HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY KENTUCKY
charles m. meacham
CHAPTER XXX VIII
The Early Churches. Presbyterian. First Baptist. Baptist Churches of Couniy. The Christian Churches. Universalist Churches. Cumberland Presbyterian. Episcopal. Methodist Churches.
One of the early Methodist churches of the county was located west of Hopkinsville, on a crossroad, between the Cadiz and Princeton roads. It was organized about 1851 from several smaller religious bodies in that part of the county, two of which had worshiped in log houses and others in private homes for ten or twelve years preceding. The consolidated church was called Shiloh, and started with about fifty members, among them W. H. Hopson, Henry Hopson, Edwin H. Hopson, C. A. McCarroll, Jas. J. Smith, David E. Boyd, William Walker, Hugh Tomlinson and Isaac Long, and the Summers, Pickett, Morris and Bowling families were represented. The preachers who served the church during the next thirty years, were F. M. English, S. F. Johnson (later a Federal Colonel), M. N. Lasley, R. W. Trimble, Abram Quick, L. B. Davidson, S. L. Murrell, Jos. F. Redford, David Morton, T. J. Moore, J. C. Petree, J. A. Lewis, E. M. Crowe, I. W. Emerson, Wm. Alexander and Thos. Bottomley. Up to 1875 it was served from Hopkinsville. In 1875 Dennis Spurner had charge and was succeeded by J. F. Redford, W. T. Moore, J. A. Lewis and C. Peters, I. W. Emerson and B. F. Orr, who gave it part time. In the early eighties, the church was taken down and moved to its present location, on the Jefferson Davis Highway, seven miles west of Hopkinsville, where it is still a prosperous body on the Hopkinsville circuit.
One of the oldest Christian churches in the county, farther down the Sinking Fork, was organized in a schoolhouse, and in 1846 the house still known as Concord Church was built. It was used not only as a church but a school was taught in it, and there was a lodge room above.
The Baptists have had a church not far away known as South Union, since 1846, at what is now known as Church Hill.
The Hebron Methodist Church, near Church Htll, has been in existence since 1842. It is also on the Hopkinsville circuit.
In 1856 the Presbyterians organized a church at Newstead, and a commodious house was erected, and still stands, though the present membership is small and the preaching irregular.
The Methodists have another church at Pee Dee that is a flourishing body. It was organized after the war between the states. In this same neighborhood is the Little River Baptist Church, one of the twenty-five Baptist churches in the county, and one of the oldest.
In the Garrettsburg neighborhood another very old church was formed by the Baptists, and still exists, the Olivet Church, more than a hundred years old.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The history of Presbytenianism in Christian County dates back to pioneer days. The Presbyterians organized their first church in the county in 1813, in Hopkinsville, but did not erect a house of worship until 1820. The location was the same as is now occupied by the Westminster Presbyterian Church. It was replaced, in 1849, by the present building, that has since been added to. The first pastor was Rev. Edwin Blackburn. Other pastors, in succession up to 1867, were Rev. Wm. K. Stewart, Rev. Joseph Cushman, Rev. R. Lapsley, Rev. Thomas Caldwell, Rev. Wm. D. Jones, who served from 1834 to 1848; Rev. B. H. McCown, Rev. F. G. Strahan, and Rev. H. V. D. Nevins from 1859 to 1867.
In the year 1867 the church divided almost equally by agreement. Forty-four members adhering to the Southern Assembly, retained the church building and took the name of Second Church. About forty members remained with the Northern Assembly, took the name First Presbyterian Church, and retained the property owned as a parsonage, receiving a cash difference in the valuation of the two pieces of real estate. The Second Presbyterian Church shortly afterwards changed its name to the Nashville Street Church, and when that street became Ninth Street, it again changed its name. Some years afterwards the City Council began the consideration of an ordinance to again change the street numbers. The ordinance did not pass, but the church, before the question was settled, adopted what they believed would be a permanent name, and it has ever since been known as the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Leaving its history at 1867, the historian turns to the First Church. By the terms of the agreement, the church building was to be used jointly, but at different times, until January, 1879, a period of twelve years. Its pastors during that time were: Rev. Jas. H. Dinsmore, Rev. W. T. Hall, Rev. A. W. Colver, and Rev. H. H. Allen, during whose pastorate, in 1880, the First Presbyterian Church built on its own property on the corner of Seventh and Liberty streets, the edifice it still occupies. Its next pastor was Rev. R. H. Coulter, who assumed charge in 1881. At that time the church had seventy-two members. Its elders were R. H. Kelly, A. M. Wallis and Joseph I. Landes. Its deacons, Walter Kelly, W. T. Bonte, and J. M. Starling. Mr. Starling is the only survivor at this time (1930).
