MediterraneanGrocery Wholesalers in Nashville, TN

Mediterranean Grocery Wholesalers Mobile Number770-795-9026

Free Estimate

We promise a 100% satisfaction guarantee

The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Nashville

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Nashville, TN. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Nashville's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Nashville. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Nashville, TN. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Nashville, TN

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Nashville,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Nashville, TN

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Nashville, TN

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Nashville, TN

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Nashville, TN, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Nashville, TN

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Nashville, TN

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Nashville, TN.

 Greek Grocery Store Nashville, TN

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

Free Estimate
 Middle Eastern Store Nashville, TN

Latest News in Nashville, TN

What we know: TVA ordered rolling blackouts for the first time in 90 years amid freezing temps

The Tennessee Valley Authority called for temporary energy load reductions, or rolling blackouts as some call them, to stabilize the regional power grid for the first time in its 89-year history amid ...

The Tennessee Valley Authority called for temporary energy load reductions, or rolling blackouts as some call them, to stabilize the regional power grid for the first time in its 89-year history amid subzero temperatures Friday morning.

TVA Chief Operating Officer Don Moul told The Tennessean Friday the power operator had to reduce strain on its grid as demand for energy ran nearly 35% higher than expected on a normal winter day, while at the same time a few of its coal and gas energy facilities were down because of the freezing temperatures.

"We've restored a number of those in each category, but we still have some work to do to build additional margin," Moul said.

TVA is working to build up some of its energy margin as temperature settle into the high single digits and low teens across the state.

"We're optimistic, but also realistic," Moul said. "We have some real cold temperatures through the next 48 hours, and we're expecting peak [energy use] in the evening tonight into tomorrow morning, similar to what we've already seen."

On Thursday night and Friday morning, temperatures dipped below zero across much of Tennessee, with wind chills making it feel significantly colder. High temperatures are expected to rise into the 20s on Saturday, and stay there through Christmas Day.

First snow of the season:How much snow did Nashville, Middle Tennessee get last night? Here's a look at snow totals.

TVA previously said it wouldn't need to do rolling blackouts

Last year, TVA said it would take temperatures of negative 10 across the Tennessee River valley for it to have to use all of its generations at once, and still, rolling blackouts would be unlikely unless a nuclear unit suddenly went offline.

A nuclear plant did not go offline, but Moul said the temperatures were some of coldest every recorded by TVA in Tennessee in its history.

"The National Weather Service has called this a once in a generation event," Moul said. "So, pretty extreme conditions."

How many people are without power in Nashville?

More than 22,000 customers of Nashville Electric Service reported outages as of 6:15 p.m. Friday. That number was down from more than 50,000 an hour earlier.

Be prepared:Here's what to do to stay safe and warm during a power outage in winter weather

The largest group of outages was in the Cane Ridge neighborhood, where an unrelated equipment failure fire impacted 20,000 customers. NES said power had been restored to 8,000 customers in the area.

When will my power come back in Nashville?

Some of Nashville's outages are expected to last until Saturday, Jack Baxter, vice president of operations, NES, said.

NES crews have been working around the clock in the frigid temperatures, he said, and they'll continue to do so, come what may.

"Keep our workers in mind," he said. "We understand for our customers without power, it's very cold. It's very frigid conditions. Our crews are out in this working so please keep them in your thoughts."

Between 25 and 30 crews have been working all day Friday, he said, and 15-20 are scheduled to work overnight.

Who lost power in Nashville?

NES is responsible for managing its own grid load, Baxter said. The company began asking high-usage commercial customers to voluntarily shut down some power usage around 9 a.m.

The order from TVA came in around 9:45 a.m. and lasted until 11:45 a.m.

Baxter couldn't estimate how many customers were included in the rolling blackouts. The company divides the city into 12 parts, identifies and removes critical infrastructure like hospitals and water treatment plants from the regions and then begins the process of switching off power for 10 minutes on a rotational basis as needed.

"They did notify us pretty early that the load curtailments were working and the system had stabilized. So everything was going well," Baxter said.

A plan in case of need like this has been in place for decades, he said. This was the first time it was implemented.

Why didn't I get warning of the rolling blackouts?

Nashville residents expressed dissatisfaction with the limited warning given to customers before the blackouts began Friday morning.

But the company had a matter of minutes to act, Baxter said. The operations team notified NES' communications team, which later shared a news release and social media posts.

"When demand exceeds generation capacity, it's imperative that we that we bring that demand below generating capacity as quickly as we can," he said. "We literally have minutes to make that happen to keep from causing other problems."

