New Webb Grove AME Church
and the Merging of
Webb Chapel, Cedar Grove and New Bethel
Webb Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Webb Chapel AME was founded in 1865 and the land for the Church was purchased in 1881 by Trustees of the Church (George Alexander, Sam Alexander and John Hutchinson), however records do not exist showing the name of the Pastor during these years. The deed was updated in 1907 and recorded showing Reverend James Childress as Pastor; Henry Batts, Riley Erwin, John W. Bracy, Nelson Rucker and A. B. Turner as Trustees. Between 1887 and 1907 historical data regarding the place of worship was lost, forcing historians to rely on oral accounts stating the "traditional church" services were held in a Brush Arbor.
Cedar Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church
Cedar Grove was founded in 1890 with land donated by Minos Fletcher and Family to build the Church. In March of 1890 the Church was built with labor from black families and friends. The early Church consisted of Baskett, Brooks, Daniels, Fletcher, Frazier, Hall, Harris Jenkins, Johnson, Maupin, McGill, Miller, Parker, Rucker, Spence, Stovall, Vaughn, Wade, Watkins and Whitworth family members.
New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
New Webb Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church
In March 1992, Cedar Grove received notification that the State of Tennessee Department of Transportation would be widening Highway 231 South (also known as the Shelbyville Highway) and Church property would be affected. After much discussion between Church members, Pastor Reverend Thomas Holman and Presiding Elder William Forrest Scruggs an agreement was reached to sell the property to the State of Tennessee. November 1993, Cedar Grove and Webb Chapel merged under the leadership of Reverend Leland Harris Webster. It was decided through process of voting that the first and last Church names would be used, thus Webb Grove was formed on the site of the former, Webb Chapel AME.
With the realization that "It's Time to Build a Church", July 27, 1997, members began the planning process for a new edifice. Under the leadership of Reverend Webster it took approximately fourteen (14) months to raise enough money to build a debt free place of worship. The building process could not have gone as smoothly as it did without the generosity of the Scales Family, who opened their doors and allowed the congregation to hold Sunday Worship Service in their facility.
New Webb Grove is located on five (5) beautiful acres of land adjacent to the former site of Dillard School where many members attended, in the Barfield Crescent Community located in Rutherford County Tennessee. As we reflect upon the many years of remarkable strides in the life and development of New Webb Grove AME Church, we believe the founding members rejoice in praises of thanksgiving at the blessing that have been bestowed on this congregation.