The History of the Black Church in Chester County

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Frye’s Point CME/Christian Church – The Frye’s Point Christian Church, formally Frye’s Point CME Church is the oldest of the Black Churches in Chester County. The Church was founded in 1867 and became affiliated with the CME’s seven years after the organization was established in 1870.
The Church began as Clarks Creek Primitive Baptist Church, which is one of the oldest Christian congregations in West Tennessee. This Church was formed August 12, 1823, while still a part of Henderson County.
The first building, a log house, was constructed on property where Frye’s Point cemetery is now located. The congregation met in that building from 1823-1826. In 1836-1842 they met in a frame building on Jack Creek Road.
The congregation moved into a new meeting house off Clarks Creek in 1842. This meeting house was improved in 1851 on the same location. In 1864 the meeting house was burned by the Federal troops during the civil war and members met in homes until 1867. This is the year that Frye’s Point was founded. There was no school associated with the Church.
The Primitive Baptist Church was integrated with Black Slave Members as early as 1843. And it is obvious that they supported the establishment of the congregation. A tidbit of information is that the current cemetery, known as Frye’s Point Cemetery, was established in 1879. Previously it was known as Clark’s Creek Primitive Baptist Church. However, when White Folks abandoned it, it became a burial ground for Black Folks. The Church is 157 years old.
Montezuma CME Church – The Montezuma Church was founded on March 17, 1907. Three men, D. C. Randolph, Sam Brown, and Sterling Randolph purchased two acres of land for twenty dollars. They built the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church meeting house on this property. At this time there was only one Church in the community and several Black families. They all attended the one Church. In those days, as it was with other Churches, people had to walk or ride to Church in wagons. The building was one room and there was an elementary school across the road.
A second building was built on the same land in 1951. The men in the community, along with help from a group from Jackson, working on the railroad would come to Montezuma to help build the Church. This Church also has a cemetery located on the property.
OTHER CME CHURCHES
Trice’s Chapel CME Church is no longer operating as a Church and currently information about the Church is unavailable. There is a cemetery that bears the name of the Church, but I was informed that it is probable that the cemetery was more a community cemetery.
Saulter’s Chapel AME is no longer operating as a Church and currently information about the Church is unavailable.
Tillman’s Chapel CME/Non-denominational Church continues to operate as a Church but no longer under the CME denomination. Todd Davis is presently their pastor.
HARVEST TIME CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST is a functioning congregation on Beechwood Drive. I was informed that the Church has been in Henderson for about 62 years. Unfortunately, information about the history is unavailable.
Mt Zion CME Church is a church located in Henderson.
In closing I want to thank all of those who proudly shared the great histories of the Churches with which they are affiliated. The failure to get information falls squarely on the writer because of time restrictions. I hope that the information that has been shared has been informative and beneficial.

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