Early Churches

Probably the first church organization in Giles County was the Baptist Church at Cross Water, which was organized in 1808 by the Buchanans, Ezells and other settlers of that neighborhood. A log meeting-house was erected in 1809, which stood for a number of years, until torn down and a new and more commodious one was built, which was given the name of Old Zion. Other early churches of this denomination were erected as, follows: Lynn Creek Church in 1810, Indian Creek Church, Robertson Fork Church, and a church near the Martin Wood's place in 1811. In 1815 the Baptists organized a church in Pulaski, and in about 1820 erected a substantial brick church building. The organization dying out in after years, the building was sold and converted into a private residence, since when there has been no Baptist Church in the town.

In about 1809 the Methodists organized their first church and erected a log meeting house on Lynn Creek, one and a half miles north of old Lynnville, of which Rev. Pruit was the first preacher. In 1810 that denomination organized and erected a church at Mount Pisgah, and soon afterward the " Brick " Church was erected in what is now the Seventeenth Civil District. In 1811 Rehobeth Church, one of the most celebrated of the early Methodist churches, was erected on the Pulaski & Elkton Pike, four miles southeast of the former place. During the same year a Methodist Church was erected on Indian Creek, about three miles southwest of Bee Spring. Bethel Church, on Elk River, was erected in 1817, almost entirely alone by Wm. R. Brown. Mount Gilead Church was erected in 1830, and Hopewell Church in 1829. Sometime in 1820 a log church was erected on Third Street in Pulaski. Later on a large brick church was erected, which was afterward sold to the Odd Fellows, and in 1851 the present substantial brick church was erected at a cost of about $8,000. The twenty-second session of the Tennessee Conference was held in Pulaski, commencing November 6, 1833, being held in the court house. In 1830 a large campground was established at Prospect and a church subsequently erected, known by that name.

The Presbyterians organized and erected their first church in the county at Elk Ridge, two and one-half miles east of Lynnville, in about 1810, of which Rev. David Weir was the flirt preacher. Marr's Hill Church was erected the following year. In 1812 the Pulaski Church was erected, of which Rev. Gideon Blackburn was the first preacher. In 1820 the Presbyterians and Masonic lodge joined finances, and erected a large brick church and Masonic hall combined, and in 1852 the present brick church was erected at a cost of about $7,000. In 1822 the Tennessee Presbytery met at the courthouse in Pulaski.

The first church organized and erected in Giles County by the Cumberland Presbyterians was Mount Moriah, in the Thirteenth District, in the fall of 1811.The Organization took place at the residence of Reese Porter, whose son, James B., was the first preacher in charge of the church. The Shoal Creek Church was erected in 1818 in the Paisley neighborhood, of which Rev. A. Smith was the first preacher. The Pulaski Church was organized in July, 1828. In 1840 a large brick church was erected, which was subsequently torn down, and the present handsome edifice erected, in 1882, at a cost of about $10,000. All of these early churches had their campgrounds, and conducted camp-meetings until about 1840, and in some instances until within a few years of the breaking out of the late war.

The Pulaski Episcopal Church was organized in about 1849 or 1850, and held services in the Odd Fellow's Hall until 1854, when the congregation purchased the old Female College building, and converted the same into a rectory, which is in use at the present time. The congregation has a beautiful lot, and it is the intention to erect a handsome church edifice thereon at no distant day. The Pulaski Christian Church was established in 1859, and for a while held their meetings in the courthouse, but at present meet in the Odd Fellow's Hall.

The churches of the present, outside of the towns in the county are as follows, by civil districts:

First District- Smyrna; Mount Pleasant, Methodist Episcopal South, and Union Hill, Missionary Baptist.

Second District- Fetusia, Cumberland Presbyterian; Liberty, Methodist Episcopal South; Ridge, Baptist, and Poplar Hill used by all denominations.

Third District- Pleasant Hill, Beach Grove, Cumberland Presbyterian; Mount Zion, Beach Spring, Baptists; Bethel, Carmel and Hebron, Methodist Episcopal South.

Fourth District- Bluff Spring, Missionary Baptist; Puncheon Camp, Hard Shell Baptist; Booth's Chapel, Pleasant Ridge, Methodist Episcopal South; Shoal Bluff and Noblett's Chapel, Christian.

Fifth District- Rural Hill, Christian; Loan Oak, Methodist Episcopal South; Weakley Creek and Old Side, Baptist; and Mount Joy, Colored Cumberland Prebyterian, and Chestnut Grove, Colored Missionary Baptist.

Sixth District- Mount Moriah, Cumberland Presbyterian; Trinity, Chestnut Grove, Cedar Grove, Methodist Episcopal South; Cool Spring, Christian; and Cedar Grove, Martin Box, Anthony Hilt, African Methodist Episcopal, and Rocky Point, Colored Baptist.

Eighth District- Sharon, Presbyterian, and Rockey Mount, Colored Presbyterian.

Tenth District- Mount Pleasant and Mount Zion, Methodist Episcopal South.

Eleventh District- Blooming Grove, Friendship, Parson's School House, Methodist Episcopal South, and Old Zion, Baptist.

Twelfth District- Union, Baptist; Mount Olivet, Methodist Episcopal South, and Lilburn Chapel, American Methodist Episcopal.

Thirteenth District- Pleasant Valley, Pleasant Hill, Methodist Episcopal South; Minnow Branch, Methodist, Baptist and Cumberland Presbyterian combined, and Pleasant Hill, African Methodist Episcopal.

Fourteenth District- Taylor's Chapel, Williams' Chapel, Methodist Episcopal South; Gibsonville, Primitive Baptist; Center Point, Christian, and Powell's Chapel, Christian.

Fifteenth District- Antioch, Methodist Episcopal South.

Sixteenth District- Ash Gap and Simpsoll's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal South.

Seventeenth District- Mount Zion, Baptist and "Brick" Church, Methodist Episcopal South.

Eighteenth District- Hurricane Creek, Shoal Creek, Egnew Creek, Methodist Episcopal South, and Scott's Hill, Baptist.

Nineteenth District- Pleasant Valley, Hebron, Salem, Methodist Episcopal South; Pleasant Hill, Baptist, and St. Matthew, African Methodist Episcopal, and Philippi, Colored Cumberland Presbyterian.

Twentieth District- Mount Pisgah, Bee Spring, Mount Zion, Methodist Episcopal South; Unity, Primitive Baptist, and Indian Creek, Hard Shell Baptist