yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


More than 70 years have passed since this attempt is undertaken. There will probably be a few errors in dates etc., but an overall historical record can be found within its pages.

When endeavoring to give an historical account of the beginning or establishing of a church there is of necessity to know some of the background leading to its founding.

During the early years of this the 20th Century the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with speaking in tongues began to be experienced in some western towns of the U.S. Those receiving this early experience were members of different religious denominations. Persecutions arose against these early receivers of this gift from God as a result the Assemblies of God was formed.

Rev. E.M. Bell, Rev. L.V. Roberts of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Rev. H.G. Rogers were among these. In 1914 in Hot Springs, Ark. H.G. Rogers attended a conference held by the Assemblies of God, who at that time in general believed in the doctrine of the Trinity of the Godhead. At this conference Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ was discussed. Rev. Rogers left the conference very much stirred.

In the summer of 1915 Bro. Rogers was the host pastor in Jackson, Tenn. to the third Encampment of the Assemblies of God. This meeting was held near the Historic Artesian Well in the then passenger depot of the N.C. & St. L. Railroad. Bro. E.N. Bell and Bro. Rogers discussed Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ. They requested Bro. L.U. Roberts of Cincinnati, Ohio to come. Bro. Roberts who had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus by Bro. Glenn Cook in Indianopolis on March 6, 1915, preached the baptism in Jesus Name. At the close of his sermon, Bro. Bell and Bro. Rogers, along with a few others, were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus in the Forked Deer River. The following Sunday, his wife Jenny Cook, was baptized along with fifty-four others, including Bro. and Sis. E.J. Douglas, Bro. and Sis. C.M. Goff, his daughter, Ethel Rogers and her husband, J.C. Brickey.

H.G. Rogers had two other daughters. They were Carrie, who married Hobart Brown in June 1922 and Mickey who married Rev. A.D. Gurly in June of 1923.

The Pentecostal message may be said to begin in late Feb. of 1912 in the Western part of the State of Tennessee upon the arrival of Rev. H.G. Rogers and his family in Jackson, Tenn. He at that time was a member of the Assemblies of God. In 1913, a lot was bought and erected in 1914. This Church was to become the "Mother" Oneness Church of that area.

Later on in the year 1915, Rev. B.H. Hite left Middle Tenn. area where he had three years earlier received the Holy Ghost. While in Nashville, Tenn. he worked in the Leather Shop at the Tennessee State Prison, and came to Bemis and put up a tent on what is now Bemis Lane on the North side of the Street. This was the beginning of the Church at Bemis, Tenn. He was Pastor of this church for some two years. From this background the Pentecostal "Oneness" message spread to other towns. Bro. Rogers, Bro. Brickey, Bro. Hite, Bro. E.J. Douglas and Bro. A.D. Gurley were the principal ministers during the early days of the "Oneness Pentecostal Message." Later came such men with the gospel as Win. Greer, J.W. Wallace, A.G. Webb, Dorsey Jones, L. J. Thompson, A. N. Graves, Pitts Graves, J.H. Austin and others.

In the year 1916 an event happened that was to greatly effect many towns and counties of Tennessee in years to come. Bro. E.J. Douglas and Bro. J.C. Brickey held a meeting in Parsons, Tennessee. Their only convert was A.D. Gurley, who was about 19 years of age. Whom he later baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. He also received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

During the early days of the ministry of H.G. Rogers, and J.C. Brickey, about the year 1916, they came to the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.D. King in Darden, Tenn., set up a tent in his front yard and preached the "Oneness" message. Mr. & Mrs. King were the only people living in Darden, who had received the baptism with the Holy Ghost. So far as is known no one is able to tell where and when they received this experience. There were very little known results. Shortly thereafter, Rev. E.J. Douglas, B.H. Hite and a Rev. Baker had a bush harbor built about half the distance from the present highway 20 to the little town of Beacon. At this revival several of the people in that town received the Holy Ghost.

At Darden, Tenn. on the south side of the former position of the Old Depot which was located on the North of the railroad track, there was a large store building about 50 yards south of the railroad. It had been occupied by the J.C. Hancock Store. It was not occupied by a business of any kind about 1916 or 1917. Rev. E.J. Douglas and some of his converts at Beacon, Tenn. secured it for a revival which continued several weeks, with very little results.

Mr. & Mrs. Ed King were becoming very anxious to see others at Darden with the experience of the baptism with the Holy Ghost. She could be heard during the day as well as night time praying with loud voice over the hills. It is reported that one day some one knocked on her door, who said, "I am Rev. L.J. Thompson from Scotts Hill, a Pentecostal minister and have come to hold you a revival". They advertised in a feeble way, as was their ability at that time, that a meeting would begin in one room of their home. They received aid from Beacon and interest began to grow.

Beside the Baptist Church was the school house. It was used for school but it was time of the year that school was not in session. It was secured for night services.

Rev. L.J. Thompson and wife Nora were two young people who lived in Scotts Hill, Tenn. who farmed for a livelihood. At this time it was about March or April 1918. The revival continued for several weeks with very great success. In that small town of about 200 probably 75 persons received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The time came that this new group were refused use of the school building. They built a brush harbor and continued to have serviee in it. Sometime between 1919 and 1920 a church building about 100 ft. by 60 ft. was erected. Many improvements have been made since that time, and is now a thriving church. Such ministers as E.J. Douglas, A.D. Gurley, A.M. Graves, Pitts Graves, Dorsey Jones, and others have had much to do with the sucess of the Darden Pentecostal Church, which is now pastored by Bro. Raymond Roach, 1986.

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