Tazewell Methodist Episcopal Church

Was there an attempt to form an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tazewell and what happened to it? I have a picture above of what I know to be the Old Methodist Episcopal Church South, which was active even after the United Methodist Church was built. What happened to this structure? The pictures of the Diary book below was given my aunt Ruth Phillips, who married Jack Avent, in 1924 by the Tazewell Methodist Episcopal Chruch South. Evidently sometime between the time my grandfather made this film in 1916 and 1924 my mother's mother Birdie Mae Stone began attending Church at the Tazewell Methodist Episcopal Church South. My grandfather was a Prohibition Agent, could that have had something to do with it???

There is no doubt that there were two Methodist buildings in Tazewell, the Tazewell Methodist (now United Methodist) and a much older brick structure, the Tazewell Methodist Episcopal Church, South. There is proof not only in my posessing a Bible given my Aunt Ruth Phillips Avent by the Church for Fathful Attendance, September 28, 1924 and the Ladies Aide article dated 1914 but also a Knoxville Sentinel article dated, September 13, 1921. The Methodist Church on Main Street had only been bult 13 years prior, so no doubt the M.E. Church, South was still being attended, and by the looks of it by a large number of people. Why there was not a new M.E. Church, South constructed I have yet to find, but this further confirms my long time suspition that the picture of Clyde Baumgardner standing in hsi back yard is the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, located on Church Street, near the Presbyterinal Church as well as an older brick Baptist Church that was later rebuilt on Main Street and beside the Methodist Cemetery on Church Street. Only by the grace of God has it not been bulldozed over.
Knoxville Sentinel September 13, 1921.
Bishop Daniel Pope Guest Speaker At Joint Methodist Services - April 22, 1962 - Claiborne County Progress - Bishop Daniel C. Pope of the AME Zion Church will be guest speaker at the Tazewell United Methodist Church next Sunday evening, April 29, 1962 at 7:30 pm. Bishop Pope served as a missionary in Liberia West Africa from 1924 to 1930 as the Department of Foreign Missions of his Church from 1942 to 1952 and in 1952 was elected Bishop. He was assigned to Bishop of West Africa including the countries of West Africa including the countries of Liberia, Ghana and Eastern Nigeria where he served until 1960.

He is presently serving as Bishop of the Conference of South Carolina, Georgia and of East Tennessee and Virginia Conference. He will speak on the experiences in Africa. Special music will be given by the choir from the AME Zion Church of Middlesboro.

This joint service is sponsored by the Tazewell AME Zion Church of which Brother Simmons is pastor and the Tazewell and New Tazewell Methodist Churches of which Brother Stuart is pastor.

The pubic is cordially invited. (More regarding the AME Church in Claiborne County)

During the 100th Celebration of Tazewell United Methodist Church a former minister's wife visited the Church. She is Wava Teilman, widow of Rev. Dr. Gunnar Teilman of Blacksburg, Va. Rev. Teilman served at the Tazewell Methodist Church during 1946-1948 when they decided to go into Missionary work in Malaysia. She spoke during the celebration of their time in Tazewell, TN and what part the influence of many of their congregation had on their decision to leave. Further down the page I have downloaded ´┐ŻBlacksburg Methodist Churches: Blacksburg Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Beginnings of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church´┐Ż presented by Christopher Ross Donald in conjunction with the Rev. Dr. Gunnar Teilman Lectures for Blacksburg UMC and St. Paul AMEC at the Whisner Building, Blacksburg UMC, Blacksburg, VA - Saturday, April 16, 2005. You may enjoy reading this paper and wonder how many areas of the South have progressed differently in how they looked at racial matters within their communities.
The following from Mary Hansards "Old Time Tazewell" may be a key. It is found from deeds dated 1825 and 1846 that the first Methodist Church was on Sycamore Creek near an Inn that crossed the creek. It was then moved to Old Town. It was located on Church Street. From the book regarding History of Robert Hansard. "Robert came to Tazewell on a pleasure trip, accompanied by a young Methodist in the year 1831, and became acquainted with Louisa Hodge, a daughter of John Hodge, who owned and lived about 1 mile south of town, adjoining the lands of Reuben Rose, owned at present by Dr. J.W. Diven. He purchased a lot from Elijah Evans and built the first house that was erected on the upper side of Church Street. The house is still standing, together with the brick chimney that was built 63 years ago. It is the lot above Widow Stone's, owned at present by Attorney Owens. His wife died of pulmonary consumption in 1837 in the bloom of life and left three small children in his care. She was a consistent member of the M.E. church, her remains are lying in the Methodist cemetery."

Also in Mary Hansard's book Old Time Tazewell she states that, "Mr. Graham built the first church house, built on the left of the road, leading dow the hill towards the creek. It was a framed building with a flight of nice stone steps to the door on the west facing the road. It was called a Presbyterian Church, but used by all denominations until other churches were built. The Methodists built a framed church a few years later on the far corner of the town graveyard. These were the only churches that were in Tazewell until about the year 1846 or 1847, when the Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists each decided to build a brick church. This old church on the side of the road was torn down and moved away and there is not a trace to be seen at present to tell where the church once stood. But the place still remains dear to my memory on account of the many good people that used to assemble there and the many good sermons that I have heard delivered from thos good old divines: Nathaniel Hood, Revs. McClelland, Robert Glen, Frederick A. Ross, and others of the Presbyterian faith: Revs. Wm. Williams, James Hannon, and James Gilbert of the Baptist, and Rev. Charles McAnally and Wm. Burgess and Wm. Rogers of the Methodist persuasion, who have long since passed away and most of their congregations who used to meet together there to worship God and hear them expound the Scriptures. They have passed over the river of death, but they have left their mark behind them that will flourish, notwithstanding their bodies are resting in the silent tomb." Deeds gathered from Holsten Conference District Office, United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge

The following research paper mentions a strong connection to my Payne and also the Yoakum family by mentioning the BURDINE family. Some of my research regarding the Rev. Ezekiel BURDINE family and it's connection to the earliest of Tazewell settlers Benjamin SEWELL can be found by clicking HERE.


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Following is a comprehensive history of the organization of the Holsten Conference taken in a printed booklet from the 1973 Holsten Conference held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee entitled HOLSTON UNITED METHODISM IN RETROSPECT - BY C. E. LUNDY, CONFERENCE HISTORIAN .


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