LIST OF PASTORS FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH U. S. A., MAY 23, 1880,
TO PRESENT DATE
Rev. Richard H. Coulter, May 23, 1880, to February 8, 1885.
Rev. Montgomery May, May 8, 1885, to July 1, 1887.
Rev. John W. Crawford, Apr11 1, 1888, to October 1, 1889.
Rev. Solomon N. Vail, June 8, 1890, to July 3, 1898.
Rev. Francis Lee Goff, December 18, 1898, to March 1, 1904.
Rev. Edward H. Bull, September 1, 1904, to December 1, 1910.
Rev. E. B. Landis, June 1, 1911, to November 30, 1912.
Rev. E. E. Gabbard, September 1, 1913, to June 1, 1916.
Rev. Charles Brevard, February 19, 1917, to March 28, 1920.
Rev. Robert E. Reeves, May 1, 1920, to March 31, 1924.
Rev. W. W. Astles, September 1, 1924, to October 1, 1927.
Rev. J. H. King, January 1, 1928—.
LIST OF CHURCH OFFICERS, FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, U. S. A.
Pastor—Rev. J. H. King.
Clerk of Session—Claude C. Ashby.
Church Treasurer—J. M. Starling.
Ruling Elders—C. B. Williams, William B. West. E. H. Wade, J. T. Walker, Walter Tunks, J. M. Starling, Will Starling, and Claude C. Ashby.
Deacons—T. M. Bullard, Durwood Walker, and Claude D. Wade.
The first pastor of the Westminster Church (as it will be referred to hereafter) following the division was Rev. H. M. Painter, who was succeeded by Rev. J. C. Tate, in 1870, who filled the position for nearly fifteen years. More than a passing notice should be made of the consecrated man of God. He married while here, served other churches in the county, was at one time a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Western Asylum, and in many ways left his impress upon the community in which he lived. He removed to Clarksville, Tenn., where he continued to preach for many years, living to a very old age. May his memory be kept green. At this period, the officers were: Elders: Thomas Green, G. W. Jarrett, S. H. McCullough, J. B. McKenzie, and John W. McPherson, Sr.; Deacons: James C. Moore, J. Edgar McPherson, Dr. J. M. Dennis and Geo. A. Champlin. The membership was a hundred and twenty.
In 1885 the church called to its pastorate Dr. Wallace Logan Nourse, who remained for eighteen years, and gave the church the reputation all over Kentucky of having one of the ablest and most scholarly pastors in the State. This great and good man became one of the leading citizens of the county. He was prominent in civic as well as religious circles. Was a member of the Public School Board, president of the Athenaeum Society, and in every way was identified with progressive citizenship. His church passed through some of the greatest revivals in its history, under the leadership of such men as Sam Jones, Dr. Pentecost, and in his own church, Dr. J. S. McClurg, “Uncle Joe” Hopper, Rev. J. M. Evans and others. He was a strong preacher and was held in loving memory by those who have passed away as well as those who still live. Under his ministry three hundred and fifty-two members were added to the church. In 1903, Dr. Nourse was succeeded by Rev. J. C. Fogartie, as supply, and he became pastor the next year. He was an eminent scholar and consecrated minister. Rev. C. H. H. Branch succeeded him in 1907, under whose pastorate the church took an advanced step in its contributions to foreign missions. The manse, on Campbell Street, was sold and the present one on Fifteenth Street was built. Rev. Alfred Anderson next came as pastor, in 1915, and no pastor was loved more tenderly by his people, and many outside of the church. He was succeeded by Rev. J. W. Clotfelter, who remained until 1924, when the congregation gave him up with deep regret to the Paris, Ky., church. Rev. Willis Thompson came in 1924 and remained till June, 1926. He did much effective service in ministering to the country churches. The church had no regular pastor for some months until December, 1926, when the present pastor, Rev. W. B. Holmes, Jr., was called and accepted. Through the generosity of a former member, Mrs. Elizabeth Russell Hayes, his sermons are broadcasted every Sunday over a large area in this section. Though less than thirty years of age, when he came, Mr. Holmes soon became widely known as a brilliant and popular young preacher, who is dearly beloved by his congregation.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
The First Baptist Church, or the New Providence Church, as it was then. called, was organized June 6, 1818, in the house of John Pursley, about one mile west of H,opkinsville. Elders Jesse Brooks and William Tandy, of Red River Association, were present, the former acting as moderator. The members were James Payne, Charles Thrift, John Pursley, Henry Rowland, Robert Slaughter, Grace Pursley, Lucy Slaughter, Sallie Tally, Keziah Thrift and Winnie, a slave of James Payne. James Payne was chosen pastor, the usual covenant was adopted, and the church entered upon a career that has been uninterrupted for more than a hundred and eleven years. Another meeting was held the next day, and three other members were admitted and sixteen slaves of W. T. Buckner came in on “recommendation,” and six other slaves were admitted for baptism. One of them, Phil, the property of Major Long, was the first baptized. At the next meeting it was designated as New Providence. In August, 1818, Dr.
