The Birth of a New Parish (1949-1952)
In 1929, Bishop James M. Maxim, former Rector of Christ Church Episcopal in Nashville and coadjutor of the Diocese of Tennessee, and The Rev. Edmund P. Dandridge, Rector of Christ Church, named a committee to study the feasibility of establishing an Episcopal church in the Belle Meade area.
The Great Depression of the thirties and World War II in the forties interrupted the activities of many building projects. The new church was postponed until December 1944, when William H. Lambert was made chairman of the committee. On May 27, 1947, The Rev. Peyton R. Williams announced an anonymous gift of land on which a church was later erected. The donors were Mr. and Mrs. Brownlee O. Currey, who lived in the large French style house on the hill above the donated property. When the Belle Meade Committee of the Davidson County Planning Committee was formed in May 1947, Donald W. Southgate, the architect, began sketches for what was to be a Sunday school building for 250 children, plus a small chapel to seat 50 people. But by October 1947, these plans had been recognized as grossly inadequate and the size of the chapel was doubled. By the spring of 1948, the plans were revised upward again to allow the church proper to seat 300. The parish hall was also redrawn and enlarged The Greek Revival chapel was then built without delay, with Donald Southgate as the architect and W.F. Holt and Sons as contractors.
The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, October 20, 1949 by The Rev. Peyton R. Williams, Bishop Dandridge, Bishop Coadjutor Barth, and The Rev. Mr. Mitchell, who became vicar at the end of the service. A Bible, a Prayer book, and other documents were placed in the cornerstone. St. George’s became a parish in January 1952.