The Church of the United Brethren, 1895

I grew up in the Methodist Church.

Ruth Baby Methodist0001

Last year at the 150th anniversary of the church, there were nice memorial books given out. Didn’t go and didn’t get yours? Call the church. They might have more.

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In October 1866 the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South appointed Rev. S. K. Haynes as pastor of the Maryville and Lenoir Circuit. Because there was no church building in Lenoir City, known then as Lenoir’s Station, the congregation held services in the Lenoir Carpenter Shop. Earlier services had been held in the river warehouse which belonged to the Lenoirs and still stands today.

In 1870 Lenoir brothers Waighstill Avery, Benjamin Ballard, William, and Israel Pickens built a small frame church near the present corner of Broadway and A Street in downtown Lenoir City.

When the Lenoir family sold their estate in 1890 to the Lenoir City Company, an agreement was reached to relocate the building. The last surviving brother, Benjamin Ballard, agreed to move the church to a site adjacent to the family cemetery near the present site of Calvary Baptist Church. The building remained Lenoir property since it was located on the cemetery property which had been designated as the “Lenoir

Trinity Church 150th anniversary0004

Reservation” in the sale of the estate. By 1893, the church had become a part of the Concord Circuit and the conference appointed S. S. Catron and J. M. Carter as co-pastors so that services could be held each Sunday. The church eventually became a station in 1895 with the Rev. Catron as pastor.

When the Lenoir property was sold to a developer, the company mapped out streets, sold lots, and encouraged and solicited businesses and some industry. People began to move into the area and many of the people began to attend the Lenoir Church. The congregation grew and other denominations established congregations and buildings. The United Brethren organized and began a building program on the corner of C Street and Second Avenue. Being a small group, they realized they could not complete the building program they had begun.

Between 1890 and 1898, the Lenoir Church had outgrown its physical facilities and was considering expansion and building. They entered negotiations with the United Brethren to purchase their partially completed building. Dr. B. B. Lenoir deeded the old church building to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. The trustees were J. R. Browder, S. G. Eldridge, T. C. Foster, G. M. Burdett, and J. W. Harris. The trustees immediately sold their building to the Southern Presbyterian Church and made final purchase of the present site. The deed was recorded December 13, 1898. The building was completed, and the congregation moved in 1899. The church was finished in typical Victorian style with beautiful stained glass windows as its most outstanding feature.

 

From GenealogyBank, 8/21/1895.

Annual Conference United Brethren

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

*****

United Brethren Church Begins at Inskip

This Morning.

The annual conference of the United Brethren in Christ will convene at Inskip, Bookwalter church, Wednesday, August 21st, Bishop J. S. Mills, presiding.

An address of welcome will be given by A. J. Nugent in the evening. Response by the bishop, after which an experience of talk meeting and the sacrament of the Lord’s supper administered.

There will be visiting brethren from Dayton, Ohio. Rev. Dr. McKee, Rev. W. J. Shney, publishing gent and Dr. Kephart, editor of the Religious Telescope, of Dayton, Ohio, will be present also Dr. Bookwalter, of Toledo, Ohio and many others.

There will be basket meetings Saturday and Sunday in the grove. Bishop Mills will preach Sunday morning at 10:30 a. m.

Trains leave Knoxville at 7:45 a. m. and return Sunday morning at 10:30 a. m.

A large crowd is expected from Knoxville.

From GenealogyBank, 8/22/1895, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume XI, Issue 178, Page 5.

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THEIR FIRST CHURCH.

*****

Laying of the Cornerstone of the U.B.

Edifice at Lenoir City.

*****

Notable Occasion in the History of the

Plucky Young city –Large Number

of People Present.

*****

The laying of the corner stone of the United Brethren church, at Lenoir City, yesterday was a notable event in that city. The rain failed to mar the attendance and the exercises in the public school building filled it to overflowing.

The Lenoir City band furnished excellent music and so also did a special choir. The pastor, Dr. W. L. Richardson, presided as master of ceremonies. After reading of scripture, prayer was offered by the Rev. Dwight Marfield, of Dayton, O.

