Holiness in Bradley County

 

Home Up Multi-faith World Holiness in Bradley County Christian Glossolalia

 

 

 

CYBERJOURNAL FOR PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC RESEARCH #23

 

 

 

Holiness in Bradley County, 1880-1906, Culminating in A.J. Tomlinson Speaking at the Methodist Holiness Camp Meeting Site at Lake Wildwood

 

By Robert L. George[1]

    

 

As the War Between the States was coming to an end, the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC), also called derogatorily the “Northern Methodist Church”, returned to Bradley County.  Union sympathizers flocked to join the loyal MEC.  In 1872 the National Camp Meeting Association (NCMA) met in Knoxville at the invitation of the MEC pastor of Knoxville.  A year later a second NCMA meeting was held in Knoxville.  Thus, holiness had been brought to the South, but with a prejudice against it because it was introduced by northerners.

 

The MEC and Holiness were strong in Bradley County as the earliest mention found of Lake Wildwood is in 1881:


There will be a union camp meeting at Lake Wildwood this fall commencing August 12.  The pastors of the several churches in this city have been appointed to superintend the meeting.  All Christians of whatever denomination are cordially invited to join with us in this service.  Tents will be furnished on the grounds to those who may desire to camp.  Any information may be obtained by consulting Rev. G.W. Coleman, Secretary.[2]

 

The main figure that would transform local Methodism and holiness into a much larger movement was Frederick William Henck Jr. who was born July 14, 1856 in Baltimore, Maryland.  He ministered in the Central Tennessee MEC Conference where he met and then, later on January 12, 1882 married Mary C. Curry of Chatata, Tenn.  He took a mission appointment in Roxbury, MA, so he could attend Boston University which he entered in 1883.  At that time Boston University was the seedbed of American Holiness.  Henck and his family moved to Cleveland in September 1885 to pastor the local MEC (now First United Methodist Church).  Soon his holiness beliefs overflowed and he began holding street meetings to spread his message.  At Holston Conference on October 25, 1886, Bishop Mallalieu, who had been Henck’s Presiding Elder in Massachusetts, appointed Henck “Tract Agent” with the understanding that he was to evangelize.  Two days into his new appointment Henck organized the first Holiness Band.  He pastored the MEC in Kingston, Tennessee during 1887 and 1888.  In October 1888, Henck “located at his own request.”  Then in 1889, he attended the North Georgia Holiness Association, the South Carolina Holiness Association, the Kentucky Holiness Association, and a holiness convention at Cedartown, GA.

 

Rev. J.H. Kiplinger, a minister of the Evangelical Association, wrote at the death of Henck in 1893:

 

About a year before I came to Cleveland, Tenn., Bro. Henck was pastor of the MEC there.  He had left a little band of holiness people there which met weekly.  He was the first preacher that had taken a definite stand on the doctrine of holiness and who urged his people to seek the experience.  The work was gradually smothered by opposition, but never wholly died out, but found its way into the MEC South, and others.  It was there with Bro. Henck that I had my first experience in street meetings.  Bro. Henck had a special call to that work.  The marked success which everywhere followed his street meetings was abundant evidence of his call to this work.  About the year 1890 I became associated with him in tent meetings.  Bro. J.F. Loomis, of Chattanooga furnished him with a tent, which he donated to the East Tennessee Holiness Association, of which Bro. Henck was President.  At a convention held at Knoxville, he organized a voluntary band of seven.  We took our tent and went from place to place holding meetings.  As near as I remember we visited the following places:  Knoxville, Loudon, Kingston, Newcomb, Harriman, Dayton, Cleveland, Belfont, Union Grove, and Charleston.  Bro. Henck was one of the most humble, conscientious men I ever met.  I shall never cease to praise God
for the privilege of associating with that dear man of God.[3]  

 

In the August 15, 1889 edition of The Cleveland Weekly Herald (TCWH) it was reported that:
 

The titles of the land given by James Ware and T.T. Stivers have been made to the MEC, upon which they are going to erect a campground.  A.H. Rogers, of Cleveland, is building a hotel.  Lumber is being hauled and work is being done rapidly on all parts of the ground.

