Beech Hill Cemetery
PHOTOS OF CEMETERIES IN MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE
A well maintained modern and small Cemetery (75+ Graves, no individual photos)
More than a hundred years have come and gone since a few dedicated Christian saw a need for a congregation of the church of Christ in the Pisgah community of Maury County. This need led them to establish the Beech Hill church of Christ, known at first as the Beech Hill Christian Church, in the year 1895. At first the Christians met in different homes, including the home of Richard Jackson Rail, who would later donate land for a building to be erected.
The first members of the congregation were R. J. Rail, G. W. Hinson, Joe L. Pogue, Wilson Hinson, and Mrs. Etta Kelsey. In 1896 Robert Whiteside held a brush arbor meeting, baptizing 8, including Mr. Tyre Noles who was 77 years old.
Also, in 1896 a building was at a cost of $500 on land that was donated by Richard Jackson Rail to serve not only the congregation for worship, but also to provide a burial ground for members of the community. The building that was erected in 1897 remains part of the building that stands today.
In the early years the congregation had no regular minister but was served by evangelists who help protracted meetings from year to year. Some of these men were Robert Whiteside, W. R. Spivey, Newt Derryberry, and Cain Land. On a weekly basis the men of the congregation handled the preaching and teaching when evangelists were not available.
The Goodman family has been a part of the congregation since 1933. Mr. Richard Goodman attended the brush arbor meeting in 1896 at the age of two. He moved his family to the Pisgah community on 13 January 1933, and they began to attend on a regular basis. Three of his children, Mrs. Frances Barker, Mrs. Grace Prokopeck, and Mr. Jimmy Goodman, remain in attendance today. Mrs. Frances Barker is the longest running member of the congregation, having attended faithfully since 1933. Her sister, Grace, and brother, Jimmy, who still attend today, were away from the congregation for a time when they lived in other areas.
Some other families who attended in the early years were the Barkers, the McAnallys, the Stewarts, the Easteps, the Johnsons, the Garners, the Pogues, the Lyles, the Holdens, and the Flowers families. Many of these families are still represented in the membership of the church today through either children or grandchildren.
Mrs. Frances Barker remembers that in the early days the meeting time was around 11:00 a.m. Most would not return home until 2:00 p.m. After being at home all week working, they looked forward to going to church and seeing everyone.
The first preacher to serve the congregation on a regular basis was Collie Locke who came on the fourth Sunday of each month. Other ministers for the congregation have included: Tommy Compton, Henry Edward, Hazel Spencer (for 18 years), Jesse James, Danny Douglas, Stan Butt, William Wilder, Ken Wilder, and Randy Kersey. Hueston Marshall began serving as minister for the congregation in 1992 and remains in that position today. He also serves as elder with Vernon Brooks and Bill Varnado. Serving the congregation as deacons are Wayne Eastep, Steve Kelley, and Huey Smith.
Around 1946 or 1948 the building was renovated and classrooms were added to the side of the building. This was accomplished by Herschell Barker with the aid of many of the church members. Later the building was made wider and longer by Garfield and Glen Duncan. In the 1990ís vinyl siding was added to the building.
The congregationís current membership is around 50, not counting children. The current membership continues to try to keep the vision of those early Christians of 1895 alive in the Pisgah community by teaching the New Testament and providing a place of worship in the community.
On the second Sunday of October each year, the congregation celebrates its rich heritage with homecoming services. Many of the members who have moved away or to other congregations, along with family of the early members come back to Beech Hill that day to worship together and to enjoy the wonderful fellowship of each other.
by Rick Gray (1999), revised 4 Nov 2004
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