Addison Avenue

Cumberland Presbyterian Church

1897 - 1952

Other Names:
West End 1895-1897
Brookhaven 1952 - 2003
In 2003 merged with Brentwood and became Brenthaven



NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The West End church has purchased a lot and there is prospect that a house of worship, at least a chapel, may be erected during the coming year. The lot is on the corner of Addison avenue and McGavock street, and is regarded as the best in that section of the city. The name of the church has been changed to the Addison Avenue Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 7, 1897, page 887]

ADDISON AVENUE, Nashville, Tenn.--The whole Church will be gratified to learn that M. B. DeWitt, D.D., has so far recovered as to be able to accept a call of the pastor and session of the Addison Avenue Church to co-operate with Mr. Landrith in the care of this vigorous, young congregation. Dr. DeWitt will continue in this relation, doing much pastoral and pulpit work, until his health is entirely restored, thus enabling him to accept a regular pastorate somewhere.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 22, 1897, page 1358]

NASHVILLE , Tenn.--The Addison Avenue Church, where M. B. DeWitt, D.D., is co-pastor, was favored on the same day (Sunday, May 30, 1897) with two good sermons by Dr. DeWitt's brother, Rev. D. C. DeWitt, of Hillsboro, Texas.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, June 10, 1897, page 1582]

Addison Avenue, Nashville, Tenn.
The Addison Avenue Church last Sunday celebrated the payment of the second note on its beautiful West End lot, and the members very properly feel cheered and encouraged. This congregation, though small, is not only self-supporting, but ever ready to meet all demands for the general enterprises. Meanwhile they are worshiping in a cottage and patiently paying for their lot, which cost $5,000. They have now one more note of $1,500 to meet, when the property will be free, and they will begin to plan for a church building. Rev. James E. Clarke is pastor.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, June 28, 1900, page 814]

Addison Avenue, Nashville, Tenn.
Class No. 18 in the Sunday school of this church is publishing a weekly paper, The New Leaf. Mr. J. W. Axtell is superintendent of the Sunday school. The average attendance for the past month has been 131. A successful effort has been inaugurated for a library. The issue of January 27 shows remarkable growth in the Sunday school. We quote as follows: The change directed by the session in the make-up of our corps of teachers has been effected without friction; that our Sunday school has grown as never before; that we have a little weekly paper all our own; that we have taken an important step toward fuller and richer Sunday school music; that a movement for a library has taken such form as to insure its success; that our congregations at preaching service are growing; that the discharge of our lot debt has been fully provided for; that our quarters have been greatly enlarged, with a result unexpectedly complete. The pastor, Rev. J. E. Clarke, recently received from Dr. M. B. DeWitt a silver half-dollar dated 1810, the year of the organization of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It is to be preserved and placed in the corner-stone of the Addison Avenue Church, when we are ready to erect a permanent building. The official board has extended to Dr. DeWitt a vote of thanks for this rare coin, and for his remembrance of the congregation he so acceptably served for a time.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, February 7, 1901, page 177]


Addison Ave., Nashville, Tenn.
[It has occurred to us that it might make what is here said a little more emphatic and helpful to show this picture of the church's modest house of worship. The ancient excuse of the churches for not contributing to the general causes, "We are building," or "We must build," should assume its correct guise of selfishness and narrowness in the light of this little congregation's heroic denominationalism of the broadest sort.--Eds.]

