Author Archives: Administrator

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Becoming Cumberland

Category : Uncategorized

Photo: The Birthplace Shrine at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, Dickson County, Tennessee. (Courtesy of CP Historical Foundation).

By Neal Wilkinson, Communications Director

I grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) and had never heard of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church until I arrived in Tennessee in 2011. Since then I have become a Cumberland Presbyterian, married one, and been licensed to preach as one. Becoming a “CP” wasn’t exactly my plan.

It turns out that becoming Cumberland Presbyterian wasn’t exactly the plan of the denominational founders either.

In 1789, what was originally the Philadelphia Presbytery, an extension of the Scottish church founded by Ulster-Scots immigrants, became the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. Around a decade later the Second Great Awakening had begun on the frontier and led to a period of rapid growth of Christianity and a need for churches and ministers.

Not everyone was in favor of the revival movement with its emphasis on emotion and strange bodily experiences, with many believing that it was superficial spirituality that lacked depth and substance. The ministers who would become the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church were supporters of the revival and eager to continue the ministry on the frontier.

These ministers belonged to the Cumberland Presbytery, and some of their fellow ministers were concerned about their revival style and the relaxing of educational standards of ordination. The ministers were reported to the Synod of Kentucky who investigated and eventually suspended 26 members of the Presbytery including the pro-revival ministers who would found the new church. During the feud it became clear that the revival ministers were not only different in their vision and practice of minister but in their doctrine, with the expelled members refusing to accept the Westminster Confession of Faith unconditionally because of its doctrine of predestination (the belief that God has foreordained those who will be saved).

This group of ministers spent 5 years attempting to be reconciled to the Presbyterian Church but found themselves blocked by a Synod that repeatedly overstepped its constitutional authority. Reluctantly on February 4 1810 at his home in Dickson County, Tennessee, Rev. Samuel McAdow agreed to join Rev. Finis Ewing and Rev. Samuel King in constituting an independent Cumberland Presbytery. In 1813 two new presbyteries were formed to create the Cumberland Synod, and for the first time its members began to be known as the “Cumberland Presbyterians.”

The Cumberland Presbyterian story is one that reveals both the best and worst about the Christian church: the openness and engagement to fresh movements of and belief about God in the world, and our tendency towards conflict with those who disagree with us. The challenge today is to continue to keep our eyes open for who and where God is, and to join in that ministry. But it is also to remain open to those who we disagree with, to listen and dialogue, to remain faithful to each other in gracious love, just as the Holy Other is faithful to us.

May we become the people God is calling us to be.

Neal Wilkinson
(Communications Director)

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Denomination Day

Category : Denomination

Sunday February 5th is Denomination Day, celebrating the birth of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1810. There will be an opportunity to make a birthday gift offering which will go to the Historical Foundation of the CPC and CPCA.

Envelopes for the Denomination Day offering are at the back of the sanctuary. Mark the envelope “Denomination Day” and place it in the basket or offering plate.

Visit the Historical Foundation website. 

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Kroger Card Renewal

Category : Uncategorized

Kroger will send our church a percentage of everything you spend there.
We all need groceries… it will just take a few minutes to register.  After that… you do nothing. Just show your card or type in your alternate ID when you check out & they do the rest!

If you have not updated/renewed your Kroger Card in 2017 to include Faith C.P. Church, please do so.  Even if your card was linked to Faith Church last year, we have to do update/renew our Kroger Cards at the beginning of every year so Faith can keep receiving the benefits of the Kroger Community Rewards Program.  Included below is some additional information about renewing your card.

If you already have a Kroger Card, but are currently not ‘linked in’ to the Kroger Community Rewards Program to Faith C. P. Church you will first need to enroll.

To enroll:

  • Go to
  • Click on Register and create a Kroger Account for yourself.
  • After you have created a Kroger account, you can log out of the Kroger web site, then log back in under your new account.
  • Then  follow the instructions below to link your card to Faith C.P. Church.

