TEMPLE METHODIST CHURCH HISTORY
between Munfordville and Cub Run.
The Wilkerson Temple Methodist
Church is located 6 miles west of Munfordville, Kentucky, slightly
off Highway 88 in the little community of Kessinger, Hart County,
Kentucky. A church has been here for so long and very little is
known about it's early years or what year it was organized. The
church building that is now standing is the third church building to
be located here.
The first church building was an
old log building that stood slightly behind the now existing
one. My mother, Ollie May (Poston) Presley (1896-1966), said
the church was organized by Joe Wilkerson, Grandfather of Rev.
J. W. Wilkerson (Uncle Johnny to most people, 1851-1935). There
were many people living in the community by the surname of Wilkerson
at that time as well as today. No one that we've talked with
has any idea how many years the Old Log Church Building stood.
The second church building was
built slightly in front of the Old Log Church Building. It was
in the exact spot where the church building is now standing.
Norman Locke and Charlie Fitzzaland I built the church. (There were 4
Charlie Fitzzalands, but the one that helped to build the church was
the grandfather of Charlie Fitzzaland III, or "Boy"
(1894-1944), as everyone called him.)
Cynthia (Wilkerson) Reynolds
(1901-1986) said her mother told her she went to this church when she
was a small girl. So this had to be about 1880 as her mother
was born in 1874 and died in 1940.
Many have said the second
building was a large church building with a tall belfry. When
the bell was rung, you could hear it for miles around. When
anyone in the community died, the church bell was rung to let friends
and neighbors know of the death and that help was needed to dig
a grave in the cemetery that is located next to the church
building. Many people responded to the call.
Church services were held once a
month. Most people walked, but some came in buggies, wagons and
on horseback. Revivals were held annually each summer and some
of the revivals continued nightly for weeks non-stop.
The parsonage was down an incline
behind the church. Rev. Horne was the pastor in 1912 and lived
in the parsonage. Laura (Fitzzaland) Stringer (1905-1989) says
she remembered him visiting with her father, Charles Fitzzaland II,
and praying with him a few days before her father died. Rev.
Lloyd Logsdon was pastor after Rev. Horne. He also lived in the
parsonage. He was a brother to Rev. Georgie Logsdon of Cub Run
(Mrs. Dollie Logsdon's uncle). Rev. Sherman Riggs was pastor in
1917 and stayed 5 or 6 years. He rode a big horse when he
visited in the neighborhood. About this time, the church was
put on the Munfordville Circuit and the parsonage was sold.
Many of the pastors walked from Munfordville to fill their
appointments and stayed over night with some of the members.
Church services were held on the second Sunday of the month and
Saturday night before the second Sunday.
In 1930 the church building
became so old and dilapidated it was torn down and the new existing
building was built in the same spot, using the foundation rocks from
both of the previous churches. Sherman Nunn remembers being
there and watching the men dig out the old foundation rocks from
where the Old Log Church stood. Mr. Clarence Richardson
(1874-1950) and his sons, Buster and Alan, built the church.
Mr. Richardson fell off the ladder while putting the weather boarding
on and broke his finger. He had to go 6 miles to Munfordville
to the doctor. It cost him $3.00 to get his finger set.
No doubt this was more than he made in 3 or 4 days, as wages then
were 50 to 75 cents a day.
The building was completed during
the summer of 1930 and an all-day service was held to dedicate
the Church. Rev. Taylor, Pastor, and Rev. Tilton, District
Superintendent, were the ones to dedicate the church. A big
crowd attended the dedication. Mr. Ted Crenshaw said his family
was there and took dinner to spread with the fellowship.
Emmitt Arvel Brown (1915-1992), husband of Eloise Presley Brown,
remembers Uncle Johnny Wilkerson being there at the dedication and
requesting they sing, "In a Land Where We'll Never Grow Old".
Rev. Tilford Sharp was pastor
after Rev. Taylor. They both stayed only one year. Rev.
Frank Hardesty was pastor in 1933-1934. He often walked out
from Munfordville in the winter when snow was on the ground.
Mr. B.C. (Berry) Puckett (1880-1955) ran a grocery store at
Kessinger, and he often went after the pastor and always took him
back home to Munfordville. At this time Mr. Puckett was the
Superintendent of the Sunday School. In 1935, Rev. D. A. Payton
was pastor and stayed for 2 years. Mr. B. C. Puckett moved away
and Mrs. Laura Butler was Sunday School Superintendent for 4 or 5
years. After this, Mr. Robert Cleve Puckett (1888-1952) was
Sunday School Superintendent. Then for several years there was
no Sunday School. The community became concerned and Sunday
School was again organized with the help of Mr. Russell Nunn
(1865-1947), his wife, Martha Green Nunn (1883-1963), Mr. Clabe
Waddle (1866-1942), Mrs. Sophia Jacobs (1884-1974) and Mrs. Ollie
Presley (1896-1966). These were considered the
"backbone" of the church at that time. Mrs. Ollie
Presley was the Sunday School Superintendent, and she continued as
the Sunday School Superintendent for over 20 years (maybe 25 years).