Other regional electric companies did use social media to announce the plan sooner than NES did.

Why is my power out?

Baxter said the majority of ongoing Nashville outages were weather related, although some indirectly.

At least five poles were damaged by automobile collisions, he said. Otherwise, high winds and fallen trees or branches impacted equipment.

What you can do to reduce energy, but stay safe

Moul said it was important for people to balance safety, but that they can do simple things like not running their dishwashers or doing laundry until it's the warmest part of the day.

He added people should also open blinds on the sunny side of their house because it can cut down on of the heating energy load.

What to know for the winter season:Is Middle Tennessee in for another snowy winter? Maybe, but La Niña changes things

Reach reporter Mariah Timms at [email protected] or 615-259-8344 and on Twitter @MariahTimms.

Adam Friedman is The Tennessean's state government and politics reporter. Reach him by email at [email protected]

Jeffery Simmons reflects on Damar Hamlin, his cousin's recent death on football field

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons couldn't help but let his mind wander.Like most of the football world, Simmons spent Monday night watching the coverage of ...

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons couldn't help but let his mind wander.

Like most of the football world, Simmons spent Monday night watching the coverage of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin's injury and hospitalization after suffering cardiac arrest on the field. Shortly after the incident, Simmons reached out to his uncle, former NFL defensive end Jason Hatcher.

Hatcher's son J.J. died on a football field on Dec. 18 at 15 years old. Simmons said he doesn't know all the details of his cousin's death, but he thinks it happened during a 7-on-7 tournament. No cause of death has been publicly announced but Simmons said it was related to a heart condition.

MAKING MOVES:Can Tennessee Titans overcome 6 straight losses to make playoffs? Mike Vrabel thinks so.

Watching Hamlin receive CPR on the field and hearing about him going into cardiac arrest stirred something in the Titans Pro Bowler.

"We just can't take this game for granted," Simmons said. "We never know. We just get sidetracked sometimes of the real reason why we play this game and sometimes we can forget that. We're playing for each other, we're playing for our family and most of all we're playing for ourselves because that's all we've been doing our whole life. I'm sure (Hamlin), this is all he knew his whole life. You never know when your last snap may be. It's just one of the things you can't take for granted. I'm praying for him and his family."

Simmons was in Los Angeles on the Sunday morning of the Titans' game against the L.A. Chargers when he got the call from his uncle about his cousin's death. Simmons played that afternoon with a heavy heart, making seven tackles with a sack.

After seeing Hamlin's injury, Simmons reached back out to Hatcher on Monday night and then spoke to him again Tuesday morning.

"It's just one of those things where the first thing, first person I thought about was my uncle," Simmons said. "We literally just put his son in the ground two weeks. That's the first thing I thought about, what if? Prayers to his family and hope he can pull through all this."

Simmons and the Titans (7-9) visit the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) on Saturday (7:15 p.m., ABC/ESPN) needing a victory to win the AFC South and secure a playoff spot. Simmons said recent events haven't shaken his will to keep playing in the slightest and he feels as healthy as he has felt in weeks heading into the matchup.

Nick Suss is the Titans beat writer for The Tennessean. Contact Nick at [email protected] Follow Nick on Twitter @nicksuss.

Jan. 3, 2023: Canadiens at Predators — five things you should know

Article contentNASHVILLE — Here are five things you should know about Tuesday’s game between the Canadiens (15-19-3) and Nashville Predators (15-14-6) at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).Article contentSlumping Habs: The Canadiens are winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and have been outscored 26-8 during that span, including a 9-2 pounding by the Capitals on New Year’s Eve in Washington. The Canadiens have only two wins in their la...

Article content

NASHVILLE — Here are five things you should know about Tuesday’s game between the Canadiens (15-19-3) and Nashville Predators (15-14-6) at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

Article content

Slumping Habs: The Canadiens are winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and have been outscored 26-8 during that span, including a 9-2 pounding by the Capitals on New Year’s Eve in Washington. The Canadiens have only two wins in their last 11 games (2-8-1). One of those wins was in a shootout and the other was in OT. The Canadiens haven’t won a game in regulation time since beating the Kraken 4-2 on Dec. 6 in Seattle. Samuel Montembeault will start in goal against the Predators.

Article content

Injury problems: Kaiden Guhle will miss his second straight game after suffering an injury to his left knee in last Thursday’s 7-2 loss to the Panthers in Florida. Guhle, who is now wearing a brace on the knee, will be re-evaluated after the Canadiens return home following Tuesday’s game, which is the last of seven straight on the road. Guhle joined fellow defencemen Mike Matheson and David Savard on the injury list, along with forward Sean Monahan. The Canadiens have really felt the loss of Monahan, scoring more than two goals in only two of the 12 games he has missed so far. They have also missed Savard on the penalty-kill, allowing 15 power-play goals in the 13 games he hasn’t played. There’s a chance Savard could return to the lineup in Nashville.