The work of the Wildwood camp meeting grounds is being pushed rapidly, and everything will be in readiness for the meeting which begins, Wednesday, September 25th.  The work on the hotel, supply store and other buildings is in progress, and the grounds are being placed in nice condition.  It is the intention of the management to make this one of the most delightful places in the south.  The lake, when completed, will far eclipse anything of this kind in this section of country, comprising several acres of ground, and the water cannot be excelled.  The grounds are within thirty minutes drive of Cleveland.  The road being almost level.  The place is not only suitable for camp- meeting purposes, but can be made one of the most delightful summer resorts in the south.  About forty acres will be laid off in lots and sold, and scores of substantial buildings will be erected in the near future.  A grand time is expected at the opening meeting which commences September 25th.[4]  

 

The East Tennessee Holiness Association (ETHA) was formed in 1889 at the first ETHA convention held in Kingston, TN, the town where Henck pastored.  William Baxter Godbey was the leader of the convention.  Henck was elected as president.  The second ETHA convention was held in Knoxville, TN, in 1890.  In July 1892 F.W. Henck and J.H. Kiplinger extended an invitation for the public to attend a holiness camp meeting at Bellefonte campground.[5]

 

This invitation is very significant as it shows Henck uniting with an Evangelical Association pastor to spread the holiness message.  J.H. Kiplinger was from Kansas and pastored the Evangelical Association congregation in Cleveland, Tenn. The Evangelical Association as a German Pietist denomination included sanctification in their Discipline.  Unfortunately, at the age of 37, Henck passed to glory on September 28, 1893.

 

The Bradley County Holiness Association held monthly meetings from 1892 to 1897 at various locations including Union Grove, Bellefonte, Tasso, and the Wildwood Church.  The Bradley County Band of the East Tennessee Holiness Association meet monthly in 1895, 1896, and 1897 at Bellefonte.[6] The Bellefonte Church adjoined the Curry properties and laid the groundwork for the gift of land to the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association (FBHA) where the Beniah settlement was formed.[7]

 

What went on at the holiness meetings? In the August 22, 1895 edition of TCWH it was reported:

 

The monthly convention of the Bradley County Band of the East Tennessee Holiness Association will be held at Bellefonte, August 24th and 25th, services on Saturday the 24th at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., on Sunday the 25th, children’s meeting at 9, testimony meeting at 10, preaching at 11 a.m., Sunday school at 2 and preaching at 3 p.m., preaching at 7:30 p.m. Workers from Chattanooga expected.[8]   

 

Then in TCWH for November 14, 1895, it was reported:

 

The Bradley County Holiness Association will meet at the Wildwood M.E. Church on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17.  Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Loomis, of Chattanooga, are expected to attend.  Let there be a good rally of the friends.  Services will be held at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday.[9]

 

We gain some insight into the logistics of these meetings in an article in TCWH of May 28, 1896:

 

The camp meeting will be held at Bellefonte, beginning at 10:00 a.m., July 17th.  Charles Wesley Depre, of Knoxville, President of the association {ETHA}, will be present with his workers and large tent.  Located ¾ of a mile from Southern railroad, the camp ground will be a train stop.  Tents on the ground are free of charge and straw will be provided by free will offerings of the people.  The proceeds will be used to pay traveling expenses of workers.  No fruit, candy, or lemonade stands allowed.  No buying or selling of dinners on the Sabbath.  People will bring their own lunches on that day.  Persons wishing to engage tents please address T.L. Deering, Cleveland.  The Committee is composed of M.H. Monroe, J.C. Smith, M.C. Henck, and T.L. Deering.[10]

 

The Curry sisters, Mary and Dollie, opened the Bellfonte Holiness Industrial School in Bradley County in 1897.  A post office was opened on May 5, 1898 at Beniah, north Bradley County, with Mary C. Henck as the postmistress.  The Curry sisters’ father, J.C. Curry, died in July 1898 and the sisters closed their industrial school.

