West Knoxville church celebrating its 225th anniversary

Now in 2021, the church compound off of Kingston Pike is home to 3,000 parishioners.
Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - One of Knoxville’s oldest churches celebrated its 225th year of worship. Cedar Springs Presbyterian talked about celebrating that many years of being open in services each Sunday.

When you walk into the sanctuary at Cedar Springs, you’ll hear singing and a pastor preaching the sermon. They also share a lot of their rich history.

“Our church was formed 20 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed,” said Cary Lewis, communications coordinator of the church.

The church was founded back in 1796, the same year Tennessee was considered a state.

Lewis and her family are a part of the church’s more recent history. They have worshiped at the West Knoxville church for the last 30 years.

Long before Lewis’s family started going to Cedar Springs, church services were held under a tree and people sat on tree stumps.

The congregation later moved into a building that burned down on Christmas Eve in 1898.

Now in 2021, the church compound off of Kingston Pike is home to 3,000 parishioners.

“It is amazing to see that that church is still going and a humbling thing to be a part of,” Senior pastor John Forsyth said. “We don’t look back on our history and think it’s a history of our success or our own abilities. We’re really humbled to see how God has been faithful to these people.”

Church leaders said they were able to make it through all of these years together enduring wars, pandemics and parishioners’ adversities.

“I can look at my kids and their lives now and I can see the impact this church has had on them,” said Lewis.

Although he won’t be here for all of it , the senior pastor said he is looking forward to the church’s next 225 years.

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