PINEY FORK CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
















4294 Coppers Spring Road, Marion, KY

In May of 1810, John Travis, along with thirteen other people from the vicinity of Piney Fork, KY, seven miles east of Marion, KY, decided to organize a new church connected to the new Cumberland Presbytery. The original members were: John Travis, Rebecca Travis, James Travis, Rachel Travis, John Wheeler, Susan Wheeler, James Clinton, Ann Clinton, Mary Ann Henry, Mrs. McGough, Mrs. Zachariah Bivens, Mrs. William Leach, and the Rev. William Henry

The organization was completed in 1812, and Piney Fork became the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized as such in the state of Kentucky. Documents credit the Rev. Finis Ewing, a founder of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, with organizing the first Piney Fork congregation.

The first church house was built of logs and located near the center of the present cemetery. It burned, and the second log house was built west of the first in 1843. This was used as a church and community school house in the 1880s and 1890s. The third building was erected in 1867, was located a little further west, and made of bricks burned on the grounds. The fourth church, present brick building was built in 1957, on the same site as the third church.

Two congregations have been organized out of the Piney Fork Church; these are Sugar Grove in 1840 and Crayne Cumberland Presbyterian in 1892.

Some ministers with Piney Fork roots in the early years were: George W. Hughey, J. H. Hughey, J. L. Hughey, T. S. Love, Presley H. Crider, J. T. Rushing, and Mack Green. In the alter years, the Revs. Paul O. Belt, Wendell Ordway, Clifton Wilson, and Cortis E. Hill came from this congregation. The Rev. Cortis E. Hill became pastor of the church in 1967, and remained pastor until his death in 2009.  The current pastor is Daniel Hopkins.

The first camp meeting, for which Piney Fork was so famous, was held on the present grounds in May 1812; these were continued until 1955. The first meetings were held under a "brush arbor" on the beautiful knoll. Later there were two "sheds" built for these yearly camp meetings; the last one was built in 1886, to shelter over one thousand people. This building was torn down in the spring of 1970, after extensive damage was done to its roof due to the heavy winter snowfall. The Brick Tower, located east of the church, was erected in 1971, to hold the bell from the shed. Records show that Finis Ewing preached at the historic campground at Piney Fork, and possibly Samuel King. The first ordained woman in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, The Rev. Mrs. Louisa Woosley, held camp meeting in 1890.

On June 19, 2002, Officers and ministers of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church gathered with Piney Fork Church and community to celebrate the faith of the people who have perpetually met on this sacred ground for 190 years. Rev. Cortis and Rev. Wendell Ordway unveiled a large memorial marker, located in the cemetery, near the site of the first church building, commemorating the organization of the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the state of Kentucky, in May 1812.

In 2003, the Piney Fork Church was added to the Historical Site Registry of the American Presbyterian Church. The plaque with this honor is located on the outside of the front entrance.

On September 17, 2005, an official historic marker placed by the Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Department of Transportation, on the church grounds was dedicated in celebration of 193 years of service to God and Community.

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