 

In September 1898 the Fire-Baptized Ruling Elder of North Carolina, Edward Kelly, preached at Charleston on the Hiwassee River.  In early July 1899 Edward Kelly was invited to preach the fire at Beniah where he found Frank Porter and Billy Martin in charge of the Fire-Baptized saints there.  Kelly then proceeded to Dare (Union Grove) to preach the baptism of fire.  On July 23, 1899, Frank Porter’s revival tent was burned at Chestuee so he returned to Beniah and then proceeded to Drygo to assist W.W. Newberry.[11]

 

In October 1899 B.H. Irwin and other FBHA leaders converged on Beniah for a large camp meeting.  On October 19, 1899, Cynthia Curry Lawson deeded part of her farm to the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association for the building of a “Fire-Baptized School of the Prophets” at Beniah for the teaching of Fire-Baptized evangelists, missionaries, and their children.  In the Live Coals of Fire for December 29, 1899, M.S. Lemons wrote a letter from Luskville, Tennessee, stating:  “Praise God for the fire.  I have it now, hallelujah, and also the dynamite, which is a sweet experience.  I am all the Lord’s, and am ready and looking for His coming, hallelujah!”[12]   

 

Ms. Emma DeFriese served as principal of the School of the Prophets when it opened in 1900.  On January 26, 1900, reports from the School of the Prophets began to appear in Live Coals of Fire.

 

In June 1900 B.H. Irwin, founder of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association, admitted to moral failures, resigned his position with the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association, and ceased publication of Live Coals of Fire.  On June 6, 1900, a census taker visited Beniah recording the families of Fire-Baptized evangelists Daniel Awrey, William Martin, W.W. Newberry, and Hollie Pulliam living alongside the families of Mary Curry (Henck) Pendleton and Dollie Curry Lawson.  According to the deed at the Bradley County courthouse, on October 22, 1900, Dollie C. Lawson and her husband repurchased their farm from the FBHA for $100.

 

Meanwhile activities continue at Lake Wildwood as seen in July 1891 notice by the Lake Wildwood Association in TCWH:

 

The camp meeting at Wildwood will begin on the 13th of August.  A commodious auditorium is being erected by Marshall & Humphries and will be conveniently seated.  Tents will be furnished free to all who may speak in time.  The meeting will be in the hands of the Christian public free from sectarian management, and every effort will be made to secure success.  It is the very essential that both the ministry and laity of the different denominations cooperate heartily in the work.  It has not been the aim of the association to secure help from abroad but to depend upon local patronage.  Let every minister in good standing in his church who is in reach of Lake Wildwood consider himself invited to join us in a great work for the cause of God and humanity.  The utmost harmony prevails among the members of the Association and great hopes are entertained in the future success of the enterprise.

 These grounds, however, belong in the church, are consecrated to christian work alone, hence differ from ordinary summer resorts, provided and conveniently arranged for money making and pleasure.  This will not however interfere with the healthful exercise of the body and innocent social pleasure which are in perfect harmony with christian ethics.[13]

 

Excitement built as the dedication of the new auditorium neared.

 

The new auditorium will be dedicated next Sunday by Rev. T.C. Warner, of Chattanooga. This auditorium is the largest and most substantial structure on any campground in the state.  Properly seated it has a capacity of from 1,500 to 2,000 people.[14]  

 

The following week reported:

 

Camp meeting at Wildwood is progressing nicely and is a success.  There were fully fifteen hundred people present Sunday to hear Dr. Warner, of Chattanooga, who preached an elegant sermon.  The preachers and citizens of Cleveland of all denominations are taking an interest and are assisting in the good work.  A collection amounting to over $250.00 was taken up Sunday to pay for the shed.  Services are being held regularly every day and night this week, and the meeting will continue over till after next Sunday.[15]

 

Then in August 31, 1893 edition of TCWH it was reported:

 

The fourth annual camp meeting at Wildwood closed last Sunday evening, after an interesting and profitable session of ten days.  It is the universal decision that the meeting from beginning to the end was a brilliant success.  It was undoubtedly far better than any previous one, and greatly beyond the expectations of management. …
The revival services were conducted each evening at 7:30 and were under the supervision of Rev. J.A. Ruble, these meetings were exceedingly interesting and the results for good were clearly manifested.  Not only were a large number converted but the church was revived and greatly strengthened.[16]  

