friendship Cemetery (about 600 feet away); First Home of Tennessee Williams Columbus Mississippi Blues (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Tennessee Williams Visitors Center (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Paul's Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Regarding First Christian Church. First Christian Church began in 1839 when Tolbert Fanning and David Lipscomb, traveling through the area to raise money for Fanning College, preached in Columbus. A small group of believers responded to their message to restore the early church and began referring to themselves only as Christians.
Early meetings were held in a converted store across from the Gilmer Hotel known as “The Theater.” The first building constructed for worship, built between 1849 and 1850, was located at 2nd Avenue and 6th Street North. The church building was used as a meeting place for the Mississippi State Senate during the Civil War and also served as a hospital for wounded soldiers.
The original building was torn down in 1968 (two years after this marker was placed) and First Christian Church moved to its present location at 811 North McCrary Road in Columbus, Mississippi.
1. Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Authority
"The Tombigbee River was originally navigable by early shallow-draft steamboats from Mobile Bay to Cotton Gin Port, Mississippi. From Chattanooga, Tennessee, it is only 100 river miles down the Tennessee River to Pickwick Lake in northern Alabama. But to ship goods from there to an ocean port, such as New Orleans, it would have been another 1800 miles via the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. As part of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1946, the U.S. Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan for a canal between the Tennessee and the Tombigbee Rivers. Such a water connection could cut the distance between the developing industries of the mid-south and the ocean ports on the Gulf of Mexico by over 800 miles."
"By 1951 construction of the Federal Interstate Highway system had begun. As a result, Congress felt a canal was unneeded and they withdrew their authorization. Between 1956 and 1960 local Congressmen realized the need to invigorate the regional economy. They funded a new study to analyze benefits and cost for such a canal. In 1958 Alabama and Mississippi established the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority to provide local initiative. The economic report these agencies wrote in 1961 was favorable. Based on that report, Congress accepted the older U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans, but not until 1971 were funds appropriated for the waterway."
"The first spade of earth for the new Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway was officially turned by President Nixon in May of 1971."
[Source: Yesterday's River, The Archaeology of 10,000 Years Along The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, 1991 by David S. Brose, Chief Curator of Archaeology for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.]
— Submitted June 26, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 26, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi. This page has been viewed 1,392 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 26, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi. 2. submitted on July 2, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi. 3. submitted on December 2, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.