Whitwell Chapel UMC

from the Buffalo River Review Aug 18, 2004

[Newspaper Article]

WHITWELL UNITED METHODIST 50 YEAR HOMECOMING The first week of August 2004 Whitwell United Methodist Church celebrated their 50 year Homecoming and Revival. In the year 1901 on Marsh Creek in Perry County, TN, a United Brethren Church was organized with 17 charter members. In 1915 this became known as the Linden Mission.

In 1916 the membership grew to 74. By the year 1921 the family of Mrs. G. D. Whitwell (Agnes Warren Whitwell) had been received into the church.

In 1925, a total of 95 people had united with the Church but in 1926 the church records were revised with 53 resident members in good standing. Soon after this, Byrds Chapel Church (as it was known) disbanded and the deed was returned to the heirs of the Whitwell Family. The Lord laid it on the heart of Rev. Dewey Whitwell to build a church in the lower Marsh Creek community. He shared this burden with many friends and relatives Among them was his father George D. Whitwell, who agreed to give the land, which now belongs to the local Board of Trustees of the Church. However Mr. Whitwell (1868-1953) died before he could convey this property to the Board of Trustees. Later his youngest daughter, Mrs. Eva Petty purchased the land and carrried out the wish of her father by executing a deed to the church site, the parking lot, and the cemetery to the Board of Trustees.

In the summer of 1954 Rev. Dewey Whitwell and the late Rev. T. B. McGinnis, of Lancaster, Ohio, broke ground for the church building. Rev. Dewey Whitwell, who had been appointed business manager and treasurer by the Tennessee Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, had $11.42 in the treasury when they broke ground. The church cost approximately $6,500 in cash for materials and more than 1200 hours were donated by church members and the community. In a little over a year the Whitwell Chapel Church was completed and dedicated debt free.

During the 50 Year homecoming, the grandson of Rev. Dewey Whitwell, Rev. Scott Bradford, gave the Homecoming message. His message was well received by the over 90 Homecoming members and guests in attendance.   After the homecoming service, the current Pastor, Ron Jones, and several Whitwell Chapel members, notably Bro. David Newsham and Bro. Jack Westbrook, helped opened the 50 Year Time Capsule, placed in the cornerstone at the dedication of the church June 26, 1955. Living members of Rev. Dewey Whitwell’s family were in attendance: his daughter   Wanda Sue Whitwell Bradford Suggs. Rev. Scott Bradford’s son Daryl Bradford from Texas and Rev. Whitwell’s daughter Cindy Bradford Sabo and her husband from Ohio.   After the Homecoming services a great dinner was served, prepared by the members and guests of Whitwell Chapel United Methodist Church. Some 120 people were fed.

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Please e-mail me if you have any of this information, for any church (past or present) in Perry County.  Thank you.   Contact Jerry L Butler, your Perry County TNGenWeb coordinator.

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