June 4, 1995
The Giles County Historical Society called asking for a history of
the Choates Creek United Methodist Church and Cemetery to place in
the Giles County Public Library. A history not being available, we
agreed to try to comply with the need. After compiling the information,
we decided to put it in a booklet form for people interested in Choates
Creek, thus, this attempt at a history of Choates Creek Church and
Cememtery for the first 125 years, distributed on Children's Day,
June 3, 1979.
In 1995 the Bicentennial Committee of Giles County contacted
Choates Creek for a copy of its history. What we propose to do in this
writing is give them basically the original written history referred to
above, plus cover the years since that publication.
Mrs. Flenoy (Jewel Duncan) Johnson, Historian
Choates Creek United Methodist Church
Mrs. William A. (Nedra Johnson Kirby) Trebing
A HISTORY OF THE CHOATES CREEK CHURCH AND CEMETERY
For the first 141 years
Part IPart IICemetery
Choates Creek Church has stood ten miles west of Pulaski and eight
miles east of Lawrenceburg on Highway 64 in Giles County, Tennessee
for 125 years. It was founded in 1854 as Choates Creek Methodist
Episcopal Church of the Tennessee Annual Conference. By word-of-mouth
stories, its history has been passed and those stories are recorded
Cecil Cates remembers hearing about four buildings by the Choates
Creek name. The exact origin of its name is unknown, unless it was
named for the Choates family whose story is told herein.
The first church was a log building constructed in 1854 on the west
side of the creek bed approximately 25 yards south of the highway.
In 1812 James and Samuel Sandusky moved to Choates Creek from
Ohio where they had settled after immigrating from Poland. Half brothers,
Houston Felker (1825-1902), James Sneed (1833-1908) and Pleasant
Allen O. Sneed (1836-1894), came in 1852 from East Tennessee. T.R.
Sneed's record shows that Crowders came along about this time also. It
was these families who founded the church.
Jewel Duncan Johnson recalls her grandmother, Lizzie Duncan Inman,
telling her that the first log church washed away but the date is
According to her biography, Mary Catherine Clark Sneed, born in
1861, walked with her family to Choates Creek services when she was a
young child. There must have been a span of time when there was no
church building because she refers to going to Choates Creek services
under the sycamore tree. Her biography also tells that she recalls when
she was pretty young, a log church house was built. This was about 1870
when the second log church was built at about the same location as the
first. Reverend T.T. (Tuck) Crowder gave the church a deed to the land
in 1871, which is recorded in the Giles County Courthouse, Pulaski,
Tennessee, Deed Book FF, page 352. Mr. William (Bud) Harwell deeded
land to the church on the south of highway 64 and it is recorded in Deed
Book 86, page 22. Also deeded in Book 75, page 186 is an acre which Joe
Stafford and his wife gave on November 30, 1914. Tuck Crowder gave the
land where the present church stands and where the cemetery lies.
Crowder's desire according to the original deed was to "promote the
salvation of souls. . .in a place of divine worship."
Lillie Bishop Cates, born in 1895, recalls she went as a child to this log
church and describes how she remembers it: "It was a one-room log building
with rough floors, an old wood stove, backless benches, lanterns on the
walls and a pulpit with a Bible on a little platform." She recalls coming
with her minister father, Rev. Bishop, from New Prospect in a two-horse
wagon to an all-day affair which she thinks probably was Quarterly
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. How long this building
stood is unknown; it could have burned as we have mention of one burning.
During the Civil War the Methodist Episcopal Church split over slavery.
The M.E. Church, South formed for the benefit of the slave holders and
supporters of slavery. Choates Creek continued to be a Methodist Episcopal
Church. One of the folowing quotes from the Giles County newspaper, The
Citizen, mentions Choates Creek by its full name:
"August 27, 1885, Methodist Episcopal Church held their District
Conference this summer at Choates Creek commencing Thursday and
continuing for several days."
"July 4, 1889, Protracted Meeting held at Choates Creek, started
first Saturday and Sunday."
Lillie Cates, wife of Cecil Cates, also recalls the third church which
was built across the highway on the north side of the highway and east
of the creek bed on the site of the present church. T.R. Sneed owns a
picture of the third Choates Creek Church house. At the time of the
photo, the road up Choates Creek hollow ran between the creek bed and
the church, probably even in the creek. Erection date of this church
is not clear -- it could have stood from about 1900-1911. It is
possible that this church was damaged in the flood of 1902 which sent
Mr. J.A. Choates, his wife and mother fleeing to high ground to camp
until the water receded. The Choates decided to be buried on the spot
where they camped and there their remains rest on the hill west of the
Willie L. Johnson, Sr. remembers the roof of the "old" church blew off
and shook up the rest of the building so the building was leveled to
the ground and the logs were used in 1912 to build the fourth and
The fashion apparel of members of Choates Creek Church in the past is
vividly remembered by some of the older members. The boys of this era
wore corduroy knickers which buckled at the knee and caps that matched;
colored knee socks covered the rest of their legs. This style was very
unpopular with the boys, but nevertheless, it was required of them until
they were well into their teens. Fifty to seventy years ago the women
made the majority of their clothes, cutting them from newspaper patterns
that were passed from hand to hand around the community. They made
cotton print dresses that had to be ironed with a heated flat iron. Many of
the older women wore starched white aprons. No mature women were seen
without a bonnet or hat and gloves on, but Mr. J. Leroy Kelly recalled an
incident that threatened the tradition:
"They had a big revival meeting down here with a fellow from Nashville
by the name of Stricklin and they were just a shouting and shouting and
having a big time. An old lady by the name of Hobie got happy and her bonnet
flew off and she said, 'Thank the Lord! Hang it on a nail!'"
Jewel Duncan Johnson remembers her maternal grandfather Ollie Cates
telling her about his sister, Lillie Arrie Cates Nickelson, and her
husband Nick inviting some relatives home with them during a revival.
Lillie was blind. "The bedrooms were built away from the kitchen.
First morning there, Uncle Nick called breakfast; one man looked down
the hill toward the kitchen and said, 'breakfast can't be ready
because there's no light in the kitchen.' Uncle Nick laughed and
asked, 'Why does Lillie need a light?' They went down and she had a
table full of breakfast. Aunt Lillie was a little woman who moved
quickly, was a wonderful homemaker, raised her son from infancy, and
was a good church worker, testifying with influence."
Activities at Choates Creek enabled people to meet and engage in
fellowship and, since the people in the community were already
acquainted, many of the socials had the atmosphere of a large family
Often the congregation met under the big trees and held prayer
meetings, particularly preceding revivals. The revival meetings were
all-day events and the families would bring lunches and spread
pallets under the trees on which to rest. A minister would be
invited to stay with a family during the revival or sometime stay
with more than one family, as most revivals were two weeks in
duration. Not only the minister, but his entire family was invited,
and a whole week was set aside by the hosts for extensive cleaning
and cooking. Mae Felker Johnson, before her death, remembered
vividly how the delicious pies, cakes, cookies and other goodies were
baked and stored in her mother, Martha's pie safe awaiting the
appetites of the families. This was during the first two decades of
the 20th century when a slower pace was prevalent and visits were
cherished events as they were not common occurrences.