Rev. James E. Clarke, pastor, says: It is not often that the Addison Avenue Church reports its doings, as there are not many new things to break the current of its quiet, steady work; but there are two respects in which its work may be worth reporting and perhaps a stimulus to others: (1) Addison Avenue always gives a loyal, hearty support to all the benevolent enterprises of the denomination and many others. And this is done in the face of the fact that we worship in a cottage, slightly enlarged,and have been struggling to pay for an expensive lot. During the past year the church raised about $1,200 to pay on its lot, besides paying all its necessary expenses for the year, yet its total contributions for missionary purposes amounted to $354.89--an average of $3 per member. Of this amount $98.41 was sent to the Assembly's Board, $111.29 to the Woman's Board, $34.14 was for synodic mission work, $111.05 for city and presbyterial mission work. Recently one of our foreign missionaries was in the city, and expressed the greatest surprise when the little frame structure in which the congregation worships was pointed out to him. "Why," he exclaimed, "I thought you had a fine large church." When asked what led him to think this, he replied: "Your record. The church has always had a good record in its missionary offerings, and I thought you had a large membership and a fine building." The present pastor can claim little credit for this. Left to themselves the members would have done much in the way of missionary work; but at its very start the church was fortunate in having Rev. Ira Landrith to lead them into the paths of unselfishness and liberality, and the present pastor has been only too glad to encourage the same spirit. (2) The church also has an enviable record in the fact that in all its history there has always been unusual harmony of action. The session and official board have set a noble example in this respect, and an example seldom equaled. Though they have often split into two parties, yet in all their discussions, while there has often been much of vigorous earnestness, the pastor has never heard an unkind or discourteous word, and whatever course was finally adopted it has always been made unanimous. One other item is worth noting. For the past three years the Sunday school enrollment has been larger than the church membership, but for the past four months the average attendance at Sunday school has been larger than the resident membership of the church.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, February 14, 1901, pages 206-207]

--The Addison Avenue Church, Nashville, of which Rev. James E. Clarke is pastor, makes the pleasing announcement that within three months it will be entirely out of debt, its handsome lot paid for, and the cottage in which it worships much enlarged and improved. The building of a house of worship will doubtless come right early thereafter.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 11, 1901, page 468]

Addison Avenue, Nashville, Tenn.
--Rev. James E. Clarke, pastor, left with his family July 1 for a two months' vacation at Port Chester, N.Y., the home of his father. His pulpit will be supplied during his absence by Rev. G. D. Robinson and other Nashville ministers. Sunday, June 30, this church witnessed the ceremony of the burning of every note it has ever owed for the handsome lot upon which stands its modest but now commodious and internally beautiful house of worship. The last payment has just been made, the total cost of the lot, which is on an attractive street corner and is 100 x 100 feet, has been $5,700. The pastor officiated; a representative of the Ladies' Aid Society held the vessel in which were the canceled notes, the treasurer of the church applied the match, and Rev. Ira Landrith, who was supplying the church when the lot was purchased, led the prayer of thanksgiving. The Lord's Supper was then administered, Rev. John A. McKamy assisting the pastor.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, July 4, 1901, page 852]

Addison Ave., Nashville, Tenn.--On the first Sunday in December the fourth anniversary of the pastorate of Rev. J. E. Clarke was celebrated by this church. Two features which marked the occasion were the largest Sunday school attendance and the largest foreign missionary offering in the history of the church, the former being 177 and the latter nearly $90. During Mr. Clarke's pastorate the church has had a slow but steady growth, ninety-seven members having been received during the four years, though nearly two-thirds of that number have moved away. The church was six years old on November 25.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, December 12, 1901, page 1546]

Addison Avenue, Nashville, Tenn.
--The Missionary Society of the Addison Avenue Church recently celebrated the close of the best year of its history by a social afternoon at the home of Mrs. Thomas Taylor. A most interesting feature came as a surprise to the honored president, Mrs. N. G. White, who, at the close of the gathering, was presented with a life membership in the Woman's Board.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 9, 1902, page 52]



As a result of difference of opinion with reference to union, about twenty members of the Addison Ave. Church in Nashville have renounced the jurisdiction of the session and organized themselves into a "Loyal Cumberland Presbyterian Church," claiming to be the Addison Avenue Church. Assuming to be the church, these members, through officers elected by them demanded the church property for their uses. Being refused, they arranged with the Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church (Southern) to unite with its Sunday school and hold services in its building on Sunday afternoons.