A. Webber came in by letter and the church agreed to build a house of worship, which was soon erected on the river bank, at the foot of what is now Thirteenth Street.
The first trustees were Wm. H. Coleman, Robert Slaughter and Dr. A. Webber. The first prayer-meeting was held June 6, 1821. Dr. Webber was ordained a deacon July 13, 1822. The first Sunday school was held July 6, 1851, with H. Ashford superintendent. Rev. Wm. Tandy was chosen pastor December 7, 1820.
At this time other neighboring churches were Bethel, Barren Springs, Ebenezer and Little West Fork.
Rev. William Tandy was succeeded as pastor by Rev. Wm. C. Warfield, November 8, 1823, who died in 1827 before he was forty years old. Rev. Robert Rutherford came next, from 1827 to 1833. Then Dr. James M. Pendleton was pastor from 1833 to 1836. Next Rev. Robert Anderson served from 1839 to 1841, after an interregnum not explained. Dr. T. G. Keen served from 1841 to 1845; Dr. Samuel Baker from 1845 to 1850; Dr. A. D. Sears from 1850 to 1864, and Dr. T. G. Keen again from 1864 to 1884. Following him, Dr. J. N. Prestridge was pastor from 1884 to 1889, and that summer Rev. John 0. Rust was ordained and served as pastor several months. He was succeeded in 1890 by Rev. Chas. H. Nash until 1906. Dr. Millard A. Jenkens, an exceptionally brilliant young minister, was pastor from 1906 to 1908, when he resigned and moved to Abilene, Texas. Dr. Calvin M. Thompson was called in 1909, and remained until 1918. He was succeeded by Rev. Leonard W. Doolan in 1919, who remained till 1925, when he was succeeded by Dr. P. C. Walker, the present pastor.
The following sketch of early members of the First Baptist Church was written by Prof. J. W. Rust for Perrin’s History of 1884:
We feel that the history of our church viewed alone in the line of its pastorates and usages would be incomplete without some reference to those good and pious brethren who have long since gone to their reward. Among those who have held membership in this church and worshiped with this people may be mentioned Dr. Augustine Webber, perhaps one of the most thorough scholars in all that relates to our faith and practice that has ever adorned our common membership. To him the Bible was the inspired oracle of a living God. He walked by faith and not by sight. He feared God and eschewed evil. His zeal never abated. With heavy professional obligations pressing upon him as a physician, he seldom failed to be in his place as a church member, ever ready to help in any good work; while his pious wife, rivaling if possible his Christian enthusiasm, stood by his side in full sympathy with every move that looked to the spiritual life and growth of the church. Her gentle, loving, earnest and intelligent work in the Sunday school will never be forgotten. The names of these two humble, loving Christians will ever be linked together in the memories of all who knew them—who have drawn inspiration and encouragement from their noble, consecrated lives.
John P. Campbell, Sr., possessed force of mind, dignity of character, general intelligence and liberality in support of the Gospel rarely equaled and never surpassed by any of his contemporaries. In his life, benevolence was conspicuous. Under what he conceived to be demands of necessity his liberality knew no bounds. He was always ready, with or without others, to meet the balance of every church obligation. It was by his munificence more than that of any one else that Bethel Female College was founded. His donations amounted to fully one-third of its cost, and it may today be justly recognized as. a living monument to his memory. Just before the war, sitting on his horse at the college gate one morning, he remarked to the writer, pointing to the building, “That is only the center, two wings must be added.” The beautiful Christian life of his devoted wife added luster to his own, and in both church and home these two grand and good people exemplified a liberality and hospitality which honored the profession they had made.
E. J. Roberts was one of the most devoted men the church ever had in its membership. His humility, firmness, kindness, liberality and moderation were happily blended, controlled by a strong, abiding faith and great decision of character.
John Buckner’s long, consistent life as a Christian is well remembered by those who often bowed with him around the altar of prayer. Kind and faithful, he was ever ready to lend the helping hand in time of need.
Armistead G. Slaughter united with this church in its early history. Some years after he removed to Bethel Church near Pembroke. He was a man of strong convictions and genuine Christian integrity; devoted to all the services of the church, and liberal in the support of its enterprises. He was unusually well read in the affairs of the denomination, in which he took abiding interest.
Jacob Torian was one of the pillars of the church. With an impulsive, impressible nature, he was admirably fitted by grace to attend to the general interest of the church, and in the pastor’s absence his services were justly recognized as of the highest value.
