First Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Livingston, Overton County, Tennessee

First Cumberland Presbyterian Church
110 Byrdstown Highway
PO Box 474
Livingston, TN 38570
(931) 823-5115

The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Livingston began as a mission fellowship of the Cookville Presbyterial Board of Missions and Evangelism. Cookeville Presbytery purchased the old Methodist church building on North Church Street at Henson. The first service to be held in this building was on Sunday, May 20, 1956, when Mr. Charles L. Lehning, Jr., President of the Board of Missions of Cookeville Presbytery, presided and taught the Sunday school class at 10 o'clock. Mr. Lehning also presided at the 11 o'clock service while the missionary pastor, Rev. Horace Snipes, preached the sermon, "Co-workers With God."

This group functioned as a fellowship under the direction of Cookeville Presbytery until Nov. 18, 1956. Rev. A.D. Salisbury, Jr. preached the sermon on that day and the pastor, Rev. Horace Snipes received 25 members and declared the group a constituted church to be known as the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. There were 87 present for this service. Charter members were: B.S. Ashburn, E.C. Atnip, S.A. Bilbrey, Eula Bilbrey, Ella Brady, Malissa Brown, Cleo Carr, Rebecca Crawford, Billy Griffin, Frank Griffin, Hazel Griffin, Laura Hammons, Walter Hammons, Julia Hawkins, Marlin C. Hill, Belle Lee, Adeline Linder, R. Linder, Anna Ruth Little, Verna H. Little, W.T. Moody, Minnie Taylor, Martha Snipes, Benton Vaughn, and Orangie Vaughn. The first elders were: S.A. Bilbrey, V.A. Little and J.R. Linder.

The Livingston Church was received into Cookeville Presbytery at a called meeting of the presbytery in Livingston on December 17, 1956, at which time the presbytery voted to make the down payment on a manse at 813 Oak Heights Drive.

The down-town property was sold in 1960 and the church met in the VFW building for a while. In the fall of 1961 a lot was purchased at the corner of East Main Street at Hillcrest. Construction of the new church began in the spring of 1962. The building was about half finished when a storm flattened it to the ground. Reconstruction began immediately. The first service to be held in the new building was in the basement on Nov. 4, 1962. The cornerstone was laid that afternoon. Construction continued and the sanctuary was completed in 1964. Pastors who have served the church are: Horace Snipes, L.E. Baird, Walter James, Fred Q. Burton, Robert E. Esch, and Newsome Harvey who was pastor in 1980. Anna Ruth Little was session clerk in 1980.

[Source: A New Presbytery is Born: A Brief History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Churches of Murfreesboro Presbytery. Compiled by Charles and Eleanor Murray. Printed by Franklin County Publishing Co., Inc., 1981, pages 50-51]