The address of welcome was delivered by Mr. Samuel Marfield. It was full of beautiful sentiment, and was as follows:

The event which we have assembled together to celebrate is one of special significance–which none can better understand and appreciate than we who have stood as guardians at the cradle of this new city, watching with jealous care the early stages of its growth and development. We have had an interesting experience.

The infancy of a city is subject to many of the ills and trials and tribulations which hover about the life of the babe in its nurses’ arms–there are eyeteeth to be cut–into the body politic there is often fed the ingredients of pain and colic, which have to be cast out–as the only relief. The mumps of inordinate expectation have to be reduced with the oil of patience.

The measels of discontent inflamed and visitated by the heat of undue restlessness have to be soothed with the balm of hope–and so I might take you through a very long catalogue of ailments which accompany not only our infant days but those of all newly born towns.

But Lenoir city was one of those phenominal twelve pound babes which are born to health and vigor and growth, and has passed safely beyond the petty ills of its infancy and now–rejoicing in the robust vigor of precocious youth, strong, healthful, buoyant, with hope–proud of its early attainments and confident of its future, greets you all with uncovered head, reverent of teh solemnity of the occasion which as called us together.

In its behalf it is my privilege and great pleasure to address you.

I have spoken of the significance of this event, and had in mind the fact that there is to be laid here to-day the corner stone of the first temple, erected to the glory and service of God since the town was planned and organized. The good men who provided for the religious needs of their families and neighbors and plantation have give us theretofore the only accommodations we have had for churchly purposes.

To-day we witness the beginning of a changed situation and welcome new friends with helping hands and Godly purpose, who have come to plant here in our midst a new vineyard where they may labor for the glory of the master, and to erect a new temple wherein to worship him–and not they only, as I understand it, but you and I and all the people hereabouts.

Good friends, in behalf of my townsmen and neighbors I greet you youfully and welcome you heartily.

“In the name of the Lord we wish you good luck.”

We ask no shibboleth from your lips, but trust of the sacredness of the work you begin, for the loyalty of your efforts to the up-building of the best interests of our community in its spiritual and moral life. I shall be glad if the example you set in planting your church so confidently on a generous and permanent basis may be followed by other branches of the church, Catholic and that this beautiful town with its industrious, intelligent and worthy citizenship may be adorned with many more temples erected to God, where freedom of worship may be enjoyed and which shall be to our people, true resting places for weary hearts, houses of refuge for wayfaring strangers, homes for all, even as pictured by the psalmist, whose soul longing–yes even fainting for the courts of the Lord in a rhapsody described his temple as a place where even the sparrow hath found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, exclaiming joyfully, “Blessed are they that dwell therein.”

Mr. John Dodd, a prominent citizen of Dayton, O., made an address in which he spoke of the value of churches as a home for all Christians, and of its civilizing influence. Dr. Wm. McKee, also of Dayton, made a delightful talk, referring to the building of the tabernacle and the obligations of all taking part in its support.

Dr. Carter, of Chattanooga, made a happy speech, remarking on the beauty of the little city; the wisdom displayed in selecting the church site; the necessity of the church fighting scepticism, especially as it comes to us from foreign immigration.

The pastor made an impressive talk upon the laying of the corner stone. A box containing copies of the Knoxville Journal and Tribune and the Harriman papers, record of the church membership, etc., were placed in a box which was sealed and placed in behind the corner stone, and the exercises closed with benediction by the pastor.

So. Many. Questions. (Sigh)

August 22, 1895, would have been a Thursday. The laying of the cornerstone would have been the day before, the same day the annual conference was announced.

What happened to the United Brethren? I don’t know of a church in Lenoir City that goes by this name. Did they change their name? They seem to have melted away. Was building this church just an unsuccessful venture? Were they a smaller congregation of a larger entity?

Where was the public school building?

And a band? We had our own band in 1890?

But the burning question (insert drum roll):

Where is the box that was sealed and placed behind the cornerstone?

Ah, Lenoir City, you outfox me with your secret mysteries.

 

 

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