Thomas H. Padgett

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1842 - 1926



We Need a Real Photograph


The following is the autobiography of the Rev. T. H. Padgett, who was for several years prior to his death a writer of the comments used in our Advanced Sunday-school quarterly:

I was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, December 19, 1842. My father's name was Gilbert Padgett. My mother's name was Millie Padgett. Her maiden name was Millie Chrismus.

We moved to East Tennessee, near Chattanooga, at Charleston, Bradley County, where I received a fairly good common school education. My chief delights and pastimes were books.

I was very happily married to Miss Nancy Ann Carmack, who was the mother of Mrs. Frank B. Ulbrich, who now lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

I completed the course in law at Cleveland, Tennessee, under Mayfield and Hoyles; practiced law in Charleston, Tennessee, for a while, but, feeling the call to the ministry, I gave up the law and entered the ministry in the Ocoee Presbytery. First charge was at Trenton, Dade County, Georgia, 18 miles south of Chattanooga. Since then I have preached at Corinth, Miss.; Tupelo, Miss.; Salem-Danvers, Ill.; Bowling Green, Mo.; Brinkley, Ark.; Dyersburg, Memphis and other places in Tennessee; built church in Memphis called the Tabernacle.

When the merger came, I was one of the loyal 106. Traveled in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, in the interest of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Later made a trip to Washington, D.C., and New York. Took a course in Hebrew while in New York, under the celebrated Fagnani.

Moved to Flintville, Tenn., in 1912. Taught school for a while, had a call to assist with the Sunday-school literature in 1913.

Was married to Mrs. Ophelia Riddle Hill, of Tullahoma, August 25, 1923.

T. H. Padgett.

Dr. Padgett completed his life's work April 17, 1926, retiring apparently as well as usual after having spent the day reading, writing as usual; but between 12 and 1 o'clock God saw fit to call him home. In a few moments he had gone, with no one present but his wife, who was his constant companion.

Mrs. Padgett

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, May 13, 1926, page 16]

Report of Stated Clerk on Mortuary

Elk Presbytery.--Rev. T. H. Padgett, Flintville, Tenn., retired, died April 18, 1926, aged about 82 years.

[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1926]


Rev. T. H. Padgett, one of our most beloved and aged ministers, died very suddenly at his home, Flintville, Tenn., April 18, 1926.

Brother Padgett had requested that at his death the writer should conduct his funeral service, and that his remains be laid to rest in the cemetery at Goshen, an old, historic church organized in 1811 and located four miles southeast of Winchester, Tenn. We conducted this service in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Flintville, where a large congregation of friends had assembled and in many ways manifested their love and appreciation for him, whom they regarded as a true friend and a safe spiritual advisor. Appropriate talks were made by Revs. F. M. Copeland and G. W. Gentry and the pastor of the M.E. Church, also Prof. John Baxter, principal of the high school, who felt keenly the loss of a godly father in Israel. Many said, "He didn't only tell us, but he showed us how to live." We reached Goshen Church with the remains in the afternoon, where a large congregation were waiting, and conducted another service, then laid his manly form in the grave directly in front of the old church door. We feel that in his selection of this place to be buried, he has conferred an honor and a blessing on this church and community, for we are sure that a great man and a prince sleeps in our midst.

Brother Padgett was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, December 19, 1842, and moved with his parents when a child to Charleston, Bradley County, Tennessee, where he completed his education and soon after was happily married to Miss Nancy Ann Carmack, who preceded him to the grave many years ago. After completing a course in law and practicing for a time, he felt a divine call for a higher service, so he entered the ministry in the Ocoee Presbytery and served some of the best churches in our denomination. About 1900 he organized in Memphis, and was pastor of what was known as the Tabernacle, and during this time he was married to Mrs. Louise Cass, of that city, who lived only for the short period of three years. Brother Padgett was one of the loyal 106 at Decatur, Ill., and served as clerk of the General Assembly for a short time. Before leaving Memphis to take charge of our work at the birthplace of the Church, near Dickson, he was again married to a most noble Christian woman, Mrs. Ella Gaither, of Shady Grove Church, Williston, Tenn., who proved a loyal, devoted companion until called to her reward in 1922. He moved to Flintville, Tenn., in 1913, to teach a private school, and in the same year began to write the Sunday-school literature. He was a member of Elk Presbytery and a member of the committee on examination, in which capacity he served until his death. He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and no one ever needed to ask which side of a question he was on. Brother Padgett was married August 24, 1923, to Mrs. Ophelia Riddle Hill of Tullahoma, Tenn., who continued faithful to him till the last. One daughter, by the first marriage, Mrs. Frank B. Ulbrich, 812 Dixon Ave., Memphis, Tenn., who is very much the likeness of her father, remains to mourn the loss of a noble parent. We think of him as the Bible speaks of Enoch: "He walked with God, and is not, for God has taken him."
                                                                                                             J. W. Simmons.
     Winchester, Tenn.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 5, 1926, page 16]


"HE WALKED WITH GOD"--The epitaph on a modest granite monument in the cemetery of the old Goshen church near Winchester, Tenn. called to mind memories of two men of associations with a leader of the Church in the past.

The monument is at the grave of Rev. T. H. Padgett. Those recalling the association were Mr. Milton Stewart [left photo] of Chattanooga, Tenn. and Rev. J. E. Powers [right photo] of Flintville, Tenn.

Rev. Padgett was a leader of the church during a critical period in its history after 1906, being a pastor and writer. A book by him which was published by the Cumberland Presbyterian publishing house and had quite wide circulation was entitled "The Cumberland Presbyterian Church." It was a brief statement of the history and doctrine of the church. He was born in 1842 and died in April 1926.

During his early ministry, he served a church in Illinois and was the pastor of William Jennings Bryan, "the Great Commoner" and several times candidate for the presidency of the United States.

"He was a great teacher," said Mr. Stewart as he recalled the days he spent in the classroom with Mr. Padgett as the professor. Mr. Stewart remembered that the minister had visited the Goshen Cemetery shortly before his death and selected the place for his grave.

Rev. Mr. Powers remembered him as a "a great and good man."

The visit to the Padgett grave was during the recent meeting of Elk Presbytery.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 31, 1961, page 14]


Padgett, T. H. The Churches on Dancing. Memphis, Tennessee, Printed by the Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, Nashville, 1881.

Padgett, T. H. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Nashville, Tennessee: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, no date.

Padgett, T. H. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Salem, Illinois, Printed by the Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, Nashville, Tennessee, 1882.

Padgett, T. H. Why We Did Not Go. Tullahoma, Tennessee: Press of Cumberland Presbyterian Banner, 1910.

Padgett Family Information

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Updated October 28, 2014