New Providence Presbyterian Church - Maryville, TN
Monday, September 16, 2019
New Providence
Presbyterian Church
703 West Broadway Avenue
Maryville, TN 37801
Worship Services @ NPPC
9:00 a.m. FirstLight
11:05 a.m. Traditional
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Our History


In 1786 the Reverend Archibald Scott, a native of Scotland and minister of two churches in Rockbridge, Virginia, came down the great war trail on a missionary journey. He came also as a the minister of the former members of his churches who had joined the migration from Pennsylvania and were now forced to live in forts because of Indian warfare. He found his former parishioners weary and impoverished, but recognized immediately their strong faith and courage. With the hearty cooperation with all in the fort, Reverend Scott founded a new church - New Providence. Twelve miles "out in the country," near Fort McTeer, another - Eusebia Presbyterian. Charter members of New Providence helped to organize the church three years before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church was organized, three years before the Constitution of the United States was adopted, nine years before the county of Blount and the town of Maryville were established, and ten years before Tennessee was admitted to statehood.  
Gideon Blackburn
Reverend Gideon Blackburn:
In 1794, he accepted the call New Providence and Eusebia offered to be joint minister of both churches.
Dr. Isaac Anderson:
In 1812, Dr. Isaac Anderson, known as a theological genius and ardent opponent of slavery, was called to New Providence as minister
Southern and Western Theological Seminary:
Established in 1819 by Dr. Anderson. The name was changed to Maryville College in 1842. The college has been open continually since then except for a 5 1/2 year period during the Civil War
The Monument to Dr. Isaac Anderson:
The monument is located in the center of the Maryville College cemetery. He and four family members were first interred in the New Providence cemetery and moved to the Maryville College cemetery in 1933.
Brick Church:
Constructed in 1852 (though never completed because of the Civil War) and used until 1893 for services and until 1911 as a community building called Colombian Hall.
Brick Church painting:
The artist John Collins, who was also a Quaker leader, painted this picture of the brick church and beside it the East Tennessee Masonic Female Institute. The Institute stood on the present site of the McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home.
Professor Thomas Jefferson Lamar:
In 1865, the Synod of Tennessee appointed Professor Lamar an agent to raise funds to re-open Maryville College. In 1867, he received a gift of $1000 form William Thaw of Pittsburgh. Mr. & Mrs. Thaw were to become leading benefactors of the college in that century. "The cornerstone of our giving" was the fact the little college and New Providence Church, though located in a Confederate state, had black members. By the end of his life, he had raised $100,000 for an endowment that assured the future of the college
Martha Tedford Lamar:
Professor Lamar's second wife and a member of a group of women organized as the Women's Home and Missionary Society of Maryville. The minutes of this groups meetings reveal stories of caring for war orphans, sending money to missions, and meeting regularly for prayer and Bible study.
Anderson Hall:
By September 1866, a circular announced the college would reopen amid the old ruins. By 1868, 65 acres had been purchased, and by 1869, the foundation of Anderson Hall had been laid with gifts from the Thaws and John Center Baldwin.
Lamar Memorial Library:
Constructed in 1888 in honor and memory of Reverend Thomas J. Lamar, re-founder of the college. Renovated and dedicated on April 29, 2000, the building is now the Center for Campus Ministries.
William Bennett Scott, Sr.:
Buried in New Providence cemetery is William Scott, a free black who, in 1869, served as Maryville's first and only black mayor.
Fourth Church:
New Providence's fourth church was finished in 1892.
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Frank E Moore   George McCulloch, D.D.   William K. Weaver   Joseph P. Calhoun
4th Minister
1890 -99
  5th Minister
  6th Minister
  7th Minister
The Sabbath School Annex
The large Sabbath School annex was completed in 1916. This building served the congregation until 1952.
Hubert S. Lyle, D.D.   William E. Graham, D.D.   William H. Crothers, D.D.   John A. McAfee, D.D.   Thomas A. Graham
8th Minister
  9th Minister
  10th Minister
  11th Minister
  12th Minister
Black Congregations:
Black slaves had been members of New Providence when Isaac Anderson was minister, but after that it was to be many years before our church became racially diverse. In 1938, two black congregations were formed in the area, Mary Louise Essler Presbyterian Church in Louisville, and Second Presbyterian Church in Maryville. The picture to the left is of Bible School students at the Louisville church.
In 1943, the Louisville church was forced to leave their building due to the filling of the Fort Loudon Lake The combined with Second Presbyterian. In 1964, New Providence and Second Presbyterian united their congregations.
From 1917 to 1957, a Sunday School program was held at Sunnybrook, near the southeasterly corner of the present Greenbelt Park. The program was staffed by New Providence members and college students.
