Clear Creek Church

Clear Creek

Clear Creek Church in McNairy County, Tennessee

Photo courtesy of C. Wayne Austin via

“In 1828 the Clear Creek church of Christ was formed at Stantonville, in McNairy County, Tennessee” (Howell 2009, 1). Howell, Ellenor Hardeman. 2009. Hardeman/McClure Newsletter. Summer.

“Elder Mansel W. Matthews has planted two churches in McNairy county, Tenn., that are rapidly increasing.” Letter from J. E. Matthews, June 16, 1829, from The Christian Messenger, Vol. 3, p. 210.

“Elder James E. Matthews of Alabama, writes. Aug. 4, 1829, to the Editor:— “I visited McNairy county, Term, about two weeks ago. We had a two days meeting. The prospect was very encouraging. Four were immersed, and one or two were added to the church. The church there has increased in a few months from 6 to 40 members.” The Christian Messenger, Vol. 3, p. 259.

Camp Meeting Appointments.
Camp meeting at Winchester Ten. 4th Lord’s day in July, 1832. Do. at Lewis’, Jackson co. Manama, .and in Rutherford Co. Ten. 5th Lord’s day in July. Do in Wilson Co. Ten. and in Limestone Co. Ala. 1st Lord’s day in August. Conference in Hickman Co Ten, 3d Lord’s day in August. Camp meeting in Maury Co Ten, (Globe creek) 3d do in Aug. Do at Barnet’s, Wayne co. Ten, 4th do in August. Do at Guess’s, Carroll co. Ten, 1st do in September. Do at Acor’s, Carrol co. Ten, 2d do in September. Do at Goodman’s, Dyer Co. Ten, 3d do in September. Do at McCay’s, Madison co. Ten, 4th do in September. Do at Julan’s, McNairy co. Ten, 5th do in September. Do at Matthew’s McNariy co. Ten, 1st do in October. (The Christian Messenger, Vol. 6, 94).

1932 Receipts
Tennessee—McNairy. By Mansel Matthews, $5.00. (The Christian Messenger, Vol. 6, p. 159).

“Our Camp-Meeting commences on Chamber’s creek in McNairy county Ten. on Friday before the 3rd Lord’s day in Sept. next. We earnestly invite our brethren generally to attend, who can. For the present I must desist, Yours in hope of immortality. M. W. Matthews.” (Christian Messenger, Vol. 4, p. 192).

J. H. Dunn, Adamsville, Ten. September 24, 1837, writes that nine persons were lately immersed in that vicinity, the fruit of his visit to a dying friend, who, on acknowledging his having lived in disobedience to the gospel, was baptized confessing his sins. He soon afterwards died; and at his funeral brother Dunn addressed the people, whereupon six confessed the Lord, and were
immersed from among the Cumberland Presbyterians and Methodists. (Millennial Harbinger, 1838, p. 46).

“Howard’s counterpart at Adamsville in McNairy County was Allen Kendrick. He was instrumental in establishing congregations in the county at Clear Creek and Cypress about 1838.” (North, Tennessee Christians, p. 35).

Clear Creek. J. H. Dunn, Millennium Harbinger, Jan. 29, 1840

Record of the Clear Creek Church met on Saturday the 15th of February 1841.
Being called to order preceeded to business and after various exertions to settle the old difficulties existing in the church it was ascertained that they could not be settled without a division in the church. It was resolved that the following proposition should be submitted. (Viz) All persons who are willing to live together and serve the Lord according to the Bible and the Bible alone and to acknowledge all their falts and to forgive each other all former trespasses will make it known by coming forward and giving Brother John H. Jones the right hand of fellowship. It was also furthermore resolved (Viz) That all those who would come forward on the above resolution after sufficient time had been given them should be considered as manifesting an unwillingness to conform to the rules and regulations of the Church of Christ and therefore should be withdrawn from. By order of the Church.
Thos R. Beck, C.C.

About the Photo
“This is the only photo I have ever seen of the Clear Creek Christian (Church of Christ) Church. The original or at least another copy is in the hands of Duane Helweg. I am unaware of the founding date of this church but I have an ancestor named John B. Kerr & his wife Priscilla who settled here in 1844. Other (siblings) family members followed them or came here about the same time from Maury County Tennessee and it is my belief they were all members of the Christian Church. It is clear the building was constructed in early times when separate doors for women and men were provided. That included separate benches after gaining entrance. The writing at the bottom of the photo is describing where years ago Martha Bea Brooks Wicker went to church. This church facility was actually abolished about in the 1970s. I had contact with Sherry Ladd who grew up here and she among others tried to prevent its demolition but was unable to prevent that.” C. Wayne Austin, via

Cortez Kirksey

Tom L. Childers created a memorial on for Cortez Kirksey. His date of death is unknown. The following is all that I have been able to find.

Birth: Apr. 1, 1918
McNairy County
Tennessee, USA
Death: unknown
Gospel preacher who was living in Savannah, Tenn. in 1960.John Harris, 810 Meigg Street, Corinth, Miss., June 14: “I preached a sermon, based on Gal. 4:16 called “I Tell You the Truth,” and baptized one and one was restored. To God be honor and praise. I was called by the white church in Savannah, Tenn., recently to hold a meeting for the colored people. There were eight baptisms. Cortez Kirksey is doing a great work there. Thursday night Bible class was organized for the colored people and will be taught by Owen Freeman, who is the white minister in Savannah, Tenn. Please pray for the Savannah work. Brother Campbell baptized one during my absence.” –Gospel Advocate , June 30, 1960, p. 414.