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Archer's Chapel Crockett County, Tennessee

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The Start of Archer's Chapel by Emma Ebbie Archer

Before 1886, the people of Frog Jump worshipped in an old one room log house, constructed of hand hewn logs that were fastened together with wooden pegs, had a dirt floor and windows with no glass, only shutters.

The seats were hand hewn logs that were called "puncheons".

For several years the school house was called "Old Frog Jump School House", but the original name was Moore School House which was located on Trav Moore's property.

Sometime between 1886 and 1898, the old log school house was abandoned. The logs falling loose at the corners, the doors off the hinges, and the roof caving in and was considered unsafe for any further public service. It was then used for storing farm tools and hay for livestock. "

Between the years 1886 and 1911, the community of Frog Jump had no church or place of public worship. Around the year 1900, during the twenty five year period mentioned above, my Dad set up a family altar in our home. It started while my Dad's brother, Will Archer, lay abed with tuberculosis.

We lived on the Parker tenant farm and shared our home with Uncle Will and his family. He professed faith in Christ and wanted to join the church. A local minister by the name of John Philips was called into the home. He baptized Uncle Will there and united him with the church.

It was following this experience that my father set up the Prayer Altar and Scripture reading at bed time.

Uncle Will soon passed away.

 

The start of Archer's Chapel

Emma Ebbie Archer recalled that it was her mother, who had been a member of the Methodist Church of Maury's Chapel community before moving to Frog Jump, who suggested a religious revival for Frog Jump at a family fish fry. "

It was known as the Gilliland Fish Fry, a kind of annual reunion of the John and Sarah Gilliland family. The gala affair brought together the whole community with relatives and friends of the Gillilands from far and near to cook and eat fish on the "Old" River." In the summer of 1910 after the fish fry was over and the crowd was breaking up that Emma Archer said" Why can't all these people come together and have a revival meeting, Instead of filling our stomachs, we could fill our souls with Spiritual Food. It would do all of us more good."

The first Archer's Chapel Church was a one room frame building. The number of people who first presented themselves for membership in this "Little White Church on the Hill," were twenty five."

Archer's Chapel was built in 1912 on land donated by J. E. Archer. The original frame structure was torn down in 1943 and replaced by the brick one. When the church was built in 1943, the beaded pine walls of the original structure were used as wainscoting in the new church.

In 1969, a fellowship hall, kitchen and rest rooms were added. A second expansion in 1980 brought the addition of an educational wing and pastor's office.

Go to: The Fincher Family Singers Web Page
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The Frog Jump Gospel Quartet Web Page

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Revised: 2013

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