ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN (ARP) CHURCH & CEMETERY-MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE
south of Columbia Tennessee about 8 miles. Turn west going south on Pulaski
Highway and go 1/4 of a mile. The Cemetery is on the east side of the Church.
photo of the historic
Hopewell A. R. P. Church.
HOPEWELL A. P. R. PRESBYTERIAN
CHURCH CEMETERY COMPLETE LISTING
LOCATION MAP OF THE CEMETERY
This church existence is among the earliest in the county
and it is necessary to embark upon a short history to get a
flavor of its unique place in county church history. Many of the early Hopewell settlers in Maury
County were originally of Scottish & Irish descent. Most of these settlers were fervent Presbyterians.
Early dissatisfaction (mid 1600's) with the way the church in Scotland was conducted caused them to
immigrate to Ireland then most later on to America. Upon immigrating to a new area one of the first task
was to organized a church. The settlers that made up this church started
coming in the county before it was Maury County during 1806, at that time a
part of Williamson County. Among them were the Matthews, the Hanna and Baldridge
families. In 1810 the Scotts and others also to joined them. These families
were known as "Seceders" though it might have been several generations
since they or their ancestors had lived in Scotland. This was known in formal
history as the "Second Reformation". Their belief came about because
of their protesting the relationship of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland with the
Scottish Government. They took the name of Associate Reformed Presbyterian
Church to disassociate with this past but continued in some ways to be a part of the church
in Scotland, independent from its governing by-laws.
Services were initially held in the homes of the members because there was no
time or resources to erect the necessary buildings. During 1820 the church was
officially organized here and thereafter a log cabin was built to serve as a place of
worship. This structure was later replaced with a frame one. In 1854 the present
building was erected, making it likely to be the oldest church building in the county
in continuous use from the time of its construction to the today. Today it is
the only representative of its denomination in Maury County.
It is written that the current building was the third structure and that the
first one was of log construction. Also these records state that the three
buildings were all near the current building. One question in my archeological
mind is why many of what appears to be the early members of this church were
buried in the old Matthews Cemetery located three miles
north west of the current building. Was this because the
original building of log construction was located the three miles north west of
the current building or next to Matthews Cemetery and that record is lost? I
don't know of any records to prove this one way or another. If my theory is
correct the first building would have been erected prior to 1820 near Matthews
Cemetery. We should however leave this theory out of the records until more evidence is
The cemetery presented here, which occupies the space just east of the Church
building, was first used about 1916. The first dated tombstone is that of Mr. John E. Walker
interred during 1916.
Sources for this historical article: History of the Churches of Maury County.
Article written by Virginia C. Hindman. Her sources were "Sesquintenial
History of he A.R.P Church". Other info from Maury County Cemetery Records,
by Fred Hawkins and cemetery research by this site author. For more information
on this church see the above mentioned sources. Memories
by Jack Dugger.