As people filed into the church, the men would sit on the right pews
while the women sat on the left. At some revivals, however, the men
would stand outside and talk about their crops until called in.
Still, participation was high and many people would get "worked up"
at the meetings. One humorous anecdote told to Carl Felker by his
"A man who was very fond of fox hunting and who obviously spent a
great deal of time thinking about it, had attended Choates Creek
Church for many years, but had yet to profess faith. So, one night
at a revival meeting, sitting by a window on purpose to hear the
dogs, he heard hounds in the distance closing in on the chase. As
the fox ran under the church, with the dog just behind, he was so
overcome that without thinking, he shouted, 'Sic-um, Get 'em!' The
congregation misinterpreted his outburst as shouting and someone
persuaded him to come forward to the altar on profession of faith.
Therefore, to avoid embarrassment to all concerned, he graciously
went along with the idea."
Holding singing schools in preparation of revivals was traditional.
Revivals were annually begun the first Sunday in August and in 1910
right before big meeting time, a singing school was held by Mr. Self
from Lawrence County, perhaps Loretto. Hubert Ratliff's mother, Ella
Ratliff, and Clara Felker (Thurman) were organists during those
years. This 1910 singing school was held just before the church was
torn away to rebuild. Included were: Walter Hicks Sandusky, Effie
Harwell (Johnson), Maudie Johnson, Sandford Rosenquist, Sadie Cates
(Hickman), Johnny Lee Johnson, James Edward Sandusky, Willie Johnson,
Maude Felker (Neal), Mae Felker (Johnson), Ruby Cooper (Felker),
Alice Harwell (Felker), Lela Johnson (Felker), Era Cooper, Cornelius
Sandusky, Tommy Johnson, Walter Harwell, Willie Richardson, Marion
Palmer , 2 more unidentified and Teacher, Mr. Self. **Note: names in
parenthesis are the girl's married names.
Willie Johnson and Cecil Cates remember when the shackled church
was torn away, the logs were saved, the grounds cleaned, new rock and
concrete foundation laid, and a bigger and better church raised in the
picturesque setting so often mentioned by today's passerby.
Carpenters who erected the worship house were Virg Shaw and
Albert Royce from Lawrence County. Mr. William (Bud) Harwell boarded
the carpenters; John Ratliff gave timber and Newt Johnson sawed the
framing wood. Logs from the old church were put back into the building.
Joe Kilpatrick went in his buggy from house to house in the neighborhood
collecting donations of 25 cents to 50 cents to build the church. Other
supporting families were: Cates, Blessing, Clayton, Nickelson, Felker,
Clark, Cooper, Smith, Estes, Richardson, Davis.
The outside was poplar wood weather boarding; the roof was silver
sheet iron (tin) shingles. Windows were Gothic in style with four on
each side, and one on either side of the double front doors, and two
tiny windows of the same style just back of the pulpit. In addition
to double front doors giving entrance to a tiny vestibule, another
set of double doors opened into the sanctuary. A rear door opened to
the back yard at the northwest end of the church house. The windows
provide a view of the cemetery and hills to the east and the creek
and highway to the west.
Light came from ten (10) coal oil lamps attached to the walls,
which were later replaced by alladin lamps attached to the walls in
the same places. In mid-center front hung a coal oil chandelier which
could be reached to light by using a step ladder. Mr. Walter Harwell
lit the lamps and made fires in an old 36" slide-top wood stove which
stood 24" high in the middle of the church. The stove was later
replaced by a 48" tall cylindrical coal-burning heater. An arched
Gothic overhead of the one-room structure was finished with 3/8" pine
ceiling wood. Around the wall base this same 3/8" pine strip was
placed vertically to give the wainscotting finish which is still there.
Floors were laid of 3" wide pine flooring wood. The church seats were
constructed of yellow poplar cut from the hills at the left rear of the
church and put together with four-cornered nails. The seats were about
15 feet long with a two-slat back and finished on the aisle ends with
curved armrests. The ends next to the wall had no armrests. A few
bench seats were constructed with no backs and a couple were about
four to five feet long.
At the time the 1912 church was constructed, the road up Choates
Creek Hollow off the main highway ran alongside the creek bed west of
the church building and a wooden rail fence stood only a couple of
feet from the east side of the church. A beech tree, four feet in
diameter, with roots above ground, high enough to sit on, was just
south of the church's double front doors. There was a sycamore tree
at the rear northwest corner which was about 3-½ feet in diameter;
this sycamore was sawed down because members were fearful it would
fall and damage the church. It was to rings on the beech trees below
the road that horses and buggies were hooked. In the 1930's Little
Dan Smith and Claude Durham planted the two maple trees near the
creek bed side of the church. They planted four/six but only two
still stand. They have shaded many church goers at dinner on the
grounds, ice cream suppers, Bible School play, etc.
Dowell Wilkinson gave the bell for the steeple which was a vital
means of communication. In a small, white, rural area the toll of
the bell was distinct. It summoned people to worship service and
Sunday School. It signaled a death in the community by tolling at
7:00am the day of a funeral, three rings with one minute of silence
between rings. This indicated grave digging time. William (Bud)
Harwell rang the bell faithfully until he died in 1935.
During the Depression years of the 30's, eggs, chickens, cured
meats and dairy products were sold by members as a means for raising
church funds. Hay, corn, and farm crop items were given to the preachers
in lieu of money.
Christmas has traditionally been celebrated in the church. A tree
was erected with packages tied to it and gifts were brought by
families who wished to exchange gifts. The children would recite and
there was usually a large fellowship dinner afterwards. This
tradition still exists.
The children's literature of that day was 3-½" x 5" class cards with
a biblical picture on the front, the related story on the back,
headed with a scripture text and concluded with a memory verse.
During World War I and II the Ladies of the church were involved in
activities to benefit the soldiers. They rolled bandages, knitted
much-needed socks and other articles, and made what was called "ditty
bags" which were simple cloth drawstring bags containing razor, soap,
comb and other items for hygiene along with a Testament.
In 1937 Maggie Richardson was president of the Ladies Aid; in that
year Christine Sandusky Trapp and Jewel Duncan Johnson joined the
Ladies Aid and are still active in women's church work. Then they
had all-day meetings, taking a dish for lunch. The programs started
at 1 o'clock and adjournment was at 4 o'clock. The meeting were in
the homes and each mother took her children with her. One favorite
gathering was "quiltings" which were held in honor of the newly
betrothed. A double-wedding ring design was the customary pattern
which indicated the approaching marriage. Weddings were very simple
and basic with few witnesses. After the wedding a couple was often
"serenaded" or "chivaried" in which a band of local people would bang
on pots and pans or sing loudly outside of the honeymoon spot in
order to keep the new couple company. When there was a birth in the
community, many delicate articles were presented to the new arrival
and the usual policy of cooking and cleaning for the family was
In the mid-40's the Ladies Aid became the Women's Society of
Christian Service. The records show members during the 1940's as
Camilla Miller, Ruby Felker, Ada Cates, Jewel Johnson, Christine
Trapp, Kathleen Duncan, Helen Dorsey, Hazel Barnes, Edna Brindley,
Alice Felker, Ethel McCormick, Cenie Thurman, Ella Reed, Alene
Cooper, Willie Mae Palmer, Opalene Barnickle, Vivie Pratt, Cora
Sneed, Eva Jones, Birdie Mae Sandusky. In addition to doing the
church work , baby showers were given to expectant mothers. Quilts
were quilted for members a $2.00 each and for non-members at $2.50
In 1947 the women pieced a quilt with family member names on it,
quilted it and then presented it to Hilan P. Miniehan, their Martin
College part-time student preacher who was marrying Hallena Bigham.
