Eusebia Presbyterian Church – The Church Journey

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27 March 2020

I had the privilege to visit Eusebia Presbyterian Church. In 1786 the church sprang up in the wilderness of Indian territory, and has withstood the ravages of time. The distinguished brick church, and its big graveyard stands in a sheltered grove, about 12 miles from Knoxville. It’s a monument to the Scotch-Irish is a landmark for many folks in Eastern Tennessee. “Eusebia.”  It is a Greek word, typically translated as “godliness, or reverence toward God.”

Indian wars whoops were still ringing in East Tennessee forests when a group of early settlers founded Eusebia Presbyterian Church.  This was three years before the constitution was adopted, before George Washington became president, and ten years before Congress approved the admission of Tennessee as the 16th state in the Union.  Only a year before, the land, which is Blount county, had been opened to settlement through a treaty of Gov. John Sevier signed with the Cherokee Indians. Although, shortly after the Indians no longer recognized this treaty. [2]

The church located on the old Cherokee War Trail, near Fort McTeer. During the early years stockades and forts sprang up around the church site, and many massacres followed.  It was only by the establishment of a chain of forts that the new settlers were able to feel any sort of security. Even then, they attended church services with their muzzle-loaders across their knees. The church and the cross lived on despite the hostilities during the early days. [2]

There is no record when the first church building was established. Eusebia people built a log church first, and in 1810 a wood frame building with a raised pulpit and it gave place to a more modern church building in 1874. This building stood until the present building was built in 1930. The present red brick church building the fourth erected in its history was started in 1930 and finished in 1936.  Eusebia is believed to be the oldest congregation in the area. From the oldest records available, it is said that the church was founded by Rev. Archibald Scott in 1786, when he was on an evangelistic and missionary tour on the frontier. When the church was first organized there was no meeting house and services were held under a large beech tree. [2]

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Picture of the wood frame church in 1848 (Church image from) [4]

The Eusebia Presbyterian Church cemetery is located adjacent to the church building.  The cemetery was established at least as far back as 1790, the date of the oldest known burial.  It is also believed to have the highest concentration of revolutionary War Veterans in Tennessee, as 15 are buried there. [3]

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MY JOURNEY:

I arrived Friday afternoon, the church was closed at that time. It was a bright sunny day around 78 degrees with a warm breeze coming out of the south. As I walked around the perimeter of the building taking pictures, I found myself fixated on the beautiful country landscape. Then I proceeded to the concrete steps at the front of the church. The church steps that led up to the entrance provided an elevated scenic view of the church cemetery and surrounding landscape.   As I stood looking at the church cemetery, where so many old gravestones still stand as a beacon of the past. Many of the old gravestones our now weathered and eroded by time.

My gaze turned to the outer perimeter of rolling farmland that branched out into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. This peacefully set the mood to open my Bible. Sometimes I just open the Bible and start reading. This time it opened to the book of Isaiah 43:1.

But now, this is what the LORD says he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV

In this time of fear escalated by the ongoing pandemic it is important to remember when we go through trials in life, God is with you. After spending time reading and meditation, I finished this journey in prayer.

FELLOWSHIP:

With the National emergency for the COVID-19 virus many places are remaining closed to the public. Because of this reason there will not be any fellowship over the next several weeks. It provided an excellent opportunity for me to spent time in prayer and quiet time in mediation.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find any pictures of the inside of the church.

DETAILS:   

Church Website: https://www.eusebiachurch.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EusebiaChurch

Date Visited: 2020 March 27. 

Location: 1701 Burnett Station Rd, Seymour, TN.

The current sanctuary was built in 1930, and is made of solid red bricks. The concrete steps flow up to the main entry, which features wooden double doors allowing access to the sanctuary.

The church bell is encased with red bricks. The sides of the church provide multiple stained-glass windows that allows a heavenly light into the church during the day.

The front and sides of the church have large cathedral arched windows with stained glass.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The United States was founded as a religious nation, providing us the freedoms to share the gospel of Christ to all. This is echoed in stories of like Rev. Archibald Scott in 1786, when he was on an evangelistic and missionary tour on the frontier. The spirit of salvation still flows today more than 200 years later when Eusebia proclaimed the good news to many early settlers from British, Scotch, Irish and French colonists of America, to the indigenous peoples of the Appalachian Mountains. We give thanks to the Lord for our freedoms, and all that have fought to protect them.

Over the years Eusebia Presbyterian Church has advanced in great strides since the first services were held under the spreading branches of a large beech tree standing in the sheltered grove. With steadfast commitment, Eusebia has saved souls, performed marriages, newborns were christened, beloved deceased were honored on their path to the everlasting, and most importantly preached the Gospel to many.

If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.

May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.

In a world of problems, persecution, evil, and immorality, Christ calls us to endure in our faith.

 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” – (1 Corinthians 16:13) NIV

Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.

May this find you well and happy, God Bless

PICTURE GALLERY:

   

REFERENCES:

  1. Eusebia Presbyterian Church website, “About” (2020, March 31) Retrieved from https://www.eusebiachurch.com/
  2. com, Eusebia Church, 150 to Dedicate New Building (24, October 1936) The Knoxville News sentinel (Knoxville Tennessee).
  3. com, Eusebia Church, Observes 154th year of Service (24, August 1940) The Knoxville News sentinel (Knoxville Tennessee).
  4. Eusebia Presbyterian Church (2016, April 17) The Daily Times ( Blount County) Retrieved from https://www.thedailytimes.com/eusebia-presbyterian-church/image_e9fe1d7f-3956-5188-af41-e9c0380b85ac.html

 

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