In 1786, the state of Kentucky and the Cumberland Circuit of the Methodist Church were listed as a Methodist appointment. The first circuit rider sent to the new areas was Reverend Benjamin Ogden. Presiding elder was Reverend James Haw. There were 90 members reported at that time.
In 1787, the conference was separated into two conferences. The Kentucky conference covered all of the state of Kentucky, and the Cumberland Conference covered all of Tennessee west of the Cumberland Mountains and three counties in Kentucky; Logan, Simpson and Warren. Reverend Ogden remained with the Cumberland conference which reported a membership of 59 white people and 4 colored members.
The dedication of the circuit riders encouraged a rapid spread of the Methodist faith throughout the area. Isaac Lindsey, of Cage's Bend joined in 1787 and became a circuit rider. He was one of a party of five men from South Carolina who had explored the area in 1766. He returned to his South Carolina and returned with his family to help build and defend Heaton's Station. Isaac Lindsey had signed the Cumberland Compact and was elected a member of the first Inferior Court of Pleas and Quarter session, in 1783. The State of North Carolina granted him 640 acres for his service in defending the new settlements and he was to serve on the first Court of Pleas and Quarter session held in Sumner County where his land grant fell.
In 1791, Major William Cage, Lewis Crain, Isaac Lindsey, William Dillard and others settled in the bend of the Cumberland and named the area Cage's Bend in honor of the Revolutionary soldier. In 1792, some of the new settlers began meeting in the home of William Dillard. A few years later, the society built a log church on Lewis Crane's land. It became known as Crane's Meetinghouse. Bishop Francis Asbury and Lerner Blackman preached in Crane's Meetinghouse soon after the great revival in 1800.
Caleb Crain, et al, in 1830, deeded to the Trustees of Methodist Episcopal Church at Cage's Bend one acre of land to be used for a new church. An adjoining one acres was deed to the church by James May. (Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Book XII, p. 240). At this time, the name was changed to Rehoboth Methodist Episcopal Church. B. W. Ferrell, Fielding Grimsley, Ezekiel Crane and William Crane were trustees.
Two of Isaac Lindsay's sons, Isaac and Ezekiel, and a grandson, John Crane, young son of Lewis Crane became circuit riders. John Crane was appointed to the Duck River Circuit in November, 1812 and died the following February, 1813. His memoir in the General Minutes, Volume I, 1773-1828 describes the zeal with which the young convert had followed his new vocation, and had continued to travel his circuit long after his illness had come upon him. He died at the home of a Mr. Mitchell on the Duck River and was buried in Maury County.
From it small beginning in 1787, the conferences continue to grow and the Western Conferences reported in 1811, a total of 30,741 members with the Tennessee and Ohio Conference reporting 45,983 members.
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