History of the Harriman United Methodist Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Harriman was organized on Easter Sunday, April 6,1890, with a membership of 28. By 1896 this membership had grown to about 300. The Rev. J. C. Harmon, a member of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was the first pastor. The East Tennessee Land Company donated a site for a church building at the corner of Crescent Street and Cumberland. The church erected a chapel on this site, seating about 500 and costing $4,000. Harriman's first City Directory of 1892 lists the Rev. F. L Thompson as the pastor at that time. The Daily Progress, April 6,1896, lists the early pastors as the Rev. Mr.
The East Tennessee Land Company gave the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, a site at the corner of Cumberland and Queen Street (the southwest corner).
The Harriman Weekly Advance, September 10,1891, tells of the dedication of the Southern Methodist Church's chapel.
At the corner of Cumberland and Queen streets has recently been erected a magnificent edifice which is to be known as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. This beautiful chapel is built after the most modern plans. J. B. Stevens was the architect and A. D. Rose and Company have the. honor of construction. The pastor, the Rev. J. R. Hixon, and his church have shown great Christian zeal in sacrificing time and means to erect this temple of worship. Rev. Sewell Phillips dedicated the building to the Lord.
On April 18,1926, during the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. McCormack, the congregation unanimously decided to erect a new building on the corner of Queen and Trenton Streets. The magnitude of the decision is reflected by the estimated cost of the building — a whopping $40,000. The Rev. Mr. McCormack guaranteed that he would raise $5,000 in pledges outside the congregation. The building committee was chaired by Dr. R. L Yeargan. The members included E. E. Allen, Lee A. Carson, N. C. Blanchard, Dr. Henry M. Carr, F. P. Dickey, M. F. Dorsey, Floyd Evans, Harvey Goddard, Roy Marney, Dr. F. A. Neergard, Jack Prophater, H. W. Turner, Albert Williams, and T. M. Rodes.
The plans developed by the building committee were ambitious. They called for Sunday School space for 600 persons and a 450-capacity sanctuary which would include a balcony. Knoxville architects were employed and J. W.
The Women's Missionary Society agreed to accept the responsibility for purchasing a pipe organ.
Construction was begun in early 1927. On September 25,1927 the first worship service was held in the new building. The Harriman Record' recorded that the crowd was "large and enthusiastic" and that several other local churches suspended their own services in order to rejoice with the Methodists. The RecorticaWed the new building the "most beautiful and most complete church in Roane County," adding that it was a "credit to any town."
The first hymn chosen to be chosen to be sung in the new sanctuary was Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.