Home Avenue Chapel:
Around 1937, this chapel in the Home Avenue neighborhood was built. Jerry Cooper, college students, members of New Providence and Highland Presbyterian taught and preached to about one hundred who attended from the neighborhood. A free medical clinic for children was held once a week along with a daily kindergarten. Both this chapel and Sunnybrook were demolished in 1979 as part of a federally funded redevelopment program.
Historical Plaque:
A plaque with dates of Southern and Western Theological Seminary and New Providence Presbyterian Church is located on the side of the Home Bank at the corner of College and Broadway.
Fifth (& current) Church:
The fifth New Providence building was to be of Gothic design and located on West Broadway across the street from Maryville High School. The cornerstone was laid September 23, 1951. Mr. Charles Bolton of Philadelphia was chosen as architect with A. R. McMurray Construction Company of Knoxville as contractors. The stained glass windows, envisioned and personally planned by Dr. Thomas Graham, were to be executed by P. J. Reeves Studio of Philadelphia. 400 loads of native stone were trucked from Walland, TN.
See Windows for more details on the stained glass and Sanctuary for a panoramic view of the interior of the church.
Casavant Organ:
The New Providence Organ was built in 1955 at the Casavant Freres facility in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec.
No Picture Yet   No Picture Yet   No Picture Yet   No Picture Yet    No Picture Yet
Francis W. Pritchard, Ph.D   Barnett Eby, Ph.D.   John Mathison   Kenneth Gates, D.D.   Emily J. Anderson, Ph.D.
13th Minister
  14th Minister
  15th Minister
  16th Minister
  17th Minister
1999- present
John Gloucester:
The first missionary sent out from New Providence was John Gloucester, an emancipated slave educated by Gideon Blackburn, ordained as a minister in the Presbytery of Union in 1810. He was sent to Philadelphia were he organized and became pastor of the First African Presbyterian Church.
In 1830, a black member of New Providence, George "Erskine, went to the new Republic of Liberia as a missionary. 
Following the Civil War, fields of service included China, India, Japan, and Persia. By 1920, mission workers had gone to Costa Rica, Egypt, and the Philippines.
Post WW II Missionaries:
Fred Hope, who attended Maryville College and New Providence, spent his adult life as a lay missionary in Africa.
Miss Lois. C. Wilson followed her grandparents to the mission field to become director of the Community Center and principal of the Girls School at Nabatiyeh, Lebanon.
The Reverend Robert Barker served the church in Japan.
No Pictures Yet
Retired Missionaries:
In 2000, world missions are represented by retired missionaries actively participating in the life of New Providence.
Drs Henry and Katie Nelson served as medical missionaries in China and the Congo (Zaire).
Clarence and Ruth Durham served in Korea from 1961 to 1985, primarily at the Wilson Leprosy Center and Rehabilitation Hospital.
National Office Holders
Gray Webb Proffitt (Mrs. D.W.)
She was a member of the first National Council of Presbyterian Women's Organizations. She also served on the National Board of Christian Education and the National Commission for Evangelism. Mrs. Proffitt traveled widely for the church, including an entire year of visitation when her husband was Moderator of the General Assembly.
David W. Proffitt (Mr. D.W.)
He was elected Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the USA - PC(USA) - in 1956. Fonder of Proffitt's Department Store in 1919, he was active in New Providence his entire life. He was one of the leaders of the National Council of Presbyterian Men after it was organized in 1948, and served at its president in 1951.
Dr. Waldo Lloyd
He was president of Maryville College from 1930-61, was a member of Union Presbytery, but a regular communicant and occasional guest preacher at New Providence. Dr. Lloyd was Moderator of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) in 1955. Four years later he was elected President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
"Archie" Pieper
He became Associate Secretary of the National Council of Presbyterian Men in 1954. These gatherings urged men to follow Christ in the vocations of common life and to assume responsibility, as a group, to the church and the wider community. "Archie" became Executive Secretary in 1971 and retired in 1980.
New Providence Men
New Providence Men active on the national level include Kenneth Paxton, Sr., Vice President for Membership on the National Council of Presbyterian Men from 1994-5, Troy Glidewell, Presbytery Representative and Synod Representative to the National Council, and Judson Murphy who received national recognition as New Providence Presbyterian Church's Man of the Year.
Historical pictures from the personal collection of Grace P. McArthur and are used with her permission.
The New Providence Tartan, designed by Alden Dalzell, Carrie Eaton and Marilew Rudisill, woven and constructed by Motherwell Crafters (Alden and Fran Dalzell) is based on the Graham palid and was dedicated on Heritage Sunday, October 15, 2000. Photo by Greg Brakebill.
Text is abridged by Doug Dodd from "A pictorial History of New Providence Presbyterian Church" by Grace P. McArthur. That article was published as part of "The New Providence Heritage, 1786-2000", published in 2000.