History of Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Clarksville in History

Historical photo of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Clarksville TN

The following are excerpts from Church History compiled by Mrs. James Brame, 1962

Established in 1860 

The Antioch Circuit was first known or appeared as such in the minutes as early as 1860. The Pastor in charge was the Reverend Mark W. Grey who served two years. Conference was not held the next two years due to the Civil War. Whether Chapel Hill was organized then there is no record, but membership dates back to 1878.  
 
The original church was a log building and stood just in front of the present one. The four acres on which it stands were deeded to the trustees to be used exclusively for a place of worship. Revivals were held under brush arbors near the church. Buggies and wagons would appear all over the hillside. The families with small children would bring pallets for the babies to sleep on during services. All day meetings with dinner on the ground for the quarterly conferences were a great treat for all. Sometimes the pies would get stepped in by accident, but usually everything turned out real well. Everyone always left feeling well fed and happy if expenses for the quarter had been met.  

Sunday School 

The Sunday School records start in 1924 with a membership of fifty-three. “It was strong and flourishing” states the pastor, J. W. Whitfield. In November of 1928 it  declined greatly. The pastor in charge said: "there was what we called a Sunday School at Chapel Hill last year but it ceased to even function several months ago".   In 1931 it became active and reached a total membership of 65.  Through the years attendance has had its ups and downs, but at present we have a well-organized school with average attendance of 45 to 50. The Sunday School rooms built in 1953 were a great asset. The church is still growing with plans to build two more rooms.

Vacation Bible School 

There was no Vacation Bible School in 1934 or 1935. The real vacation bible school started about 1940, with one week of study, working and playing along with our worship service each day.  The last day there is a picnic for the children and their parents. Methodists all down through the ages have been known to be great partakers of fried chicken, country ham, pies, and cakes, and we sure don't want to let our ancestors down. 

Women's Society of Christian Service  

Our Women's Society of Christian Service was organized in 1931 with only three members for over a year. In the second year the membership grew to the total of ten with their pledge to missions of twenty-five dollars. The members would pack a covered dish lunch, carry their Bibles and program books and walk for miles to attend these monthly meetings. A great deal of the time small children trotted along by their side. With such devotion and faith that founded our society how can we of today fail them in any way. I hope it can be 'said of our meetings today as Reverend Swann said in 1936, "the good women who constitute these Societies love God and the Church and are missionary both in spirit and practice. We cannot attend their meetings without being up-lifted, benefited and inspired. 

Christian Service

We are proud that from our folds has gone one man to full time Christian Service. He is Ewing Weakley. He was admitted on trial in 1939 and was ordained an elder in 1943.  He served 22 years.