Walnut Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a small, but very old historic church. The church was founded on July 19, 1847 when Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Sears deeded land for a church building to the Walnut Grove Society of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church near New Hope, Alabama for one penny. The original church building was burned on May 29, 1862 by the Union Army. A walnut tree still stands on the grounds bearing the scars of where it was burned on one side when the church was burned. The church building that now stands on the original site is more than 130 years old. Sunday school rooms were added to the church in 1956. Restroom facilities were added in 1967, followed by the fellowship hall in 1975. The church was restored in the mid-1990s to reveal the original tongue and groove wooden walls. Two different patterns of wallpaper were discovered during the renovations. Central heating and air conditioning were added during the restoration process for comfort.
The first missionary from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to the Madison County area was Robert Donnell. He is considered to be the greatest evangelist of the early history of our church and responsible for the establishment of most of the churches in the Robert Donnell Presbytery. Church records dating back to 1886 are on file at the church. These records show several great evangelists of the era, including the "Sleeping Preacher," Rev. Sanders, who saw visions and could locate missing articles. He preached some of his greatest sermons during these visions.
Session Records on deposit in the archives:
March 27, 1886 - September 9, 1956 [original volume]