When the couple arrived on the regular meeting day of the WSCS, the
quilt was spread over all the other gifts and they thought the quilt
was a part of the program for the day; they were so excited to learn
the quilt was hiding a gift shower for them and read with excitement
all the names on the quilt.
Making quilts and having ice cream suppers were fund-raising means
as well as providing social activity. While the men were responsible
for making the ice cream in the crank-type freezers, the women baked
and brought delicious cakes for the occasion. To raise the money to
paint the church in 1947, the WSCS held an ice cream supper and went
from house to house soliciting hens. The women raised the money; the
men painted the church. Dues for the WSCS in the 40's were 10 cents
During one specific revival meeting held in August 1937, Brother
George N. Stem brought moving messages where 36 people were
motivated to make commitments during that revival. The Baptismal
ceremonies were performed at the altar and in the creek near the church.
Carl Felker was one of the 36 who professed faith and later became a
minister. He and six other relatives came into the ministry from
Choates Creek Church. In addition to those seven, Caft Clayton and
James Robert (Jim) Clayton also joined the ministry from Choates
Creek. Listed are the ministers who have come out of Choates Creek:
and to show the degree of family related-ness in this church, their
kinship to Carl Felker is shown.
T.T. (Tuck) Crowder - his picture hangs in the church as the man who
deeded the land to Choates Creek in 1871. (Great great great
grandfather of Carl Felker).
Caft Clayton - reared up Choates creek Hollow and preached 2 or 3
years at Choates Creek before transferring to Lawrenceburg with his
wife and children.
James Robert (Jim) Clayton - his picture also hangs in the church; he
joined the Tennessee Conference in 1893 and taught school in the
Choates Creek School in 1893.
Raymond R. (Railroad) Smith - went in the Tennessee Conference and
was later transferred to the Memphis Conference. (Third cousin of
Willie Dowell Wilkinson - joined the Tennessee Conference and moved
to the Holston Conference of East Tennessee. (Second cousin of Carl
Jacob Cornelius Sandusky - a lifetime of ministry in the Tennessee
Conference of the Methodist Church.(Third cousin of Carl Felker).
Martha Vera Felker - she and her husband, Jesse Hatfield, are
now (1979) where they have been for several years; jointly pastoring
a church in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Active long after most would
have retired, this culminates a lifetime of missionary work within the
Continental United States. Truly having traveled though out our nation:
preaching and teaching, with excellent gospel singing anywhere and
everywhere they could find an open door; no one has given more fully of
themselves in the service of our Lord. During this time, they raised a
son (James Hatfield) and a daughter (Hannah) that are as fine and
devoted Christians as can be found.
(Aunt of Carl Felker).
Virgil Pafford Felker - a simple man with a profound faith that
caused many who know him to seek after it for themselves. For 26
years he was a rural Methodist pastor in western Middle Tennessee.
(Father of Carl).
Carl Gaines Felker - probably best described as a "seeker" in
the faith that was first known by contagion from his father and nurtured
by God and Geneva (his wife). A quarter century in the pulpit has
given way to individualized ministry.
Although the ministers from 1854 to 1869 who served Choates
Creek are not known, records show the following ministers served
Choates Creek along with other churches on the Circuits:
*It was during this ministry that Choates Creek was dropped from the
New Prospect Circuit of the Columbia/Mt. Pleasant District. Reverend
W.C. Westenberger, President of Martin College along with some students,
gave us not only two but four great services monthly while we were not
serviced by a circuit of the Tennessee Annual Conference. District
Superintendent J. Paul Williams sent a minister in July 1969 and placed
us on the Pisgah Circuit in Giles County.
Of all the past and present functions of Choates Creek Church, there is
one which has occurred from the time the church was founded. This event,
called Children's Day, is the most celebrated and most anticipated gathering
of the entire year. Children's Day is held the first Sunday in June. It has
followed the same pattern for all of its years except for dress and location.
In early time, the girls were expected to wear solid white from their dresses
to their shoes. The only color was the ribbon sash of their garment or the
brown straw of the leghorn hats. The early location was south of Highway 64,
across the road from the present church site, under the huge beech trees.
In the 1930's and 40's older young people took an active part in the
plays and drills. It was a time for new Sunday clothes, new shoes and to
participate "scared to death." In recent years the bell ringing has become
a part of Children's Day as a link with the past; its ringing signals the
beginning of the program; the children march in, participate in flag
ceremonies, express their talent by singing songs, playing the piano and
reciting poetry or "speeches."
Children's Day is homecoming for present and past members of
Choates Creek; families gather in the cemetery for grave decorating
before the children's program; after the children's part of the hour,
the oldest mother, the youngest mother and the mother of the most
children are recognized and given corsages. Afterwards there is a
dinner-on-the-grounds where friends and relatives exchange information
about their lives, loved ones and show off new spouses or family
additions. This meal brings on scrumptious delicacies along with just
plain old down-home cooking. In the afternoon, singers come for groups
and special singing from about one until three o'clock.
"Children are people who are going to carry on what you have
started. They are going to sit where you are sitting and, when you are
gone, attend to those things which you think are important. You may
adopt all the policies you please, but how they are carried out depends
on the children. They will assume control of your cities, states and
nations. They are going to take over your churches, schools,
universities and corporations. All your books are going to be judged,
praised, or condemned by them. The faith of humanity is in their hands."
--- Abraham Lincoln
Electricity came to the community and electric lights were installed
in the church in the early 40's. Light globes were about a foot in
diameter, cone shaped and hung on chains from the 25-foot high ceiling.
About 1955 the old coal burning stove in the center of the church
was taken out; the church was attached to the natural gas line which
runs along U.S. Highway 64. Knowing that the high ceilings would cause
the church to be difficult to heat since the heat would go up to the
high ceiling, the church was renovated and the ceiling of celotex was
lowered to about 15 feet height. The walls were sheet - rocked and
painted above the 36 inch tall pine wood base.
About this point in time, the pulpit chairs disappeared. Euclid
and Christine Trapp purchased two more as nearly like the two armed
chairs which disappeared.
In the mid-60's three Sunday School rooms, a bath, hallway and
storage attic were added to the rear of the church. In the late 40's
and early 50's for several falls at cotton picking time, Camilla Miller
and Jewel Johnson loaded the church children in their cars and went to
Lawrence County to pick cotton to earn money for the building fund for
Sunday School rooms. How those who picked cotton did wish Camilla
Miller, who dies in 1963, could have lived to see the Sunday School
rooms added to the church. The rooms were paneled and heated by
electric wall heaters. Clara Thurman made the draperies.
