Erin Presbyterian Church – The Church Journey


July 16, 2020 –

I had the privilege to visit Erin Presbyterian Church, which was established in 1877, and is the oldest continuing church in West Knoxville. Erin was originally founded as a Scots-Irish congregation for new immigrants to this area. The first Erin church was situated just off Northshore Drive. The second building was located at the corner of Northshore and Kingston Pike. They moved into their present building on Lockett Rd in 1955. [1]

More than 130 years ago, several prominent families moved to the vicinity called Bearden. Later more families came and a village grew. Many of these people were religious. Many of them were Presbyterians. For some time, the village had no name and there was no house of worship. As some of the families came from Ireland it was suggested that the village be named Erin. [1]

In the early 1870’s Mrs. Joseph Cooper gave the land on which to erect a church with the understanding that all denominations would have privilege of worshiping and preaching there. A little later the members of the Christian Church built a church of their own. On May 13th, 1874 Mrs. Cooper a staunch Baptist deeded the property to the Presbyterian Church of USA. Then the house of worship was named Erin Presbyterian Church. [1]

Erin has been Presbyterian since it was first established. They are a Christ centered church and spread the Gospel through our ministries and missions. They are also part of a local community of churches called the Bearden-Sequoyah United Ministries. Throughout the year, they participated in various services and projects in the neighborhood. [1]


I appreciated the history behind this church, which takes you back to 1877 founded by Scots-Irish immigrants. I treasured the pictures of the past church building over the years since the inception they have been fruitfully supporting the congregation and local community. The original church steeple bell dated September 30, 1877 is located on the current site.

During my research I also found several church related newspaper articles going back to the late 1800’s. During my visit I spent time on the church steps in prayer giving thanks for the long history and the multiple people that have been blessed through this church.



The cornerstone for the church built in 1903 was laid on October 29, 1903 at 3pm. The original building erected in 1874 was to small to accommodate the growing congregation. The new building will have an auditorium and also a Sunday school chapel. It will accommodate 450 people. [2]


In September of 1955 when they opened the corner stone on the old 1903 church that was being replaced by a new church, they found a list of past members a newspaper dated Oct 03 1903 and a nickel dated 1883. [3] They moved into the new sanctuary in May of 1956. The dedication was held on October 14 1956 at 3 pm. The structure seats 340 persons in the auditorium and has educational facilities for 500. [4]


Immigrants over the last 200 years have made the United States a great melting pot of culture and religion.  In the late 19th century, immigrants came to the United States in droves. The absolute number of immigrants in the country rose from less than 2.5 million in 1850 to more than 13.5 million in 1910. That boosted immigrants as a share of the population to 15%, from 10%, over the period. The impact must be considered in light of the fact that at the close of the Civil War, the nation’s population was just over 30 million. Irish and German immigration had begun prior to the Civil War. [5]


With the National emergency for the COVID-19 virus many churches are remaining closed during the week only providing limited capacity openings on Sundays.  At the time of my visit the church was closed, so I spent time outside the church in meditation and prayer.


Church Website:


Date Visited: 2020 June 12th

Location:  200 Lockett Road, Knoxville, TN

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.

“Now, Our God, hear the prayers and the petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord look with favor on your desolate sanctuary” – (Daniel 9:17)

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




  1. Miss Beatrice Gray writes history in 1944, Erin Presbyterian Church website, “About Us” (2020, July 14) Retrieved from
  2., “Erin Church’s Corner Stone will be Laid Next Thursday” (1903 October 24) The Knoxville Sentinel, Knoxville Tn.
  3., “1903 Papers Among Relics Found in Church Cornerstone” (1955 September 15) The Knoxville Sentinel, Knoxville Tn.
  4., “Church To Dedicate New $48,000 Building” (1956 October 13) The Knoxville Journal, Knoxville Tn.
  5. (2020, July 15) U.S Immigrant Population and Share Over Time, 1850 to Present Retrieved from

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