WOODLAWN CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH














3402 Old Benton Road, Paducah, KY

The Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church, located three-fourths a mile outside the Paducah city limits on the Old Benton Road, was organized by the Reverend Tom Harris May 29, 1927. Reverend Harris was a Mayfield Presbyterial Missionary at that time. Thirteen charter members met in the Farley School building. They were: Mrs. S. P. Tucker, Mrs. Lovie Truitt, Mrs. Linnie Williams, Mrs. Minnie Myers, Mrs. Beulah Pierce, Mrs. Jessie Pierce, Ruth Riley, Andy Roark, Lee Story, Garvin Austin, F. H. Culp, Walter Pryor, and Alvie Tucker.

The first pastor called to serve this congregation was the Reverend S. P. Tucker.  Reverend Tucker is largely responsible for the existence of this church, as he preached the "whosoever will" gospel to the people many times before they desired for Mayfield Presbytery to establish a church. 

On January 3, 1929, the congregation purchased land and a church building was erected.  This building was dedicated December 20, 1931, by Reverend D. W. Fooks; Reverend E. R. Ladd preached the dedication sermon.

Sunday School has been in existence continuously since the church was organized.

The Woodlawn congregation was fortunate in securing a church bell, which in fact, is older than the church.  This bell was once used on a tug boat called the GLEAMER that plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  The bell was donated to the Woodlawn Church by Mr. Thecker, one of the officials of the West Kentucky Coal Company where Elder Lee Story was employed; he was largely responsible for obtaining the bell.  For many years, the bell rang out its appeal each Lord's Day to the people of the community to prepare for worship in God's holy place.

The record flooding of 1937 covered the Farley area and approximately four feet of water was measured inside the church building.   Boards from the pews were used to build a boat. The pews were later replaced. All residents of the area moved to other places for about a month, and church services were suspended for a period of time.  Many of the church records were lost due to the flooding.

As the membership continued to increase, plans were made for constructing a new church building.  The building, costing approximately $50,000.00, was started in April 1954, and completed six months later.  The first service in this building was held October 10, 1954.  The membership was 160.  In 1959, the church constructed a new manse.  In 1960, the old Sunday School rooms were bricked for a garage and other purpose building, new walks to the church and manse were constructed, along with a parking lot for the congregation. 

In 1960, death claimed Rev. E. R. Ladd. The indebtedness of the church was paid the same year. A day of dedication was set on October 9, 1960, with a special sermon at 11:00 A.M. by Rev. Glenn Moore, the former pastor and Moderator of Mayfield Presbytery.  The new pastor Rev. Paul Belt was welcomed.   Rev. Belt and his wife, Estelle, plus their three children, moved into the manse, beginning the longest pastorate in the history of the Woodlawn - 33 1/4 years. 

In 1964 a Sunday School annex was built; in 1966,  air-conditioned was installed and additional property was obtained.  In 1974, the manse moved across the street to accommodate the construction of a new 590 seat Sanctuary - all done without a Building Program - completely on faith.  Cost for this building was approximately $175,000.00.  Other properties were acquired in 1976.

A Service of Dedication for the Sanctuary was held October 10, 1976.  In 1979 the former Sanctuary was remodeled to provide a Fellowship Hall, Nursery, restrooms, and kitchen. 

Candidates for the ministry, Kevin Medlin and Bud Russell, were generous with their time to preach the gospel from the Woodlawn pulpit following the retirement of Rev. Belt.

A new building was dedicated as the Paul O. Belt Christian Outreach Center on May 17, 1992, containing   a new kitchen, additional restrooms, modern Sunday School rooms, and a multipurpose area. 

Many young men from this congregation have become ministers in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and other denominations.  A few of these are: James Ratliff, Kevin Medlin, Bud Russell, Terry Henderson, Jeff Carroll, Darin Lampley, and Dewayne Franklin.

Some of the Pastors who have served this congregation are: Revs. S. P. Tucker, Joe C. Gardner, R. T. Mitchell,  E. A. Mathis, W. T. Nunley, Harold Howard, Mrs. Ethel Mitchell, Hubert Covington, Glenn Moore, Virgil Weeks, E. R. Ladd, Paul O. Belt, Greg Moss, Roger Reid, Gary Elrod and David Fackler.

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