Bicentennial Celebration a Great Success

View Pictures of the Bicentennial celebration on Flickr:

New Hope Church and the Bicentennial Committee wishes to thank everyone for being here for the 200th Anniversary of New Hope.  You helped us make “Back to Our Future” a joyous and memorable event in the history of our church which many people will never forget. With very few exceptions, almost all members and regular attenders were present for at least part of the day’s activities.  The crowd probably totaled around 200 for the whole day – an appropriate number!  Special thanks go to those who planned, coordinated, staged, cleaned up and otherwise made this event happen, which was a LOT of folks.  We won’t start naming names for fear of leaving someone out! Now…let’s all get to work on the next 200 years of serving our Lord; there’s much still to be done!

According to Cumberland Presbyterian records, New Hope is first mentioned sending delegates to a presbytery meeting as an organized church in 1812.  The church can trace its history back to a group of Christians that came over from North Carolina and settled in the “Cumberland Country” in 1799.  The “Banner of Peace”, published in 1868,  relates the early history of this church:

Clip from the Banner of Peace (1868):

In 1799 a few persons, members of the Presbyterian Church, mostly from North Carolina, agreed to meet every Sabbath to read the Scriptures and pray with and for each other. They afterward constituted the Cumberland Presbyterian Church which was organized at New Hope, Wilson County, Tennessee. Their names are William and Catherine Gray, James and Margaret Stewart, Andrew and Elizabeth Bay, Alexander and Jane Kirkpatrick, John and Ann Kirkpatrick, David and Rebecca Kirkpatrick, Samuel and Sarah Motheral, Elias Morrison, Joseph Kirkpatrick, and Margaret Motheral. “These all died in the faith.” The same year (1799) the Rev. William McGee preached the first sermon in the bounds of this congregation. From this time until 1810 they enjoyed occasional circuit preaching by Samuel King, Alexander Anderson, Hugh Kirkpatrick, Thomas Calhoun, Alexander Chapman, James B. Porter, and David Foster–all of whom have joined the sacramental host beyond death’s stream, where parting is no more.

In the fall of 1810 this congregation, afterward noted for camp-meetings, held their first camp-meeting near the “Double Islands,” on Cumberland River. At this meeting they were much revived and encouraged; so much so, that the next year (1811) they purchased a lot of ground, erected camps, and held a second camp-meeting one mile above their first encampment. The Rev. William McGee, who was present, called this new camp-ground New Hope. Here, in 1812, the Rev. Hugh Kirkpatrick, with the names designated above, organized a Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and preached once a month till 1816, when he was succeeded by the Rev. John Provine, who preached monthly until 1830. From this date to 1843 they were supplied with preaching by the Rev. George Donnell and the Rev. John L. Dillard. The former served four, the latter nine years. The Rev. M.S. Vaughan then accepted the charge and preached until 1850, when he was followed by the Rev. J.E. Davis, who continued two years.200th Anniversary Logo

In the fall of 1852 the Rev. William D. Chadick was regularly installed pastor of this church by the late Rev. F.R. Cossitt, D.D., and continued his labors till 1855, when the Rev. J.C. Bowden supplied the congregation one year.

The Rev. M. S. Vaughan again received a call to this congregation and preached until 1859, when he was succeeded by the Rev. William A. Haynes, who served as pastor, with the exception of two or more years during the late war, till the spring of 1866. The Rev. W.W. Suddarth succeeded Mr. Haynes, and labored till the fall of 1867, at which time he received a call from Lebanon congregation, and the Rev. M.S. Vaughan was called for the third time to New Hope.

From these facts, which I find in the church records, we learn that New Hope has enjoyed the means of grace from 1799, and an organized existence of fifty-six years’ standing. During this time the church held and supported fifty-three camp-meetings. At these meetings hundreds, if not thousands, of sinners were brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, and obtained through grace a good hope of a happy immortality beyond time. Among these are many able ministers of the gospel. Some of them have laid down the gospel trumpet for glittering crowns in glory. Others, trembling under the effects of age and hard service in their high vocation, are yet preaching Jesus to a perishing world, each cheered on in his “labor of love” with this most precious promise of his divine Master? “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life,” FELIX H. TAYLOR, Clerk.