One new congregation (St. Johns) taken under care of Presbytery.
[Source: Extracts from the Minutes of Charlotte Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, March 8, 1883, in The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 12, 1883, page 5]
The Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located about fifteen miles northeast of Waverly, Tennessee, on Turkey Creek of Humphreys County. Its present elders are: Anderson F. Carter, Walter Brown, and J. E. Petty.
The Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized on February 24, 1883, by Rev. H. N. Cooley. There were sixteen charter members: W. M. Carter, Henry Sykes, A. B. Cooper, S. G. Thomason, J. M. Allison, J. E. Sullivan, Asilee Allison, C. Carter, M. E. Carter, M. C. Hooper, A. Hooper, C. Hooper, M. I. Lockhart, E. E. Sykes, L. Sykes, and M. A. Thomason. The following elders were elected by the congregation: W. M. Carter, Henry Sykes, and A. B. Hooper. The first deacons were: J. M. Allison, and J. E. Sullivan. Soon after its organization the church joined Charlotte Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. [Minutes of the Session of the Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church Book I, pages not numbered]
The last official session meeting of this organization was dated October 8, 1921. [Minutes of the Session of the Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church Book I]. The church died out soon after this. [Anderson F. Carter-This information was received by the author in a personal interview on July 18, 1955].
The Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church was reorganized on September 21, 1947, by Rev. A. L. Thomas, in the saint John school. There were twenty-four charter members: Walter Brown, Ollie Brown, Catherine Brown, Owen Brown, Anderson F. Carter, Lula Carter, Doys Carter, Stella Carter, Lawrence Carter, Iona V. Carter, Rexie Carter, Vennie Carter, Vernon Carter, Herman Carter, Bobby Carter, Dalma Carter, George Damesworth, Wilma Damesworth, Lucy Durham, Leslie Hamilton, Ethel Hamilton, J. E. Petty, Obera Petty and Catherine Tripplett. The first elders of the new organization were: Anderson F. Carter, Walter Brown, and Rexie Carter. The first deacons were J. E. Petty and Lawrence Carter. [Minutes].
First building. In 1883, a one room framed building was built on the south side of Turkey Creek, Humphreys County, Tennessee. Those who served on the building committee were: A. B. Hooper, J. T. Carter, and S. G. Thomason. This building burned on February 17, 1936. [Minutes].
Second building. After its reorganization in 1947, the church met in the Saint John school until the second building was built. On November 20, 1948, the session appointed a "building finance committee." J. E. Petty, a charter member, said "I gave the lot for the church to be built on, giving the building committee permission to pick out their own building site from my farm." [J. E. Petty-This information was received by the author in a personal interview on July 18, 1955.] A one room framed building was built on the north side of Turkey Creek, just across the creek from the first location. The church was built in 1949, and was dedicated on November 6, 1949, by Rev. A. L. Thomas. [Minutes]
The following ministers have served the Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church: H. N. Cooley, 1883-1890; W. M. Cooley, 1892; B. B. Larkins, 1901-1902, A. F. Eddins, 1904; A. H. Sykes, 1905-1907; H. H. Binkley, 1908-1909; W. A. Blades, 1910-1911; H. H. Binkley, 1913; G. E. Danley, 1914-1916; H. H. Binkley, 1917-1918; A. T. Byrn, 1922-1923; [Minutes of the Cumberland Presbyterian General Assembly 1890-1923, (statistical tables)] A. L. Thomas, September, 1947-March, 1953; Newsome Harvey, June, 1953-September, 1954; James E. Garrett, October, 1954-August, 1955; and Bert Owen since September, 1955. [Minutes of the Session of the Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church Book I]
Sunday School. The first Sunday school was organized at Saint John on April 8, 1883. The session met the day before and ordered that all members be present in order to organize the school. [Minutes of the Session of the Saint John Cumberland Presbyterian Church Book I]
Presbytery. The Saint John church became a part of Clarksville Presbytery in 1899. [Minutes of the Tennessee Synod of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church October 17-20, 1899, pp. 47-48]. No record has been found of either Charlotte or Clarksville Presbytery meeting with the Saint John congregation.
Quarter-time program. The Saint John church has maintained a quarter-time program since its organization. [Anderson F. Carter interview]
[Source: Ollie Newsome Harvey. "A History of the Existing Churches of Clarksville Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church." B.D. Thesis. Cumberland Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1956, pages 134-137]
The church/school building burned in the thirties. Children of this community were transported to White's Chapel on Lower Turkey Creek or Greenbrier, if they lived on Upper Turkey Creek. There was no school or church house in this community until the flooding of Kentucky Lake.
After the flooding of Kentucky Lake, and new people had moved into this community, the neighbors rallied together and tore down the White's Chapel school/church building and moved it to Turkey Creek. This was in 1944.
The new people in the community now had a building for school and worship. Church services were held in this school building until 1947, when the new St. John building was completed.
Kentucky Lake did not make the community of Turkey Creek prosperous, but the exact reverse happened. People moved away into the cities where they could find employment.
And sadly enough, St. John disbanded once again October 2, 1972. The old building is still standing, a reminder of what can happen to any institution, when God is abandoned.
[Written by Catherine Brown Carter]
A photocopy of the Minutes of the Session 1883-1921, 1948-1965 is located in the
Library and Archives of the Historical Foundation of
the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
1978 Union Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38104
Susan Knight Gore, Archivist.
Please contact the archivist if you know the whereabouts of the original minutes.