Southside Baptist Church held its first service in the home of James and Leora Day on January 14, 1968. There were 15 present. On February 4, 1968 the church called Rev. Carl McDonald as pastor The church rented a building on Blount Avenue, southwest of the Baptist Hospital. It met at this location until the present property was secured. The John Sevier location was purchased before the Highway was built. A trail of faith and determination began.
The first building was completed and the Southside members occupied their new home on Easter Sumday, 1972. A second addition was added in the latter part of 1973. In March of 1979, the church called Rev. Danny Thomas as pastor. The church experienced tremendous growth numerically and structurally. Much of the construction was done by the church members themselves. As the ministry grew, the trail of faith and determination continued to wind through its South Knoxville community and to stretch to the region beyond.
The church called Rev. Clarence Gresham in July 1985. The Lord continued to bless the Spirit of the church and they carried out the Great Commission to reach its community, town, state, country and world. Southside supports 56 foreign missionaries and 12 home missionaries.
It has trained and commissioned several full time ministers and missionaries. In July 1997, the church sponsored its first Missions Team to the field of Iceland. Nineteen men, women and young adults spent ten days conducting Vacation Bible School, street preaching and gospel tract distribution.
The faith and determination of the original 15 who met in 1968 and each one has joined them over the past forty years, are the characteristics which have made the Southside Baptist Church a great evangelistic lighthouse. "The light that shines the furthest, shines brightest at home!" "The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." Psalm 126:3