Located in what is now mid-town Knoxville, Central Baptist Church of Bearden, is a congregation of 4200 members, 2900 of whom are resident members. Founded in 1894 as a church in a rural community on the far western outskirts of Knoxville, Central presently sits near the population center of the Knoxville Metropolitan Area, which encompasses some 700,000 people. The church facility is located just off I-75/40 at the intersection of Deane Hill Drive and Kingston Pike, Knoxville's busiest east/west thoroughfare.
In addition to supporting missions and ministries within the church and Knoxville's ecumenical community, CBCB has a long history of affiliation with the Knox County Association of Baptists, the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC), the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), and with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).
Since 1952, which marks our congregation's modern history, Central has had just three pastors. Dr. Henry Chiles was called in 1951 and served until 1972. He led the building of new facilities to serve a growing west Knoxville community. Dr. Bill Bruster served from 1974 until 1985. During his pastorate, the church saw dramatic growth and once again built new facilities. Dr. Larry Fields, who retired at the end of 2009, began his service in 1986. He has led us well in the development of committed mission service and in making several facility upgrades. Dr. Wade Bibb accepted a call to Central as Senior Pastor in September 2010 and has begun his ministry here.