Religion in Benton County, Tennessee

Religion in Benton County


According to Goodspeed History the early leading religious denomination was the Primitive Baptist. The first congregation was organized on Cyprus Creek in 1823 by George Turner and Levi Kirkland, the later of whom became it's pastor. Another Congregation was organized soon after on Rushing Creek by the same preachers. As the settlement increased, congregations multiplied, to meet the wants of the growing communities. Services were usually held at private residences until it became possible to erect a house of worship.


Cypress Baptist Church
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Chalk Level Baptist Church


The Methodists were scarcely behind the Baptist in the organization of congregations an the building of churches. About 1824 Benjamin F. Peeples, the pioneer circuit rider and presiding elder of West Tennessee, organized the church since know as Cowell Chapel, about about two miles southwest of Camden. At nearly the same time a congregation was organized on Eagle Creek, near the residence of William Hubbs. Mt. Carmel and Rushing Chapel were also established at the early date. In 1836 a camp ground, which was used for years, was constructed on Beaver Dam Creek. A congregation was organized at Camden soon after the town was established and services were conducted in the courthouse until 1849, when a church was erected upon a lot donated to the trustees by Mrs. J. G. Sims. At the same time the trustees of the Presbyterian Church at Camden, Daniel McElyea, Anderson Lashlee, Henry C. Camp and Samuel Madden, purchased a lot of Irwin B. Carnes, and erected a house upon it.


Collins, Robert
Hamilton, E. E.
Harris, G. W. D
Lee, Levi B.
Smith, Thomas
Williams, E. J.


Crooked Creek Methodist Church
Bakers Chapel United Methodist Church
Cowell's Chapel
Faxon Methodist Church
Flatwoods United Methodist
Harmons Creek United Methodist Church
Holladay United Methodist
Liberty United Methodist Church
McRae's Chapel United Methodist Church
Methodist Episcopal Church South
Palestine United Methodist
Post Oak Methodist Church
Wesley Chapel Methodist Church


About 1835 the schism in the Baptist Church began to manifest itself in Benton County, and it is believed that the first division occurred at Rumble Creek Churches, the larger part of the congregation adopting the Missionary faith. Rushing Creek Church was converted at about the same time, and other churches rapidly followed.


Beaverdam Baptist Church
Chalk Hill Baptist
Chalk Level Baptist Church
Cross Roads Missionary Baptist
Eagle Creek Baptist
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Ramble Creek Baptist Church

Earlier ministers of this denomination were:

Arnold, Josiah
Brewer, Scott
Browning, Benjamin
Browning, Jacob
Corbett, M. S.
Hardin, Obediah
Herrin, Lemuel
Hollowell, George
Melton, Merritt


Most prominent among the Presbyterian ministers were:

Samuel T. Thomas Abner Thomas Abner Cooper
H. Babbitt H. R. Reid Allen Justice
William Guthrie R. M. Gillum J. H. Mcknight

Return to Benton County Genealogy page

County Host Ken Byers

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