In the 1970's the WSCS became the United Methodist Women.
United Methodist Women is a very important organization of the Choates
Creek Church; it meets on Wednesday evening following the first Sunday
of each month. Though small, in active members, it conducts a
meaningful program at meetings, does a tremendous amount of work for
fund-raising, promotes Vacation Bible School, implements Children's Day,
arranges fellowship and laymen suppers, helps needy or burned-out
families, and each Christmas the women are in charge of a Christmas
Worship Service and a fellowship supper following. The UMW sends cards
to the sick and bereaved of our church and larger community; the UMW
does not send flowers to the sick as this so rapidly depletes funds.
Flowers are sent in the church's name upon the death of a church member.
Jewel Johnson who has served as president many different times through
the years, said the dues were raised from 10 cents to 25 cents per
In the 1970's Choates Creek United Methodist Church made many
additions to enhance the church building and sanctuary for worship
service. A new hardwood floor was laid by members of the congregation
with member Luther Miller overseeing the job and donating his time.
Carpet was installed on the front platform and down the middle aisle.
The church seats were getting old, over a half century of age as a
matter of fact. A decision was made to replace them. Deep sentiment
was felt; the backless benches had been used for work tables in Sunday
School and for Vacation Bible School before there were Sunday School
rooms and all activities were held in the sanctuary -- the church's only
room. All the old seats were sold to raise funds and as souvenirs. Used
pews from Coleman Memorial United Methodist Church in Lawrenceburg
were purchased by members; plaques were placed on the aisle end
indicating in whose memory or honor each was placed in the church.
|Ministers Who Have Served
Choates Creek United Methodist Church
||Could have served until 1870
||Virgil Pafford Felker named for him.
|George W. Stem
|Farris F. Moore
|Jeff W. Fryer
|Richard E. Stevenson
|Henry J. Neal
|Amos Wesley Holden
|David H. Dickens
|George Troy Bunch
|James E. Eddings
|Horace L. Woodard
|Herman D. Buchanan
||* See Note below.
|Carl G. Felker
Bessie and Emery Crowder purchased a new pulpit for the church.
They gave the fluorescent lighted cross, which hangs behind the pulpit,
and the communion table from Coleman which matched the pews. With the
acquisition of a communion table, the communion rail, over which many a
child had leaned to say his or her's Children's Day speech, needed to be
removed but there was just too much sentiment attached to that rail to
let it leave the church; therefore, it was anchored to the floor in
front of the choir section. For the communion table a brass cross and
candle set and colored scarves were secured by the Emery Crowders.
Whenever there was a project to be done by the church, Emery Crowder
was ready, "to do what we can while we are still here."
The Intermediate Sunday School Class purchased white linen
cloths for communion services and as a class project they placed the
large Bible on the pulpit. To make the communion service complete,
the United Methodist Women bought a brass communion serving set.
A window air-conditioner was donated by David Kirby and
installed by Flenoy Johnson for the sactuary. Doran Johnson gave a
window air-conditioner for the Sunday School rooms.
October 22, 1978, upon the first wedding anniversary of John and
Gail Massey White, John oil-painted the "Cross of Calvary" scene and
donated it to the church and placed it on the northeast wall at the
right of the pulpit. John was responsible for the front cover art on
our 1979 history booklet.
During this period, services were held twice a month at 8:45 a.m.
on first Sunday and at 11 o'clock on third Sunday. Sunday School
was held every Sunday morning at 10 o'clock. Lay leaders and lay
persons sometimes spoke on second and fourth Sundays or guest
speakers were invited. Choir practice was held on Wednesday
nights with the UMW meeting one Wednesday night of the month.
The Board of Trustees administers the affairs of the church and
standard Methodist hymnals and teaching material were used.
David Kirby was Administrative Board Chairman for many years for
Choates Creek. Choates Creek was a member of the Pisgah Charge
and David Kirby was Charge Treasurer. Baptism was performed by
sprinkling, pouring or immersion and communion was served every
third Sunday. Conference and Laymen meetings met at least
Membership in 1979 totaled 44.
Individual families were responsible for the church's maintenance.
A schedule was posted on the bulletin board of the vestibule and the
families who wanted to assist in the cleaning signed or found their
dates to clean, turn on the heat or air, to mow the lawn, etc.
Beside the worship and business functions, the social activities
continued, vital and enjoyable as in the past. Along with traditional
gatherings, there were teas, showers, fellowship dinners and many
other happy gatherings.
Anything which has lasted this length of time deserves not
only recognition but close inspection as well. What has been the
significance of this church, enabling its existence for such a long
duration? Geneva Felker said,
". . .the church is a very vital part of the community. That's
the life of the community. That's what has held it together. It is
the thing that has meshed everything that means anything to those
people because that's where the children have been christened, the
young people have been married, that's where they've joined the church,
that's where all the sacraments. . .have been taken. Most of the time,
they're buried in the cemetery of the church, even if they're not
members. I think small white churches in the countryside is what
Methodism is all about."
Emery Crowder, in an interview about the church on April 30,
1976, so beautifully expressed how he felt about it, "It's just an old
home church. . .".
Though the appearance of Choates Creek Church and its members
have changed somewhat through the years, the attitude and atmosphere
The same dedication and concern of the founders was present in
all of its 44 members. Their services remained much as they were in
the past and the pastor was still a "circuit rider" minister serving
up to five churches, two or three every other Sunday. The goals of the
church have been to save souls and provide a house of divine worship
for the community; the church has not faltered in striving for these
goals. They have been realized in the actions and activities through
the years. Ada Lucas Gates, oldest living member, born February 2,
1884 expressed her philosophy in an interview at Fairhaven Nursing
Home in Pulaski on May 3 ,1976, "You ought to carry out religion like
business. Try to live a good Christian life, because if you've missed
heaven, you've missed it all. We're all working for the same goal, and
it begins right now."
Ada Cates died on April 28, 1980. The business, religion and the
endeavor to live a good Christian Life continue at Choates Creek
United Methodist Church.
The Reverend Frank Rouse served as pastor from 1976 through
1984 with the help of his son-in-law Bill Rogers. Brother and Mrs.
Rouse were instrumental in upgrading Choates Creek's music as Mrs.
Rouse was a musician and he held an interest in good music to add to
the worship services. Mrs. Rouse taught the pianist, Nedra Kirby,
techniques and worked diligently with the choir.
In 1980 a well was dug and water was put in the bathroom. In
1982 storm windows were specially made to fit the Gothic windows.
As was the custom, money for these ventures was raised by pledges
from members and collected prior to getting the projects underway.
From 1984 to 1986, the church was blessed through the services
and guidance of The Reverend Marvin H. Thompson and Martin
Methodist College student Lisa Stone.
The next year The Reverend Sterling Logel, serving Pisgah
Circuit, preached two Sundays per month at Choates Creek and The
Reverend Marvin H. Thompson who had "retired" preached the other
two Sundays. These two pastors were gifted in delivering articulate
and meaningful sermons. It was a treat to have a preacher every
Sunday morning because for years we had shared with circuits and
were accustomed to having "preaching" only every other Sunday.