This congregation has had some trouble over the union question for two years. It has been an open secret that anti-unionists were making strenuous efforts to control it because several prominent union leaders were identified with it. Friction resulted on several occasions, but until last fall the session was a unit on standing for the interests of the local church and prevented any division. Last fall, in order to be fair to the anti-union sentiment known to exist in the congregation, the session recommended for election to eldership two new elders who were known to oppose union, and one whose position was unknown and unasked. With these additions to its ranks, the session still stood solidly for the interests of the local church until last spring. By that time anti-union agitation had aroused considerable feeling and restlessness, and the session decided that some action must be taken. On the initiative of Mr. Slemons, an anti-union elder, a paper was unanimously adopted by the session and was informally endorsed by both parties in the membership, the substance of which was as follows: That it was known that the question was to be appealed to the civil courts; that if the civil courts decided in favor of the anti-unionists the congregation would still be a Cumberland Presbyterian Church; that if the decision was in favor of the unionists the congregation would be a Presbyterian Church; that both parties agree to abide by the final decision of the civil courts; that until the question was finally decided on its merits, all would respect the action of the General Assembly, whatever that action might be. This action was taken early in May.

In June, after the Assembly had acted consummating union, the elders found that there was still discontent in the church and that some anti-union members remained away from the services and would not contribute to the expenses of the church, and that if the church would do aggressive work the condition must be remedied. A letter to the members was therefore prepared and introduced in the session. It quoted the agreement entered into in May; reminded the members that the agreement was that all should abide the decision of the Assembly until the question was settled in the civil courts; pointed out that, therefore, the union question was no longer before the congregation; and called upon all members to cease discussing that question and to co-operate in active service. It concluded by urging that no member withdraw from the church, but insisted that if any would not co-operate and remained only to cause disturbance, it would be better for such an one to withdraw. When this was introduced in the session, the two anti-union members voted against it, and then left the meeting somewhat unceremoniously.

From that time until September 2 most of the anti-unionists had little to do with the church. On Sunday, September 2, just a few minutes before the hour for morning service, a number of anti-unionists (all having been urged to come by circular letter) appeared at the church and their representatives requested the use of the building after the service, letting it be known that their purpose was to organize, elect new elders, and select a delegate to presbytery. After brief discussion, the session declined to permit the use of the building for such purposes. The anti-unionists remained quietly until the end of the service, and then announced that they would hold a meeting in the primary room. No effort was made to prevent them from doing so.

The meeting was held. The two elders and the congregation elected four additional elders, two of them no being present, and chose a representative to presbytery. They reported twenty-six persons in attendance. Some of these were not members of the Addison Avenue Church and several were children. The session knew positively of only twelve adult members who participated in the organization. In the afternoon a meeting of the session was held and, as these twelve were known to have renounced the church and proclaimed their allegiance to another organization, the session dropped their names from the roll of the congregation, under the provisions of chapter 7, section 52, of the Book of Discipline.

During the following week the anti-unionists met and adopted a paper which was sent to the moderator and clerk of session and to the Sunday school superintendent. Assuming to be the true session, they notified the moderator, Dr. J. V. Stephens, and Superintendent Axtell that other arrangements had been made for the conduct of the Sunday school and preaching service on the next Sabbath, and requested them to vacate. They also notified the session clerk that a new clerk had been chosen and requested that the church books be delivered to the latter. The session met and replied to this document, declining to comply with its requirements and requests. Both parties announced services on Sunday, September 9, and the newspapers predicted a clash on that day.

No clash came, however, On Saturday night the anti-unionists requested the session of the Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church (Southern) for the use of their building for a service on Sunday afternoon. The request was granted. A number of the anti-unionists attended the Sunday school of the Moore Memorial Church, and they held a meeting there in the afternoon. It was announced in the Nashville papers, that the session of Moore Memorial Church had invited the anti-unionists to use their building, but this is incorrect. The anti-unionists made formal request, which was granted.

The withdrawal of these members does not appreciably weaken the Addison Avenue church. The attendance on the Sunday school last Sunday was just three below the average for July and August. It is thought that there are some other members who will withdraw, particularly several children. Those who have borne the burden and heat of building up this young church remain with it, with two or three exceptions.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, September 13, 1906, page 337 - publication in the hands of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. at this time]

