Shellsford Baptist Church

Shellsford Baptist Church is one of the oldest active congregations in Warren County, Tennessee.
Shellsford, located on the Collins River a short distance downstream from Buck Springs, was one of the earliest settlements in Warren County. The community got its name from the Shell family who settled here in the early 1800's near the ford of the river, hence the name Shellsford. James Shell established a grist mill at the Shellsford location, an exact date is not known. Shellsford, the old Shell mill, Buck Springs, and Shellsford Baptist Church became important in the history of early Warren County. Buck Springs, according to tradition, received its name as a result of the successful deer hunting of pioneer Jordan Sellars at the spring.
The Shellsford Baptist Church was originally known as the Buck Springs Baptist Church and was sometimes further identified by its location "on Collins River." The congregation was established in 1810 as a result of a brush arbor meeting held by Reverend William Thompson and Reverend George Stubblefield, prominent Baptist ministers of that era.
The original meeting house, built after the brush arbor meeting, was built of split logs. The church building consisted of one door, two windows and a fireplace. The first building stood until 1851 when it was replaced by a frame building. The present building was erected in 1947 and completed with the addition of a two story educational building in 1959.
The earliest minutes preserved, dated January 13, 1855, refer to Shellsford Church as "The Baptist Church of Christ at Shellsford." Shellsford is a Missionary Baptist Church and cooperates with the Southern Baptist Convention. Pastors and congregations at Shellsford have been instrumental in the forming of other Baptist churches, which include: First Baptist Church of Campaign, First Baptist Church of Morrison, Madison Street Baptist Church, Quebeck Baptist Church, Bethel Mission, Wilson Chapel, Loggard Baptist Church, and Falls City Baptist Church.
The cemetery at Shellsford Church contains more than seven hundred graves. Many Pioneers and many who have served our country through the years are buried here. According to tradition, the cemetery was an early burial ground for the Indians who had camps on both sides of the river before White settlers arrived in this area. Years later, in 1838, a party from the Cherokee Nation camped at Shellsford. This Cherokee party was part of the "Trail of Tears" led by their chief, the Reverend Jesse Bushyhead. The Cherokee Indians camped at Shellsford to rest, care for their sick, and have their corn ground at the grist mill. While in camp at Shellsford, the Indians held council and the Reverend Bushyhead preached to his people. Those who died during this time were buried in the Shellsford cemetery.