EARLY CHURCHES IN STEWART COUNTY AND THEIR BEGINNINGS
*Est. prior to 1920
|CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH|
Bethel First Church of God
The church was first established about 1909 by Dr. Luther Morgan. The first building used by the congregation was built by the Seventh Day Adventists in the early 1900's, using communal lumber and work.
Big Rock Baptist Church
The church was established in 1834 due to a clash between missionary and anti-missionary groups. It was known as New Harmony Church until 1853. The first church building was a one room log house. The first pastor was Rev. W.E. Clopton in 1842. By 1844 Rev. T. H. Williams had joined him as a licenced minister. David Brunson became pastor in 1867.
Some Early Pastors
1867-1874 David Brunson, Indian Mound
1876-1877 J. U. Spurlin, Hopkinsville, Ky.
1878 M.C. Harris, Ringgold, Tn.
1880-J.M. Hysmith, Barren Plains, Tn
1881-W.H. Ryal, Garrettsburg, Ky.
1882-1883- J.R. Lawrence, Indian Mound and Legate
1884-1886 J.U. Spurlin, Sinking Creek and Hopkinsville, Ky.
1887-F.W. Carney, New Providence
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Big Rock United Methodist
This church was located in the northeastern part of Stewart County and began as early as the late 1700's to mid 1800's when Methodists were worshipping in log cabins and Brush Arbors. The Old Wyatt's Chapel, Burrs Chapel and Duck Springs Methodist Churches were forerunners. The land for Big Rock was deed in 1903 by S.W. Guinn to trustees J.S. Smith, C.P. Edwards, M.F. Brandon, J. P. Pryor and J.W. Smith. Timbers were contributed and solicited by J.N. Griffin and carpentry work done by Jack and Sandy Wall. The church was organized in 1905 with membership largely coming from the churches already mentioned. P.G. Johnson was the first pastor and A.E. Clement the first presiding elder.
Brandon Chapel Freewill Baptist (Bumpus Mills)
Land for this church was first deeded in February of 1900, when Jack Bumpus gave one-fourth acre of land for the purpose. The church was named in honor of Dr. Wesley Brandon. Later land was donated by Pink Luton for a parsonage.
Bumpus Mills Methodist Church
It is believed there may have been a church on the early site as far back as the late 1860's. In 1893 land deeded by Jack Bumpus to the Tennessee Methodist Conference led to the naming of the church to honor him. He was a lay preacher. Known in 1892 as Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church South, the following members are listed: Andrew Jack Bumpus, Elizabeth Bumpus, Andrew Fentress, Blanch Fentress, Wallace Cherry, Lucy Cherry, William Cobb, Mary Cobb, W.E. Vick, Samuel Miles, Mentie Cherry, Storkie Cherry, Susan Cherry, Quencie Cherry.
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Church of Christ (Bumpus Mills)
Although no exact date of establishment is known, the church building was erected by Lionel Desmond Hargis on land at Saline Creek before 1880. Bro. Tom Smith has been reported as pastor in the 1880's, followed by Bro. Robert L. Hart, Bro. Houston, and then Bro. A. L. Allison (pastor for about 50 years).
Cross Creek Baptist (Indian Mound)
This church was constituted in 1851 when members met at a school house for that purpose. The twenty-six charter members were: Robert and Mary Wilson, Mathew Gray and his mother Sara, John and Lucy Tipit, Leatha Tippit, Harriet Tippit, Samuel Wilson, Mary Ann Wilson, Jane Wilson, Joanna Wilson, Mildred Sanderson, Lucy Sanderson, Elizabeth Sanderson, Marion Sanderson, Susana Smith, Elizabeth May, Alexander Evans, Lusinda Smith, Charoline Chester, Susan Philips, Marry Gray, Massa Wilson, James and Eleanor Lowe.
Some Early Pastors
1851-1859 David Brunson
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Dunbar's Chapel Freewill Baptist
Dunbar's Chapel appears in minutes of Cumberland Association of Free Will Baptist as early as 1913, when nineteen members are listed, but no building existed. It may have met in a home or school. Land for the church in 1913 was given by Miss Sally Dunbar and Mrs. John Summers, Dunbar heirs.
First Christian Church Disciples of God
Rev. A. L. Johnson organized the Christian Church in Dover in 1871 when a meeting was held at the courthouse. Legend has it that a lawyer William Brandon stood and suggested a building be erected, at which point a farmer, Dave Jones, stood and said, "Let's you and I build the Church." In 1872, the church erected a brick building in Dover on land given by Col. Nathan Brandon.
Ft. Donelson Memorial United Methodist Church
The Dover Methodist Circuit is listed in 1812 records in the Nashville District with Rev. John Travis as pastor. Revivals were frequently held in brush arbors. A Methodist Church was probably erected in Dover prior to 1840. The church lot was given in 1840 and was a crude small frame building. Early founders included: Billy Weaks, Judge Monroe Scarborough, Rebecca Lewis Smith, families of Isaac Crow and John Robertson. The church was burned in 1862 or 1863 during the Civil War by Union troups. The legend is told that two small girls saved the pulpit Bible during the burning. Another church was erected soon thereafter. In 1897 a larger sanctuary was erected with the name Dover Methodist Church being changed to Ft. Donelson Memorial Methodist Church and windows in the church depicted a Union and Confederate soldier shaking hands.
