Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church – The Church Journey

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16 April 2020

I had the privilege to visit Cedar Grove Baptist Church that was founded in the year 1835.  With the 185th anniversary approaching, Cedar Grove Baptist Church, affectionately known by many of its members as “the little church that could,” is part of the Nails Creek, Wildwood Community.  They have been actively making an impact on the local community for almost two hundred years. [1]

Heritage Sunday will be held on May 17, Cedar Grove Baptist Church will celebrate its 185 Anniversary.  This will be a day to gather to offer thanksgiving to God for the heritage of faith.  They will remember those who have gone on before, seek God for His help and guidance to follow Him forward, and rejoice over those He is raising up in our midst to champion the Gospel to the next generation! [1] 

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Back in 1835 near the end of the Second Great Awakening (1790-1840s), which was the second great religious revival in America. The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The Second Great Awakening, which spread religion through revivals and emotional preaching, sparked a number of reform movements. Revivals were a key part of the movement and attracted hundreds of converts to new Protestant denominations. The Methodist Church used circuit riders to reach people in frontier locations. The Great Awakening notably altered the religious climate in the American colonies. Ordinary people were encouraged to make a personal connection with God, instead of relying on a minister. Newer denominations, such as Methodists and Baptists, grew quickly. [2]

Today, the church has a modern red brick building. The church provides support for Second Harvest Food Bank, Provides Sunday School classes for all ages, Worship Choir, a volunteer-led Youth group, a Young Adult group, Women on Mission, and a Keenagers group for the oldest members. Every summer they host Vacation Bible School and each October they host a Fall Festival with Trunk or Treat. [1]

MY JOURNEY:

I saw the big white sign for Cedar Grove alone the road during my trip to visit Eusebia Presbyterian Church. The weather was perfect It was a warm bright sunny day in late March. I was enticed by the sign to visit Cedar Grove Baptist Church.  Driving on Nails Creek road, which is a winding country road surrounded by farmland, and scattered houses on large opened lots.  Several miles down the road, just when it seemed like I was driving in the middle of nowhere, as I crested over the next hill, I caught my first vision of a beautiful white steeple reaching up into the deep blue sky. There it was, bordered by a cemetery with a flag pole proudly flying the United States flag, the large red brick two story building connected to the church stood in all its glory.

The more I take the time to study the architecture of different churches my level of appreciation for church buildings has amplified. I relate this to taking the time to smell the roses. If you don’t take the time to smell the roses you never fully appreciate the beauty and the smells of the flower. It’s about taking the time to relax; to take time out of one’s busy schedule to enjoy or appreciate the beauty of the life provided by God. The Church Journey is allowing me to take the time to appreciate the hard work and the sacrifices made to provide a wonderful church building that glorifies God. During this pandemic, as many churches have switched to an online service, it has become clear to many that the church building is not the church. The people full of the holy spirit make up the church through the body of Christ.

After taking pictures I sat down on the stairs leading up to the church entrance, and spent time reading the Bible. I then finished this journey in prayer.  Before leaving I waved at the security camera guarding the entrance. Yes, many churches I visit have security cameras monitoring the property, so maybe in a strange kind of way I did have a distant fellowship with whomever is watching the security cameras.

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. I look forward for our world to return to normal fellowship. I miss the ability to spend time in the church sanctuary. The lack of fellowship and pictures from inside the church leaves a void in the stories I share.  

DETAILS:   

Church Website: http://cedargrovebaptistchurch.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CedarGroveBaptist5302/

You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUHAiy4p5p8mpLuV07trpcg

Date Visited: 2020 March 27th

Location: 5302 Nails Creek Rd, Maryville, Tennessee.

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The current sanctuary is made of solid red bricks. The front of the building has a Colonial Revival look with concrete steps leading up to the main entry. It features wooden double doors allowing a warm entrance into the sanctuary. The church has a stunning steeple with a white wooden tower supporting the belfry and lantern topped with a copper spire pointing up into the blue sky graced with white puffy clouds.

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The church has rounded top arched stained-glass windows going down the side of the building. The windows allow natural light to flow into the sanctuary. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

As we continue to experience unprecedented times for both the world and our community, let us do so by strengthening our faith.  Great challenges demand great faith.  Faith is strengthened by feeding it.  it’s an essential component, The Word of God and by engaging our faith by loving our neighbors.  Please be disciplined in the intake of Scripture and open your heart and hands to the opportunities that will undoubtedly come your way.

Martin Luther once said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”  If prayer is a mark of spiritual health and vibrancy, conditions of compromised spiritual health make prayer even more essential.  [1]

It is important for you and for me to pour out our hearts in prayer. When we confide our needs to the Lord in heartfelt and sincere prayer, we grow in our trust in the love of God. This is an opportunity to grow in trust of God, and encouraged people to remember that “Jesus has experienced the full measure of human suffering, that the Lord suffered and died for us and for our salvation, and that, no matter what occurs, our hope in his love will not disappoint us. Our growth in God doesn’t happen only when times are relatively calm and peace; often, we receive spiritual growth in God’s likeness when we are called to love in extraordinary times, as we are being challenged to do in these days.

As church leaders continue to walk by faith and not by sight. I ask you to continue to pray during this pandemic. Many churches are facing budget challenges as members of congregations have lost their jobs. 

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.

This then, is how you should pray:

“Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the Glory, Forever. Amen.” (Matthew, 6:9-13). KJV

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. Cedar Grove Baptist Church website, “The Accent” (2020, April) Retrieved from http://cedargrovebaptistchurch.org/ 
  2. Wikipedia. (2020, April 13) “Second Great Awakening”,  Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Great_Awakening

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