CHURCHES Of
HENDERSON COUNTY TN


Antioch / Holly Hill Church
Barren Springs Baptist Church (Reagan)
Bible Grove Missionary Baptist Church
Big Springs Presbyterian Church
Browns Pentecostal Church
Calvary Missionary Baptist Church (Long Sought)
Center Hill Little Rock Baptist Church
Central Grove Missionary Baptist Church
Chapel Hill Church
Christian Chapel Church of Christ
Church of Church (Bargerton)
Corinth Church
Doe Creek One-Room Church/School - Scotts Hill
Dukes Chapel
Dyer Chapel Church of Christ (Lexington)
Ebenezer Church
First Baptist Church Lexington
First Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Lexington)
First Methodist Church (Lexington)
Jack's Creek Missionary Baptist Church
Judson Missionary Baptist Church
Keys Chapel United Methodist Church
Liberty Church
Mazies Chapel Missionary Baptist Church (Lexington)
Mt. Ararat
Mt. Calvary Church (Lexington)
Mt. Gilead Baptist Church (Cedar Grove)
Mt. Gilead Cumberland Presbyterian (Shady Hill)
Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church
Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church


New Bethel Methodist Church
Oak Grove Baptist
Oak Grove Methodist - Lexington Alberton
Old Bethel Cemetery - Lexington
Palestine Cumberland Church - Lexington
Palestine Pentecostal Church - Lexington
Piney Creek Baptist Church
Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church
Poplar Springs Baptist Church
Poplar Springs Methodist Church
Prospect Church - Sardis
Ridley Church
Rock Hill Baptist Church (Lexington)
Scotts Hill - Austin Chapel
Shady Grove Methodist Church
Shiloh Baptist Church
St. Andrews Catholic Church
Stone Pentecostal Church
Stringtown Pentecostal Church
Union Grove Baptist Church
Union Hill Missionary Baptist Church
United Methodist - Scotts Hill
United Methodist Church (Shady Hill)


The Reverend John Carrant, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, is thought to have been the first recorded ordained minister. Traveling on horseback, he preached in homes and under brush arbors. Other early ministers in Henderson County were John Darnett and John Barrett, also Cumberland Presbyterians. Methodists soon followed with much enthusiasm, winning many converts. The Missionary Baptists, Free Will Baptists, and Primitive Baptists came next. Among the first organized churches were a Baptist church in 1827, at what is now known as Old Jack's Creek, and a Primitive Baptist church, organized at Mud Creek near the Carroll County line in 1830. A community building was constructed near the present Beech River cemetery between 1825 and 1830, and all denominations worshipped there.

In 1824, G. H. Buck, a devout Cumberland Presbyterian leader, settled on what is known as the Odell Buck farm. Through Buck's efforts, the Mt. Gilead Church near Shady Hill was organized in 1826. It is still an active church although the membership has dwindled. Buck helped to organize revivals in various parts of the county which led to the establishment of other churches.

Palestine Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in 1837 or 1838 but did not affiliate with the presbytery for several years. The Reverend Henry Wadley was instrumental in the organization of the church and was its first pastor. A dedicated man, he died in the pulpit of this church and was buried in its cemetery. On his tombstone is inscribed, "Died In The Service."Other leaders of this church were Elias Stewart, his sons, and J. L. and S. E. Britt. A few years later, Big Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized only three miles northwest of Palestine. The McAdamses and Wallaces were the leading families in its organization.

Among Methodist ministers preaching in the county were the Reverends Renshaw, J. Kelly, and R. S. Swift; no official records verify the presence of others. The first Methodist church was built near the mouth of Olive Branch in the northern part of the county. This log church was constructed on a two­acre lot deeded by Solomon Milam to Ramson Cunningham, John Cooper, J ames Hart, and Thomas Johnson on July 9, 1832. . Early members of this group, as recorded in 1887 by the Weston A. Goodspeed Company, were Elizabeth Ewing, who joined at Knoxville in 1824 and later moved to Lexington, joining the church there; R. B. Jones in 1839 with Renshaw; Mrs. A. A. Warren in 1838 with J. Kelly; and Bettie Bell and E. E. Smith with Swift in 1840.

Shady Grove was another of the early Methodist churches. It was established between 1835 and 1840 and was a well-known campground. Among those connected with this church were the Cogdills, Corbets, Hamlets, Hunts, Renshaws, Sherwoods, and Youngs. Methodist churches were also established at Holly Springs in 1845, New Prospect in 1850, and Bethel at about the same time.

The first Missionary Baptist church was built in Lexington in 1847; however, an organized membership existed as early as 1842. The exact location of this church is unknown; according to papers kept by the late Will Lawler, it was possibly near the current site of Jones Machine Shop. The first church structure stood until the Civil War, when by "neglect it fell into decay." In 1880, a lot was purchased fromJ.S. Fielder and a brick building was erected.

A Baptist church was built at Chapel Hill in 1846 when the community was thriving with a post office, two stores, a blacksmith shop, a gin and a saloon. A Missionary Baptist church was built at Hepzibah in 1847, at Ridge Grove in 1842 and at Union in 1842. The Union Church was originally erected as a place of worship for any denomination, hence the name, Union. Soon thereafter, it became a Missionary Baptist church and over the years has grown into an outstanding rural church.

Excerpt from the book "Tennessee County Histories" G. Tillman Stewart

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