Located 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:

    Rev. James Jones  


    Rev. Ernest F. Baulch


    Rev. Truman Hardesty


    Rev. A. L. Hodges


    Rev. Joe Parker


    Rev. Raymond Craddock


    Rev. Robie McPeak


    Rev. Wendell Overstreet


    Rev. Robie McPeak


    Rev. Charles (Chuck) Pruitt


    Rev. Nathan Richards


    Rev. Ernest (Ernie) Saint


    Rev. Tommy Adams


    Rev. Robert (Bob) Powell


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 Building follows:

    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 in 1999.

    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 Fitzzaland Stringer."


Edith Bastin © Copyright 1999