Godwin-Chappell’s History

The earliest Methodists in this section of Maury County worshipped in a log house which was located on the property that is now T.V.A. Road located behind what in now Phillipi Church of Christ.  At the time, it was the only church for many miles around.  About 1830, Dicky Chappell gave a lot near the old log house and assisted in organizing Chappell Church which was named in his honor.

In 1842, Rev. R.G. Irwin of the Tennessee Conference, a son-in-law of Mr. Chappell’s, was the first pastor, and Rev. A.L.P. Green was the first presiding elder.  The names of James G. Voorhies in 1842 and Susan Voorhies in 1844 are the first two names recorded on the church register.

When a new building was needed the old house and lot were sold and the church moved to a lot on the Santa Fe Turnpike to be more centrally located.  The land was approximately 2 acres and was purchased for $200 from Thomas J. Timmons and Nannie C. Timmons on September 15, 1891.  One hundred dollars was paid down, and J.K.P. Allen and W.A. Hayes signed a joint note for the remainder.  The balance was due twelve months after that date with legal interest.

The new church building and furnishings cost $1800 which was a large sum for a small country church at that time, therefore there was substantial debt.  Col. A.S. Godwin paid the debt and installed new pews.  The men of the church furnished labor and one of the workers was Tom Harris.  His son Curtis Harris carried water for the workers to drink while working.  A Mr. McKnight hauled the lumber on a two-horse wagon from a sawmill located in Theta, TN.

The writing desk was transferred from the old church and is operational and still in use in the entry of Godwin-Chappell as of 2015.

Rev. Feny Haggard was the preacher in charge at the time but died before the new church was completed.  On December 27, 1892, the first sermon was preached.  On February 28, 1893, Sunday School was organized.  On August 9, 1896, Godwin-Chappell was dedicated.  Dr. E.E. Hers, editor of the Christian Advocate in Nashville preached the sermon of dedication at which the church was named Godwin-Chappell Methodist Church in honor of Mr. Dicky Chappell and A.S. Godwin.

These facts were compiled by Mrs. Charlotte Adams who was a lifelong member, Sunday School teacher and faithful supporter of this church.  This version was taken from notes she had written by Jane Ann Slaughter, one of her students and a member.