By MATT BLOIS
Brentwood’s oldest church will celebrate its 210th birthday in September.
Liberty United Methodist Church was founded around 1800 by Green Hill, a Revolutionary War veteran and a Methodist leader. The church hosted the Western Conference of the Methodist Church in 1808, which was the first annual conference held west of the Alleghenies.
On September 9, the church will host a celebration, including a pot luck and an outdoor concert. William T. McAlilly, the Bishop for the Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, will speak during a service at 10 a.m. The celebration starts at 11:30 a.m.
Pastor Paula Smith said most people know the church as the little white church on the hill.
“Don’t let that fool you,” Smith said. “As soon as you walk in most people will say … This looks like my grandmother’s church. But that’s quickly followed by, This wasn’t what I expected.”
In “When Cotton was King on Concord Road”, Brentwood Historian Vance Little called Liberty United Methodist Church one of the oldest churches in Tennessee.
The church is located on Liberty Church Road, but it used to be located in what is now the Bonbrook subdivision. The church remained in that location until 1837.
According to Little, there was a dispute about the ownership of the building and a farmer started using it as a hay shed. After hearing the story, a nearby landowner, John Hamer, decided to give the church an acre of land. The current church building still stands on that land.
Smith said that some of Hamer’s descendants still go to the church.
“Our oldest member is 89 year old, Marvin Fly, and his grandfather is the one who donated the property,” she said. “That’s something that’s really sweet is that some of the descendants are actively attending the church.”
The celebration will have several groups playing live music. Smith said historian Thomas Cartwright, who gives tours of the Lotz House in Franklin, will speak at the event as well. The church is located at 9587 Liberty Church Road.