In July 1987 Choates Creek United Methodist Church for the
first time in its history was appointed by the Conference a full-time
minister, Mrs. Jackie Allegood. Choates Creek was a one-charge
church. This turnabout came as a result of several factors -- Jackie
Allegood was the wife of a minister who served another church close
by; she was a college student; and Choates Creek's geographic
location endorsed this change. Being a one-church charge has been
a blessing for the Choates Creek members. It flourished with
services every Sunday, having a pastor to call its own. Service times
were set to accommodate our congregation with Sunday School at
9:30 and Worship Service at 10:30.
Jackie Allegood activated the administrative board and all the
committees. As a result much was accomplished. The church needed
some face lifting which it received with a new outdoor sign painted
in the spring of 1988 by David and Kay Glover. The Christmas before
the Glovers had saw-cut the characters for our first outside nativity
scene and supervised the painting of those characters by our United
Methodist Youth Fellowship group which had also become active. Mike
Brooks erected a handrail at the back church entrance to the Sunday
School rooms. By 1990 with the aid of Flenoy Johnson, Mike Brooks
and Steve Hodges had constructed the sound box at the rear of the
sanctuary. Brooks and Hodges varnished the wainscotting and gave the
walls a new coat of paint. The pulpit chairs received new covers. A
small organ for the church was purchased from the Allegoods. A dream
for a fellowship hall began taking hold and soon named to the Building
Committee were Flenoy Johnson, Steve Hodges, Mike Brooks, Roy
Fosnight, Treasurer. Marian Fosnight was elected Chairperson.
Members made their personal commitments and fundraiser letters were
sent out to friends and relatives to secure funds. Under Allegood's
tenure, members were added, fellowship was good and the church
flourished. In 1990 Jackie Allegood's husband was moved by
Conference and, of course, she left Choates Creek.
The Reverend Marvin H. Thompson who was a retired minister
of the Tennessee Conference and lived in our neighborhood, served a
one-year term. He delivered eloquent sermons quoting from memory
scriptures, poetry, and world renowned persons.
In 1991 we had the good fortune of receiving a part-time lay
pastor who lived in close proximity to Choates Creek Church. The
Reverend Ray McDonald came with his active family and the church
consistently grew. McDonald, in addition to overseeing the functions
of the administrative board and keeping the committees active,
started implementation for erecting a new fellowship hall. The plans
had been approved by the Pulaski District Superintendent Jerry Mayo
and Conference in February 1990 and fund raising had begun. In 1991
funds were sufficient to get started. The plan called for placing
the fellowship hall at the rear of the existing church building.
Thinking that the space at the back of the church was too limited
for the new facility, the children of Flenoy and Jewel Johnson
purchased a spot of land west of Choates Creek from Mrs. Kay Parker
Hillis at an undisclosed figure for the site of the proposed Fellowship
Hall. In 1992, Doran, Cheryl, Linda and Nedra presented this gift in
honor of their parents at a Sunday morning worship service in
appreciation for their nurturing and for their long-time faithfulness
to the Choates Creek Church.
Roy Fosnight and Pete Flanagan constructed a walk bridge over
the creek so work on the fellowship hall could begin. The Building
Committee met regularly and construction began with donated time
and talent. By the summer of 1994 the building was ready for use
even though it was not totally completed. Thirty-six hundred dollars
of memorials to Linda Johnson Yokley were sufficient to build the
kitchen cabinets. The Gwyn Derryberry family purchased the stove
and refrigerator with memorials to his mother Jewel Derryberry. Erma
Flanagan placed fixtures in both restrooms in memory of Pete Flanagan.
In 1994, although it was in a building project itself, the church
was called upon to help with a special mission. A Martin Methodist
College student, Abisha Chigumira, purchased a van which he knew
his aged father in Zimbabwe could readily use since his father
either walked or used public transportation to move across
Zimbabwe preaching the Gospel. Abish asked Nedra Trebing at the
college to contact his close friends with whom he had some commit-
ment to pay for the transport of the van to Zimbabwe. Dr. Bill
Starnes, a former missionary to Zimbabwe, suggested to Nedra that
the project be conducted through the auspices of her church. She
presented the idea to the administrative board and the project was
taken on. The church raised $6,000 with the help of other United
Methodists and the van reached Zimbabwe before Christmas. The
Reverend and Mrs. Chigumira attended our church during a trip to
the United States in the summer of 1994 to visit two of their sons
living in America.
With the church's smallness, every person contributes and
results are felt. Official records reveal official responsibilities.
However, numerous tasks are performed that are not recorded.
For example, for each worship service Cheryl J. Rose places
seasonal fresh flowers at the altar. Musical specials are performed
by soloists Regina Sneed Carmon, Beth Johnson, Sandra Fosnight
Norwood and Erma Flanagan. The temperature of the building is
comfortable due to Gwyn Derryberry's faithful trek to the church
before service. The grass gets cut, bulletin boards get "done",
etc. etc. Most often no verbal credit is given to the responsible
individuals. Serving is one of the commitments each member made
upon joining Choates Creek. Non-members serve equally, often
The United Methodist Women meet regularly and can take
responsibility for much work that gets accomplished for the church.
The women seek out ways for worship and fellowship within the UMW,
within the church body, and generally attend to the good of the church
and community. Names from a current UMW roster are printed here:
Billy and Gail Massey 1972|
Mr. And Mrs. Edward Massey 1972
The Glover Family 1972
Bonnie and Connie Campbell
Noble and Louise Campbell
Mrs. Ada Cates
Mr. And Mrs. Euclid Trapp 1972
Don Barnickle August 22, 1973
by his Family
Virgil P. Felker Family
Rev. J.C. Sandusky
Mrs. Maude Neal
Hettie Duncan by Carter Duncan
Camilla Sandusky Miller
Mr. And Mrs. Walter Hicks Sandusky
son of Mr. And Mrs. Flenoy Johnson
Jack Cates by his daughter
Newt and Florence Johnson
In Remembrance of
Mr. And Mrs. Jacob Sandusky
The church continues to function much like a business -- with
budgets, meetings and records. Our focal point and destination
remain -- just like Ada Cates so aptly prayed for on her knees for
nearly a century at Choates Creek, and said from the nursing home
nearly two decades ago -- to live good Christian lives enabling us
to reach the ultimate success, Heaven.
Barnickle, Jennie S.
Carmon, Regina H.
Curtis, Ursula H.
Derryberry, Francis A.
Dickerson, Bonnie Campbell
Evans, Elizabeth (Mrs. Jerry) (Vallie Gainey)
Flanagan, Erma K.
Glover, Mrs. Melvin
Hodges, Sandra S.
Hooper, Ruthy Bowden
Johnson, Amanda M.
Johnson, Jewel D.
Lovell, Nora S.
McDonald, Vickie L.
Medley, Sharon N.
Mitchell, Martha Jo M.
Norwood, Sandra F.
Parker, Patsy J.
Rose, Cheryl J.
Salas, Sherry P.
Smith, Polly A.
Stack, Sherry B.
Trapp, Christine S.
Trebing, Nedra J.