 

The Rev. J.J. Robinette, Presiding Elder for the Athens District of the Holston Conference MEC, reported in the 1895 Journal of the Holston Conference that:

 

Within the district are four camp-meeting places.  Two of these are under the supervision of our Church and in the other two we have an interest in common with other denominations.  The first two mentioned are Lake Wildwood, near Cleveland, Tenn., and Carpenters Campground, a few miles from Maryville.  At Lake Wildwood, the property consists of about 30 acres of land, nearly half of which is covered by a beautiful fresh water lake, a good tabernacle, or shed, with a seating capacity of 800 or there about, and some other improvements. This property is owned by an association, the members of which are members of the MEC.

 

Finally! The outlook for the Church in the Athens district is encouraging.  The disturbances, in several localities, caused by the organization of what has been called the American Methodist Church, and its attempt to deceive our people and steal our Church property, have quieted, the people having had time to see the wicked spirit that prompted it and the others will, return to the Methodist Episcopal Church, which they left, being deceived.

 

In two or three of our charges the doctrine of sanctification has been presented in such a manner and, in some instances, by such characters, as not only to bring that Bible doctrine into disrepute, but almost to disrupt our churches.  The very wisest and most careful administration of which we have been capable, has been necessary to prevent schism and hold these charges intact; but we hope the worst is past and that the future will be productive of better things.[17]  

 

 The Schearer Schoolhouse Revival of 1896 was led by three evangelists from Tennessee, William Martin, a Methodist, Joe M. Tipton and Milton McNabb, both Baptists, and another colleague from Cherokee County, North Carolina, William Hamby.  It was a typical holiness revival with praying, fasting, singing, shouting, testifying, and preaching. They preached salvation thru Jesus Christ, and sanctification by receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

 

Some have tried to associate the FBHA with the Schearer Schoolhouse Revival, but this was not the case as the FBHA had not started until 1895 in Iowa and B.H. Irwin, who took personal responsibility for the early growth of the FBHA, did not come to the South until December 1896 when he visited South Carolina.

 

Some have also tried to associate speaking in tongues as the initial evidence for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurring at the Schoolhouse, but this cannot be confirmed by contemporaneous documentation.

 

The Rev. J.J. Manker, Presiding Elder of the Chattanooga District of Holston MEC Conference, reported in the 1898 Journal of the Holston Conference:

 

We regret to report that the old-time class meeting exists chiefly in name.  It has largely departed from Methodism, and with it its glory.  We respectfully remind our pastors and people that to this more than to any other social institution of early Methodism was her success due. We insist that nothing can take its place, and for its revival we devoutly pray.

 

Methodism had as its chief aim the spreading of scriptural holiness over these lands.  Therefore let us not allow any sect to profess with any show of truth a monopoly of the great doctrine of heart purity and the witness of the Spirit thereto.

 

Is it because we have failed to place proper emphasis upon these vital truths that there have arisen in many places definite organizations for the promulgation of holiness?  The antidote for every evil and every error is Truth, mightily preached and faithfully illustrated in life and conversation.[18]  

 

Rev. J.J. Manker wrote in his October 11, 1899 report in the Journal of the Holston Conference:

 

The clear, deep, powerful preaching of the fundamental doctrines of religion--where is it heard?…Who among us even aspires to excel in this essential qualification for conquest?  It is universally recognized that the glory of Manila belongs to Dewey, nor is it any less evident that the success of the great Wesleyan movement is accounted for in the imperial personality of John Wesley.  And can it be any the less true that the success or failure of our ministry will be--must be--measured and determined by the qualities of mind and heart that are dominant in us?
 

It therefore appears to me that our supreme need for the entire ministerial force of the district may be summed up in two short sentences:

1.  We must have the power of a Pentecostal baptism, with its heart of flame and its tongue of fire.

2.  There must be the massing of our energies, with a mighty all-constraining force of will, for the actual accomplishing of the work given us of God to do.

