City Church's first corporate worship service was held on September 4, 2004, at a YMCA-owned facility in East Nashville, with approximately 70 people attending.
While serving as a pastor with Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN, our founding pastor Craig Brown discerned God’s call to plant a church in East Nashville. He had become captivated by the images and descriptions of the kingdom of God consummating in an urban reality, as found in Revelation 21-22. Under Craig's leadership, City Church established a vibrant culture, centered on an engaging corporate worship, a passion for serving our neighborhood, and an emphasis on strong relationships through Neighborhood Groups, which met regularly throughout our parish of zip codes 37206, 37216, and 37207.
Under Craig’s passionate leadership, we quickly grew, and moved our worship services from the YCAP building, first to East Academy and then to East Middle School. In 2013, Craig stepped down as the lead pastor of City Church, to focus on providing gospel-centered coaching for church planters and network leaders in cities around the U.S. and Ireland. He and his family still live in the neighborhood and he planted and pastors Redeemer Fellowship, which serves downtown Nashville.
In the summer of 2015, we called Jeff Wilkins as our new lead pastor. Under his leadership, we grew in our ability to love and care for each other in new ways, as our primarily younger demographic was transitioning into parenting, learning how to navigate education decisions, and also facing major cultural shifts.
The beginning of 2020 was an unfolding of a significant season of change, as we entered another pastor transition, a tornado ripped through part of our community, and COVID-19 forced lockdowns, all within a 4-week period. By God’s grace and mercy, we continued to worship in small groups virtually and outdoors and, in time, resumed our in-person worship gatherings. We maintained a core community of 35-40 households and gradually resumed programming and re-established our Ministry Teams
In the summer of 2021, we called David Richter as our new lead pastor. He immediately helped us focus on a period of rebuilding and "re-visioning," as we moved out of the depths of the pandemic and began to stabilize from our seasons of transition. At the same time, in God’s providence, we were able to move our offices and worship services to Eastside Station near East Park, where we continue to meet.