William H. Pendleton’s name will bring to the memory of those who knew him best one of the most active, earnest and faithful members of this church. A c]ose Bible student, gifted in prayer and exhortation, and whether in Sunday school, in the prayer-meeting, or in the financial interests of the church, he was alike not only efficient but enthusiastic in his work. With many positive elements of character, he was aggressive in his nature, and his heart was ever enlisted in the work of the Lord. A life of great usefulness was spread out before him, but the summons came, and he exchanged the toils of earth for a crown in heaven.
Joseph M. Cheaney is another remembered for his good works. A more spiritually-minded Christian may not be found among our membership. Earnest in exhortation and in song, the interests of the church seemed uppermost in his mind. He showed his religion by his daily walk. He was always “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”
Of James Clark, John Hawkins, Thomas P. Clark, Zach Glass, Thomas M. Buck, E. B. Richardson, Alpheus Palmer and others equally worthy of mention, we would be glad to speak, but the limits of this sketch will not permit.
We beg to close these hasty and imperfect personal references with a brief allusion to one of the most remarkable men ever connected with our church.
John Hubbard removed from Virginia to Kentucky in 1836 and connected himself with the church. Although solicited to preach, he generally refused, feeling that his mission was to exhort. So remarkably gifted was he in this kind of service, that he was often invited to assist pastors in protracted meetings. His exhortations after sermons were powerful and effective. Competent persons, who have heard him, say that when making an appeal before an audience with his emotional nature aroused, the “expressiveness of his eye, the clear and solemn tones of his voice, his whole manner indicating the deep earnestness and solicitude of his soul for the salvation of sinners, were such as often to carry conviction to the sinner’s heart that had remained unmoved under the sermon. Indeed, so powerful were his exhortations that he is said to have reached the hearts of men of all classes as few preachers could. This desire to be instrumental in the salvation of sinners was not the result of a momentary impulse with Mr. Hubbard, but seemed to be the abiding burden of his heart, and the uppermost thought of his mind.” The name of John Hubbard will be held in remembrance by thousands who have listened to his unaffected and impressive exhortations, many of whom he effectually led to the Saviour. His death, like his life, was a grand triumph of faith. During his last illness, his devoted wife seeing that his end was nigh, labored with him and prayed that he might have “dying grace.” Seeing the deep grief that awaited her terrib’le bereavement, he earnestly prayed that she might have “living grace,” and thus they strove to comfort each other to the very doors of death.
The present officers of the First Baptist Church are:
Deacons—W. A. Long, Chairman; C. L. Aibritton, Dr. Austin Bell, T. M. Dalton, M. C. Forbes, C. F. Jackson, G. A. Payne, J. E. Pyle, W. H. Southall, John X. Taylor, Bailey Waller, S. P. White, H. M. Anderson, S. L. Cowherd, Dr. Oscar Flener, W. W. Henderson, F. H. Mason, Gilmer B. Pursley, E. C. Radford, W. T. Tandy, J. B. Todd, John T. Wailer, W. M. Wood, C E. Woodruff.
Trustees—J. W. Downer, Chairman; L. H. Petrie, W. T. Tandy, S. P. White.
Pastor—Dr. P. C. Walker.
Educational Director—Gilmer B. Pursley.
Office Secretary—Miss Lilly Gary.
Choir Director—Mrs. F. H. Mason.
Organist—Mrs. Oglesby Soyars.
Church Clerk—T. M. Parrish.
BAPTIST CHURCHES OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY
Churches - Constituted - Pastor - Clerk
Bainbridge 1910 , Russellville C. R. Overby, Cerulean.
Bethel 1816 E. G. Sisk, Fairview E. B. Vass, Fairview.
Casky 1886 E. W. Coakley, Hopkinsville . Joe F. Mason, Hopkinsville.
Concord 1842 J. J. Thomas, Hopkinsville. .‘G. T. White, Hopkinsville.
Crofton 1850 E. A. Meador, Bowling Gr’n.Austin Myers, Crofton.
Gracey 1830 Clarence Jones, Sullivan. . . . Clifford Thomas, Gracey.
Hopkinsvilie, First.. 1818 P. C. Walker, Hopkinsville.T. M. Parrish, Hopkinsville.
Hopkinsville, Second. 1910 R. L. Brandenburg, Hop’vle. .M. G. Wadlington, Hop’s’vl.
LaFayette . 1889 C. F. Bridges, Dover, Tenn.. .Mrs. W. B. Pendleton, LaFyt.
Little River 1804 J. T. Lewis, Hopkinsville.. . Sherley McGraw, Herndon.
Locust Grove 1842 E. W. Coakley, Hopkinsville.E. W. Steger, Hopkinsville.
Macedonia 1827 Dawson Springs. .A. E. Delaney, Crofton.
Mt. Zoar 1841 J. T. Lewis, Hopkinsville. . . Holland Boyd, Hopkinsville.
Barren Springs . . . 1869 C. W. White, Crofton.
