We are a congregation founded in 1841 continually striving to respond to God's unimaginable grace in loving obedience. We are professionals and students, retirees and entrepreneurs. We're traditional but not stuffy, open but not pushy. None of us are perfect but we are all loved and claimed by God.
what to expect
Built on a site purchased from future US President Andrew Johnson, shelled during battle in the Civil War, and a strong presence in the community during the great depression, this church is deeply rooted in its rich history.
Organized in 1841 with thirty charter members by the Rev. Isaac S. Bonham, the Greeneville CP Church has pointed its spire heavenward since 1860 from its present location on North Main and Church Streets. Here Pastor John P. Holtsinger began construction of the first unit of the present building on a lot purchased from Senator (afterwards, President) Andrew Johnson for $1200. This spot has been the scene of a Cumberland Presbyterian Newspaper, The American Presbyterian, edited by the Rev. Joseph B. Dobson in the 1850’s.
Pastor Holtsinger was not destined to see the building completed until after the War Between the States, in which he served as a chaplain. The church also saw military duty serving as a stable and hospital, and was “wounded” with the cannon ball in the front wall on September 4, 1864. On that same day Gen. John H. Morgan was killed in the Williams garden across the street. Col. John H. Doughty completed the building in 1875, and the exterior woodwork of the cornice and steeple were designed and executed by James F. Fields and Robert D. Maloney. Done in the style of the Greek Revival, the church is on the National Register of Historic Places. The spire is surmounted by a figure of the Angel Gabriel in gold leaf.
After the War, the congregation was quite small, but by 1900 grew to more than a hundred. In the early 1900’s, a very large Men’s Bible Class came into being, and the second unit—an educational wing—was completed on the Church Street side in 1926. In 1922, the Greeneville Church entertained the General Assembly, the highest court of our denomination.
A steady, continuous growth through the mid-century years called for expanded facilities, and in 1947, adjacent property was purchased. Starting in 1949 with the restoration of the church spire, many new facilities were added in a ten-year building program. This consisted of a complete remodeling of the old units, including chapel and sanctuary, and construction of two new educational units which include the fellowship hall, kitchen, class rooms, parlor and church offices. In the 1960’s a property next door which housed the YMCA was purchased, and the church furnished this facility free of charge for “Y” activities as a part of our united outreach.
In the late 1980’s, the church again saw the need for expanded facilities. A building and lot west of the sanctuary on Church Street was purchased and incorporated into the present structure, providing space for large gatherings and Sunday School classes. The church continues to offer its space to outside groups as a part of its mission to the community.
Across the years, this church has extended its love and concern to all those seeking a warm Christian fellowship. There are now over 350 active members and they come from more than twenty denominational backgrounds. While giving full support to the program of the denomination, this church is yet ecumenical in the best sense of the term. It welcomes to its worship and membership those of all persuasions who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, and it works in harmony with all other Christians of the community to the glory of God and for the service of humankind.
OF CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIANS
The faith of the church orders and shapes the life of the people of God--their mission, their government, their worship, and the orderly conduct of the church's affairs.
We believe in the only true and living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who is holy love, eternal, unchangeable in being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
God's will for people and all creation is altogether wise and good. Although revealed in the scriptures and in the events of nature and history, God's will is made known supremely in the person of Jesus Christ, who did God's will even to death.
God, in creating persons, gives them the capacity and freedom to respond to divine grace in loving obedience. Therefore, whoever will may be saved.
God acts to heal the brokenness and alienation caused by sin and to restore the human family to community through the reconciliation effected in Jesus Christ. God acts to restore us to a covenant relationship, the nature of which is that of a family. It is established through God's initiative and the human response of faith.
Adoption is the action of God to include in the covenant family all who are made new persons in Christ. This action assures community with God and one's brothers and sisters in Christ, both now and in the full redemption of the family of God.
The struggle with sin is continuous, for believers are still imperfect in knowledge and the power to do God's will. Their freedom to trust, love, and serve God and neighbors is compromised sometimes by distrust, hate and selfishness. This inner struggle drives them again and again to rely on God's power to conform them to the image of the new person in Jesus Christ.
Believers who seek to know and to do the will of God, and who live in him as he lives in them, may in this life be assured of salvation and thus rejoice in the hope of fully sharing the glory of God. This assurance will increase as the believer faithfully participates in the worship, sacraments, ministry, witness, and life of the covenant community, through which God confirms to believers the promise never to leave or forsake them.