Wallace Memorial Celebrates 70 Years!

By Ralphine Major

“God has been good, and God has blessed.”  Those words were spoken by Dr. James McCluskey at the special 70th Anniversary service on July 30, 2023, at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee.  In 1959, Dr. McCluskey became the second pastor of Wallace.

Born out of Arlington Baptist Church, Wallace started in a movie theater as Clinton Highway Baptist Chapel.  On July 5, 1953, it was named Wallace Memorial Baptist Church after the late Dr. Bill Wallace, the Knoxville native who served as a medical missionary in China until he was beaten to death in a Chinese prison.  Years later, his remains were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  When the first pastor, Rev. A. W. Parker, moved to Montana to serve in home missions, Wallace called Jim McCluskey to “come and lead us.”  McCluskey served Wallace faithfully for 37 years.  The church’s third pastor, Dr. Mike Boyd, also spoke at the anniversary service.  Dr. Boyd served Wallace for 18 years.

The current lead pastor, Dr. John Green IV, has been at Wallace for six years.  “The theme of the anniversary celebration is that the foundations of preaching, worship, evangelism, and missions that have been central since the inception of the church are still integral today,” Dr. Green said.  “The methods have changed as our community has transitioned in the past seventy years, but our message and mission are still the same: be disciples and make disciples,” he added.  (To be continued)


Words of Faith: With special emphasis that today’s church stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before, Dr. Green chose scripture for the anniversary service from Deuteronomy 6:10-11 (KJV): “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;”