New Ebenezer 1880 F. W. Cooper, Russellville. .J. H. Fuller, Hopkinsville.
Olivet 1827 E. L. Pendley, Howell W. M. Embry, Howell.
Pembroke 1883 A. R. Willett, Pembroke. .. . S. S. Jameson, Pembroke.
Pleasant Hill 1837 J. T. Lewis, Hopkinsviile. . . .W. E. Cannon, Hopkinsville.
Salem 1827 C. S. Bradshaw, Hopkinsville.
Sinking Fork 1849 J. J. Thomas, Hopkinsville. .R. A. Underwood, Hopk’svle.
South Union 1848 L. E. Martin, Hopkinsville. .H. E. Gary, Hopkinsvilie.
West Mt. Zoar . . . 1872 J. J. Thomas, Hopkinsvilie. .Garnett Fuller, Kellys.
West Union 1891 L. L. Spurlin, Hopkinsville. .L. L. Cowan, Hopkinsville.
West Grove 1914
Charles M. Meacham President
PRESENT BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF BETHEL WOMAN’S COLLEGE
L. D. Browning Secretary
G. H. Stowe Term Expires 1930
M. C. Forbes Term Expires 1930
Holland Garnett Term Expires 1931
C. W. Garrott Term Expires 1931
Charles M. Meacham Term Expires 1932
George E. Gary Term Expires 1932
L. D. Browning . Term Expires 1932
Bailey WaIler Term Expires 1933
Jo P. Howard Term Expires 1933
W. L. Walden Term Expires 1933
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The Christian Church, in }Lopkinsville, was organized in 1832 when the breach in the Baptist Church, led by Alexander Campbell, widened and resulted in the organization of a separate denomination here and elsewhere. Sixteen members were enrolled at the start, and of these, Miles Gray, R. S. Dulin and S. W. Calloway were made elders, and George Poindexter and Thomas Poindexter deacons. The Unitarians were too weak to maintain an organization at this time, and they sold the house used jointly with the Cumberland Presbyterians, and a few years later the Cumberland Presbyterians sold their interest, leaving them in possession. These facts are taken from a paper written by Col. George Poindexter in 1884 for Perrin’s History. They were called Reformers at first, later DiscIples and finally adopted the name of Christians. The young church grew with amazing rapidity, and soon became one of the strongest religious bodies in Hopkinsville. In 1849 it tore down the old building, and erected a larger and better brick edifice, and had it ready for occupancy in 1851. This house still stands, with many improvements and additions. The pastors who served the church from time to time were: Isaiah Boone, George P. Street, Henry T. Anderson, G. W. Ely, John D. Ferguson, W. C. Rogers, J. M. Barnes, Enos Campbell, J. M. Long, A. W. Walthai, W. J. Barbee, T. A. Crenshaw, R. C. Cave, L. H. Stine, C. K. Marshall and E. L. Powell, and in later years H. D. Smith, Everett S. Smith and Horace Kingsbury, the present brilliant pastor, who was born in Australia. Some of the pastors were leaders in their denomination. Rev. Enos Campbell, while he was pastor, sponsored the founding of South Kentucky College, and was its first president. Rev. R. C. Cave was also eminent as a teacher as well as preacher. Rev. E. L. Powell, nephew of Dr. Cave, was for thirty years pastor of the First Christian Church of Louisville until he retired a few years ago, and still lives in Louisville. Rev. Harry D. Smith was pastor for sixteen years and is now very prominent in Oklahoma.
CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN CHRISTIAN COUNTY
Castleberry Clarence Thomas, pastor
Crofton Clarence Thomas, pastor
Ford’s Chapel W. H. Moore, pastor
Hopkinsville (Ninth St.) Dr. Horace Kingsbury, pastor
LaFayette R. L. Cave, pastor
Liberty R. L. Cave, pastor
Macedonia . W. H. Moore, pastor
Pembroke Marshall Burns, pastor
Rich R. L. Cave, pastor
Sinking Fork J. A. Wheeler, pastor
THE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
About the year 1819, a traveling preacher named William Lowe came into the neighborhood now known as Consolation. He stopped at the house of Charles E. Clark, and held a religious service. He was invited to preach again and on the third Sunday in May, he preached again and organized a Universalist church with fifteen or more members of the families of James Clark, Lemuel Clark, Thomas Fruit, Samuel Underwood, William Henderson, T. B. Pool, David Jones and others. He returned once a year for fifteen years. Joab Clark then became a preacher, and in time a log house was built, that was later replaced by a nice frame building that still stands. The membership of the church has never been large. Larger churches were later organized in Hopkinsville and Crofton.
