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
Transfer of Old Union Church Building
|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
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)
1973 Murfreesboro Presbytery Resolution
Appendix K -- Board
(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
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
|From page 18:
Submitted: The Board of Missions
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.
From page 12:
Report #2 of the Board of Missions was
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)