If you already have a Kroger Card that is ‘linked’ to Faith C.P. Church, follow the directions below to update/renew your card:

To Update/Renew:

  • Log on to
  • If you are a member, click ‘Sign In’ at upper right
  • Sign in using your e-mail address and password you used to create you Kroger Account
  • Click on ‘Community’ at top of page
  • Select ‘Community Rewards’
  • Select ‘View Your Reward Details”
  • Under Community Rewards, select ‘Edit’
  • Type in the word ‘Faith’ in the empty Search field and hit the Search button
  • Several organizations beginning with ‘Faith’ will appear, pick on the button in front of ‘Faith Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bartlett TN’.
  • Select ‘Enroll’ the bottom of the page.
  • That’s it!

Thanks to all that have participated the past year and encourage others to enroll!

If you have trouble David Pulliam will GLADLY help you. His number is 901-484-0605.

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Faith CPC 2017 Directories Now Available

Category : Uncategorized

The Faith CPC directories have arrived!

Each family that participated in the directory photo shoot will receive a free directory that are available for pick up in the Welcome Room. Additional directories are also available for those who did not participate, but we ask that you make a donation to cover their cost.

In a couple of weeks, a mobile directory will be available for those participants who have a smart phone. We’ll let you know the details as soon as it arrives.

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A/V Volunteers Weekly Training

Category : Uncategorized

Starting this Wednesday through April 26, from 6-7 pm there will be weekly training sessions for those interested in the Visual side of our A/V team.  We will learn about how our A/V system works, how to set it up, and how to build our weekly services and announcements using Mediashout and Powerpoint. No experience is necessary.

Contact Tom Womble if you are interested. (703) 963 6962.

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Chaos: January Pastor Post

Category : Pastor Blog

I am well known by now for not being the most organized or orderly person on the planet.  There are those who would love to sweep into my life and organize everything for me, to set up a calendar of meetings and events, to sort out my paperwork and my mess of receipts, and to straighten my office till it looks like no one works in there at all.  There are others who simply stand by and shake their heads in bewilderment as they try to understand how I get anything done in the midst of this kind of “mess”.   

Through my years of school, marriage, counseling and therapy, and continued introspection and self-analysis, I’ve discovered many things about myself. I know now that I am a certifiable sufferer of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  I know also that my brain is gifted to work extremely well in some ways and extremely poorly in other ways. For example, when I am asked to organize a meeting or systematically think through a single task or problem, my brain doesn’t like having only one thing to do.  It needs lots of things going on around it for it to be working at its best. For example, when I preach, my brain divides its attention between the words on the tablet where my notes are, the image on the screen on the wall, the facial cues on the people who are in the congregation, the radio story I heard on Wednesday morning that will be my closing illustration, the cultural background in which the passage was written, my own personal struggles that week dealing with the passage, and ultimately the singular point of the sermon that I feel God has led me to be delivering. For some people, this amount of stimulus would be overwhelming, yet for me, with the brain God has seen fit to put in my head, it’s one of the few situations where my entire brain seems to be firing at the same time, a thrilling experience. That’s not to say that I don’t get distracted occasionally in the middle of a sermon or forget a name or location or a story while preaching, but generally speaking, my brain works best in situations like when I deliver a sermon.

But even though I’ve come to some sense of peace when understanding the inner workings of my own brain, I still am quite envious of those who seem to always have everything together, everything in its place, and never an ‘i’ that is missing it’s dot. It hasn’t been uncommon for me in recent years to tell myself on January 1st that THIS year will be different.  THIS year, I’ll be more organized. THIS year, I’ll not let my desk be cluttered. THIS year…. And no matter how often I make that resolution, it never happens. My life is never suddenly neat and orderly. And year after year, my poor wife Kyla is always living just on the edge of chaos.

And while I do think some parts of my life could be a tad bit more structured, I’ve also decided that in creating me, God didn’t make a drastic mistake.  My brain works perfectly for what God is calling me to do and whatever God calls me to do tomorrow and this summer and next year will fit perfectly for how my brain works.  Recently, I started reading a book titled, “Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives”.  It’s a book that I’m absolutely sure was written solely for me.  The author, Tim Harford, points to moments of chaos where incredible breakthroughs are discovered in both science and mathematics and in art and music. Without the chaotic minds working alongside the neat and orderly minds, those solutions, those breakthrough albums, those medical breakthroughs would never have happened.

My challenge for us all this January isn’t to suddenly become messy, chaotic people. I am unendingly thankful for the neat and orderly people around me.  Instead I would like for us to see ourselves in the new year as children of God, made perfect for God’s calling. The very thing that makes you unique (and possibly a frustration for someone else) may be a gift to you from God with incredible usefulness and purpose.

