REMAIN: Free Write Day 15




Walk with me, won’t you?


Up a few steps and through the beautiful antique doors.



We’re in the narthex. See the old saddle rooms on each side?


Up another step and into the beautifully restored sanctuary with its buttery-yellow walls and glossy white woodwork.


The organ pipes may eventually catch your eye over in the right corner, but it’s the cross in the center that draws us in.



The cross always draws . . .


Welcome to First Presbyterian Church — Jefferson City, Tennessee. For the past three years, Renaissance Man and I have been part of this church; part of this family.


Today we’ll celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of this family. We’ll sit in the same pews as the very first congregants. We’ll walk on the same wood floors.


We’ll pray to the same faithful and loving God.


Communion plate and cup (as well as the cross) were made by a church member from a walnut tree that once stood in the church yard.


While the town around it changed, this place remained.


Standing firm. Reliable. Faithful.



May it be so for the next 150 years.


May I do my part to make that happen.




I choose to share this church family not because we’re all alike. We absolutely are not! But we all come together in our brokenness, our disappointments, our struggles—and we love each other through the hard. We’re learning together to better love our neighbors—the ones who aren’t like us, don’t share our life advantages, and seldom share the pew with us on Sunday morning.


We’re all human and far from perfect . . . but we’re intentional about stepping out of our comfort zones.


Do you choose to share a church family?  Why—or why not?


For you history buffs, here are a few interesting tidbits about the original church building . . .


January 17, 1870 — While under construction, the original church building was totally ruined by a tornado. Construction began again with even thicker walls and more structural support.

May 17, 1871 The Female College mentioned just above the highlighting went on to join the local male institution, eventually becoming what is today Carson-Newman University—a hallmark of Christian higher education in our community and around the world.

Complete: the “modern” Presbyterian Church at Mossy Creek. Several years after the town’s name changed from Mossy Creek to Jefferson City, the church changed its name to First Presbyterian Church of Jefferson City.

Rev. J. H. Martin also composed hymns. Click the article to see a list. I wish I knew which one was the “Dedication Hymn” sung in 1871!