Addison Avenue Church, Nashville, Tenn.--The Addison Avenue Church building has been rented to the opponents of union, formerly a part of the Addison Avenue congregation. Our members are temporarily worshiping with the First Church, Nashville, though maintaining their separate organization. About one-fourth of the Addison Avenue congregation was opposed to union. After the Assembly they demanded the church property, and there has been considerable local contention. After the recent decision of Judge Bearden permitting each party to have half time in three Tennessee churches, the Addison Avenue anti-unionists announced their intention of petitioning the judge to make a similar order with reference to Addison Avenue. Our people, unwilling to have further contention, and believing that half time for each side would make it impossible for either side to do real Christian work in the community, proposed to the anti-unionists that one side use the building for the whole time, paying the other side a certain rental and agreeing to keep up all the expenses of the church. The anti-unionists were given the option of taking the church if they chose. They selected this option and entered upon possession last Sunday. The arrangement will continue until the Tennessee suit is settled in the Supreme Court, when the property will go to that side which wins the suit. While not a satisfactory arrangement, it is considered far better than to have two parties using the same building, thereby giving occasion for friction and continued disturbance. It is felt also that having a good building at this disposal the opponents of union in Nashville--for altogether they make no more than one good congregation--will have no excuse for interfering with the other churches. While not the most satisfactory arrangement for the Addison Avenue people it is considered by far the best arrangement for the sake of the cause at large in Nashville, and the Addison Avenue members have been ready to make any personal sacrifice necessary for the sake of the general cause.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 18, 1906, page 505 - publication in the hands of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. at this time]


Cumberland Presbyterians Unite in Celebrating Two Churches' Progress
Edgefield Members Adopt Plan to Pay Debt; Two Sermons Feature Sunday Program.

Uniting in a "jubilee" service, Cumberland Presbyterian churches of Nashville held a meeting Sunday afternoon at the First church. The occasion was in celebration of clearance of debt from the property of two of the strong churches of the Lebanon Presbytery, Edgefield and Addison avenue.

Under the pastorate of the Rev. B. F. Guinn, the Edgefield church adopted a definite plan for liquidating the church's indebtedness, one feature of which was payment by every member of 10 cents each. The Addison avenue church under the leadership of the Rev. Robert C. Alexander, received several large subscriptions.

The meeting was presided over by the Rev. B. F. Guinn. Special music was rendered by Mrs. N. Hawkins, of the Edgefield church and the united choirs of the First, Addison avenue, and Edgefield churches.

As the voluntary, Chopin's Prelude was rendered by Mrs. S. L. Miller, the pianist of the First church, "Onward, Christian Soldiers," was sung by the audience. The opening prayer was by the Rev. Leon Hooper, the pastor of the Watkin's Park church, and moderator of Lebanon Presbytery. The "Coronation" hymn was sung.

The scripture lesson was read by the Rev. Robert C. Alexander, from Psalms, 95-96. Prayer of thanksgiving was led by the Rev. Mr. Guinn.

Two Deliver Addresses

The addresses of the afternoon were delivered by the Rev. J. W. Dishman, who fills the chair of Bible Study at Bethel College at McKenzie, under endowment of the Woman's Board of Missions; and the Rev. Hugh McCord, former moderator of the general assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and traveling secretary for the budget and tithing.

Speaking on "A Cumberland Presbyterian Jubilee," Mr. Dishman said, in part:

"The jubilee was instituted in Jewish times in recognition to God, when debts were wiped out and a year of rejoicing followed.

"I am happy at the removal of debt from these churches. I helped to organize the Edgefield church, when Dr. Kirkpatrick was its pastor, and Judge John Frizzell its superintendent of Sunday school. I helped organize the church at Watkins park and joined Presbytery at the First church.

"I have no patience in being satisfied with what you do. Yet, our hearts rejoice at the success we have made. Here we can set up the stone."

The united chorus rendered the anthem: "Come and Worship the Lord."

Points to Future Program

Speaking on "The Future Cumberland Presbyterian Church," Mr. McCord said in part:

"We ministers would often do better if we would advise with our elders. The future of the church is wrapped up in today's membership.

"If there is no right vision the church cannot live. Any sect which loses its vision of the Divine program perishes.

"Four features of vision must be if we are to carry on: First, the missionary spirit, living for the future. The Cumberland Presbyterian church must set up the standard of a missionary sentiment. Letting this expression to God show our interest in the missionary movement, we must turn to the widest open fields to do missionary work in the home land. I am depending on you to join with me for the country church.

