Arlington was the first county seat in Houston County, Tennessee. It was established in 1871 and a courthouse was built. After the county seat was moved to Erin, a courthouse was built there and on Nov. 1, 1878, the court and records were moved to Erin.
Arlington Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized Nov. 22, 1885. The now vacant courthouse building was purchased and became the Arlington Cumberland Presbyterian Church and remains so today (1994).
The meeting to organize the church was conducted by the Rev. J. A. Allison. After Divine services and the solemn invocation of the Lord's blessing on the object of the meeting, the following names were enrolled as members of said congregation: From the Erin congregation by transfer: S. E. McMillan, N. C. McMillan, Betty McMillan, John Shemwell, J. K. Bone, Barney Wallace, R. E. Connell, Alford B. Connell, J. H. Pulley, W. H. Terrell, George Franklin Connell, Alice Connell, Barton Aquilla Roby, S. M. Slaughter, William Thomas McMillan, L. S. McMillan. From Wells Creek congregation: Eldora Ann Nichols, Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Knight, Thomas Terry Knight, and Laura Elizabeth Knight. Joining on profession of faith in Christ: B. M. Slaughter, George Wade Knight, William Henry Nichols, W. V. Pulley, Rush Bucannon, Sallie A. Miller, Georgia Florence Connell, and G. W. Slaughter. The latter eight received the ordinance of baptism. Elected, ordained and installed as Ruling Elders of said congregation: J. H. Pulley, George Franklin Connell, William Thomas McMillan, Barton Aquilla Roby, and W. H. Shemwell.
On March 9, 1902 the church was re-organized. Present were: The Rev. J. G. House with R. A. Wingo and C. E. McCauley. Enrolled members were: Greenbrier Wilson Roby, Barton Aquilla Roby, Sarah Horner, John Forrest McElroy, Willie Ann Bramlett McElroy, Isaac A. Etheridge, Margaret Victoria McElroy Etheridge, Georgia Florence Connell Newberry, Lillian Izora Connell, Zepheniah Reuben Frazier Roby, Thomas McElyea, John McElyea, Hetty McMillan, Nannie McQuerter, James N. Patton, Elizabeth Amanda Tuggle Patton, Lizzie McMillan, Rosie McMillan, W. R. Gray, Taylor Gray, Alice McMillan, Joseph Herrington, Parthenia Herrington, G. A. Weaks, Lillian Weaks, Ruth Lowrey, Robert Horace Knight, Mary Anne "Mollie" Taylor Knight, Eldora Ann Nichols Knight, Laura Elizabeth Knight Hopkins, Thomas Terry Knight, Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Knight, Isadore Haynes, Sallie McMillan, Henry Terrell, Mary Terrell, Nannie McMillan. The following were duly elected, ordained and installed as Ruling Elders: John Forrest McElroy, Thomas Terry Knight, and Barton Aquilla Roby.
The early church had a very strict code of conduct. Unchristian conduct could be anything from angry words, gossip to public drinking of whiskey. If there was any gossip about a member, a session committee would visit the subject until the matter was cleared up to the satisfaction of the church, if it was not, their name would be dropped from the church roll.
Elders from 1885 to 1994: (1885) J. H. Pulley, G. F. Connell, W. T. McMillan, B. A. Roby, Henry Shemwell; (1889) G. W. Slaughter, W. H. Terrell, William Henry Nichols, George Wade Knight; (1894) G. W. Roby, W. R. Gray, Zeph Roby; (1902) John Forrest McElroy, Thomas Terry Knight, T. G. Keenan; (1903); J. T. Shemwell, J. V. Gray; (1911) Robert Horace Knight; (1913) W. V. Whitworth, W. V. Pulley; (1915) Edgar McElroy; (1916) Claude Anderson Knight, Dossie Thomas Knight; (1923) J. R. Bramlett, Taylor Gray, W. P. Gier, George Baggett; (1928) William Benjamin Knight, O. T. Ross; (1940) Eldred Grady Knight; (1944) James Wade Knight; (1948) Ike Waggoner, Carl Wyatt, I. D. Lewis; (1952) John Cashion; (1954) Arthur Alsobrooks Jr.; (1957) Ed Brooks, Charles Knight, John Bryant; (1962) Billy Gene Allen; (1976) Gilbert Nichols, Dewain Pryor, Luke Davenport; (1984) Austin Baggett; (1992) Evelyn Joyce Knight Pryor, Terry Lewis; (1993) Susie Barnes Nance, Harold Eugene "Butch" Knight.
Many improvements and additions to the building have been made
through the years, including brick veneer on the outside, heating
and cooling system, Sunday School rooms, pastor's study, fellowship,
dining room, rest rooms and kitchen. The solid oak furniture with
upholstered pews and carpeting throughout were sponsored by the
Cumberland Presbyterian Women (Women's Missionary Circle). They
also had the lawn landscaped last year. The latest improvement
is a large parking lot. The Cumberland Presbyterian Women and
Elders are very active church workers and they work well together.
Welcome to this church and Sunday 11 a.m. worship service.
[Source: History of Houston County, Tennessee: History and Families. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1995, page 28]
New Elders in 2004 include: Jean Allen, Nelda Ellingson, and Derek Pryor
Recent improvements include: a tongue in groove ceiling to
replicate the original ceiling when the church was a courthouse,
eight new wooden chandeliers, a special door with a cross cutout
and window to see two ways, formal sanctuary choir robes and a
totally new sound system.
[Source: e-mail from Harold Knight February 2010]