THE CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized about 1825, exact date is not on record, as its early records were destroyed when the church was burned in the great fire of 1882. It first met in the Unitarian Church building, and its early elders were David Usher, John Finley and Rezin Elliott. In 1829, Rev. James Y. Barnett settled at Salubria Springs, and looked after the church. In 1839 the Green River Synod met with the church, but the next year the building, used jointly with the Unitarians, was unroofed by a storm, and the church bought a lot and built a house of its own in 1841. The officers at this time were Rev. J. Y. Barnett, M. T. Carnahan, Wm. B. Payne, James Edwards and Rezin Elliott. Mr. Barnett died in 1848 and was succeeded by Rev. A. J. Baird, and he by Rev. S. B. Vance. There was no pastor during the war. The body was reorganized in 1869, with thirty-two members. Rev. J. M. Penick became pastor, and the elders were: Henderson Wade, Edwin Edwards, G. W. Wiley and A. H. Ferguson. Rev. J. M. Gill was pastor in 1870, and Rev. A. H. Berry from 1871 to 1873. Rev. R. J. Beard succeeded him, for three years, and in 1877 Rev. M. 0. Smith took charge, the membership having grown to one hundred. The fire caused another interruption in 1882, but the house was rebuilt by 1884. The officers at that time were: Rev. A. C. Biddle, pastor; E. Edwards, H. Wade, G. W. Wiley, J. P. Braden, and A. Campbell, elders; J. P. Brown, W. W. Twyman, M. W. Withrow and R. D. Reeder, deacons.
The following condensed history is taken from the annual booklet, prepared by the pastor, Rev. G. G. Halliburton:
1826 First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Hopkinsville organized. Elders: David Usher, John Finley, Rezin Elliott.
1829 First regular pastor, Rev. Jas. Y. Barnett.
1841 First house of worship erected, during pastorate of Rev. Jas. Y. Barnett.
1850 Sept. 8—First Sunday School class organized. H. H. Lander, superintendent. Period of disorganization.
1869 Congregation reorganized by Rev. Joel M. Penick; membership, 32.
1880 About this date the missionary work had its birth in this congregation, the Japanese Jugglers being the first society, organized by Mrs. Nancy Stevenson, who became its first leader.
1882 October 25—The great fire, which destroyed our first church of worship.
1883 Present house of worship erected, during pastorate of Rev. A. C. Biddle; membership, about 100.
1883 March—Senior Ladies’ Missionary Society organized. President, Mrs. Nancy Stevenson; Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Annie Kennedy; membership, about 6.
1891 C. E. Society organized, President, Miss Fannie B. Rogers.
1896 January 13—Ladies’ Aid Society organized. President, Mrs. G. W. Wiley; Secretary, Mrs. T. A. Smithson; Treasurer, Mrs. Florence West; membership, 5.
1897 Willing Workers replaced the name of Japanese Jugglers.
1902 Young Ladies’ Missionary Society organized by Mrs. H. A. Rogers. President. Mrs. N. S. West; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. P. J. Baugh.
1920 Harriet Rogers Missionary Society replaced the name of Young Ladies’ Missionary Society.
Rev. James Y. Barnett 1829-1848 Rev. A. C. Biddle 1883-1895
Rev. A. J. Baird 1848-1851 Rev. W. J. King 1895-1897
Rev. S. B. Vance 1851-1852 Rev. M. B. Dewitt 1897-1900
No pastor in charge 1852-1868 Rev. J. L. Wyatt 1900-1906
Rev. Joel M. Penick 1868-1870 Rev. A. C. Biddle 1906-1909
Rev. J. M. Gill 1870-1871 Rev. M. L. Clemons 1909-1911
Rev. A. H. Berry 1871-1873 Rev. J. B. Eshman 1912-1917
Rev. R. J. Beard 1873-1876 Rev. J. W. Stiles 1917-1921
No pastor in charge 1876-1877 Rev. N. J. Salyer 1921-1923
Rev. M. 0. Smith 1877-1881 Rev. J. W. Stiles 1923-1927
Rev. J. A. Francis 1881-1882 Rev. G. G. Halliburton 1927-
No pastor in charge 1882-1883
Rev. G. G. Halliburton Pastor
Max J. Blythe Clerk
C. W. White Treasurer
The elders are: Max J. Blythe, 0. G. Barrow, J. A. Brurnfield, L. B. Cornette,
G. L. Campbell, J. W. Carroll, R. A. Fuller, C. V. Oakley, H. A. Rogers.
The deacons: Karl K. Ashby, W. A. Barnett, T. J. Baugh, Herman A. Davis,
R. D. Reeder, Reynolds Buckley, R. L. Flcwers, Harry B. Lacy, Caleb R. Wilkins,
C. W. White.
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
0. G. Barrow, H. A. Rogers, R. A. Fuller.
Sunday school officers: Mr. Karl K. Ashby, Superintendent; Mr. C. V. Oakley,
First Assistant Superintendent; Mr. C. R. Wilkins, Second Assistant Superintendent;
Miss Lureina Reeder, Secretary and Treasurer; Miss Emma Ruth Oakley, Pianist;
Miss Dorothy Anderson, Pianist.