These conditions fulfilled, the victory is ours and the field is won.[19]  

 

In his 1900 report in the Journal of the Holston Conference, Rev. Manker states:

 

The old-time Gospel of salvation for sinners, and of practical Bible holiness for all believers, has been carried to the people in their homes as well as in the pulpits.  Consecration of heart and energy, of mind and money, to the daily service of God has been warmly and earnestly commended as pleasing to him and in every way best for his people.

 

My report last year closed with these words:

1.  We must have the power of a Pentecostal baptism, with its heart of flame and its tongue of fire.

2.  There must be the massing of our energies, with a mighty all-constraining force of will, for the actual accomplishing of the work given us of God to do.

 

These conditions fulfilled, the victory is ours and the field is won.

 

Nearly all the preachers have this year met these conditions, and the gratifying results above recorded are their well-earned reward.

To these faithful servants of God my hearty thanks are due for their brotherly kindness and manly co-operation in all the work of the year.

The Lord has very graciously sustained and aided us all, and He it is that hath given us the increase.  To His blessed and holy name we ascribe all the glory.[20]  
 

The Rev. W.C. Miller, Presiding Elder of the Athens District, states in his report in the 1903 Holston Journal:

 

            Unoccupied Territory--In the bounds of the Athens District hundreds of square miles are to be found where there are no Methodist Episcopal churches or any of our church privileges, and there are many square miles where there are no churches of any kind.  In Polk County, with             a population of 11,000, we have three small churches.  This county lies almost entirely in the mountains.  And in a large portion of Monroe County the same conditions are to be found.  A friend of mine who is engaged in the lumber business in those mountains said to me a few             days ago:  “Why don’t you send ministers of the gospel to preach to those people in the mountains?  They hardly know when Sunday comes.”[21]  

 
            Also in the 1903 Holston Journal is this report:

 

Revivals--Refreshing showers of divine grace have fallen from heaven on almost every charge, and scores of souls have professed saving faith in Jesus Christ.  The salvation of men has been the chief aim and effort of nearly all the preachers.  The greatest need of all the churches is a Pentecostal revival.  The true presence and operation of the Spirit is the only remedy for all the evils of the professing church.  All mere get-up revivals result in failure.  What is most needed is spiritual power, Spirit-power, the Pentecostal power.  We ought to grasp more fully the glorious truth--the Holy Ghost is with us.[22]  

 

R.G. Robins, in his work, A.J. Tomlinson, Plainfolk Modernist, refers to Tomlinson as a “religious entrepreneur.”  This is a very insightful description as we shall see.[23]  

 

On October 30, 1897 A.J. Tomlinson was baptized by Ralph Gleason in Lisbon Falls, Maine.

 

 In 1899 Tomlinson settled with his family in nearby Culberson, North Carolina, to establish a ministry base. Soon he founded a school for children, a Sunday school, a clothing distribution center and an orphanage. As a means of appealing for financial support, Tomlinson published a four-page periodical called Samson’s Foxes. He envisioned the children to whom he ministered as potential firebrands of the gospel among the Appalachian people. The periodical featured news from the Diving Healing and Holiness movements as well as appeals for help for the “mountain missionary work.”[24]

 

That the FBHA extended its outreach to the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina can be shown in an article in the Cleveland Weekly Herald, page 2, of August 3, 1900:

 

INFURIATED CITIZENS

 

Destroy a Church Erected by Believers in Sanctification, Etc.

 

A special [sic] from Ducktown, Tennessee, on the border of North Carolina, says a great excitement has been caused in Cherokee county, North Carolina on account of open rebellion of the citizens against a sect that preaches sanctification, or second blessing.  One hundred and ten of the citizens met Saturday at the church had been erected by the sect, burned it to the ground and a Methodist minister preached a sermon to the infuriated crowd while the building was burning.  The new religionists a short while after locating in Cherokee county began teaching baptism of fire {my emphasis}, the holy dance, and other new religious performances and also espoused the cause of curing diseases by laying on of the hands.  Efforts to suppress the sect were made through recourse to the courts, but ineffectually, and the burning of the church resulted.  It was accomplished by over one hundred citizens of the county.[25]  

 

On October 1 1901, A.J. Tomlinson was rebaptized by Frank Sanford “in the Andrascogin River. Into the ‘church of the living God,’ for the evangelization of the world, gathering of Israel. New order of things at the close of the Gentile age.”[26]  

 

On May 15,, 1902, the Holiness Church at Camp Creek was organized.  William F. Bryant, R. Frank Porter, and Richard G. Spurling gathered to bless this union of Landmark Baptist and Fire-Baptized Methodist holiness theologies.  W.F. Bryant had organized the new church, R.G. Spurling had encouraged Bryant, and R. Frank Porter, the FBHA ruling elder for Tennessee, made it official by taking it into the FBHA fold.

