History of Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church finds its roots in the great revival that swept the frontier during the years of 1799-1801. A large revival was planned near Gallatin, Tennessee in 1800, but because of dry weather and a water shortage, it was moved to Blythe’s Big Spring , approximately three miles from the present site of the church.
The response was overwhelming, with people traveling as long as three days on wagon and horseback to camp out for the three day revival. Thousands attended and hundreds were converted at this joint effort of the Methodists, Baptist and the Presbyterians -which included dozens of preachers.
During the revivals a camp meeting ground was established on the present site, upon which a log structure was built by 1821.Reverend Richard Beard preached at this location. Rev. Beard later served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the denomination, chair of the Theology Department at Cumberland University, and a leader in the revision of the Confession Of Faith (the denomination’s doctrine) in 1884.
In 1831 there were 175 members of the church, and officially became a Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It was one of the largest churches in Sumner County Tennessee at the time. Bethpage, Tennessee was a thriving town that equaled other Sumner County towns.
The first pastor of Dry Fork CP Church was Reverend Francis Johnston. The log structure burned down about the time of the War Between the States and was replaced by another until the present building was constructed in 1896.
The Dry Fork cemetery , located on the church campus, contains the remains of many of the early settlers in this area, early church members, as well as two Revolutionary War soldiers.