White, Ella Mae
CHOATES CREEK UNITED METHODIST CEMETERY
The Choates Creek Cemetery and church grounds were deeded in
1871 by T.T. Crowder and in 1925 a road was cut up Choates Creek Hollow
which separated the church and cemetery. Rows nine and ten appear to be
the oldest area of the cemetery with one baby gravestone dating back to
1810. A few are simply illegible and several graves are marked only
with creek rocks. Graves are scattered over a gently rolling hill with
large hills in the background.
For many years the only maintenance on the cemetery was meeting
of interested community person one to three times a summer to "cut off"
the cemetery with lively lad and briar blades. The annual cemetery
workings did little to keep the grounds clean.
In September of 1949 interested persons brought lunch each
Thursday for several consecutive weeks and spent the day clearing
briars, bushes, etc. until the grounds were in shape to be mowed
with a lawnmower. Eight truckloads of debris were removed from the
cemetery. Net fence wire was purchased to enclose the grounds and
before it could be strung, the wire was stolen from the site. Additional
wire was purchased and the cemetery was fenced.
April 1, 1950 Flenoy Johnson accepted the responsibility of mow-
ing the cemetery in the summers and going with bereaved families
to select a burial site. His wife, Jewel, was designated as cemetery
treasurer. Listed are funds collected and expended which included
uprooting cedar stumps, purchase of additional burial land, wire
fencing, paint, aluminum gate, brick columns and ironwork over the
entrance of the lane leading to the cemetery. From the figures one
can see that Flenoy received minimal remuneration for his years of
Cemetery Collections and Expenditures
Since 1973 the Children's Day (home coming) offering has been
placed in a savings account to become financially able to set up a
perpetual care trust fund.
In the '70's Mr. Gilbert Howell donated a strip of land for burial
ground and a strip of land for parking cars along the lane leading to
the cemetery. Flenoy asked Giles County to level the additional strip
with surplus county dirt which they did at no cost to Choates Creek.
Treasurer Jewel Johnson kept tabs much in the same manner as
listed above of the accumulated donations. The trustees took 6,000
accumulated donations on 3/8/81 and established an irrevocable
trust fund for the perpetual care of the cemetery at The Union Bank
of Pulaski. In April 1991 Mr. Robert Roe of The Union Bank notified
the cemetery trustees by probate court of Giles County that The
Union Bank was merging with another bank and could no longer serve
as our perpetual care fund trustee. The Union Bank resigned
trusteeship and General Sessions Judge Robert E. Lee appointed
successor trustees. The same trustees were renamed: Carl G. Felker,
Flenoy Johnson, Jewel Duncan Johnson, D. Doran Johnson, and Nedra
Johnson Trebing. These trustees were placed under a bond of 13,000
each; no fees are paid to these trustees. At this juncture, 6,200
was placed under bond in First Federal Savings and Loan of Giles
County, which later became Colonial Bank. A checking account for
the annual budget was kept at The Union Bank who merged with Third
National Bank. The total in 1995 for perpetual care is approxi-
In 1993 a new fence was erected around the cemetery grounds and
by the lane leading to the cemetery.
In 1994 Richland Productions of Pulaski made a video tape
featuring Jewel and Flenoy Johnson. In it they tell how long they have
lived in the Choates Creek community and how they have continuously
been involved with the church and why they had a particular interest
in seeing the cemetery maintained. That video can be purchased.
Decoration Day is homecoming and Children's Day which falls on
the first Sunday in June. Flowers are placed on graves beginning in
May. On Memorial Day in 1995 American Flags appeared on the graves
of our five Veterans. A request is made that grave flowers be placed
so they won't be on the ground between March and November.
Flenoy coordinates with the local funeral directors in Lawrenceburg,
Pulaski and beyond when a burial spot is needed for church members,
community citizens or their relatives. Choates Creek Cemetery is
governed by the same Christian ethics engaged by Choates Creek
United Methodist Church. Any denomination is welcome. Known to
be buried here are Seven Day Adventist, Mennonite, Baptist and, of
course, Methodist. Some of the ministers called to preach out of
Choates Creek Church have come back to the cemetery as their final
Denton L. Durham, 10/22/63 - 5/31/93
"Durham" William M. (Pete), 6/12/26 - 2/25/92
and Annie Elise, 1/10/36
"Faulkner" R.V., 8/21/04 - 10/12/85
and Louise T., 1/9/21
Marjorie Marie (Durham) Holley, 2/3/25 - 7/17/73
Wilma Durham Whitmire, no dates
"Durham" Claud E., 1889 - 1965
and Nora Gertrude, 1899 - 1965
"Thurman" Willis Henry, 1862 - 1959
and Roceni B., 1871 - 1953
Melvin Glover, 1905 - 1954
Geraldine Glover, 1951 - 1952,
daughter of Melvin and Alberta
Imogene Sandusky Gallegly, 7/1/27 - 7/14/89
"Sandusky" Marie R., 1902 - 1985
and Rev. Jacob Conelius, 1898 - 1967
Lonnie Wayne Wollard, 1958 - 1990
"Sandusky" Walker Hicks, 1901 - 1951
and Birdie Mae, 1901 - 1971
Viola M. Felker, 1908 - 1945
Talmadge Felker, 1913 - 1939
Bobby Reese Felker, son of Ozro
and Lela, 1927 - 1928
Alford K. Felker, 1858 - 1927
Nora Felker, 1873 - 1945, wife of A.K.
Bessie Lorene Bivins, 1898 - 1949
"Smith" William A., 1835 - 1912
and Srena E., 1867 - 1941
Dee Allen Smith, 1907 - 1966,
PFC, USA Army, World War II
W.L. Felker, Jr., 1919 - 1920
"Felker" M.A., 1872 - 1923
and J.S. 1869 - 1918
"Felker" Viva T., 1904 - 1984
and Rev. Virgil, 1905 - 1968
"Thurman" Clara F., 1896 - 1970
and Johnnie E. 1889 - 1977 - wed 12/25/12
Raybon Gilbert Thurman, 1914 - 1918,
son of Clara and Johnnie
"Trapp" Christine S., 3/9/19 -
and D. Euclid 6/3/18 - 8/24/87
S.J. (Jack Cates, 1874 - 1934
and Ada L., 2/28/1884 - 4/28/1980
Tiny rock - no name
Elizabeth Curtis, 1850 - 1917
Tiny rock - Initials M A T
Charles Emory Leighton, 1882 - 1958
Elizabeth, wife of C.E. Leighton,
1893 - 1919, Mother of Jim, Mary, David
"Kelley" Martha C., 1873 - 1961
and Henry, 1865 - 1940
"Kelley" Delilah, 1891 - 1976
and David L., 1891 - 1918
Elizabeth Estes, 1839 - 1912
"York" Thomas M., 1861 - 1939
and Sarah F., 1867 - 1948
Freelon Z. (Ben) Johnson, 2/25/24 - 11/17/83
and Hazel T. Johnson 4/9/23
"Johnson" Annie S., 1903 - 1982
and John Lee, 1903 - 1965
Lyndell Johnson, 1926 - 1949,
son of Annie and John Lee
Cynthia Ann Coggin, 1952 - 1952,
daughter of Martha J. and Fagan
"Johnson" Flenoy 1/1/15 -
and Jewel D. 9/22/19 -
Delmas Johnson, 12/15/38 - 9/5/49,
son of Flenoy and Jewel
"Long" Gradie J., 4/9/07 - 8/16/58
and Howard B. 1902 - 1972
William Dewey Lanier, 5/1/09 - 10/22/80
"Lanier" Nela Ann, 7/4/1889 - 5/10/1980
and David H. (Tom) 8/15/1868 - 9/9/1946
W.H. Lanier, 1825 - 1911
Martha M. Lanier, 1845 - 1914,
wife of W.H. Lanier
Tiny rock - Baby Smith, Lacy
and Dan's baby initials EC
Daniel Smith, Jr., 1940 - 1971
Daniel Smith, Sr., 1887 - 1955,
World War II, "Vera"
Lacy Vera Smith, 9/15/1902 - 9/6/1987
Phyllis A. Smith, 1960 - 1960,
Baby of Dot Parker and Clifford
"Mother and Daughter" Mattie Lou Leighton,
1892 - 1959 and Sula Westerhoff, 1920 -
Linda Brymer Lawrence, 5/28/52 - 10/4/94
"Johnson" Luther, 7/2/04 -
and Lois R. 11/7/17 -
"Brymer" Jesse, 1/10/32 - 2/24/85
and Marion 3/27/34 -
"Johnson" Lincoln, 9/13/11 - 1/6/81
and Eula 6/24/34 -
Albert Johnson, 6/24/38 -
and Marie Ann F., 5/20/40 - 4/23/92
R. Tommy Johnson, 3/7/62 - 7/1/78,
son of Albert and Ann
Fred A. Johnson, 12/23/1960 - 5/18/1961
Carl Dean Johnson, 12/28/1935 - 3/7/1945,
son of . . .
