|Mt. Horeb Presbyterian Church|
Excerpted from Rankin Roots in East Tennessee, by Hazel Timblin Townsend
The Mt. Horeb Presbyterian Church, located on Dumplin Valley Road, was organized Nov. 20, 1841, by the Presbytery of Union with a charter membership of sixty-seven. Forty of the members came from Hopewell Presbyterian Church at Dandridge which was organized in 1785. Twenty-seven members of the new church came from the New Market Presbyterian Church which had been organized in 1826 with many of its members transferring from Hopewell to New Market at that time.
The Mt. Horeb Church was organized with four elders being ordained. The
elders were RICHARD BRADSHAW, WILLIAM RANKIN, CHRISTOPHER RANKIN, and JOHN
NEWMAN, Jr. The Rev. JAMES H. GASS served as minister for the first five
years. In 1858 three additional elders were elected and the Rev. NATHAN
HOOD was minister at that time. The three new elders were JOSEPH C. BRADSHAW,
The first meetings were held in a log schoolhouse and the first church building was built in 1851. The land for the church, schoolhouse and cemetery was deeded to the Church by RICHARD D. RANKIN and RICHARD BRADSHAW. Part of the land was transferred in Feb. 1842 and additonal land in Feb. 1851. The present building was erected in 1875 and remodeled in 1913.
An entry in the Hebron Church records states that: "A goodly number of the members have withdrawn therefrom and have been organized into two separate churches, one in connection with the Southern Presbyterian Church, and the other in connection with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church."
The Mt. Horeb Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized June 6, 1874, and the name was later changed to Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The name of the Mt. Horeb Presbyterian Church was changed to Hebron Presbyterian Church by the Presbytery of Union on Sept. 8, 1874, at the request of the church session.
The 1851 Mt. Horeb Church building and location were sold to the Southern Presbyterians in 1874 for the sum of $200.00. The Southern Presbyterian members continued to use the Mt. Horeb Church buildiing until 1925.
In March of 1925, the membership was very small and the decision was made to close the church. At that time Hebron and Mt. Horeb members were again united as one congregation.
In 1986 Holston Presbytery deeded the Mt. Horeb Church to the Rankin-Bradshaw Properties, Inc., and extensive repairs were made.
For anyone researching the RANKIN family, there is a big RANKIN reunion held each year at this church. This year (1998) was the 51st year it has been held.
Pat Rankin Ross
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