Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

August 8th Celebrations

On August 8, 1963, President Andrew Johnson of Tennessee freed the slaves he then owned. This is "Tennessee's Emancipation Day," and this occurred before the 13th amendment was put into effect nationwide.

Since that first emancipation day, African-Americans from East Tennessee and on up into Kentucky as well have celebrated August 8. In the days of segregation, Chilhowee Park would close the fairgrounds to its regular customers (white people) and open the Park for this celebration for its black citizens. There are many Knoxvillians still alive today that remember these celebrations.

August 8th has a special meaning for our congregation, because our cemetery (known as the 1st United Presbyterian Church Cemetery) has buried within it at least two of the most well known of Andrew Johnson's freed slaves: William Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson. The grave and marker of Elizabeth Johnson has been found, however, we are still looking for the grave of William Johnson, though historical documents make it clear that he is buried in our cemetery.

The cemetery committee of 4th United Presbyterian Church headed by Elder Mary Whaley continues to work for restoration of these historic cemetery grounds. And, many citizens in the Mechanicsville community and local volunteers are taking an interest as well.

There is a celebration of August 8 to be held on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at M.L. King Park in Alcoa, TN (bus tour at noon, then food, music, etc. at 6 p.m. that evening).

A celebration of this important day of freedom is also scheduled for August 8 in First United Presbyterian Church Cemetery (our cemetery) during that Sunday afternoon. Details will be announced this week.

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