History Leaves of the Methodist Tree – July 2018

History Leaves of the Methodist Tree
Compiled by Johnny Cordell

     Several years ago Edna Jackson researched and compiled a very comprehensive article on the history of Chapel Hill Church.  Ms. Jackson was my grammar school teacher at Center Point 4th and 5th grades and part of 3rd and 6th grades.  She later transferred to the high school and I was fortunate to have two more classes.  Ms. Jackson presented a tough exterior to her students but on the inside had a deep compassion for those under her tutelage.  She kindled in me a passion for history that has remained with me for a lifetime.

      In her article she was able to list all Chapel Hill ministers since 1881, so it has been my desire to research and locate all circuit riders who served this community since the arrival of the first Europeans. 

     By 1800 there were settlers within the current present day, Sequatchie Valley.  In 1807 Bledsoe County was established with a southern boundary in the vicinity of Brush Creek while south of Brush Creek was the Indian Lands of the Cherokee.  About 1790 William Stewart of Maryland settled on these lands near Looney’s Creek in present day Marion County.  Although Stewart had a sharecropping arrangement with a Cherokee farmer, it was still against Federal law to settle on Indian land.  In 1811 the United States Regular Soldiers burned William’s cabin and destroyed his crops.  He and his family then moved to Bledsoe County, north of present day Dunlap.  William’s son, William Deakins Stewart, was an early member of Henninger’s Chapel (Chapel Hill) in 1853 and later served as a Confederate Captain during the Civil War. 

      In the minutes of the Methodist Episcopal Western Conference for the year 1807, under assignments of preachers, the following entry is listed, “West Point to be supplied.”  According to Methodist Historian Isaac Patton, West Point was the first appointment between the Tennessee River and the Kentucky line.  In 1808 this was changed to “Tennessee Valley.” According to the Western Conference minutes, Holston District, the assignments read as follows:

Preacher

Presiding Elder

1809 Milton Ladd

Learner Blackman

1810 William Young

Frederick Stier

1811 Thomas Hellum

Frederick Stier

1812 Williams B. Elgin

Frederick Stier

1813 Thomas A. King

James Axley

1814 Jesse Cunningham

James Axley

1815 John Manifee

James Axley

1816 William Hart

James Axley

1817 Hugh McPail, John Secton

John Henninger

1818 Thomas Springfield

John Henninger

 

From 1819 to 1832, the appointments to Sequatchy were part of the Tennessee Valley and included that territory that takes in Jasper and Pikeville.  In 1821 it was first written Sequatchy Valley.  The appointments were:

Preacher

Presiding Elder

1819 James Porter

James Axley

1820 Sammuel Patton

James Axley

1821 John Kesterson, John Paulsaul

James Axley

1822 John Craig, John Bradfield

John Dever

Compiler’s Note: My Great-Great-Great Aunt Susannah Effie Bradfield Rogers was born in 1822 and named for Circuit Rider John Bradfield

Preacher

Presiding Elder

1823 Thomas J. Brown, William Cumming

John Dever

In 1824, Holston Conference was formed and Sequatchy Valley became part of it under the Knoxville District.

Preacher

Presiding Elder

1824 Abraham Overall, Robert Kirkpatrick

Thomas Stringfield

1825 John Bradfield

Thomas Stringfield

1826 Jacob McDaniel

John Henninger

1827 Isaac Easterly

John Henninger

1828 Isaac Easterly, D. Carter

John Henninger

1829 James D. Harris, S. Ernest

John Henninger

1830 Abraham Murphy, Rufus M. Stephens

John Henninger

1831 Oliver C. Miller, William Gilmore

John Henninger

1832 John Craig

John Henninger

In 1833, Sequatchy disappears from the conference minutes and Jasper and Pikeville are given.  Present day Chapel Hill Community was assigned to Jasper District.

Preacher

 

1833 E.P. Childers

1842 G. W. Alexander, Jackson S. Burnett

1834 J.D. Harris

1843 M. Southward

1835 W. Burgess

1844 J. L. Sensibaugh

1835-36 E. Ekin

1845 J. R. Bellomy

1836-37 George W. Alexander

1846 Martin C. Robertson

1837 Francis Fanning

1847 John Alley

1838 J. Gaston

1848 Crockett Goodby

1839 T. Witten

1849 J. M. McTier

1840 A.M. Goodykoontz

1850 Newton C. Edmondson

1841 G. Baker, A. C. Mitchell

1851 W.C. Edmondson

(List of circuit riders to be continued next month along with next month’s question)

Last month’s question: What is the largest denominational faith organization for women? United Methodist Women.