Big Hatchie Baptist Association was organized in 1828 at the Big Black Creek Baptist Church near the town of Denmark in Madison County. West Tennessee was virtually a wilderness. BHBA included the area bounded on the east by the Tennessee River, on the north by the Obion River, on the west by the Mississippi River, and on the south by the state of Mississippi. Ten years before, Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby had negotiated a treaty with the Indians and purchased this territory from them.
By 1830 the records reveal that there were possibly 28 churches affiliated with Big Hatchie Association: 4 in Fayette County, 8 in Hardeman, 3 in Haywood, 3 in Madison, 4 in McNairy, 4 in Shelby, and 2 in Tipton.
In 1839 the association began supporting 3 men, Griffin, Wright, and Day, to ride as missionaries within the association. In 1850 BHBA began working with the 80,000 to 90,000 Indians in the area. In 1849 BHBA began support of foreign missionaries in cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board. In 1875 a proposal was made to locate Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Big Hatchie took the lead in supporting the proposal and pledged more than her share of the needed funds.
The land area that was originally Big Hatchie Association is now 12 Tennessee Baptist Associations.
The history of BHBA is characterized by beginning new ministries according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Today we are 44 congregations. One is a native American congregation and one is an African American congregation. We are exploring the possibility of starting a Hispanic church. We have a Christian Counseling Ministry located in the BHBA office. As God leads other new ministries will be started.