Rootwalker--Sumner Co.--Shiloh Presbyterian Church

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History of Shiloh Presbyterian Church

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Sumner County
History of Shiloh Presbyterian Church

Originally transcribed by Alice Baker GUTHRIE, Gallatin, Tennessee--April 18, 1938.

     The Presbyterian faith was planted in Sumner County Tennessee in 1793 when a number of Presbyterians under the leadership of Rev. Wm MCGEE organized a church near the present town of Gallatin and as the "Children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there, so these devout Presbyterians builded an alter in the wilderness and reverently called it Shiloh."
     A building was erected on a beautiful site given by Joseph MOTHERAL, one of the founders of the church, and a ruling elder in its first session, and here in that log temple in the woods these Presbyterians worshipped the God of their fathers, and here in the church yard around it they buried their dead from 1793 until the present time.
     Shiloh Church has been an influence for good in Sumner County and where ever its members have made their homes the influence of the old church has gone with them as a benediction.
     The first records of the church were lost, but a great deal of valuable information was compiled by Joseph ROBB a ruling elder in the church from 1812 until his death in 1861.  Two members of the first session were Patrick BARR and Dr. Thomas DONNELL, George NEWTON Moderator Shiloh Presbytery.  The first church session of Shiloh was composed of the following members Patrick BARR, Robert ANDERSON, Robert KING, John ANDERSON, Zaccheus WILSON, Joseph HODGE, Dr. Thos DONNELL, Joseph MOTHERALL, Alexander ANDERSON, James REESE.  William MCGEE had pastoral charge of Shiloh Church until 1800 when he was succeeded by William HODGE who served 16 yrs resigning in 1816.
     Shiloh Church had one hundred and seventeen members during the pastorate of William HODGE.  On the first roll of members of Shiloh Church are many names that were identified with the history and upbuilding of Sumner County, among these may be mentioned the ALEXANDERs, BLACKMOREs, BARR's, ANDERSONs, HODGEs, MOTHERELLs, MCMURRAYs, KINGs, WILSONs, RUTHERFORDs, DONNELLs, ROBBs and REESEs.
     Some of the members of Shiloh Church were soldiers of the Revolutionary War and came to the Cumberland County as it was then called to settle on lands granted for military services.  Among these may be mentioned General Griffith RUTHERFORD of North Carolina who had given distinguished service not only in the war but as a member of the legislature from Rowan County in 1770-1774 and as a member of the Provincial Congress in 1775.  He was appointed Brigadier General for the Western District in 1776 and served until the close of the war.
     On the list of members of Shiloh Church are the names Griffith RUTHERFORD and Mrs. RUTHERFORD.  Zaccheus WILSON a member of the first session of Shiloh Church was from Mecklenburg Co, N. C.  Joseph HODGE, also a Member of Shiloh Church, a Revolutionary soldier, he was the brother of Rev. William HODGE second pastor of Shiloh Church.  Joseph HODGE married Euphemia AGNEW.  Samuel, another brother of Wm. HODGE, came to the Cumberland county but located near Princeton, Ky.  Four of his sons became ministers of the Presbyterian Church.  One of his sons, Samuel Jr., was for a time pastor of the Hermitage Presbyterian Church built by Andrew JACKSON.  So much did Samuel HODGE admire the sterling qualities of Old Hickory that he named one of his sons for the old hero.
     Robt. KING came to Sumner Co. in 1791, he was a member of Shiloh Church, his family also members.  Richard KING, one of his sons, was made an elder in 1804 and served until 1828 when he went to the Gallatin Presbyterian Church.  Another son, Samuel KING, was a minister of the Presbyterian Church and in 1810 became one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Capt. Geo D. BLACKMORE, Robert ANDERSON and William ROBB <were> also members of Shiloh Church.
     The church at Gallatin was in the beginning a branch of Shiloh as was the church at Hopewell near Bledsoe's Fort.
     In 1828 Dr. John W HALL organized the congregation at Gallatin into a separate and independent church.  At this time some of the members of Shiloh including two of the church session went to the Gallatin church.
     Shiloh not only gave aid to the Presbyterian churches of Sumner county but helped churches elsewhere as shown by the following.  In the year 1812 John ALLEN and Joseph ROBB were admitted to the session by election and ordination.  Joseph ROBB is at present the session clerk and John ALLEN has been ordained a minister of the gospel.
     The people of Shiloh were deeply interested in the great revival of 1799-1800.  This meeting comprised the largest number of people ever known to be collected together in the county.  Messrs. MCGRADY, MCGEE and RANKIN, presbyterian ministers, and Messrs. John MCGEE, John PAGE and John SEWELL, Methodist preachers, labored at this meeting.  Parson CRAIGHEAD was also present.  The meeting lasted four days and nights.
     Two of the sons of Alexander ANDERSON, Rev. T. C. ANDERSON and Rev. John ANDERSON, were ministers.  Three sons of Samuel KING were preachers.  The sons of Alexander CHAPMAN entered the ministry, Rev. A. H. CHAPMAN and Rev. C. B. CHAPMAN.  Francis JOHNSON also had two sons in the ministry.  It will be seen from the foregoing account that six members of Shiloh Church with nine of their sons and three of the grandsons became ministers of the gospel.
     In 1869 it was decided to move Shiloh Church to a more convenient and accessible location.  B. B. L. BARR gave a site on the Scottsville Pike and a brick house of worship was erected, dedicated in June 1871 by Rev. J. W. HOYT of Nashville.  Shiloh has passed through varying vicissitudes of fortune since 1871, but with a history of one hundred and thirty seven years it still lives on, a blessing to the community in which it stands.
     Shiloh was the second Presbyterian church established in middle Tennessee.  Shiloh is the oldest Presbyterian church in existence.
     There is another Presbyterian church in Sumner County known as the Beech, founded in 1798 by Thos. B. CRAIGHEAD.  He preached there till 1800.
     A visit to old Shiloh Church yard brings serious reflections on life and death gray might well have written at Shiloh "The paths of glory lead but to the grave" for here it is believed rests the body of General Griffith RUTHERFORD who came to Tennessee shortly after the close of the Revolutionary war.  He was honored in Tennessee as he had been in North Carolina but alas, he sleeps in an unmarked grave.  Other soldiers of the Revolution rest in the soil of old Shiloh.

