Thanks to The News-Examiner for permission to reprint this article!
Note: All spelling, punctuation, and omissions are as they appeared in the article in the newspaper.
A hundred and five years ago, in 1881, the first Episcopal mission, known as Emmanuel Church, was established in Gallatin. Services were held once a month by missionary priests. A small church building was constructed on East Main Street on the north side in the third block off of the Public Square.
The first service there was held on Jan. 8, 1891.
The activity of the mission diminished in the following years and the church was disbanded in 1919. The church building fell into decay and was torn down about 1925.
In 1956, Mrs. William H. Wemyss of Fairvue took the initiative in organizing a new mission in Gallatin. Mrs. Wemyss and Mr. And Mrs. William Hubert Guffey are three charter members still active in the congregation.
Services were held at first in the basement of the Sumner County Court House, in Friendship House, and in Guild School. The Rev. James Coleman, first resident minister, came in 1957.
The present building on Hartsville Pike, was completed in 1960. Mr. And Mrs. Siliman Evans, Jr. Gave the stone for the structure and gave the sacristy door. Walnut paneling in the interior was made from lumber harvested in the bottom land at Fairvue and given by William H. Wemyss. Stuart Mills designed and made the altar, lectern, pulpit, credence table, Communion rail, missal stand and the rack for posting hymn numbers. Walnut lumber for these pieces was given by Rhodes Frost.
The very old bishop's and priest's chairs in the sanctuary came from Belle Isle Mansion in Wilson County. A litany desk still in use in the church, and a chalice and paten are the only surviving items once used in the old Emmanuel Church in Gallatin.
In 1963, the Church of Our Saviour founded the Chapel of Our Saviour in Hendersonville. Two years later, the Hendersonville church became Saint Joseph of Arimathea Church. It was the first time in the history of the diocese that a mission had founded a mission that went on to become a parish.
In 1977, the Wemyss Annex, consisting of a minister's office, nursery, church school classrooms and restrooms, was constructed.
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