About the Church


At First Wesleyan Church, we believe in reaching our community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We do that by taking the whole mission and breaking it into smaller efforts in order to effectively reach the lost in the world and to minister to those within our church family. 

What We Believe
We are a part of the Wesleyan Church. We believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Savior of all who put their faith in Him alone for eternal life. We believe that those who are made new in Christ are called to be holy in character and conduct, and can only live this way by being filled with the Lord's Spirit.

We believe in the Bible and its sufficiency to establish our faith and conduct. We believe God wills for people everywhere to know Him and to be made new in Christ. We believe the Apostles Creed.

We believe that the purpose of the Church is to worship God in spirit and in truth, and to reach a lost and fallen world with the gospel of Jesus Christ through its worship, witness, and loving deeds. We believe that our lives are to be lived as a worship to God. All that we say, think, and do - and how we treat one another should be a reflection and testimony of our worship of God.

(for more information on Wesleyan Church logo, beliefs, and core values, visit www.wesleyan.org)

We take Matthew 5:16 very seriously: we are to let our light shine before all men that they may see our good works and glorify our father in heaven. Doing good will not get us into heaven. Only faith in Jesus alone will gain access to life eternal in Christ. We must be born again. However, once receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, His spirit compels us to love all the world the way Christ loves us - that genuine love for others should move people to glorify God and give testimony to the grace of God. 

As we love our community, it's God's power that makes a difference in our lives!

A History of our church
First Wesleyan Church has a rich history in Nashville, TN which dates back to 1943 at a small location at Arthur Avenue, under the leadership of founding Pastor Rev. W.A. Soward. Rev. Soward served the church (at that time, Nashville First Wesleyan Methodist Church) until 1946 when Rev. Edward Schade was appointed pastor. Later on that year, the church purchased a building and property 10 miles away, at 611 Shelby Avenue in East Nashville, and moved the church to that location.

In 1968, The Pilgrim Holiness Church and the Wesleyan Methodist Church denominations merged and became known collectively as The Wesleyan Church. The Nashville church changed its name to First Wesleyan Church. Rev. Schade is still the longest serving Pastor of the church, giving a total of 32 years of ministry at First Wesleyan (1946-1974, and 1983-1987).

First Wesleyan has enjoyed several pastors since 1987, each bringing their passion for Christ and evangelism and seeking God for new ways to reach out to their communities and to preach the gospel “ seeing individuals come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those longer-serving pastors included Rev. Hubert Hughes (called from Colorado, served from 1974-1982), Rev. Paul Johnson (served from 1999-2006), and Rev. David Gould (served from 2006-2014). In 2012, another local Wesleyan church congregation (Foster Avenue Wesleyan Church) merged with First Wesleyan and continued to worship at the Shelby Avenue location.

First Wesleyan Church, Nashville has had the opportunity to engage in significant, life-changing ministry in its community true to the heart of the Wesleyan tradition. As a church, they have ministered in senior homes and hospitals, to teenagers and children with needs, and have recently been active in partnering with other local ministries to provide food and ministry to the homeless and recovery communities in Nashville.


In fall 2014, First Wesleyan Church extended a call to Veronne G. Carter, Lic., who has relocated from Southeastern Pennsylvania in order to serve the church as its twelfth (12th) pastor. We look forward to this next season in the life and ministry of First Wesleyan Church, Nashville. FWC currently offers various fellowship (see our calendar) as well as growth and biblical discipleship opportunities for the church family. They are a diverse congregation: diverse in generations, ethnicity, background, and economic status. Come join us and see what God is doing in East Nashville.  Rev. Carter and family has recently moved to East Tennessee and Dr. Tim Taylor has been appointed supply pastor to serve the church during this transition.


Sunday School 9:45 AM
Sunday Worship Service 10:45 AM
Community Prayer Gathering 6:30 PM

First Wesleyan Church
611 Shelby Ave, Nashville, TN, 37206