A brief history of Cottage Cove Urban Ministries

The story of present day Cottage Cove begins with two other ministries, TK Ministries and Lion Tracks Ministries.   TK Ministries was a ministry of Tom Shumate and his wife Kim, Tom being a recording artist, songwriter, speaker and ordained minister.  Tom and his family had spent years on the road spreading God’s word to young people throughout the United States.  It was during this time that Tom and Kim met Brent and his wife Angie serving through Lion Tracks Ministries a North American itinerate ministry based in New Brunswick, Canada.  Brent had left the business world and the corporations he founded to take his family on the road challenging youth and adults throughout Canada and the United States as to the historicity and authority of God’s word.

Around the same time the Shumates met the MacDonalds, Tom and Kim found that God was closing familiar doors and pointing them towards new ones, specifically in regards to their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.   Tom recognized that he was called to be faithful and obedient and that through this many things could happen. This led to the leap of faith that became Cottage Cove.

In July of 1994, TK Ministries hosted Music City Missions in Nashville, a missions event which gathered teenagers from North Carolina, Kansas, and Ohio for a week of work with Nashville’s inner-city youth.   This was held at the old Benton Avenue Chapel near the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.  Seeing the benefit of this type of outreach, the Shumates were acutely aware of the weakness of this type of one week mission trips, the need to be able to continue what was begun.  It was this need to continue to minister to these inner-city children that gave birth to Cottage Cove as a full time ministry in 1995.  Its ongoing purpose was to teach biblical principles to the children of Vine Hill community.

A three year lease was negotiated with the local church who owned the then abandoned facility, this becoming the building and grounds that Cottage Cove was subsequently able to purchase as its permanent home.   Many people were involved in those early years, the vast majority as volunteers including the MacDonald’s who added Cottage Cove into their itinerate stops.   Cottage Cove continued to grow and fulfill its mission in the years which followed adding a host of educational opportunities, musical training, art, and health and life skills classes.   Drop-in attendance steadily grew from dozens until 50+ was the norm, ranging in ages from kindergarten to grade 6.  

In 2002 Tom Shumate accepted a call to pastoral ministry in Cleveland Ohio.  In Tom’s words, “Approximately two years ago the thought that I may not be the person to take Cottage Cove to the next level began to haunt me.”   In making the decision to serve the Lord in Cleveland, their desire was “that God would send someone who could not only maintain the status quo, but dream bigger dreams and propel God’s ministry in Nashville to new levels.”    Tom and Kim believed that Brent and Angie were the right couple for this; “they are people of faith who have learned to live by faith (something that’s very necessary for a ministry such as Cottage Cove).”

In July of 2002, Brent and Angie MacDonald brought their diverse business and ministry experience to Cottage Cove.  Brent, an ordained minister, has a passion for Bible teaching and encouraging Bible memorization, both core elements in the current Cottage Cove program.   They moved to Nashville having only a two and a half year immigration permit, trusting that God would open doors for their continued stay in the United States.

Music City Missions, the missions program that was part of the start of Cottage Cove back in 1994, changed both in name and format in 2002, becoming our current Discipleship Training Institute (DTI).  By the fall of 2002, attendance at Cottage Cove had spiked to over 90 children on a drop-in basis, prompting a subsequent 70 child cap and minimum weekly attendance requirements on daily program participation. The result was consistent attendance and a subsequent waiting list of children wanting to participate, a list that has continued every year since.

In October of 2004, the US government granted permanent immigration status to Brent and his family enabling them to remain at Cottage Cove for the long-term.  In Brent’s words: "seeing how God has worked, provided, and continues to work here at Cottage Cove, we can't think of a better place that God would have us to be." Completing this aspect, Brent and Angie became US citizens in 2011 – “Nashville is home!”

Cottage Cove has continued to expand, develop and modernize its facility in the years since.  The acquisition of a half-acre of empty land behind the current property in February of 2006 was a key addition adding a large fenced playground area.  2013 saw the completion of four years of renovations, at Vine Hill, reconstructing the building roof line and virtually every room inside.  Through all of this Cottage Cove has continued to bless a multitude of at-risk children, maintaining its core services from the very beginning and adding additional programs including a summer camp, “C4” a program focused on teens, and hosting a church plant which meets in our Vine Hill facility each Sunday.

While the idea of having additional Cottage Cove locations has existed for years, Cottage Cove acted on this in 2014 with the purchase of a building and land in the Madison area of Nashville.  By God’s grace and the generosity of many, the mortgage on the new Madison property was paid in full only six month after acquiring it.  2015 saw the completion of Madison’s computer lab and music room.  In 2016 we built a playground structure on the playground and completed the new homework room and library in 2017.  The ministry and outreach continues and grows!