Although there were small congregations of Christian Churches in the the area as early as 1828, the first Christian Church congregation in Jonesborough materialized only in 1870 when it purchased the land to build a church on the north side of Woodrow Avenue at South Cherokee Street.
During the Cholera Epidemic of 1873 the carpenters had to cease work on the church in order to build coffins for the dead. The church also lost one of its largest contributors to the epidemic, Mr. George E. Gresham, which delayed completion until 1874. Source: "Jonesborough, The First Century of Tennessee's First Town."
A 1993 history of Central Christian Church contradicts the above version: "According to the will of George E. Gresham dated August 3, 1873, the property spoken of as being on Cherokee Street was the boys school known as Martin Academy. The lot and building thereon was willed to the Christian Church (Mr. Gresham died in the Cholera epidemic, and the building later burned)."
"The First Christian Church as it was known was meeting in the building (now the Parson's Table) built by Fuller Gresham sometime around 1889."
The small brick church originally had an openwork wooden spire which was removed in later years. The small frame building in the back was the original parsonage.
In the 1880's the building was used for other gatherings, such as temperance meetings, lectures, concerts and other local events.
"In November 1896 at a revival held by brother E. C. Buck, the church was active for a few years.
"The Church was in inactive status from 1900-1909. In April 1909, Evangelist J. A. Campbell conducted a two week revival, with the following persons coming to membership by letter: Della Vines, Maggie Eutsler, C. E. Eutsler, William Eepps, Laura Trusler, Ethel Depew, Authur Depew, Jacob Hilbert, Deborah Gray, W. D. Gray, Etella Scott, J. T. E. Williams, Mimie Sherfey, Ralph Depew, and a Mrs. Cox. These coming by Baptism: Howard Trusler, Albert Trusler, Theodore Eutsler, Roy Cloyd, Walter Campbell, J. A. Vines. C. E. Eutsler served as clerk. The church was known as The Christian Church.
"On May 9, 1909 a meeting was held for reorganizing the Church of Christ at Jonesborough. the following officers were chosen: Trustees- A.J. Trusler, John Gresham, J. B. Buck, J. L. Hilbert, J. A. Vines, and C. E. Eutsler, Elders- A.J. Trusler, J. B. Buck, C. E. Eutsler, John Gresham, Deacons- J. A. Vines, J. T. E. Williams, W. D. Gray, J. L. Hilbert, Elias Vines, and Ralph Depew. Again C. E. Eutsler was clerk."
In the 1950s the congregation of the First Christian Church merged with the Central Christian Church in what was originally the northern Presbyterian Church building.
Now the Parson's Table Restaurant.
Thank you again to Ellen Hattaway of the Central Christian Church, for contributing the history of the two Christian Church congreations, taken from "Glimpses of Yesterday's Lights for Tomorrow," by Mrs. Mary Hardin McCown and notes of Mrs. Mariam Fink Dulaney, 1993.
Back to Historic Tour
Back to Jonesborough TNGenWeb
Back to Washington County TNGenWeb
Background design provided by: By The Sea Enterprises