The present membership of the church is one hundred and eighty-nine. The house of worship is on Seventh Street, opposite Hotel Latham, with parsonage adjacent.
GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Grace Episcopal Church was organized in 1831. Among those whose names occurred in the first members were: Livingston Lindsay, Dr. David Glass, George Ward, David Banks and E. A. Green. By 1834 John Rawlins and his wife, Dr. Henry Hopson, Edward Ashley, Penelope M. Giddings, Albert A. Willis, Rebecca Glass, Lucretia M. Ward, Abraham Pope, Sarah Wallace, Catherine H.opson, Elizabeth L. Pope and Frances E. Nelson had become members. The first rector was Rev. Geo. P. Giddings, and as the century passed, other rectors were: Rev. F. B. Nash, George,Beckett, Louis Jansen, J. M. Curtis, S. Hermann, W. E. Webb, James J. Page, Gideon B. Perry, Robert M. Baker, Charles Morris, John W. Venable and finally George C. Abbitt, and the present pastor,. B. W. Gaither. In the early days several of these ministers also taught private schools. The first building was a frame structure on Virginia Street, with a dwelling for the preacher nearby. In 1884 this lot was sold and a more desirable one purchased on Sixth and Liberty streets, and the present handsome edifice was erected and has since been added to. It is of brick, with stone trimmings, and seats several hundred people. A liberal contributor to its erection was the late John C. Latham, of New York, whose mother was a lifelong member. Among the prominent members at the time the new building was erected were: Dr. James Wheeler, George V. Green, Hunter Wood, William J. Withers, Nat Gaither, M. H. Nelson, William G. Wheeler and R. H. DeTreville.
HOPKINSVILLE METHODIST CHURCH, SOUTH
By JUDGE JOE MCCARROLL
The original Methodist Church of Hopkinsville was a brick building located east of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad tracks on what was then called College Street, between Market and Broad streets, now Third and Fourth, upon a lot afterwards owned by the late Benjamin 0. Welch. It became greatly dilapidated and was put in repair, with much effort, in time for the Tennessee Conference to hold its annual session there in 1820. Here the congregation had many ups and downs until 1848 when this congregation, composed of some of the most prominent and well-to-do citizens of this county girded itself about with renewed energy and sold the old church where it had worshiped for a quarter of a century and constructed an ample brick building at the corner of Ninth and Clay streets on a lot conveyed to it by Mr. Wm. E. Price in March of that year—a gentleman whose piety and influence were remembered and recognized by those who knew him (and their descendants) for two generations; and even now they are amongst the traditions of the church.
This old church building was the scene of many joyous occasions, many wonderful revivals conducted by the great pulpit orators of the times. About the year 1916, the splendid new church at the intersection of 13th and Main was completed during the ministry of Rev. Lewis Powell, of blessed memory. (He was the father of Rev. Paul S. Powell, the present preacher in charge of this church.) The building was paid for and the church dedicated in September, 1918, amidst the enthusiastic plaudits of a happy congregation. It is one of the finest and best planned church buildings in Kentucky.
The lot upon which this magnificent structure stands was a gift to this church by the late John C. Latham, Jr., of New York City, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. If I am not mistaken this contribution was turned over to the church during the term of Rev. George H. Means.—1907-1910. At any rate the seven thousand dollar contribution was pledged to the new church building by Mr. Latham during Dr. Means’ term.
Perrin’s History of Christian County was written in 1884 and contains a sketch of this church up to that time. At that time this church had only two hundred and sixty members and a Sunday school roll of only one hundred and ninety pupils. It was already beginning to “feel its oats,” if I may use such a phrase. It had expended the year before, some twenty-five hundred ($2,500) dollars for repairs, and ten years later, under the leadership of that marvelous spirit of energy and enthusiasm, Rev. Granyule W. Lyon, then the preacher in charge, it expended, as my memory now serves me, some ten thousand dollars more in reconstructing the building and refitting it with organ, seats and other furniture and fixtures.
While these figures make a good showing for a congregation of that size, very few if any of whom were wealthy, this church has greatly prospered since then, through an able and zealous ministry and a faithful and loyal membership, until the statistics of 1884 are now far exceeded in every department.
In order to show how this Hopkinsville church has grown and prospered since 1884, the following statistics of the church then and in 1928 (the latest available record) are placed in juxtaposition:
In 1884 the church building was worth about $12,000.00
Our present house of worship and its equipments cost $100,000.00
In 1884 this church raised annually for all purposes, some $1,400.00
In 1928, it raised for all purposes $15,442.00
In 1884 the membership was reported at 260
In 1928, the membership was reported to the Conference as 1,202
But Dr. Powell the preacher now in charge, says this number, by reason of deaths, removals, etc., will probably be reduced at the next revision, to some extent, not now known.
