Hamilton Crockett Campbell, James Hannah and a Mr. Roper came down the Bumpass Trail and settled near a large spring, which today bears Campbell's name. The settlement became known as Campbellsville, and has continued to this day.
These early settlers began holding worship and prayer meeting in their homes; and started camp meetings during the summer under the trees. They soon started a brush arbor meeting in a grove east of the spring, known as Poplar Grove; by 1820 a log church building had been constructed at that location, which became known as the Poplar Grove Church. This church, which became the Campbellsville Cunberland Presbyterian Church, was the first church in the Campbellsville area.
In December, 1856, Ann Caldwell Hannah, widow of James Hannah, sold the church a tract of land, on which the church building still stands. In 1857, a new log building was built, and used until 1896 when that building was torn down and the present frame structure built.
The old Poplar Grove Church building was torn down, and rebuilt on the south end of the tract that the "new" Cumberland Presbyterian Church was on. This building was the first schoolhouse in Campbellsville, used until around 1875. It was torn down in 1902.
As is true of most churches, records for this church are not complete; and in fact no written records before 1897 are in existence. It is known who some of the pastors, elders, deacons, and who some of the members were before 1897, but not all.
In 1913 a tornado destroyed the Salem Methodist Church which was located about two miles away, and they worshipped with the Campbellsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church until they could build a new church, in Campbellsville in 1914. In 1911 a Church of Christ had been established there, so Campbellsville had three churches.
Then came the decline of rural communities; the Campbellsville School closed in 1978. The bank, post office, and doctors were gone before that date and people were moving, shopping, and attending church in other places; and like many other churches, the Campbellsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church began to decline. In 1981, this church could not survive, and had to close its doors for the last time. For 161 years the church known as Poplar Grove, then as Campbellsville, had served as a source of "Gods Light" to a community that had given greatly to Giles County and the nation; but alas its end had come, the church was no more!
Another Cumberland Presbyterian Church, some ten miles away, services those who don't want to change their doctrine. Reverend James B. Porter organized the Mt. Moriah Cumberland Presbyterian Church in a home in 1810. Reverend J. B. Porter served as pastor of the Campbellsville Church, date unknown, prior to 1897.
Today, Campbellsville has two churches: a Methodist and a Church of Christ, But like most communities if everyone attended church three or more churches could be filled every Sunday.
Webmaster Jennifer H. Stout Campbellsville, TN