Article content

Lack of offence: Cole Caufield scored both goals for the Canadiens in Washington, giving him a team-leading 21. Both of Caufield’s linemates are struggling offensively. Captain Nick Suzuki has one goal in the last 12 games and Kirby Dach has one goal in the last 23 games. Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia have yet to score a goal this season, while Jake Evans has one goal. Juraj Slafkovsky has gone 14 games without a goal and has one goal in the last 23 games. The Canadiens also have the worst power play in the NHL with a 15.5 per cent success rate. Suzuki leads the team in scoring with 15-17-32 totals, followed by Caufield (21-9-30) and Dach (5-18-23). Monahan still ranks fourth in team scoring with 6-11-17 totals.

Hat trick for Forsberg: Filip Forsberg had a hat trick for the Predators in a 5-4 OT loss to the Golden Knights in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve. Forsberg leads the Predators in scoring with 14-18-32 totals, followed by Roman Josi (8-20-28) and Matt Duchene (10-17-27).

Article content

Habs connections: Defenceman Ryan McDonagh, the Canadiens’ first-round pick (12th overall) at the 2007 NHL draft, is in his first season with Nashville after spending the previous five seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. McDonagh, now in his 13th NHL season, never played a game for the Canadiens. He was part of the trade with the New York Rangers in 2009 that brought Scott Gomez to Montreal. McDonagh has 0-8-8 totals in 28 games this season. Michael McCarron, the Canadiens’ first-round pick (25th overall) at the 2013 NHL draft, had 1-1-2 totals in 15 games with the Predators this season before entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program last month.

[email protected]

twitter.com/StuCowan1

Titans Gather for Discussion, and Prayer, As Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Fights for His Life

NASHVILLE – The Titans gathered as a team on Tuesday, but on this morning, the primary focus wasn't on the upcoming opponent.It was on Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest in Monday night's game against the Bengals.The Titans gathered for discussion, and prayer."We talked about it as a team," Titans receiver Robert Woods. "But even as a human being – not even being an NFL player – watching it was really heartbreaking and sad, to see a player go out the...

NASHVILLE – The Titans gathered as a team on Tuesday, but on this morning, the primary focus wasn't on the upcoming opponent.

It was on Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest in Monday night's game against the Bengals.

The Titans gathered for discussion, and prayer.

"We talked about it as a team," Titans receiver Robert Woods. "But even as a human being – not even being an NFL player – watching it was really heartbreaking and sad, to see a player go out there and get injured like that. We all go out there and try and have fun and bring some entertainment to the fans.

"My heart goes out to him, his family and even (Bengals) receiver Tee Higgins. Prayers to the family."

#Titans receiver @robertwoods said players prayed for @BuffaloBills safety @HamlinIsland in a team meeting today. Called Hamlin being in critical condition for cardiac arrest “heartbreaking.” pic.twitter.com/8qELNwwd1C

— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 3, 2023

Hamlin had his heartbeat restored on the field on Monday night, and he is currently in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital, the Bills said in a statement.

The scary scene played out during the nationally televised game, and it hit close to home for several Titans.

Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons revealed in the locker room today his uncle, former NFL defensive end Jason Hatcher, lost his 15-year-old son last month while he was playing football. Simmons said it was related to a heart condition.

"Just to see that, a close family member," Simmons said. "And then last night. … We just can't take this game for granted. We never know. We just get sidetracked sometimes of the real reason why we play this game and sometimes we can forget that. We're playing for each other, we're playing for our family and most of all we're playing for ourselves because that's all we've been doing our whole life. I'm sure (Hamlin), this is all he knew his whole life. You never know when your last snap may be. It's just one of the things you can't take for granted. I'm praying for him and his family."

Titans safety Kevin Byard said he was watching the game at home.

CPR was administered to Hamlin, 24, on the field for multiple minutes after he collapsed following his tackle of Higgins. Hamlin received oxygen, according to the ESPN broadcast, as he was placed in the ambulance and taken off the field and driven to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"Nobody goes into a game thinking they can lose their life," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "My mom went into cardiac arrest when she passed away, so I understand the seriousness of the situation, him being in critical condition. He is fighting for his life literally.

"It is a tough deal, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family, his loved ones."