About 1939 or 1940, the church
was transfered to the Cub Run Charge. During these years the
Pastors were: Rev. G. G. Liles 1939-1942, Rev. Earl Sipes (2 years),
Rev. Obrey Woodward (2 years), Rev. R. D. Humphreys (2 years), Rev.
Herron (2 years), Rev. James Jones (1 year), Rev. J. C. Landrum (1954
- 1 year), Rev. Ernest F. Baulch (2 years). Then the church was
put on the Rocky Hill Edmonson County Charge for one year and Rev. A.
L. Hodges was Pastor for 17 or 18 years. The church was then
placed on the Munfordville Circuit for a few years and then placed
again on the Cub Run Charge.
Rev. A. L. Hodges was pastor 3
times. He was pastor 2 years before Rev. J. C. Landrum and 11 or 12
years after Rev. Landrum.
Other Pastors and dates follow:
The Sunday School Superintendents
after Mrs. Ollie Presley (1896-1966)have been Mrs. Sophia Jacobs
(1884-1974), Mrs. Sophia Owens (1910-1984), Mrs. Flossie Stewart,
Mrs. Mary Staples (1908-1988), Mrs. Zelma Puckett (1918-1988), Mr.
Pete Reynolds, Mr. Lawrence Waddell (1907-1981), Mrs. Eloise Presley
Brown, Mrs. Carmie Reynolds, Mr. Jimmy Staples, Garland Logsdon and
the present one (1999) is Mr. James Meredith.
Among others, the Trustees during
the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s were Isaac Martin Presley
(1888-1971), Robert Cleve Puckett (1888-1952), Fred
Reynolds(1908-1983), Oscar Durad Tharp (1888-1970), Osceola Russell
Nunn (1865-1947), Macy L. Reynolds(1895-1983), Mr. Clabe Waddle
(1866-1942), and Jim Bostic (1869-1953).
The content history of the Church
1. The pulpit stand was made by
Enmon Waddle (1898-1964) from a solid cherry wooden bed in 1930.
2. The little table was made by
John Campbell in 1932.
3. The picture of the "Last
Supper" was given to the church by Edith Waddle Hanses
(1917-1982) in 1950.
4. Two other pictures were given
by Ersie Jaggers Horton (1913-1969) and Ollie Poston Presley (1896-1966).
5. The two collections baskets
were woven and made by Leona Druen Reynolds (1906-1972) in 1955.
6. The big picture of Christ
Praying was hand painted and donated by James Puckett in 1975.
7. The Mourners Bench was donated
by Melvin Warren (1917-1993) in 1972 or 1973.
8. The old home made pews were
sold and their proceeds were used with donations to buy new pews in
1976 or 1977.
9. The old bell in the second
church building was stolen in the 1950s and the present bell was
donated by Mamie Waddle Kersten about 1976.
10. New white oak, hand-woven
collection baskets were made by Martha Sweet in 1993 or 1994.
11. Water lines and restrooms
were added about 1994 by Lindon Russell and other donations.
12. New flooring and sills were
installed in 1998 by the men of the Church.
13. A storage building was added
14. A wood fence was built in
front of the cemetery in 1997.
15. A Pavailion was built in 1998.
16. The church received new
electrical wiring and new light fixtures in 1999.
17. Jeff Staples, Hart County
Sheriff, donated 1/2 acre of land on the north side of the cemetery
for cemetery enlargement.
Wilkerson Temple Methodist Church
is a plain, small, rural-country church with no stained glass windows
and of little monetary value, but rich in the knowledge of God.
Visitors and church family sense the Spirit of God when they come to
Worship Jesus Christ in Wilkerson Temple Methodist Church. We
are thankful for the many who have gone on before us that saw the
need and heeded to God's calling, the ones who organized the church,
and the leaders down through the years. We pray that each
visitor and member will continue to heed to God's voice and grow in
the knowledge and service of God.
"I wish to extend thanks to
the following people who shared this oral history of
Wilkerson Temple Methodist Church that I may present the oral history
into written form: Eloise Presley Brown, Dorthy Presley Nunn, Sherman
Nunn, Cynthia Wilkerson Reynolds, Ted Crenshaw, Elsie Richardson
Avery, Betty Ann Puckett Logsdon, Mable Wilkerson Bratcher, Laura
Bastin © Copyright 1999