| A BRIEF HISTORY of
the Presbyterian Church
Hickory Withe Tennessee.
Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church was born on the fourth Sabbath in December, 1834, and bore the name of Prosperity Church. This event heralded the beginning of Presbyterians in western Fayette County, Tennessee. Under the leadership of Rev. Peter R. Bland, who was constituting pastor and moderator, there were twenty-nine(29) believers who came together as the congregation of Prosperity Church.
One of the first orders of business was the election of four Ruling Elders: Messers. Barney Owens, Samuel Neal, William Alien and George Thompson, who served as the first stated clerk. These Ruling Elders with Teaching Elder Bland formed the first Session. God used this leadership and the congregation grew to a membership of sixty-one (61). There were many challenges ahead.
The first home of Prosperity Church was a log building on the site of the present Mt Pleasant Cemetery. The second building, a white frame structure, was sold and moved to Nollies Chapel on Belgrove Rd. where it still stands. Our current sanctuary is estimated to be over one hundred years old and was originally owned by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
About 1843, a Cumberland Presbyterian Church was established in the Hickory Withe community and was called Mt Pleasant Church, later changing its name to Hickory Withe congregation.
All the while God was working through the Prosperity congregation and at the spring meeting of Presbytery, 1850, the congregation was divided to form a new body known as Macon Presbyterian Church with Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church continuing. Some years later the Macon congregation was dissolved and its members moved into the Oakland and Somerville Presbyterian churches.
With the division in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) at the time of the Civil War, our congregation became the Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS).
On May 10, 1907 the congregation of Cumberland Church at Hickory Withe voted to be dissolved and the membership was received into the Hickory Withe PCUS.
During the long association with the "southern" church our congregation was faithfully represented at the Presbytery and Synod Meetings by a Ruling Elder.
Upon recommendation of Session the congregation on August 10, 1980 voted to withdraw from and sever all ties with the Presbyterian Church in the United States and at its fall meeting, Memphis Presbytery concurred. Shortly thereafter, the congregation was received by Covenant Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
As we look back it seems that the name "Prosperity" was providential as God has always been sufficient through good times and hard times. For many years the pulpits of Hickory Withe and Oakland were supplied on alternate Sundays, during this time of having no "undershepherd" on the field full time, the congregation remained faithful. Sunday School was held each Lord's Day. The women's work, then known as Ladies Aid Society, but now known as Women in the Church (WIC) was a bulwark of strength during these perilous times.
In September 1981 the congregation called the Rev. Kenneth Camp for full time service, and he began his labors with an installation service on November 29, 1981. God is richly blessing this congregation through his ministry, laying strong foundations of faith, as we look to the next one hundred fifty years.
| In Hickory Withe, Every Family is a Branch