Titans outside linebacker Rashad Weaver broke down in the locker room on Tuesday when he discussed Hamlin, his close friend and former college teammate at Pittsburgh.

Weaver came to Pittsburgh in the same recruiting class as Hamlin and left for the NFL the same year.

"That's a guy I talk to, whether it be on social media, Snapchat, text or anything, at least probably once a week," Weaver said of Hamlin. "Constantly just telling each other how we see each other doing our thing each week, playing. He has his own little clothing brand called "Chasing M's," it's about chasing your dreams, chasing millions. That's everybody's goal in life is reaching your dreams and getting millions and taking care of your family. I have my own brand, g2r, we're just always interact and tell each other to keep going."

Weaver then got emotional, even putting his head between his legs to try to hide his tears after being asked how tough the last 18 hours have been for him.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel reflected on his own children when talking about what he saw unfold on Monday night.

As the Titans prepare for Saturday's game vs the Jaguars, Hamlin and the Bills are on their minds.

"A difficult day obviously for the players and coaches and the NFL, and our fans," Vrabel said. "On behalf of the Titans organization, our players, and everybody involved, we want to send our deepest sympathies and concerns and our prayers to Damar, who by all accounts is fighting his tail off in Cincinnati, to his family, who watched that all unfold, to Damar's football family in Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

"Our thoughts to everyone involved. We send our condolences and just the respect we have for everybody involved. We wish nothing but the best for Damar."

Can Otter Creek Church of Christ officially use musical instruments? Judge makes decision

The unique lawsuit highlighted a late-19th and early 20th century practice of using deed restrictions to maintain theological consistency among congregations.A unique lawsuit over property restrictions at a Nashville church is over for now, with a judge's decision to strike land deed restrictions on the church’s use of musical instruments.Davidson County Chancellor Anne Martin granted relief last week to Otter Creek Church of Christ after a 14-month-long case that challenged an early 20th centu...

The unique lawsuit highlighted a late-19th and early 20th century practice of using deed restrictions to maintain theological consistency among congregations.

A unique lawsuit over property restrictions at a Nashville church is over for now, with a judge's decision to strike land deed restrictions on the church’s use of musical instruments.

Davidson County Chancellor Anne Martin granted relief last week to Otter Creek Church of Christ after a 14-month-long case that challenged an early 20th century legal practice aimed at maintaining congregational and theological consistency.

“It’s significant in the sense that it recognizes the evolution of a congregation," said John Mark Hicks, professor of theology and history at Lipscomb University, a Churches of Christ associated school. "That it evolved into something different than what the original deed restrictions involved.”

Otter Creek and its attorney did not respond to a request for comment on the decision.

Otter Creek files lawsuit:Church of Christ in Brentwood asks judge to strike no musical instrument clause in land deed

With its main campus in Brentwood, Otter Creek opened its secondary Nashville campus on West End Avenue in 2020 when it merged with West End Church of Christ. It thus inherited a 1943 deed prohibiting the use of musical instruments during worship on specific parcels of land.

Many Churches of Christ congregations practice acapella worship and don’t use musical instruments. But Otter Creek has long used instruments.

The restriction on Otter Creek’s property was a legal tool, called “creed in the deed,” that congregations started to use more often starting in the 1890s, Hicks said. Its main intention was to prevent what Hicks called “a hostile takeover.”

“If you had stakeholders in the congregation and there was a group that wanted to take it over, then they would have legal recourse to say, ‘No this building belongs to those who are faithful to its original planters,’” Hicks said.

That idea extended to specific debates emerging at the time, such as whether to practice acapella or use instruments during worship.

Hicks said in those scenarios, the deed restriction achieved the result of: “‘If they introduce instruments, they can go and start another church. But this congregation is going to practice acapella.’”

David Lipscomb, the Nashville minister and Churches of Christ leader who founded the university with his namesake, was a vocal proponent of creed in the deed and even produced educational materials in the early 1900s on how a congregation can enact the measure.

Though creed in the deed was common, Hicks said he doesn’t know of other examples besides Otter Creek in which a congregation challenged the restriction in court.

Ultimately, Otter Creek succeeded in its court case because no other congregation stepped up and protested.

Deed violators could face a challenge from “the nearest congregation of the Church of Christ, whose members oppose and do not use such innovations,” such as instruments, the deed states.

Otter Creek’s case hinged in many ways on identifying that “nearest congregation.” Four legal ads ran in the newspaper throughout July and August.

After every ad went unanswered, Martin issued a ruling granting Otter Creek’s request.

Liam Adams covers religion for The Tennessean. Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @liamsadams.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.