The Heritage of Daniel Haston

 

1946-Present:  The Consolidated Church Era

Hickory Valley Presbyterian & Methodist -White Co, TN


History of Old Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church



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Hickory Valley Methodist & Presbyterian ChurchThe Hickory Valley Methodist and Presbyterian Church is a united congregation established in 1946 by the merger of three denominations -- United Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Presbyterian U.S.A.  The membership of these three congregations joined together as one community of faith and have worshiped and fellowshipped together for fifty years.  Through the years ministers from each denomination have served on a rotating basis each Sunday.  For many of our ministers pastoring a three-in-one congregation has been a unique, and, hopefully, a rewarding experience.

Prior to 1946, a small congregation of Methodists met in the Rogers' Chapel School building.  This was located at the intersection of Haston Road and Blackburn Mountain Road.  Through the years our Methodist sector has been a part of the Doyle, Caney Fork, and Sparta First charges.  Presently (1996), we are a part of the Sparta First charge and are served by the Rev. Donald Bailey.

Before the merger, the Presbyterian U.S.A. Church was known as the New Presbyterian Church and was located across from the J.M. Passons's residence.  While the present church was being built, all three congregations met for worship and Sunday School at the New Presbyterian Church.  Shortly after the merger in 1946, the New Presbyterian Church house was moved by the Presbytery to Blue Springs Presbyterian to be used as a community center.  We are not served by a Presbyterian minister at this time (1996).

The Cumberland Presbyterian congregation met in Old Union Church.  This church was organized about A.D. 1811 by Rev. William Barnett.  Spence Mitchell, Robert Gamble, and Jesse Scoggins were the first elders, and David Haston was first clerk.  The Rev. Richard Bond currently serves as our Cumberland Presbyterian minister (1996).

These three congregations combined their efforts and consolidated into one church in 1946.  The present church was built on land that was donated by W.R. and Irene Greene.  The deed for the land was registered on February 11, 1946.  Roy Hudgens built the church with the help of members.  Preliminary guidelines and proposals were developed with input from members of each congregation to govern them in this unification process.  The first meeting in the new church was held in April 1946.

Fifty years ago the members of three congregations realized the need to work together to better serve the Lord.  Their foresight and determination established a church that has served the needs of its members and the community through the years.  Three became one--united in a unique congregation.

Source:  50th Anniversary church directory (see cover above).


Rev. David Duggan's 1990 Comments

 
HICKORY VALLEY CHURCH:  Located in White County Tennessee near Sparta, the Hickory Valley Church is an excellent example of interdenominational cooperation.  Founded in 1947 the Hickory Valley Church arose out of the need by three small churches (too small to be self supporting) Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Presbyterian United, to maintain a local identity and have denominational influence.  The three churches pooled their resources, build a new church building and began again with a new hope, and a new vitality.

Source:  April 30, 1990 letter from David Duggan (stated supply Cumberland Presbyterian minister of the Hickory Valley Church) to Jane K. Williamson, Archivist of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church Historical Foundation.


Old Union Cemetery & Church Building

Old Union Cemetery Trust Fund
Sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, T.A. (Arliss) Passons led in the organization of a trust fund for the Old Union cemetery.  The goal, at that time, was to raise $5,000 in order to establish a perpetual care fund for the cemetery property.  In addition to T.A. Passons as chairman, the original committee consisted of George McBride, C. Ray Ward, J.M. Passons, and ________ (of Chattanooga).  In about 1969, upon the death of T.A. Passons, the committee asked Joe Wallace to replace Mr. Passons on the committee and to serve as the committee's chairman.

The fund has grown to a substantial amount of money and the cemetery's upkeep is paid out of the interest gained from the fund's investments.


Transfer of Old Union Church Building Ownership
In a Presbyterian denomination, local church property is owned by that church's governing presbytery.  Thus, even though the Old Union church building has not been in use since 1946, the building was still, for many years, owned by a Cumberland Presbyterian presbytery.  The McMinnville Presbytery owned the Old Union church property until that presbytery was dissolved in 1962, at which time ownership was transferred to the Murfreesboro Presbytery. 
 
