Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church, Sulphur Springs, Tennessee
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PersonsMD
N 36° 20.902 W 082° 32.493
17S E 361672 N 4023691
Quick Description: A Historic congregation established in 1821 still serving the community of Sulphur Springs, Tennessee.
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:31:43 PM
Waymark Code: WM68YM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bear and Ragged
Views: 4

Long Description:
A congregation of over four hundred members with a unique history.

The following is sited from: (visit link)

Tradition & Innovation
People have gathered in this place to worship God for the better part of two centuries, and though times have changed since people gathered in open fields and under brush arbors for the first camp meetings held here, our reverence in worship has remained constant throughout the years.

We gather for two worship services each Sunday morning. The day begins with a 9:00 AM contemporary worship service in our community ministry center, complete with multimedia features and praise band. At 11:00 AM, we gather in our beautiful sanctuary with its priceless stained glass windows to worship God in a more traditional way.

About two hundred years ago, people worshiped God in the fields surrounding our church in the earliest camp meetings here, and that was an innovative, contemporary way of worship then. We are grateful that we have been able to maintain the traditions that our ancestors in the faith began here, and we pray that God will continue to lead us in new directions.

The following was taken from a now disabled web page. The information was written by: Houston Carder, Rollin Kennerly and other members of the church community.

The Sulphur Springs Camp Meeting Grounds at Jonesborough, Tennessee

The Sulphur Springs Camp Meeting Site and Shed of Jonesborough, Tennessee played a significant role in the establishment and perpetuation of the United Methodist Church throughout the Southern Appalachian region of the United States.

Bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal, “…on Thursday, (September 16, 1802) we rode to Cashe’s near Jonesboro, Tennessee. Friday, 17. I attended a camp meeting which continued to be held for four days: there may have been fifteen hundred souls present.”

Since no other camp meeting near the site or place in time can be documented, we like to think that Bishop Asbury might have attended one of our very first camp meetings. According to accounts handed down, it does appear that, although the meetings could have been conducted as early as 1802, the Sulphur Springs Camp Meeting were formally organized and held in the open air or under a brush arbor on the site as early as 1815.

William Milburn, one of the founders of the Methodist Church in this area, had the idea to build a shed for the services. The shed was built in 1842 on land purchased from Payne Squibb for $100. It was used until about 1900 when the present shed was built on the original site. Some of the hand-hewn logs from the first shed were used in the present one end and are very evident even today. Both sheds were covered (roofed) with oak boards, split or riven from boards lengths cut from oak logs. The board roof was repaired in August 1920 and replaced with the present sheet metal roof about 1933, and the kerosene lamps were replaced with electricity in 1930.

The one story, open-air camp shed with gables on hipped roof is rectangular and measures 74 feet X 45 feet. The structure is supported by hewn and pegged timber truss work and slage unfinished plank pews and a packed earth sawdust floor.

Originally, camp meetings would be in session two or three weeks, but later years, were reduced to two days – Sunday and Monday – usually starting the fourth Sunday in August. Soon after the beginning, several families, in some cases, two families to a structure, built cabins to live in during camp meetings. The families would arrive in advance of the opening of the meeting and set up housekeeping in the camps. Supplies, food, even live chickens to be dressed as needed, and, in a few cases, cows for milk supply were brought.

There were usually three services a day: morning, afternoon and evening. The sounding of the ram’s horn would summon the worshipers together in the shed for each service. Many times during the services the spirit was felt by some causing them to express their happiness by loud shouts and parading up and down the aisles.

To many people the camp meeting was considered the special event of the year. A time for homecoming, a time for sewing new outfits for the ladies and a new pair of overalls or a new suit for the men. To many folks, it was more than an evangelistic gathering. It was a major social event. Relatives and family would come from afar to be with their loved ones.

Today, the camp meeting shed and grounds continue to play a vital role in the spiritual and social life of this East Tennessee community. The History of Washington County, Tennessee, 1988, characterizes Sulphur Springs, Tennessee as ‘most well known locally and nationally as the site of the Historic Annual Sulphur Springs Camp meeting.” The camp meetings are still held today, as for the past 181 consecutive years, under the joint sponsorship of the Johnson City District and Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church during the first week in August each year. Some of our notable evangelists have been Bishop Kenneth Carder, Bishop Earl Hunt, Bishop Clay Lee, Dr. Eddie Fox, Dr. Barbara Brokhoff, Dr. Joe Harding, and Bishop Scott Allen.

The meeting grounds and shed are also used in our community ministry programs for social events, weddings, receptions and various other community activities. In 1976 the Sulphur Springs Camp Ground was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in the United States.

Active church?: Yes

Service times:
Sunday: 9:00 A.M. 11:00 A.M.

Website: [Web Link]

Year Built: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

At least one photo. You're welcome to be in the picture, but please, No GPSr.

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PersonsMD visited Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church, Sulphur Springs, Tennessee 4/25/2009 PersonsMD visited it

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