THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS AT CHURCH STREET- 1816-2016

THE EARLY YEARS Christmas comes to Church Street in 2016 for the 201st time.  What can be found in looking at the church’s 200- year history? How did the small Methodist society of Knoxville Methodists celebrate Christmas in the mid-1810s? There probably was no specific observance of Christmas in 1816.  No church records exist until…

A NEW CHURCH STREET CHURCH IS BUILT, BUT NOT ON CHURCH STREET

DECISION TO BUILD After the disastrous 1928 church fire, arrangements were made for worship in the Lyric Theater at first and later at the nearby Riviera Theater. Sunday school classes were held in other temporary sites, including nearby homes and offices. A decision concerning a new church had become urgent. The congregation decided to build…

Fiery Disaster on a Cold Winter Night

Morning Worship, February 19, 1928 Dr. Percival Rivers Knickerbocker looked out at the congregation on Sunday morning, February 19, 1928. It was a particularly cold winter morning and many worshipers shivered in the pews in the chilly sanctuary. Someone later recalled his comment, “We are uncomfortably chilly this morning, but come back tonight and we…

A New Church In the Church Street Neighborhood in Downtown Knoxville

A temporary home on Church Street after the Civil War The Knoxville Station Church on Church Street in temporary quarters filed suit in Chancery Court in 1867 to recover its property in the 400 block of Church Street.  The complainant of record was Matthew Gains, a trustee of the 1836 Methodist Church on Church Street…

REBUILDING CHURCH STREET CHURCH AFTER THE CIVIL WAR

IMMEDIATE POST-WAR REALITY IN 1866 The end of the terrible hostilities between Union and Rebel Forces in 1865 brought about a torrent of emotions on both sides. For Church Street Church in Knoxville the reality that year was bleak: it had no pastor, no church building, and remnants of the prewar congregation were meeting at…

THE END OF THE WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH

THE EXTRAORDINARY APRIL OF 1865 April of 1865 was one of the most remarkable in the history of the American Republic and of the state of Tennessee.  April 5- In Nashville, W.G. “Parson” Brownlow was sworn in as governor. April 6- In Nashville, Brownlow submitted the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) for ratification.   April 9-…

THE METHODIST CHURCH AT WAR WITH ITSELF

THE AMICABLE 1844 SPLIT BECOMES CONTENTIOUS The “amicable split” touted by the New York General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church of 1844 soon deteriorated into a “family feud” over many things other than positions on slavery and secession. The “devil” was surely in the details. Arguments between the Methodist Episcopal Church (north) and the…

Methodist Camps in America

A major part of the spread of Methodism in America, Methodist camps were a time when Methodists came together to celebrate and worship, largely in song, in remote wooded areas around either tents or cabins. To learn more about this interesting part of the Methodist movement in the 1800s, go to MethodistHeritageTour.Com.

Civil War Comes to Knoxville, Tennessee and Church Street

The last blog, “The Bloody War Begins,” included a brief description of 1861 Knoxville, the state of Tennessee, and the divisions within our country at that time. Also inserted into this previous account were the exploits of W. G. “Parson” Brownlow, former Methodist preacher, as well as the deeds of popular Church Street pastor, David Sullins. That same…

Map of Fort Sanders

The Confederate Assault on Fort Sanders in Nov. 29, 1863 This map, titled, “Map of Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tennessee, Showing the Confederate Assault of Nov. 29, 1863” was created some time during 1863-1864 and illustrates the actual assault, as well as the layout of the fort that stood so close to downtown Knoxville. Description This hand-drawn map…

Assault on Fort Sanders

Union troops led by Gen. Burnside fighting Confederates led by Gen. Longstreet, Nov. 29, 1863.

The Bloody War Begins

1861 in Knoxville, Tennessee The year 1861 was truly ominous in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in America. In January, Tennessee Governor Isham Harris failed to get his legislative resolution for a Constitutional convention. There would be no vote on secession for Tennessee at that point. In February, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated president of the Confederacy. In March, Alexander Stephens, Confederate…