Minutes 1846

     A box of clothing was made up by the ladies of Shiloh Church for the use of our Domestic Mission Board valued $36.00.  Rev. Jesse W. HUME served the church <in> 1850 succeeded by Rev. C. Foster WILLIAMS.  <In> 1853 Rev. W. A. HARRISON became the pastor served until 1859.  Rev. H. B. BOUDE came to Shiloh in May 1860.   The following entry in the minutes is dated May 11, 1861.  An adjourned meeting of Nashville Presbytery was this day held in Shiloh Church for the purpose of ordaining the Rev. H. B. BOUDE pastor of this church, present Rev. Messrs. HAYES, HUNTINGDON, BARDWELL, & MCMILLAN & Elder W. H. ROBB.  Rev. H. B. BOUDE was ordained pastor of the church.  Next meeting of the session is dated Oct. 26, 1862 when resolutions were passed on the death of Joseph ROBB who had passed away Nov 11, 1861.  The records show that when the Rev. John W. HALL took charge of Shiloh Church in 1830 there were 123 White members & 38 colored enrolled, first two names of colored members were Michael BLYTHE & Jack KILPATRICK.  <On> November 16, 1845 Rev. Jesse W. HUME was installed pastor of Shiloh Church.  Rev. Oliver B. HAYNES preached the installation sermon and asked the constitutional questions.  Minutes of Nov. 3rd 1844 have this entry.  The moderator applied on behalf of Nancy ALLISON, Margaret R. ALLISON & Catherine ALLISON that they be dismissed to unite with the church at Princeton, Kentucky, into the bounds of which they are about to remove.

Minutes May 10, 1834.

     Delphy, a slave of Samuel MCMURRAY, appeared before the session and was examined on experimental religion whereupon she admitted to the privileges of the church and it was resolved that she make a public profession of religion tomorrow morning, Sunday, and receive the ordinance of baptism, Sabbath morning nine o'clock.  Patience, a slave to Ben DESHA, appeared before the session and being examined on experimental religion was admitted to the privileges of the church and it was resolved that she make a public profession of religion today at ten & a half o'clock and be baptized  at the morning service.  Delphy & Patience were baptized & admitted to the communion of the church.  Viny & Isac, colored persons, had their children baptized viz. Joseph, Michael, James, Harvey, Jane & Priscilla at the dwelling house of Pleasant TYREE.  Joseph DONNELL, a free colored man, was admitted to the church.  May 9, 1841 Edmond DOBBINS, a colored man who had formerly been suspended from the church, appeared before the session & expressed deep penitence for his former unchristian conduct and his determination by the grace of God to walk worthy of his vocation whereupon it was resolved that his suspension be removed and he is hereby restored to church privileges.  Feb. 1847 admission certificate to Patsy belonging to Mr. TYREE.  1867, Resolved that this session look more carefully after the interests of our colored members & will do all in our power to bring the gospel to bear upon the colored race around us.  Certainly no negro in the Shiloh community could say "No man cares for my soul"


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