Gills Chapel

Gills Chapel Church 1930's

In 1866, a church building was erected in Gills Chapel near Lewisburg,Tennessee after the outgrowth of a revival held under a bush arbor in the early 1860s conducted by Rev.W. T. Gill; hence the name "Gills Chapel." Most of the work done on the structure was performed by church members and other interested persons in the community. The land on which the building was erected was given to the church, as well as the lumber used in the construction. The lumber was mostly yellow poplar, and the boards, as well as the pews and the shingles on the roof,were band dressed. A general store and a post office were located across the road, and the mail was brought on horseback from Cornersville. A cemetery, also called Gills Chapel, is located near the former church site. Some of the pastors who led the church include Rev. W.T. Gill, Rev. JohnBeasley, Rev. Whorley, grandfather of Rev. J.J. Mabary, pastor of the Verona Charge, Rev. Burch Tucker, Rev. E.M. Steel, Rev. Hudgens, Rev. J.E.Trotter, Rev. Keatherly, Rev. Earl Hillard, Rev. Givens, Rev. Crosslin, Rev. M.K. Harwell, Rev. R.B. Stone, Rev. W.L. Harwell, Rev. Armstrong, Rev. O.L. Lane, Rev. Parker, and Rev. W.W. Johnson. In 1931, the interior of the church was decorated, making it one of the nicest country churches in that locality. At this time, a new hardwood floor was layed and embossed ceilings were installed. When the conference closed the church, some of the membership moved to the Methodist church at New Hope. They once used a reed organ at the church,but later moved it and a piano to New Hope near Ostella. Sometime every morning, the folks of Gills Chapel would get a weather report from the fire tower in the Yell community. This gladdened the hearts of many of the old timers who were once members of the Gills Chapel Methodist Church. The church, a large, one-room structure, was sold on April 4, 1958, and many still remember the church. Some of its membership consisted of the Pruitts, Barnes, Shaws, Bighams, Hollys, Ownbys, among others. In 1967 the State of Tennessee Division of Forestry built a Fire tower and office near the site and it is still in operation.

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