The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Tabernacle Church and Cemetery

Who are these handsome men?

The school at Greenhill has had a basketball team since its junior high days and won the county championship in 1938.

Can you identify any of them? Please post their names and location in the photo.Photo of the Greenhill Alabama Basketball Team in 1938

Here is a little history on the community named Greenhill that is located in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Green Berry Hill, was born in Greenville County, South Carolina  25 November 1803 and died 8 October 1852 at Green HillAlabama. He and other family members are buried at Tabernacle Cemetery in the Greenhill community.

His parents were Henry T Hill (1776-1850) and Judith Nabours Hill (1777-1852).   the first ministers was the Rev. Henry Hill , whose ordination certification was recorded in the Lauderdale County Court House in 1829. He was the first minister of the new church when the first church burned down and a new was rebuilt. He and Judith are buried at Tabernacle Cemetery in the Greenhill community.

The text from an article from Florence Times follows:

July 4, 1976 – Our Country’s 200 year Centennial

July 4, 1976 Times Daily News Paper
By Mary Jane McDaniel

Photo of Tabernacle Church Building

Photo Credit: Jennifer A. {Lamar} Zahnd

Tabernacle Methodist church and Cemetery, Greenhill, is located on a beautiful tree-shaded knoll.
According to one local tradition the site was used first as an early camp ground for religious meetings.
Another view is that it may have first been the Hill family cemetery, and the church developed around that.
The first simple log church on the site was built perhaps between 1830 and 1840. Among the first ministers was the Rev. Henry Hill (1776-1850), whose ordination certification was recorded in the Lauderdale County Court House in 1829.
When this first building burned, another log one replaced it. The second one burned about 1869.
Local folk say that an unattended fireplace may have caused the destruction.
The present Tabernacle Methodist Church was constructed in 1869. At this time George Kennedy gave the Church legal title to the land. Henry A. Killen and others in the community furnished the materials. The Rev. Henry R. Hill did a large part of the actual work and was also the first minister of the new church.
Today the simple white frame church is used only for funerals and memorial services. Loyal supporters are slowly restoring the building, and they have completed most of the outside restoration. The church still contains some of the simple, hand-made, unfinished pews. It also contains some furnishings from Ebenezer Methodist Church, near Centerhill, which no longer in existence.
The adjoining cemetery is of special interest historically. The oldest marked grave is that of Catherine Hill who died in 1825 when she was 24. Her husband, Green Berry, who served in the Mexican War, was buried next to her in 1852. An interesting local tradition is that the Greenhill community was named for him.
An interesting stone slab in the ground marks the burial place of Captain John Chisholm (1779-1861) who served in the Tennessee Militia in the War of 1812 and the Mexican war.
LeMasters, a blacksmith, may have conducted the first post office in the area in his home.
There are also numerous graves marked only by pieces of rough stone. Whatever may have been written on them has long since faded away.
Despite the age of Tabernacle cemetery, it is in remarkably good condition and shows regular careful attention.

Henry and Judith were in the Territory of what would become the state of Alabama as early as 1798 as their marriage is documented as having taken place there. That hardly seems possibly given the birthplaces of their children as most of them appear to have been born in South Carolina. Of their large family of children the last two likely were born in Lauderdale County, Alabama in 1816 and 1817.

His first wife was Mary Catherine Hall; and the marriage ceremony was performed  10 February 1825 in Madison County, Alabama. She died 8 June 1825 and is buried at Tabernacle Cemetery. On that marriage record the groom’s name was given as William Green Hill.  It was Green Berry Hill after whom the community was named. Green Berry Hill fought for Texas Independence in 1836. There has been discussion over the years as to how the name of the community is spelled. Some consider Green Hill the proper spelling. Others consider the correct spelling to be Greenhill. The post office seems to think the correct spelling is Killen as there appears to be no zip code specifically for the community of Greenhill.

UPDATE: Margene Casteel Pettus was kind enough to post the answer to the question of just who are these handsome men, here is her response: The 1938 Junior High School basketball champions of Lauderdale county, hailing from Rogers Junior High School, Greenhill, the team having won the title in the annual tournament at Rogerville Saturday night.
From L to R back row: J.C. Davis,(Capt.), Reba Wright, Coleman Thigpen, Eugene Pettus, Coach Jimmie Westmoreland.
Front row: R.L. McInnish, Lonis Wright, Howard Truitt and Bruce Freeze.
The team won 21 out of 23 games this year, losing to two teams which later in the season they defeated handily.