McAdow Memorial Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Burns, Dickson County, Tennessee


formerly Bethlehem Cumberland Presbyterian Church 1890-1907



Between the years of 1888 and 1890, people came from far and near and camped on the grounds around the McAdow home in the little valley four miles north of Burns, Tennessee. Revivals were held, and thus came the name of "Camp Ground."

On October 5, 1890, in Burns, Tennessee, the session met at the home of F. M. Porter at 5 o'clock p.m. with elders R. A. Johnson and A. N. Tompson. W. E. Jones was moderator. Other elders appointed were Ed Sager, Alfred Tucker and J. A. Dugan with H. N. Johnson as Deacon.

Along about this time the congregation began meeting in the old log school house of Bethlehem and was called Bethlehem congregation.

In 1891 the first church was being built on the site of the church birthplace at Samuel McAdow's home. The architect was W. E. Smith of Nashville. During the years between 1890 and 1896 the Rev. W. M. Cooley was pastor, with members meeting in homes. On March 11, 1896, the Bethlehem congregation moved from Burns to the site of the birthplace of the Cumberland [Presbyterian] Church. On August 28, 1901, with A. G. Castleman as moderator, the church met, with Rev. B. M. Taylor of Texas acting moderator by request, and all members of the church present.

A. N. Thompson, Jr., and V. J. Eleazer were elected elders, along with former elders, with V. J. Eleazer elected Clerk of the session. It was voted to adopt the name of the McAdow Memorial Church, and a petition to be presented to the Presbytery. In 1901 Rev. S. T. Larkins was elected pastor of the new church. In 1907 the name of the church changed to McAdow Memorial when the Presbytery met at Mt. Denson in Robertson County, Tennessee, on October 15. In 1908 Rev. B. B. Larkins was pastor.

Over the years until 1939 the pastors were Rev. J. E. Powers, Rev. T. H. Padgett, Rev. W. N. Woodson, Rev. G. W. Philips, Rev. W. A. Blades, Rev. J. A. Dillard, and Rev. Z. N. Clinard. Rev. A. H. Sykes was pastor in 1939 when the old church disbanded for the reason that families moved away when the surrounding land became a park.

The elders over the many years were John V. Jackson, R. A.Johnson, T. M. Porter, A. N. Thompson, V. J. Eleazer, A. N. Thompson Jr., E. A. Sullivan, W. R. and J. H. Eleazer, Zula Eleazer, Ed Thompson, Edward Jr. Thompson, and J. H. Bryant. The deacons were T. O. Bedford, Miss Dora Gentry, W. R. Eleazer, Ed Thompson, Zula and Venessa Eleazer. Clerks of the session were T. M. Porter, V. J. Eleazer and Ruth Eleazer.

After 1939 the old church building and manse were torn down and a log cabin representing the Samuel McAdow home was built on the site.
[Source: Taken from an article by Ruth Eleazer in The Dickson County Herald, November 12, 1970]


The congregation of the old McAdow Memorial Cumberland Presbyterian Church near Burns gathered for this photograph in September 1899.

Pictured above are (left to right): left window, Bill Hall, doorway George Sullivan, Will Eleazer, Dee Jackson, Minor Eleazer, right window, Alice Cox, Charlie Cox;
standing, back row, Frank Larkins, Faustina Larkins, Palestine Sullivan, Dora Gentry, Grigsby Stuart, Harriet Richardson, Morton Richardson, Arizona Hall, Aunt Willie Jackson, Uncle John Jackson, Winnie Hall, Earnest Sullivan, Mattie Richardson, Leonard Harris, Lida Richardson, Goldie Hall, baby, Aunt Jane Gentry, Wash Sullivan;
second row Minna Hall, Andrew Hall, Ben Hutton, Greech, Tennie Sullivan, Unknown, Alice Richardson, Mary Gentry, Cynthia Sullivan, John Sullivan, Mrs. Luranie Richardson, Sam Austin, Mrs. Alice Sullivan, Mrs. Creech, Ben Creech;
front row, John Hutton, Albert Larkins, Walter Jackson, Edd Hutton, Herman Harris, Frank Larkins, Ammon Eleazer, Wade Eleazer, Ila Eleazer, Jim Eleazer, Addie Hutton, Campbell McCutchen, Mrs. Ada McCutchen.

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Updated August 17, 2011