Erin Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Erin, TN 37061
On Jan. 1, 1880 in the Old Union Church at Erin Station, the Erin Congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was temporarily organized with a view to erect a house of worship and to effect a permanent organization in the near future. To accomplish this purpose the following joined as members: J. W. Brigham, James Breeden, L. C. Allman, C. E. McAuley, Nattie Hopper, Elnora Hollister, Mary F. Buquo, Richard Hooper, D. Nichols, O. P. Nichols, G. W. Buquo, Mary Jane Buquo, J. B. Boone, J. T. Rushing, Sarah Brigham, W. L. Brigham, Leacy Allman, Sallie Abernathy, Nancy J. Allen, Nora N. Allman, Emma Nichols, S. E. Nichols, Betty Brigham, and J. T. Brigham. Elected and ordained as elders were H. H. Buquo, C. E. McAuley, and Robert A. Wingo. The Rev. Albert Marshall Taylor was called to be the first minister. (The Rev. Taylor was the grandfather of Carlene Taylor Seay.)
Plans for a new house of worship for the Erin congregation began to be formulated. Mr. and Mrs. McKendrie Hollister gave a lot for the building. (Mr. and Mrs. Hollister were the grandparents of Anne Spencer Rye.) The new church was to be of brick. The Rev. A. M. Taylor and several other men met on Main Street at the present site of the Sarah Hart home to make the brick. There was a large beech tree with a spring underneath that afforded water for the project. The Rev. Taylor furnished his team of horses and wagon. In the construction of the brick, the mortar was made in a large vat with tongues of wood attached to the horses. As the horses moved around the brick mixture was stirred. When it became the correct consistency to mold, the mixture was poured into wood frames and set aside to harden. When several hundred bricks were molded they would be loaded on the wagon and the Rev. Taylor would proceed to the church site.
The actual building of the church began in August 1880 and was built as economically as possible. The building is of red brick and is 34 by 58 feet on the outside and 90 feet from the ground to the top of the spire. It is built on a good rock foundation with 18-inch walls and the roof is of slate. Inside, the structure is 19 feet from floor to ceiling and the sanctuary will seat 300 people. The windows are of beautiful stained glass. Upon completion the cost came to $2,432.40.
April 9, 1882 was Easter Sunday and the congregation met in their new church which by the will of Kind Providence that had been able to erect and nearly complete. At the close of the service 30 ladies and gentlemen joined as members. G. W. Buquo and W. L. Brigham were elected and ordained as elders. M. F. Shelton, M. C. Powers, W. C. Shelton and G. F. Connell were elected and ordained as deacons. S. A. Sizemore, M. S. Broaddus and Mary Jane Buquo were elected and ordained as deaconesses.
At the June 10, 1882 session meeting the deacons reported the total audit raised for the minister, including schooling of children to be $20.50. The minister was to be paid $16.66 per month as salary. It was ordered that prayer meeting be held in accordance with the song service each Wednesday night at the church. At a later session meeting the day of Aug. 27, 1882 was set for dedicating the church. The sermon for the dedication service was preached by the Rev. J. M. Gill of Elkton, Kentucky. The Rev. A. M. Taylor and the Rev. D. A. Brigham assisted in the service where more than 500 people were in attendance.
As our forefathers sacrificed much to make this a house of worship, the member down through the years have labored to preserve it as a house of worship. This church has been blessed with excellent pastors, dedicated elders, and numerous people who have kept the stewardship promised by them to God as they became members of this church. At the present time (1995) the following serve as elders: Tilden Richardson, Carlene Seay, Maida Cook, Roland Roby, Wayne Richardson, and Myrtle Averitt. The Rev. Timothy Ferrell serves as pastor.
Time passes and with it comes change. This is true of our church. Throughout the years changes and additions have been made. The steeple had to be replace and a kitchen-fellowship area and rest rooms have been added. In the sanctuary we now have a wide center aisle and a new chancel and altar. We also enjoy central heat and cooling, padded pews and carpeted floors.
One hundred and fifteen years have passed since a dream of January 1880 began to materialize in August 1880 and became a lovely house of worship finished in 1882. The spire from this church can be seen from nearly every direction and just as our forefathers desired this to be a beacon inviting people to worship, we of the church today have the same desire. "This is God's House...A Place for Worship."
[Source: History of Houston County, Tennessee: History and Families. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1995, page 33]