William H. Pratt, 1847 - 1919
Sarah Ann Pamplin, 1852 - 1930
W.D. Sandusky, 1872 - 1900
Letha June Smith, 4/26/38 - 6/12/38,
daughter of Alice and Herman
"Smith" Mildred L. 11/11/38 -
and Herman W., 2/14/11
Mary Ann Musgrove, 1889 - 1890
"Johnson" Willie L., 11/16/1901 - 10/21/94
and Effie H. 10/25/1900 - 12/4/93
"Stanford" Florence, 3/12/1883 - 9/24/1973
and Will F., 1871 - 1945
Frances Lucy Johnson, 9/10/1862 - 12/21/1943
John W. Curtis, 2/7/1858 - 12/5/36
"Johnson" Florence, 12/23/1871 - 11/20/45
and W. Newt 6/12/1869 - 7/25/1948
Etha Johnson, 1906 - 1907,
daughter of Florence and Newt
Edna Johnson, 1913 - 1914,
daughter of Florence and Newt
Thomas A. Johnson, 11/19/1894 - 4/4/1927
Harlon Dennis Johnson, 1928 - 1929,
Annie and John Lee's son
James Lindon Johnson, 1932 - 1932
Harold Early Smith, 1927 - 1928,
Effie J. and Frank's baby
Martha E. Davis, 11/30/1866 - 7/5/1942,
wife of W.S.
William Samuel (Bill) Davis, 7/16/1843 - 12/8/1914
Mary J. Davis, 10/4/1849 - 10/14/1902,
wife of W.S.
Fannie Davis, 10/16/1868 - 11/8/1952,
wife of G.W.
George W. Davis, 12/17/1848 - 6/2/1915
Easter M. Davis, 5/10/1853 - 11/28/1899,
wife of G.W.
Fannie E. Richardson, 12/9/1922 - 12/10/1922,
Luther and Ruby's baby
"Richardson" Thomas Luther, 12/13/1900 - 4/30/87
and Ruby Davis, 12/18/04 - 5/20/88
Thomas Richardson, 1865 - 1933
and Callie Richardson, 1861 - 1945
J. Robert Harwell, 9/11/1881 - 8/19/1947
Mattie Harwell, 10/28/1877 - 2/28/1935
William Z. Harwell, 2/7/1909 - 4/2/1909
Charlie Counts, 8/18/1876 - 12/9/1898
"Smith" Johnny Frank, 1/8/05 - 3/29/84
and Effie Johnson, 3/22/11 -
"Hall" Mamie I., 11/2/1896 - 5/22/1976
and Will C., 1/16/1889 - 7/9/67
Joe J. Inman, 1856 - 1936,
husband of Mary Elizabeth
Mary E. Davis Duncan Inman, 2/6/1872 - 3/30/1955
Willie Duncan, 5/30/1869 - 1/20/1893,
husband of Mary E.
Small rock (footstone for row 6) initials MD
Charlie S. Ratliff, 5/24/1883 - 5/10/1906
John M. Ratliff, 1/25/1856 - 8/15/1918
M.M. Ratliff, 2/6/1860 - 5/30/1943
Ella Ratliff Durham, 1892 - 1939
8th row: (graves in this row are not aligned)
Elizabeth, wife of S.C. Pearson, died 2/6/1890
Rock not legible: Anderson, 10/28, '22 or '28
Robert L. Anderson, 18?? - 1855
Samuel H. Anderson, 1842 - 1900
Winston Harwell, 5/28/1904 - 6/2/1928
"Harwell" Mettie Jane, 10/11/1866 - 9/12/1935
and W.M. Harwell, 4/24/1859 - 12/2/1939
"Fleeman" M.A., 2/26/1837 - no date
and A.J., 1/27/1836 - 4/13/1888
Creek rock - lying flat in grass
John E. Fox, 1834 - 1896
Sarah E. Fox, 1849 - 1917,
a creek rock at headstone too.
Ida E. Kelley, 5/21/1889 - 10/5/1905
"Kelley" James M., 11/5/1862 - 10/31/1950
and Mary L., 8/8/1865 - 1922
Square rock, Jack Cates' amputated leg
9th row: (Between Flanagan
and Felker the row is not aligned)
Bettie Harwell, 1827 - 1930
"Felker" Carl and Geneva
Footstone for row 8
Footstone for row 8
Footstone for row 8
Footstone for row 8
Rock - cannot read all - RUFINGLEY (dau)
"Fleeman" Henry W., 1857 - 1939
and Martha F., 1861 - 1889
"Flanagan" Pete, 7/16/44 - 9/10/93
and Erma K. 12/11/43 -
M.D. Griffin, 6/1846 - 8/1908
"Fleeman" Father J.W., 1837 - 1913
and Mother E.J., 1837 - 1912
R.E. Fleeman, 1877 - 1898
Pearl M. Pinkerton, 1924 - 1994 (ashes)
Nancy E. Bishop, 1833 - 1898
"Fleeman" Sarah, 1846 - 1898
and D.C. 1847 - 1901
D.C. Fleeman, 12/25/1847 - 3/31/1901
Gertrude, daughter of E.A.
and M.L. Felker, 1910 - 1911
M.L. Felker, wife of E.A. 1884 - 1913
Alice, daughter of E.A.
and Mattie Felker, 1909 - 1919
Creek rock is between the beginning
of these two rows, south end.
