Attending the Church of My Ancestors
One of the highlights of my trip was attending church services at Salem Presbyterian Church in Washington County, TN. The church is on the grounds of the old Washington College, one of the first colleges west of Appalachians. Unfortunately, the college is no longer active, but the buildings remain.
You’ll find information about the college and church at Goodspeed’s History of Washington County, Tennessee.
The church was founded in 1780 by Rev. Samuel Doak. When Adam Mitchell arrived in Washington County, he first attended this church, which was 10 miles away from the Mitchells’ home. The current building was built in 1894, but I was told the church bell is the same bell from the original church. The church has beautiful stained glass windows in honor of Rev. Doak.
I was lucky enough to be there on Fellowship Sunday. The gracious church members invited me to attend a wonderful potluck lunch in the basement of church. Lulubelle lounged in the shade of the magnificent trees of the campus, doted on by all church members.
Imagine worshipping in a church your ancestors worshipped in 100+ years before! The experience was amazing, and I felt a real connection to those Mitchells of long ago as well as the welcoming people of the present.