History Leaves of the Methodist Tree – February 2017

History Leaves of the Methodist Tree
Compiled by Johnny Cordell

Did you Know?

That in gathering data for his work “Winning of the West” Theodore Roosevelt, traveling through the Holston country, wrote: “In 1783   Methodism, destined to become the leading creed of the west, first gained a foothold along the Holston, with a congregation of 72 members.  After Methodism cut loose from British connections in 1785, the time of great advance began.  The circuit riders were speedily eating bear meat and buffalo tongue on the frontier.  Wherever there were a group of cabins, thither some Methodist circuit rider made his way.  The fiery zeal of the Methodist made them leaders.”


Did you Know?

That on a more humorous note Methodist preachers two hundred years ago were big eaters, as they are today??  The Reverend Jesse Lee in his journal in 1800, gave the following report:  “After we finished our business in Conference, four of the largest preachers amongst us went to a friend’s store and were weighed.  My weight was 259 lbs.;  Seely Bunn’s 252, Thomas Lucas’s 245; and Thomas F. Sergeant’s 220; in all 976 lbs. and and all of us travel on horseback.”


Did you Know?

That seldom do churches achieve unique fame, but State Line Church did in May of 1937 when Ripley’s Review listed this church in their column, “Believe It or Not”. The church was built part in Alabama and part in Georgia which is in the Holston Conference.  The original State Line Church was built in 1890 as a church and school house.  In 1933, it was deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and even though it was originally given as a community church, the M.E Church, South was the only denomination to serve the church continuously for forty-nine years.  State Line Church (Sulphur Springs, GA) appeared in Ripley’s review, May 1937, “Believe It or Not”.  In that article it was stated   that the ministers were all Methodist while the Sunday School Superintendent was a Presbyterian and all the Sunday School teachers were Baptist.  As the church sat across the State Line, the minister stood in the pulpit in Georgia and the congregation sat in Alabama.  Another interesting tidbit is that E.R Lewis, one of the ordained ministers produced by Chapel Hill, was the minister of State Line Church from 1921 to 1925.  Also W.L. Tate, who followed E.R. Lewis, was married to Lillie Johnson, a member of Chapel Hill Church.  Ministerial support from the conference ended in 1947. 


Did you Know?

For several years a non-denominational Sunday School   was held in the Center Point School Building, which is adjacent on the north side of the Chapel Hill UMC Family Life Center, currently owned by David and Fern Lockhart.  Church services were held at Chapel Hill Church at a later hour on Sunday morning.  However, due to an official ruling that the school could no longer be used, the non-denominational Sunday School was without a place to meet.  Chapel Hill Church proposed to add a Sunday School Wing if this group agreed to attend.  So, in 1951, this non-denominational group agreed to attend with the understanding that the Sunday School would continue to be non-denominational.  This understanding has been adhered to and is still in effect.  The Chapel Hill Sunday School maintains its own financial account of which Mark Allen is currently the Treasurer and Chairman.  We appreciate his service in this area.


Sources: Holston Historic Heritage Vol 5   November 2, 2005

“Chapel Hill” Edna Susong Jackson

Next article will be excerpts from the original journal of a Methodist “Circuit Rider” within the Holston Conference 1867-68.

Question:  Since 1852 how many counties has Henniger/Chapel Hill Church been located within, and what are the names of these counties?  Answer is in next month’s article.