Downtown Franklin Self-Guided Prayer Walk

Our friend (and Franklin, TN native!) Laura Beth Peters takes you on a tour to explore a few locations of spiritual significance as it relates to the history of Franklin.

The tour covers a one mile loop that starts and ends from the prayer house. Since the tour is self-guided, you can do it all at one time or visit individual stops as you prefer.

Take a paper map with you at the prayer room, or follow along on this page for each stop and the accompanying audio clip.

Your Tour Guide:

Laura Beth Peters is a Franklin, TN native and friend of the Franklin Prayer House. She is the Co-Host and Producer at Steel Magnolias Podcast alongside her sister, Lainie.

Stop #1: Franklin Prayer House

Stop #1 is at the new home to the Franklin Prayer House. This property was purchased by John Moran in 1926 and Moran built the house that stands today in the early 1930’s. On Tuesday evening, April 23, 2013, a few pastors, community leaders and those called to prayer, met for an unofficial Franklin Prayer house meeting in this very house. At that time, the home was deemed to be needed for other purposes and therefore the Franklin Prayer House has gathered in various locations around town from church lobbies to business buildings before returning home on Nov 2, 2021. Our prayer is one of gratitude that the Lord made a way!

Stop #2: Fourth Ave Church of Christ, 117 4th Ave N, Franklin, TN 37064

In 1830, Alexander Campbell travelled to Franklin. Campbell was a Scottish -Irish immigrant who was a leader of the Restoration Movement, sometimes called the “Stone-Campbell Movement.” The pioneers of this movement were seeking to reform the church from within and sought “the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament.” In his journal Campbell noted of his visit to Franklin, “We were very courteously treated by several citizens of this place,” as he preached in the Baptist church, the Presbyterian meetinghouse, and the Episcopal meetinghouse. This open-arms trip planted the idea for Christians to build a bridge across their differences and come together in downtown Franklin, and a church of 17 members was first formed in 1833.

Stop #3: Historic Franklin First United Methodist Church. 148 5th Ave S

Methodists organized the 1st church here in Franklin within just months of the founding of the town in 1799. In 1812 Bishop Francis Asbury, founding bishop of American Methodism preached here. This historic church had the benefit of pastor Edward McKendree (E.M.) Bounds serving as their pastor in 1865-67. Today Bounds is mostly widely known for his numerous books on prayer. Bounds was in The Battle of Franklin that occurred just 2 miles from where we are standing on November 30, 1864. This was one of the worst battles of the Civil War for the Confederate Army.(Nearly 7000 confederates including 13 generals were killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing in a battle that lasted only 5 hours) In 1865, Bounds had himself re-assigned to return to Franklin and pastor the Methodist church. It was then that he conceived a project to properly bury the dead and commemorate their lives. You can see the cemetery today at the Carnton Plantation. 

Stop #4: “La Casa de Mi Padre” “My Father’s House” The corner of 4th Ave S and South Margin St.

The city of Franklin has experienced 3 documented revivals: 1832, 1867, and 1895. In 1895, the message of sanctification began to spread around pulpits in Franklin; the Lord was with the people of Franklin in power. The “holiness movement” as it was called was happening among Baptist, Presbyterian, Campbellite, Cumberland Presbyterian and Methodist believers and they were no longer the same. One Methodist church member described the changes as people passing from a state of idleness into spiritual holiness; passing from a cold formality into a lively state of brotherly love, people having higher moral standards and an increase in JOY! In 1896 a group of Holiness supporters purchased the lot we are standing at and constructed a 2,000 seat tabernacle.

Stop #5: 303 Church St. 

This is home to the recording of “Jesus Freak” a Billboard Top 10 hit song about standing up for belief in Jesus in the midst of persecution. The song was recorded and released here in 1995, exactly 100 years after the Holiness Movement revival that occurred just down the street.

Stop #6: The Square

Civil War Chaplain and Methodist Pastor E.M. Bounds led prayer here on Tuesday evenings for a year. Various people have come here to pray for the city of Franklin. The longest, current ongoing prayer meeting has been praying here every Friday since May 2008. Join them at 12:30 on Fridays! Let’s pray that we would again see fully integrated prayer meetings here. You may want to take some extra time to pray here. From here you can make your way back to the Franklin Prayer House as this is the the conclusion of the tour. 

Your support allows us to create and maintain programs and projects like the prayer walk! Thank you.