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Computer Things You Should Know
Some men of conviction and courage gathered in Tennessee to set in motion a new church family. Since they had been clergy members of Cumberland Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, a presbytery that had been dissolved, they created a statement, a portion of which says:
"In Dixon County Tennessee State, at the Rev. Samuel McAdow's this 4th day of February, 1810, We, Samuel McAdow, Finis Ewing, and Samuel King, regularly ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church, against whom, no charge, either immorality, or heresy, has ever been exhibited, before any of the church judicature. Having waited in vain for more than 4 years, in the mean time, petitioning the General Assembly for a redress of grievances, and a restoration of our violated rights, have, and do hereby agree and determine to constitute into a presbytery, known by the name of the Cumberland Presbytery." (from Dr. Hubert Morrow's Introduction to A People Called Cumberland Presbyterians).
A Reproduction of the McAdow Cabin, located in Montgomery Bell State Park, Dickson, TN
So the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was born. Those three men made it clear in the rest of the statement that anyone, "who may hereafter be ordained by this presbytery shall be required before such licensure and ordination, to receive and adopt the confession and discipline of the Presbyterian Church, except the idea of fatality, that seems to be taught under the mysterious doctrine of predestination." They also agreed that anyone who could accept that confession without the exception would not be required to do so. In case anyone thinks that they are unlearned men or that education was not important to them, they made it clear that any who would be ordained must be examined in such things as English grammar, geography, astronomy, philosophy, and church history.
If one can imagine the realities of the frontier "wilderness" of that time, surely there would be an extraordinary measure of respect for those who labored in such a time, and to be in awe of their commitment. Recalling the harshness of the times and the challenges of the country makes us realize how much easier it should be for us to live out our faith today.
While traveling through what is now Montgomery Bell State Park - where that event transpired in 1810 - during the time of year when the foliage is the fullest, one can see only a few feet into the woods. Observing the hills and the valleys all over the area, one can understand the difficulties of travel in those days. How did they find their way with no modern maps to guide nor conveniences like adequate lighting at night? They didn't do all this because they were just adventurous. They did it because they had a deep and abiding love for God and for the Church, and they believed that getting the Good News of Christ out to whoever would hear made any sacrifice worthwhile. They believed that Christ died for everybody and that all who trust in Christ would be redeemed. AH! What a heritage and what a Gospel we have to proclaim!
by Rev. E.G. Sims
Copyright Columbia Presbytery & Scott Yates, 2005-2014