Verona Methodist Church ending regular Sunday service

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Marshall County church that has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985 held its last regular service this month.

The small congregation of Verona Methodist Church discontinued its services and closed its doors after the last worship service on Sunday, Feb. 6.

Among the last faithful members were Carroll and Ruth Wiggins, Gilbert Hunter, Tom Hunter, Wayne and June Daniels, and Joe and Sandra Wakham. They will integrate into other local Methodist congregations. Reverend Steve Christopher, pastor, and his wife Waverly Ann served the church as part of the Berlin circuit.

The dissolution will not be official until the Methodist Conference votes at the annual meeting in June. It is hoped that the historic building will be preserved by the Methodist Conference for use as a community-gathering hall.

A farewell service for the church is being planned for early spring, and an attempt will be made to contact all former members and pastors.

The church, which first opened its doors in 1880, was composed of members from the old Cave Spring Methodist Episcopal Church which had been established some 40 years prior. The building itself is rectangular in shape with identical transept wings attached on the north and south elevations. A small wooden belfry on the front ridgeline contains the bell from the old Cave Springs Church, which also gave much of its timber and its pews to the Verona church.

Many families from the Verona community have been associated with the Verona Methodist Church. It was the home church of Buford Ellington, twice governor of Tennessee, who moved to Verona and bought land there after marrying Catherine Ann Cheek in 1929. In addition to Cheek, the membership roll lists familiar last names such as Hunter, Wright, Hill, Hardison, Miller, Cathey, Liggett, Higgs, Martin, Fowler, Long, and Ewing.