 

A.J. Tomlinson left Shiloh in 1903 and returned to the mountains of Western North Carolina.  On June 13, 1903, A.J. Tomlinson ascended the mountain and had his “Arise and Shine” experience.

 

R. Frank Porter married Alice Cooke of Athens on August 9, 1903.  He then enrolled in the Chattanooga School of Theology.  R. Frank Porter was the FBHA ruling elder over churches at Union Grove, Drygo, and Luskville.  His departure from the FBHA led to the opportunity for A.J. Tomlinson to become pastor of these churches. AJT records in his Diary on December 8, 1903: “I have been selected pastor of these congregations for 1904.  One at Union Grove, Tenn., one at Luskville, Tennessee, one at Camp Creek, N.C.”[27]    These were active FBHA churches in Tennessee and Western North Carolina.

 

On November 26, 1904, A.J. Tomlinson purchased a house and lot in Cleveland, Tennessee.[28]   He was serving the FBHA congregations in the County and used them as a base to start the Cleveland Mission.

 

AJT recorded in his Diary for the first time, on April 30, 1905, “Preached at Wildwood one sermon.”[29]

 

Then on June 9, 1905, “I go to Wildwood to preach tonight.”[30]  On October 7, 1905, he recorded: “I went to Wildwood and had three services there, then worked here ever since. We have had several professions and renewals.  The Lord is working with us.”[31]  On October 25, 1905, the Diary reads: “The Lord has been providing for us in His own way.  I have been preaching at Wildwood. 5 sermons.  Continue there this week as far as I know.”[32]  On November 10, 1905, he stated: “Had several meetings at Wildwood.”[33]

 

He followed on November 24, 1905, “I preached at Wildwood last night to a very appreciative audience of about fifty in a cottage.  Several manifest a desire for prayer.”[34]

 

Tomlinson’s final mention of Wildwood was on December 17, 1905:  

 

“Was at Wildwood last night and today.  Preached two sermons.  After dinner several gathered in where I had taken dinner and a meeting followed where one was converted and a backslider reclaimed.  It was told me that the woman that was converted came out from the mountains and heard her first gospel sermon that day.  Glory to God.”[35] [26]

 

On January 22, 1906, Tomlinson recorded: “Just returned from Wildwood where I preached three sermons and traveled 14 miles.”[36]  

 

His entry for February 17 and 18, 1906 is:

 

“At Wildwood.  Preached 3 sermons.  Traveled about eight miles.  While there closing up the last service Brother Bryant from North Carolina came in to my surprise.  After meeting I learned he came after me to go to North Carolina to anoint and pray for Brother Murphy who was very sick.”[37]  

 

The final mention of Wildwood in the Diary is on March 19, 1906: “I went to Wildwood Saturday evening.  Had a little meeting Saturday night and Sunday.  But few came out and I had no spirit to preach, although I talked some the best I could.”[38]

 

The first assembly of the Holiness Church was held at Camp Creek, January 26 and 27, 1906, by delegates from four churches of East Tennessee, North Georgia and Western North Carolina.

 

So, what became of Lake Wildwood?  After a roller coaster existence, M.L. Julian and Bascon Rogers, in 1906, took charge of the land because the Wildwood Association was unable to meet its financial obligations.  Julian and Rogers sold the land to P.H. Walker and C.L. Hardwick, who in turn sold the land to The Wildwood Company.  P.H. Walker, C.L. Hardwick, G.T. Hall, B.M. Webb, and P.B. Mayfield established the Wildwood Company, which they later incorporated in January 1907.  The land has remained in the same hands for over 100 years.

