Marshall County, Tennessee
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Bethbirei Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in Marshall County, Tennessee. It is about five mile north of Lewisburg. The oldest part of the Cemetery, is across the road from the church. When I was there in the summer of 1981, a hot, humid day, the weeds were head high and very dry. I ventured into the weed jungle, to try to locate a headstone. There were sunken areas designating old graves, but no stones. There may have been some, although doubtful, but none were found that day.
The Church, Church yard and newer Cemetery were lovely and well-kept. At that time, there were several locked, glass show cases in the foyer of the Church, containing mementos of the Church's history and of the former Pastors. Several Dysarts, over a span of years, were Bethbirei pastors.
Samuel Argyle Appleby, his wife, Ann Rebecca (Ewing) Appleby and two of their children are buried in the newer cemetery. This cemetery seems to be more for the Ewing, Leeper, Dysart families, intertwined in life, closely, with the Applebys.
Appleby Family records, indicate that John Appleby and his wife, Sarah (Bell) Appleby and his wife are buried in the older section of the Cemetery (across the road). They are surrounded by their friends and, possibly, some close family members, from those days of long ago.
There are several unmarked graves across the road in front of the church, but impossible to count. Also, there is a colored cemetery to the southwest of the early graves. (church records)
"A marble slab bolted to a huge native stone in NW corner of Churchyard bears the inscription: "June 1, 1810. On this spot was preached by Rev. Samuel Finley the first and organization sermon of Bethbirei Church, from "Upon this Rock, I will build My Church." (from Appleby Newsletter, Oct 1981.)
Information from the Presbyterian Historical Society of Philadelphia, sent the following information in 1981.
The first church organized in Marshall County, Tennessee, was "Bethbirei, House of My Creation" on June 1, 1810 with 26 members. In 1815, she had 144 members and in 1818, she had 183, the greatest number in her history. Bethberei is the "mother" of five churches. In 1819, she gave of her members to organize the Cumberland Church of Farmington; in 1840, to Bethel and to Round Hill; in 1847, to the first Prebyterian Church of Lewisburg and in 1896, to South Berlin. At times, in her first 50 years she had more black members than she had white ones.
Bethberei has occupied two buildings. The first, a log one which was replaced with the present one in 1882.
The Bethbirei Presbyterian Church is number 151 on the American Presbyterian/Reformed Historical Sites Registry."
At Bethbirei Cemetery
1. John Appleby, husband of Sarah (Bell) Appleby
son of William Appleby and Elizabeth McKeehan
born 21 Dec 1778 of Cumberland Co. Pennsylvania
died 6 Apr 1863
age 84 yrs. 5 mo. 15 days
2. Sarah (Bell) Appleby, wife of John Appleby
born 8 Jan 1772
died 8 Dec 1852
age 80 yrs 11mo.
3. Samuel Bell Appleby, husband of Jane Emmaline (Ewing) Appleby
son of John & Sarah (Bell) Appleby
born 2 Feb 1808
died 4 Dec 1887
4. Jane Emmaline (Ewing) Appleby, wife of Samuel Bell Appleby
daughter of George and Jane E. Ewing
born 31 July 1811
died 2 June 1846
age 35 years 10 mo.
5. John Simeon Appleby, son of Samuel Bell Appleby & Jane (Ewing) Appleby
born 1 Feb 1844
died 24 July 1844
age 6 mo. 24 days
6. Margaret (Appleby) Bond, wife of William Winton Bond
daughter of Samuel Bell Appleby & Jane (Ewing) Appleby
born 21 Nov 1837
died 3 Mar 1887
7. William Winton Bond, husband of Margaret (Appleby) Bond
born 23 Sept 1829
died 21 April 1891
8. Emma Bond, daughter of William Winton Bond & Margaret (Appleby) Bond
9. Lena Bond, daughter of William Winton Bond & Margaret (Appleby) Bond
10. Samuel Argyle Appleby, husband of Ann Rebekah (Ewing) Appleby
son of Samuel Bell Appleby & Jane Emmaline (Ewing) Appleby
born 1 June 1845
died 7 Jan 1923
11. Ann Rebekah (Ewing) Appleby
born 2 March 1846
died 9 July 1928
12. Flora Bell Appleby, daughter of Samuel Argyle & Ann Rebekah (Ewing) Appleby
born 28 Jan 1867
died 1 Oct 1875
age 7 yrs. 8 mo.
13. Infant Son of Samuel Argyle Appleby & Ann Rebekah (Ewing) Appleby
born 10 June 1873
died 28 June 1873
15 January 2006
revised 6 April 2006