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Church History


Brown Hill Presbyterian Church, 1526 Mecca Pike, Tellico Plains, was established in 1898 and is thought to have been part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in its early years.  The congregation first met in a building that was shared with the Masonic Lodge, the first floor of the building being used by the church and upstairs by the lodge.  Land for the original building was donated by Dr. Leonard, who lived in the Brown Hill community.  The current building was constructed in 1956 on land that was given to Brown Hill Church by Newton H. and Mary N. Beaty.  The lumber was donated by the U.S. Forest Service and sawed by Ernest West.  The church was known in its early years as Leonard’s Chapel.  The name was changed to Brown Hill Presbyterian Church in 1956, when the new building was constructed. 

The old Jalapa Post Office was located nearby.  Thus, several names have been associated with the church and community.  As one person said, the way to tell where you lived was to say, “I live in Jalapa, at Leonard’s Chapel church at Brown Hill.”  The congregation was organized in 1926 as a member of the Knoxville Presbytery, today known as the Presbytery of East Tennessee of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Among the pastors serving the church in its early years were Davis Wolfe, a long-time Presbyterian pastor in the area, Gus Hollenhead and McCoy Franklin.  The Reverend W.R. (Bill) Childress was pastor from 1955 until 1971.  The Reverend Arthur Pflug, former director of Bachman home in Cleveland, supplied the pulpit as well as the Reverend Taylor Bird, who at the time was pastor of Eppersson Church in Coker Creek.  In 1976, Brown Hill Church was yoked with the Epperson Church pastured by Lane Stephenson. Reverend Stephenson served our church for twenty years.  Pastor Andy Hamilton of Athens served Brown Hill, as well as Reverend Sam Melton and Bill Moore.


On November 15, 1998, the corner stone from Brown Hill Presbyterian Church was removed.  The contents that were sealed in a copper box were as follows: a  Bible which included the Charter and present members of 1957, a Dedication Program and a copy of the Church History.  Those that participated in the opening of the corener stone were Ernest West, Norman burger, Harold Loven, J.C. Peals, Jack Newman, Steve Harris and Curtis burger.  Following the 100th year Celebration on November 22, 1998, the box with the old and new contents were resealed and placed back in the corner stone.



Membership of the church is about 45 strong.  The active session include J.C. Peals, Jr., Troy Heaton, Jack Newman, Steve Harris, and Albert Medina.  Rev. Sam Melton is currently serving the church as pastor. 

Brown Hill Cemetery is located behind the church and is maintained by the church officers. 


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