Things learned and questions created by research for this paper:
 

1.  The importance of the MEC as conduit for holiness movement to South (MEC - NCMA -Henck - ETHA - Lake Wildwood Campmeeting)
2.  Strength of holiness movement in Bradley County provided fertile ground for FBHA and AJT.
3.  The role of the FBHA in Bradley County: FBHA - Awrey - Curry Sisters - FBHA - Beniah - RFPorter/Billy Martin -Holiness Church - AJT
4.  Schearer Schoolhouse revival was a traditional holiness work; definitely not FBHA nor speaking in tongues.  The FBHA evangelists planted the fire in that area as sanctification raged mightily.
5.  The role of R. Frank Porter at organization of the Holiness Church at Camp Creek in 1902 was that of FBHA ruling elder. His duty was to oversee the new church and the churches in Bradley County.
6.  In 1903 R. Frank Porter invited AJT to preach at FBHA congregations in Bradley County.  They would later invite him to be their pastor and this would provide a strong reason to move to Cleveland.
7.  Lake Wildwood was active as a Methodist holiness camp meeting site from 1889 to 1906.  AJT spoke there many times.  This provided a base to develop his Cleveland Mission.
8.  Finally, it is necessary to reassess the factors involved in the origin of the Church of God. The timing of various elements and their importance must be weighed.  This will not be attempted in this paper, but in light of new primary documentation, it should be done.
 


[1] Robert L. George, “Holiness in Bradley County, 1880-1906, Culminating in A.J. Tomlinson Speaking at the Methodist Holiness Camp Meeting Site at Lake Wildwood,” Speech at 15th Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of the Church of God Movements at Spring Place Church of God of Prophecy, Cleveland, TN, May 26, 2016.

[2] Cleveland Journal, June 4, 1881.

[3] John S. Keen, Memoir of F.W. Henck with Notes & Comments (Highway, KY: Bible Advocate Press, 1899), 195-196.

[4] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, August 15, 1889, page 3.

[5] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, July 14, 1892, page 3.  

[6] See “Holiness in Bradley County, TN 1880 to 1900,” Chronicles of Bradley, No. 20.

[7] For a good history of Bellefonte Methodist Church see John Morgan Wooten, A History of Bradley County (Cleveland, TN: Tennessee Historical Commission and Post 81 of the American Legion, 1949).

[8] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, August 22, 1895, n.p.

[9] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, November 14, 1895, n.p.

[10] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, May 28, 1896, n.p.

[11] Frank Porter, “Frank Porter’s Letter,” Live Coals of Fire 1, no.1 (October 6, 1899): 2.  This shows that Chestuee, Beniah, and Drygo were all FBHA sites.

[12] M.S. Lemon, “M.L. Lemon’s Letter,” Live Coals of Fire 1, no. 9 (December 29, 1899): 8.

[13] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, July 16, 1891, page 3.

[14] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, August 13, 1891, page 3.

[15] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, August 20, 1891, page 3.

[16] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, August 31, 1893, page 3.

[17] Official Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1895, pgs. 49-51.

[18] Official Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898, pg. 35.

[19] Official Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1899, pg. 52.

[20] Official Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1900, pgs. 45-46.

[21] Official Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1903, pg. 41.

[22] Official Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1903, pg. 39.

[23] R.G. Robins, A.J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2004), 168.

[24] David G. Roebuck, “Restorationism and a Vision for World Harvest: A Brief History of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee),” Cyberjournal for Pentecostal-Charismatic Research no. 5 (February 1999): http://www.pctii.org/cyberj/cyberj5/roebuck1.html.

[25] The Cleveland Weekly Herald, August 3, 1900, pg. 2, “Infuriated Citizens.”

[26] A.J. Tomlinson, Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924 (Cleveland, TN: White Wing Publishing House, 2012), 28.

[27] A.J. Tomlinson, Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 36.

[28] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 39.

[29] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 42.

[30] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 43.

[31] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 44.

[32] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 45.

[33] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 45.

[34] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 46.

[35] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 46.

[36] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 47.

[37] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 48.

[38] Diary of A.J. Tomlinson: 1901-1924, 51.