"An evangelistic vision. Our church was born in a revival. We should burn the old fires until they burn out the sin. We ought to organize the evangelistic effort. Some men are called to do evangelistic work. These ought to be placed on a regular salary.

"The educational vision. Some times we are charged with not being in favor of an educated ministry. We believe in an educated ministry and an educated laity.

"A financial vision. Let us look up into the face of God and say: 'Thy plan of meeting financial problems shall be obeyed.' If we have the proper financial vision the missionary program will be taken care of. It is not because young men and young women are unwilling to go. The evangelistic program will go on. God pity us, who believe in a 'whosoever-will Gospel, and deny them the financial help they must have. God's plans cannot fail, neither his promises."

After the doxology the benediction was said by the Rev. S. A. Sadler, the pastor of the Grandview church.
[Source: Nashville Tennessean, August 11, 1924, page 10]


Addison Avenue, Nashville

It was our good fortune and great pleasure to enjoy a season of revival services conducted by the Revs. Paul F. Brown and T.C. Stockton, September 9-16. The visible results were eight uniting with the church--four by profession of faith and four by letter.

These men endeared themselves to the hearts of the people by their earnest efforts. Brother Brown preached in a clear, convincing, forceful manner, while Brother Stockton sang the gospel in a most earnest and pleasing manner. It is the universal desire to have them with us again. We commend them highly to any church desiring to have a real, spiritual, revival, and our prayers follow them upon their mission.
W. H. McLeskey, pastor.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 18, 1945, page 14]



Announcement has been made that the Addison Avenue church, Nashville, has recently purchased a new location for its church at the corner of Clifton Avenue and Granny White Pike.

On the new property is a fourteen room house and also other buildings which the church expects to remodel for use before it will erect a new building. The new location for the church consists of three and one-half acres of land, is located in a growing community, and is accessible to adequate bus service.

The old church property at the corner of 17th and McGavock has been sold, and the congregation expects to move into its new quarters about November 1. The church whose minister is Rev. Turner N. Clinard, has been seeking to relocate for a number of years.

It is expected that a new sanctuary will be erected on the new location in the not-too-distant future.

A large number of the families of the church live in the neighborhood near the new location.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 15, 1950, page 3]



While awaiting possession of its new property, the Addison Ave., church, Nashville, is conducting its services in the Clemons school in the Waverly-Belmont community. The church sold its old property at 17th and McGavock, giving possession to it on November 1 with the expectation that its new property at Clifton Lane and Granny White Pike would be available then. Delay in getting possession of the new property has made it necessary for the services to be held temporarily in the school building.

Rev. Turner N. Clinard is minister of the church.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 2, 1951, page 3]

Rev. Turner Clinard read a resolution from the Addison Avenue Church asking that the name of that congregation be changed from Addison Avenue to Brookhaven. Same was concurred in by the Presbytery. Appendix A.


Resolution from Addison Avenue Congregation

1. Whereas by majority vote of the congregation Addison Avenue Church on Sunday, January 13, 1952 chose the name Brookhaven to replace the name Addison Avenue, and

2. Whereas, by unanimous vote of the congregation on the aforementioned date the name Brookhaven was proposed to Lebanon Presbytery as the new name for the congregation, (see minutes of Congregation Meeting in Session Record Book)

3. Therefore, be it resolved that Lebanon Presbytery in session at Edgefield Church this 8th day of April, 1952, concur in the action of the Addison Avenue congregation on January 13, 1952, and that the name of that congregation be officially changed in the records of the Presbytery as of this date to Brookhaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Respectfully submitted,
R. E. Cleghern, Elder and representative of Congregation,
Turner N. Clinard, Minister.

[Source: Minutes of the Lebanon Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, April 8, 1952, pages 5 & 8]

Session Records on Deposit in the Archives

Original Volumes

May 14, 1922 - September 20, 1925
October 11, 1925 - September 4, 1931
November 6, 1931 - December 29, 1936
January 19, 1937 - December 6, 1942
January 10, 1943 - January 13, 1950
March 10, 1950 - January 13, 1952


Updated April 24, 2008

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