In 1884 the Sunday school had an enrollment of 190
Now it has a membership of 826
I have not been able to procure the budget for 1929, but it is probable that it will call for a greater sum than was paid in 1928. And in addition to the usual assessments for all purposes, this church has undertaken to employ and support one foreign missionary on its own account, namely, the Rev. J. J. Davis, who has charge of the church mission at Wembo Nyama, in the Belgian Congo, Africa. To this end this church has pledged his annual salary of thirteen hundred dollars. Let us all humbly repeat what Mr. Latham telegraphed when informed that the church to which he had contributed so liberally had been completed, paid for and dedicated, namely, “It is all to the glory of God.”
The following is a list of the preachers in charge of this church since 1884, with a statement of the years during which they served:
Edw. W. Bottomley 1882-1886 John W. Lewis 1886-1890 Granville W. Lyon 1890-1893 Henry C. Settle 1893-1897 Walker K. Piner 1897-1900 J. P. Rushing 1900-1901 E. L. Southgate 1901-1905 A. P. Lyon 1905-1907 George H. Means 1907-1910 A. R. Kasey 1910-1914 Lewis Powell 1914-1918 A. H. Kasey 1918-1925 H. B. Grider, 1925 to March 28, 1928, when he died; S. A. Arnold, March 28, 1928, to September 30, 1928, end of Conference year; Paul S. Powell, September, 1928, and still in charge as this history is being written (September 5, 1929).
Six of these great and good men have gone to their reward; the other nine are still in the harness, except Dr. E. L. Southgate, now of Lexington, Ky., whose advanced age and feeble health preclude his active participation in the work of the ministry; but whose splendid Christian character has set the world such an example as will enable him to speak loudly to generations yet to come.
This church has in its ranks a great number of prominent and useful men and women—leaders in the social and intellectual life of the community, leaders in business, leaders by their example, in the common walks of life; above all, leaders in the religious life of the city. But they are still with us; and a discriminating eulogy, however deserving, might not be proper at this time. Amongst those who bore the heat and burden of active church service and are now in heaven, I should mention Ezra L. Foulks, Ira F. Ellis, David R. Beard, D. J. Hooser, Dr. A. P. Campbell, John N. Mills and Charles W. Ducker. There are many others whose names are not recalled at the moment.
The present official Board is composed of:
R. E. Cooper, Chairman of the Official Board; J. A. Browning, Treasurer; George J. Jake, Secretary.
E. P. Barnes. C. B. Thompson. H. A. Long. J. N. Hall. W. R. Dorris. W. H. Wheeler. G. E. Randle. John C. Lawson. F. W. Fink. Dr. J. W. Harned. J. J. Robertson. E. S. Melton. W. S. Harried. H. M. Bronaugh. W. C. Summers. 3. W. Reed. H. W. Linton. W. P. Dougherty. D. L. Van Cleve. Ira L. Smith. F. Vernon Pepper. C. W. Foster. Karl A. Witty. J. T. Thomas. Frank Rives. J. Cline Haydon. W. D. Cooper. E. L. Weathers
J. G. Stites. F. K. Yost. Reams D. Farmer.
Methodist churches in Christian County in 1930, German P. Dillon, Presiding Elder:
Hopkinsville Station Paul S. Powell, pastor
Hebron, Shiloh, Longview, Vaughn’s Grove D. L. Vance, pastor
LaFayette, Herndon, Pee Dee 0. T. Lee, pastor
Bowen’s Chapel, Grissom’s Chapel L E. Woodcock, pastor
Mannington, Rock Bridge 0 T. Neathery, pastor
Cole’s Chapel, Crofton Frank Cox, pastor
Mt. Carmel, Concord Frank Cox, pastor
Fairview C. G. Sledge, pastor
Pembroke, Chapel Hill Felix J. Sanders, pastor
Note.—Since the foregoing article was written, the 1929 session of the Louisville Conference has been held at Princeton, Ky. The financial reports from the Hopkinsville Church show that the total amount raised and expended for all purposes by this church and its several agencies during the Conference year just ended was $20,120.00, a considerable advance over the previous year.
The following new members of the Official Board have been added to the old list: Stewards: J. F. Danforth, William Dorris, L. L. Duke, F. A. Yost and W. K. Van Cleve. Trustees: R. M. Bronaugh, G. 1. Crabtree, W. H. Dorris and D. L. Van Cleve. Lay Leader and Assistant: H. E. Cooper and Hugh VT. Linton.
Christian County is well supplied with colored churches. The Baptists predominate and the Methodists have churches in most of the towns. In Hopkinsville the colored people have churches of several denominations. There are probably as many as fifty churches for colored people in the county.
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