Joe Wallace & Wayne Haston Conversation -- July 22, 2002
"T.A. (Arliss) Passons went to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church presbytery in Murfreesboro in the early 1960s* and asked them if they would sell the building.  They said, 'No.'  But they did give permission to use the building for business meetings [for the cemetery's trust fund organization], but asked them [the trust fund committee] to keep it up.  They [the cemetery trust fund committee] put new vinyl siding and a new roof on the building." 
 
*Note:  The Murfreesboro Presbytery resolution on this matter was recorded in April 1973.  Was Mr. Wallace mistaken about the date or did it take ten years or so for the presbytery to make their decision official?

"Three years ago, I called them and asked about purchasing the building and they didn't know anything about it.  They sent some men out with a camera and took some pictures.  Then they went to the archives and found no records of ownership.  They presented my request to the presbytery in October.  They then called me and agreed to sell it to us for $1.00.  I (jokingly) told them I didn't know if we could afford it.  They couldn't find the deed, but they allowed me to draw up a 'quick claim' deed for the building.  We then put new doors and windows on the building and added a new ceiling."

"Later, we went to Charles Hyder and asked to buy some land from him [from farm on west side of Old Union property].  They gave us a 50' strip in return for six graves for the Hyders."

Source:  Joe Wallace, Old Union Cemetery Trust Fund Chairman (July 22, 2002)

 
April 19, 1973 Murfreesboro Presbytery Resolution

Appendix K -- Board of Trustees

RESOLUTION

(This resolution was presented to Presbytery and on motion was adopted unanimously and on motion became an intergral [sic] part of the report of the Board of Trustees)

       I move you this body in regular session on this 19th day of April 1973 do hereby release its claim to any ownership and control of Old Union Church building, (White County) no longer in use by the church, to the authority of the few remaining members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the Consolidated Church in Hickory Valley, White County, Tennessee and authorize them to negotiate with the Union Cemetery Trust Fund Inc. Committee or Board of Directors for the care, control, and upkeep of the old building to be used for funerals and a place of assembly at the Annual Decoration and Homecoming of friends and relatives of those interested in this cemetery.
       This motion in no way involved the title or the control of the land on which the building is located.

       The report of the Board of Trustees was read.  A Resolution was presented at this time concerning releasing our claim on the Old Union Church in White County, near Sparta, Tennessee.  On motion the resolution was adopted unanimously.  On motion the resolution became an integral part of the report of the Board of Trustees of Murfreesboro Presbytery to become a part of the Minutes.  On motion the report with the resolution added was adopted, filed and marked (K).

Source:  Minutes of the Murfreesboro Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; Spring Meeting Commerce Congregation; April 19, 1973 (Reverend Mrs. Mable M. Esch, Stated Clerk).

 
October 7, 1999 Murfreesboro Presbytery Resolution
From page 18:

Submitted:  The Board of Missions

APPENDIX "E"
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF MISSIONS #2

3.  We have received a request that we deed property known as the Old Hickory Valley church to the Union Cemetery Trust Fund.
Recommendation #3:  That the property known as the Old Hickory Valley Church be sold to the Union Cemetery Trust Fund for one (1) dollar.  That their attorney Richard Sledd prepare the deed and perform a proper title search, and the [sic] when the deed is prepared the trustees of this presbytery be authorized to sign same.  Union Cemetery Trust fund will bear all expense in the deed preparation, title search, and filing of the deed.

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From page 12:

Report #2 of the Board of Missions was considered. 

Upon motion, Report #2 of the Board of Missions was accepted, it's [sic] recommendations as amended, was adopted, marked Appendix "E" and filed.

Source:  Minutes of Murfreesboro Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; Fall Meeting First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Smithville, TN; October 7, 1999  (Rev. Charles McCaskey, Stated Clerk)