Walter Franklin Sneed, 1876 - 1877
Isabella Panther Sneed, 1859 - 1890
James W. Sneed, 1856 - 1896
C.H. Sneed, 1863 - 1939
Old Rock, Daniel Dunkl, 1/27/1810 - 10/1/1810
Rev. William Clayton, 1 /2/1832 - 3/13/1880
Amanda Davis, 6/14/1877 - 1/10/1964,
wife of B.F.
Robert Davis, 1883 - 1909,
father of Raymond Davis
Thomas Willis Newton Davis, 11/7/1904 - 12/17/04,
son of B.F. and Amanda
Claud Elledge Felker, 1890 - 1910
William Floyd Felker, 1889 - 1909
Rosanna Sneed, 1828 - 1894,
wife of P.A. O. Sneed
Pleasant A. Sneed, 1836 - 1894
Martha Elizabeth Johnson, 1858 - 1895,
wife of J.H.
William M. Herbert Frazier, 1894 - 1894,
son of T.J. and L.J.
J.H. Johnson, 1857 - 1916
William Young Johnson, 1882 - 1953
Rock, unknown (may be footstone)
Rock, unknown (may be footstone)
Rock, unknown (may be footstone)
William G. Davis, 1810 - 1879
Emeline Davis, 1812 - 1888
Alfred Lee Davis, 1892, baby of B.F.
and Carnelia (lamb, inset)
B.F. Davis, 2/11/1847 - 7/12/1930
Carnelia Jane Davis, 8/11/1851 - 6/5/1898,
wife of B.F.
Little rock, footstone of Row 10
W.H Felker, 1826 - 1903
Martha Felker, 1832 - 1900, wife of W.H.
Louisa Felker, 1/8/1907 - 11/1/1908
wife of G.M., 1864 - 1898
G.M. Wilkinson, 1844 - 1918
Maggie L. Wilkinson,
wife of G.M., 1874 - 1921
"Johnson" Mable M., 1/23/18 -
and Allie A. 10/13/13 - 9/7/92
12th row: (Graves not aligned on south end)
Jas. A. Lay, 13 MO. Inf. Co. K
Martha M. Wilkerson,
wife of G.M. Wilkerson, 1844 - 1888
(praying hands inset on Wilkerson stone)
Daughter of J.H. and J.S. Sandusky, 1871 - 1872
Footstone from row 11
Footstone from row 11
Lonzo, son of W.W. Crowder, 1884 -
not legible (lamb insert)
Catherine, wife of W.W. Crowder, 1850 - 1882
W.W. Crowder, 1848 - 1925
Myrtle, daughter of W.W.
and D.R. Crowder, 1893 - 1893
Albert W., son of W.W. and D.R. Crowder, 1887 - 1899
Bedford Johnson, 6/22/38 - 1/14/95,
son of Sherman and Ruby
McDonald Johnson, PFC Army, 8/4/33 - 7/11/1988,
son of Sherman and Ruby
13th row: (Gravestone not aligned on south end)
Creek rock - Catherine Penney,
2/10/1835 - 5/16/1877 (age 42 years)
information on east side
son of Thomas and Callie, 1892 - 1893
Lucious Dillon Duncan, 10/11/1916 - 10/8/1984
son of Mat and Henry, 1886 - 1887
M.H. Cates, 1847 - 1888
Martha J. Cates, 5/11/1847 - 10/14/1934
Hettie C. Duncan, 1/7/1895 - 12/27/1943
Carter Duncan, 10/5/1891 - 9/28/1974
"Hardiman" Etta, 1878 - 1945 and B.R., 1878 - 19
Robert Earl Hardiman,
son of Etta & B.R. (Dick) 3/21/15 - 5/12/92
"Johnson" Sherman Taft, 1/30/1909 - 3/16/84
Ruby Hardiman, 1/22/1913 - ?/??/95
Alma (Sister), 6/13/1935,
daughter of Sherman and Ruby
James Sneed, 1833 - 1907
Elizabeth Sneed, 1834 - 1902
Benjamin L. Yannayon, 6/7/69 - 7/23/88
James A. Yannayon, 3/26/38 - 7/23/88,
husband and father
Rita J. Yannayon, 5/25/37 - 5/10/82;
Jennifer Yannayon, 11/7/78 - 7/23/88
Simon P. Stafford, TEC5, U.S.Army,
World War II, 1900 - 1972
Joe Stafford, 1863 - 1943
Louise A. Wilkinson, 1855 - 1918
J.W. Wilkinson, 1837 - 1919
Mary L. Wilkinson,
wife of J.W., 1850 - 1906
S.H. Cates, 1851 - 1917
Glen Cates, 1923 - 1932,
son of Cecil and Lilly
"Cates" Cecil V., 12/25/1896 - 5/17/80
and Lillie B. Cates 3/3/1895 - 12/7/88
Josephine Cates White, 5/20/1877 - 7/1/1957
Lou Harwell, 1872 - 1942
Rock or footstone from Row 14
William E. Sandusky,
son of J.W., 1844 - 1872
5 Footstones from Row 14 or Grave Rocks
Footstone from Row 14 or Grave Rock
"Yokley" Tommy, 9/11/43 -
and Linda J. 11/19/42 - 6/27/93
"Sandusky" Jacob H., 3/29/1846 - 6/13/1930
and Josiephene, 11/8/1878 - 4/11/1946
J.H. Sandusky Stone, south side
Louisa, wife, of J.H. 1895
Jacob T., 1896
Rosie L., 1885
J.H. Sandusky Stone, north side
Martha A., 1867
William N., 1869
Mary 3., 1878
Luther Calvin Miller, 1/23/1911 - 2/12/1978
Freda Camilla Miller, 5/8/12 - 6/6/63
"Crowder", Rev. T.T. -
Martha Crowder - no dates
Emley E. Sandusky, 1860 - 1946
"Sneed" Cora Lee, 1879 - 1960
and Edd, 1877 - 1950
"Sneed" Florence A., 4/8/30 -
and Theodore R., 7/19/1900 - 6/26/1980
"Palmer" Willia May, 1903 - 1971
and Marion H., 1892 - 1978
"Garner" William Cliff, 1898 - 1959
and Beatrice G., 1906 -
The Late Mrs. Ada Cates
The Late Cecil and Lillie Cates
The Late Emery Crowder
Carl and Geneva Felker
Mrs. Sadie Cates Hickman
Flenoy and Jewel Johnson
The Late Mae Johnson
The Late Willie L. Johnson, Sr.
The Late J. Leroy Kelly
Martin College former students,
Patsy Dover and Nancy Haas
Mary Catherine Clark Sneed's Biography
The Late T.R. Sneed
Mr. Clarence Holley, 1979 history binding
Jewel Duncan Johnson, Historian
Nedra Johnson Trebing, Editor/Typist
Philanthropist -- print and bind, anonymous
Retyped, proofed, and submitted to the Giles County Rootsweb site,
June 2005, by Sharon Neal and Charles Neal, great grand daughter
and grandson of Mrs. Bessie Maude Felker Neal, (July 28, 1901
- Dec. 24, 1968); in her memory, as an always giving and loving
grandmother, and a life long member of the Choates Creek Church.
For additional information about the church, please contact: