In May of 1972, Bob Cook had a vision during his last month of seminary of planting a church in the White House area. A few months later, he was called to pastor his home church, Tabernacle Baptist Church (now known as South Haven Baptist Church).
In April of 1976, Bob sensed it was time to plant the church he had envisioned in White House. Tabernacle Baptist, the mother church, stepped out in faith to begin the satellite ministry in White House. In the Spring of 1976, the Sumner County Board of Education approved a request to use the White House Middle School facility for the new church to start.
In October of 1976, the first service of the new church was held on the last Sunday in October. There were fifty-two in attendance on that first Sunday.
In May of 1977, approximately $11,500 was raised for the down payment of 15 beautiful acres and 2 years later the church was able to purchase an additional 10 acres.
In February of 1979, the church moved from the White House Middle School facility to a renovated ‘fireworks store’ located on 31-W and the church met there for nearly two years.
In June of 1980, construction began and in December the educational wing was finished and the first service was held.
In November of 1982, The sanctuary was completed. As the church grew, more space was needed. A sacrificial, free-will offering of $40,000.00 was received for this purpose. The work was complete in fifty-two days.
1982-1988 were wonderful years of steady growth, both spiritually and numerically. The church grew from an average attendance of around 100 to approximately 350. We experience trials, as do most churches, but God continued to bless with wonderful victory.
In 1990 A fellowship building was constructed and named after the pastor’s father, Loy O. Cook, who oversaw the project.
1990-1994 were years marked by deep, multiple trials. These difficulties were addressed in grace and truth…and God was faithful to preserve His church. He graciously provided glimpses of hope during this time to refresh and comfort His people.
In Spring of 1996, A building project was started to provide 9, 500 square feet of educational space for the children and youth. God’s people sacrificed, and this facility was built on a cash basis.
During the winter of 1988, The fellowship building was renovated to create adult classroom space. A handicap ramp was built for this facility. In the spring months, an amphitheater was also built because of gifts of time and money by God’s people.
1999-2001 were years filled with God’s abundant blessings. New families joining, baptisms, and God’s people growing! Construction during these years were the Ministry Pavilion, church offices, Park restrooms, and children’s playground area. Several key individuals provided strategic leadership. The first road bus was purchases during this time, with most funds provided by God’s people prior to purchase.
In Winter of 2001-Spring of 2002, the church voted to purchase an additional 18.72 acres of land to create room for growth. This was an answer to prayer of over 15 years. The people also voted to build the Village Chapel, Precept Mansion (a family counseling center), and to someday begin construction on the multipurpose facility. To reach these dreams a stewardship program was launched to raise funds called Pursuing Our Blessings.
During June of 2002, A volunteer crew called Carpenters for Christ chose the church for their annual mission project, and the construction of the Village Chapel and Precept Mansion began.
In August of 2002, The doors of Heritage & Hope Academy and Christian Community High School opened with approximately 130 students the first year.
Fall 2002-Fall 2008 were years of great challenge as the leaders and congregation have sought to follow the Lord. Embarking on opening the church-school and counseling center was a huge undertaking. During these years God also opened up doors for the pastor to serve in a ministry in Nashville called The Operation Andrew Group. Over the past 7-8 years, Grace Park had become a much more kingdom-focused church, establishing partnerships across racial and denominational lines within our community and inner-city Nashville for the sake of the gospel.
2009-2014 have been refreshing years at Grace Park. In spite of financial challenges experienced as a result of the downward spiral in our nation’s economy, God has faithfully provided and blessed His people with renewed vigor and vision. Praise His holy name!