CHURCHES Of
HENDERSON COUNTY TENNESSEE



First Cumberland Presbyterian Church

931 N. Broad St. P.O. Box 11

Lexington TN 38351

Rev. C. William Jones Jr. Pastor




As far as can be found, the earliest history of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Lexington, goes back to 1871, when Judge Levi Woods served as Elder. The earliest known building, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1913, stood on Front Street where the Lexington First Baptist Church parking lot is presently located. Three of the earliest pastors were Reverends Browley, Horn, and Mosely. It wasn't until 1939 did the church seek to become reorganized. Madison Presbytery purchased the property on Main Street that once belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church for the re-establishment of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

The new church was organized at a revival meeting on November 9, 1940. Rev. Howard C. Walton, pastor of the First CP Church in Jackson, held the revival, at which time those wishing to organize the church came forward. Those charter members were: Odell Buck, Myrtle Oakley, Mable Armstrong, R.L. Johnson, Effie Johnson, Henry and Hattie Laws, Francis Hemby, Tillman and Mildred Stewart, Winfred Lancaster, Bertie Mae Lancaster, Emma Gilliam, Vamel Taylor, Lee Cogdell, and Locie DerryBerry. Rev. John T. Buck was called as the first pastor. During those days, worship services were held on a half-time basis and Madison Presbytery supplemented Rev. Buck's salary. The presbytery gave financial assistance until the church could become self-sufficient.

Under the pastorate of Rev. W. E. Phillips, the church decided to relocate to Brown Street. The Main Street property was sold and the church held temporary services at Lexington High School.

The new building on Brown Street was completed and was dedicated August 11, 1957 with a special service. Rev. James Ransom was pastor at the time of the dedication.

In the early 1960s, the manse was built on Lakewood Drive. Rev. Don Coleman was one of the first ministers to reside there.

 This photo is the church as it appears today (September 2006).
 It is now the home of Mount Calvary Baptist.

In 1986, the church was given seven acres of land on Highway 22 North, in memory of the Daws Family. The purpose for this gift was for the relocation of the church. Seeing many obstacles to growth at the Brown Street location, the church explored the option of relocating. The process began in 1989 under the direction of Madison Presbytery and the Board of Missions. Rev. Jack Ferguson was pastor during this time. After many ups and downs in the building process, the present church at 931 North Broad Street was under construction in 1997. On June 13, 1998, the present building was dedicated. Rev. Mike Kays was pastor at the time of the relocation and dedication.

The church has had 19 pastors since 1940, which include the Reverends: John T. Buck (1940-45), Sidney Slaton (1945-46), Willard Murrie (1946-47), James Scoby (1947-49), Don Sweet (1950-51), Clinton Buck (1951-53), William Hall (1953-56), W.E. Philips (1956), James Ransom (1956-58), Charles Newbold (1958-61), Keith Atwell (1961), Don Coleman (1961-64), Julian Maxedon (1964-72), Jearl Hunley (1973-78), David Watson (1978-82), Jack Ferguson (1982-92), Jason Logan (1992-1995), Mike Kays (1995-1999), and our present pastor, C. William Jones, Jr. (2000-).

The congregation has 100 members on role, with an active membership of around 65. Nearly thirty people are active in Sunday School. The age of the congregation ranges from 2 months to 92 years young. The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church has undergone many changes and many relocations in our history. Our hope and prayer is that under the Lord's direction, the only move we make in the future is forward.

Written by Rev. C. William Jones

John Thomas Buck , first pastor of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Lexington after its re-organization, served from 1940 to 1945. He was born 29 September 1892 in Beech Bluff, Henderson County, Tennessee, his death occurred 3 February 1959 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN. John Thomas was married to Verner Martha Giles daughter of Nathaniel Calvin & Sarah Helen (Kelsey) Giles Jr. She was born 19 April 1889 and died 22 April 1967. Both are buried at Highland Memorial Gardens in Jackson, Madison Co. TN. John Thomas Buck was the son of Reuben Henry Harrison & Mary Ann (Bell) Buck both natives of Henderson County TN. Reuben and his wife are both buried at Maple Springs Cemetery in Henderson County. Reuben Buck was the son of Charles Henry (1818-1892) & Lydia (Lipe) Buck (1824-1910). Charles Henry Buck was the son of George Henry (1789-1875) & Martha Susannah (Neisler) Buck. George Henry Buck moved his family from N.C. to Henderson County TN about 1824. He helped to build the Mt. Gilead Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the Shady Hill area of Henderson County in 1831 and is listed as the first elder.

John Thomas Buck had a long and important history with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He also held pastorates at Birmingham, Columbus, Miss., New London, Iowa, Ramer, Tenn., Brunswick, Tenn., and Auburn, Ky. He had served as home missionary of West Tennessee Synod and for two years was executive secretary of the denomination's Board of Missions and Evangelism. At the 1958 General Assembly in Birmingham he was honored as Rural Minister of the Year. For a number of years he was a member of the denomination's old Board of Publication. John and his wife were parents of Thalia Buck Baird also a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister; Olivia Buck who was married twice, first to J. Beal Fesmire and 2nd to Sam Holcomb; Thelma Buck Wilson; John Thomas Buck Jr and Clinton Owen Buck also a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister. The Buck family has long been a part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Our Church is very proud of the Buck family and its association with us.

John Thomas Buck Obituary

Sidney Slaton, pastor during 1945-46 was the middle son in the family. Dorothy Slaton Struss used to call him Sid. He kept this shortening of his name and was known by his nieces and nephews as Uncle Sid. Sidney was born on December 4, 1911 near Powhatan, Louisiana, the son of Sidney & Ada (Caston) Slaton. His mother Ada (Caston) Slaton Bonds (24 March 1892 - 20 December 1969) was also a minister. Sidney wrote this about his mother. Sidney attended public schools in Mansfield, Louisiana and finished high school in May 1934. With the passing of his older brother in 1943, Sidney decided to stay home and help with the chores. Sidney did this and drove a school bus until 1937. It was in 1937 that Sidney entered the ministry at Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity degrees. He married Bobbie Jean Gray of Campti, Louisiana and became a parish minister in Elkton, Kentucky. During his marriage to Bobbie Jean, two girls were born, Linda and Lexine Slaton. Sidney died 25 January 1974 and is buried at Union Hill Cemetery, Union Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church Sykes Road, Smith County TN. His wife Bobby Jean born 30 October 1923 is probably still living. She is on the headstone with him.. but no death date.

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