Pastor Steven


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Volunteers needed for Basketball Concessions Stand

Category : Basketball

Each weekend the Brown Center hosts various games from the Bartlett Parks and Recreational Dept. youth basketball league. We are running a concessions stand to raise funds for upgrades to our worship space and need volunteers to run the stand. See the sign up sheets on the “Upcoming Events” noticeboard in the hallway or contact Dave Luechauer.

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Final call for knitted caps

Helping Hands have been collecting knitted / crocheted caps and store-bought gloves to donate to the Carpenter’s House which serves people suffering from homelessness in the downtown Memphis area. The deadline for hats to be turned in is Tuesday January 17th. Donation boxes are in the hallways in the church building.

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A Hopeful Work

Tags :

Category : Pastor Blog

Probably my favorite part of being a parent is watching the uniqueness of your child develop.  It is typical for a young child to look to others, especially parents and other family members, to understand what likes and dislikes he or she should have.  

A great example from my life is that many months ago, Catherine expressed an intense interest in Star Wars, one of my favorite movie series ever.  She and Kyla had just bought me a Star Wars themed gift and she really wanted to know all about it.  I talked to Kyla about it and she agreed that Catherine and I could watch the original, 1977 Star Wars movie together a few weekends later.

The day finally arrived and I was incredibly excited to share this bit of culture with my daughter. We had the popcorn popped, the pizza hot and ready, the volume on the TV up and the movie cued up and ready to go.  It started with the John Williams trumpet fanfare and then the long scroll of bright words across a starry background began. She watched with rapt attention as the first few scenes played out, but she became a bit restless after about 20 minutes of the movie.  After a while, she wanted to ask me a question, so I paused the movie and gave her my attention.

“Daddy, can I go upstairs and play? This movie is boring.”

My heart almost broke.  This moment that I had been anticipating with such excitement was over barely 20% of the way through. But in hindsight, that was the first moment that began to recognize that Catherine is figuring out who she is.  She has relied on me a great deal for understanding that since she was born, but recently, her identity has begun solidifying within her, apart from the influence of me and Kyla. We never finished Star Wars, instead she’s watched most all of season one of “Glitter Force” a fashion focused kids show about five girls who turn into super heroes. -sigh-

But even though Catherine is beginning to craft her own opinions and develop her own points of view, the role of a parent is to continually be an influence throughout her life, even if she’s not excited about it (no, you can’t have halloween candy for breakfast!)  I do this because I care about her, about her development, and about who she will become as an adult.  And this is the hardest and most important work I do as a parent. Yet, even as I work, I am hopeful of the amazing woman she will become.

I cannot imagine the burden that Mary and Joseph carried as they recognized that they were rearing the son of God.  In the beginning, they told him what to eat, when to go to bed, where to stand, and decided when he would go to the temple and when he wouldn’t.  All of this was done so that Jesus would have a solid foundation for life and for his spirit when he would eventually come into his own and begin his ministry.  God specifically designed for Jesus to be born into a faithful family so that he would know community, know tradition, know hard work, and know love and loss.  Through it all, Mary and Joseph had hope in the work they did raising Jesus.

In much the same way, our lives of discipleship are ones where we are in continual development under the watchful gaze of Creator.  God instills within us a curiosity and a desire to know and to grow.  We spend a large portion of our lives “discovering” and better understanding ourselves and knowing our own desires and opinions and then we are off discovering and understanding who and what God is.  It is then that our and God’s hopeful work begins, as we begin to move closer and closer in relationship with our Maker, our Sustainer, our Lord, and our King.

May God’s hopeful work begin anew within you as we seek the newborn king in this Advent Season.


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New Sunday School Format for Grades 1 Thur 8

Starting on November 6th, Sunday School for grades 1 thru 8 will be transformed into a “Mini-Vacation Bible School”.

It will include a mixture of Bible Study, Crafts, Music, Recreation, and Science.  Practice for the upcoming Christmas program will also be incorporated into this time.  This should provide a NEW, FUN, and INTERESTING way of teaching our youth about the Love of God and all that comes with it.

We urge all the youth in this age group to participate in this new approach to our Sunday School time.

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