Indian Mound United Methodist Church
Before 1843, this congregation met on the old Mullins farm in Commissary Hollow. John F. Hughes began preaching in Smith's Chapel Church, which removed to Indian Mound in 1843. It was called Martha's Chapel for a time, and later Indian Mound Methodist Church.
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Long Creek Methodist Church
W. A. Hart deeded approximately one acre of land for the building of this church in 1879. Members of the church board at that time were: J.W. Parker, R.H. Moody, Henry E. Eelwick, H.H. McGee, and William Sykes. The first recorded church members were W.T. Hart and John McGee. The first recorded pastor was V.M.N. Berry in 1884.
Long Creek Nazarene Church
This church grew out of old-time brush arbor revival meetings held by E.T. Cox and W.F. Collier. In 1912 it was organized and began meetings in a schoolhouse. The church building was erected on land H.W. Simpson donated in 1918.
Although there is no known date of establishment, as early as 1797 the site was known as the Camp Ground Meeting Place. The faculty members of the Camp Ground Church until 1812 were listed as: W.H. Powers, John C. Dowdy, Aurthur Powers, and James Dowdy. A Bible was purchased and placed in the church in 1812. Circuit riders served as ministers. The first church was built using hewn poplar logs, and the Bible purchased in 1812 remained in place until 1912 when a new church was built.
Nevil's Creek Baptist Church
In November of 1887, a group of men from the Crockett's Creek United Baptist Church of Christ met at Poplar Spring for the purpose of establishing a church in that spot. These men were: P.J. Henry, W. L. Tidwell, William Outland, and C.E. Acree. The church disbanded due to the development of the Land Between the Lakes Park by TVA.
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Pleasant Grove Baptist Church
The church was organized in Sept. 1919 when ministers and layment met at Commisary Schoolhouse for the purpost of organizing a Missionary Baptist Church. Present were W.H. Shaw, W. C. Nowlin, R. F. Crutcher. Charter members were: Samuel Phillips Brinton, Susan Brinton, Gracie Parker, Mollie Austin, H.A. Ford, and Mary E. Ford. W.H. Shaw was chosen as pastor, and the organization called Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
Pleasant Hill Church
Pleasant Hill's earliest beginnings were as a part of Free Will Baptist Church, established about 1845. This original church was located at Hayes Fork Creek near Bumpus Mills on land donated by Elisha Williams. The church eventually divided about fifty years later due to traveling distances by members of the congregation, with one church known as Brandon's Chapel in Bumpus Mills and the other known as Pleasant Hill in the Potneck community. The white frame building was erected in 1898.
This being on land first owned by a man named Rose. He died prior to deeding the land and when the land came into the possession of G.H. Byrd one acre was given to the church, it being built in 1899. A log building prior to this had served as a union church. The Methodist church held services there. Rev. Freeman was the pastor when Rose Valley Church was built.
Saline Creek Primitive Baptist Church
This church began as a branch of the Dry Creek Church over the state line in Kentucky in 1810. The first church in Bumpus Mills was deeded by John T. Stancil and his wife. Following are the charter members: Thomas Ross, Nathan Ross, Asa and Wynea Biggs, William and Sally Hubard, and John Ferrell. The church agreed to hold their meetings in 1810 on the third Sunday of each month beginning on the Saturday before.
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Stamper's Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, South
The land for Stamper's Chapel was donated in March, 1849 by Jemima Shemwell and Silas Stamper, for whom the church was named. The church apparently disbanded when displaced by Fort Campbell in the 1940's. Stamper's Chapel Road exists today, running west from near the west end of Lake Kyle.
Standing Rock Methodist Church
From 1840 until 1858, members of this church met at various places in the community. In Dec. 1858, Bill Andrews deeded land to Elisha Dawson, Elbert G. Sexton and Henry Andrews for the purpose of building a log church. Later, adjoining land for the purpose of a new structure was deeded in 1879 by W.R. Johnson and wife to trustees E.G. Sexton, Henry Andrews, and H.H. McGee.
Trinity Methodist Church
Trinity Methodist Church was built when Pinkney P. Fitzhugh deeded one and half acres of land to trustees Charlie W. Wofford, Chesley C. Sykes, Ewing R. Cherry and Jim W. Whitford, with the stipulation that both a church and a cemetery be erected at the location. Listed as helpers in the clearing of the land were Tom W. Whitford, Robert A. McElroy, P.P. Fitzhugh, Chesley C. Sykes, E. K. Cherry and C.W. Wofford. The dedication service was conducted in May of 1894 by Rev. John Handlin, first pastor. Mrs. Missouri Fitzhugh, wife of P.P., is accredited with the naming of the church.
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