Our History

Marietta Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized on March 11, 1838, originally as an outgrowth of the Concord Church, which was the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church in East Tennessee.  Several of the founders of Marietta Church were also instrumental in the settlement of the Hardin Valley community. Many of the names included on the list (Hardin, Gallaher and Steele) are recognizable even today.

The original location of the church was approximately two miles west of the present-day building, near where Hickory Creek emptied into the Clinch River, and is now under the waters of Melton Hill Lake.  The Civil War was devastating to the churches of Hardin Valley, and it seems Marietta was no exception.  Since there were no Session records kept during part of the war, it is likely the church ceased to meet during this time.  

Presbyterian Church

In 1873, under the leadership of Rev. Samuel West, Marietta Church was reconstituted, and its 68 members began meeting at the Steele School located about one mile west of the present-day Food City on the Steele Farm.  In May 1878, plans began to construct a new church building, and on August 19, 1879, a contract was signed.  It called for a 36’ x 50’ x 16’ structure at Thompson Spring in Hardin Valley, with a construction budget of $800.  Originally the church had three rows of pews and two aisles with a wood-burning stove near the center of the sanctuary, which would later be moved to one side.  For lighting, there were five oil lamps in a chandelier hanging from the ceiling and additional oil lamps attached to the wall.  The project took nearly a year longer than expected but was finally dedicated on October 10, 1880.  

Over the next several decades, the Marietta Church building underwent several changes and additions. In 1949, the eight stained-glass windows were added, each dedicated as a memorial to families within the church. The first basement addition was completed in 1953, and in 1955 water was piped into the church from the spring at the foot of the hill. During the 1970’s, the front porch was added, and the stained-glass windows restored. The following decade saw the addition of the second story of the educational unit. In January 2020, Marietta completed a new church office located on the church grounds.

Since its organization in 1838, Marietta Cumberland Presbyterian Church has been served by twenty-six pastors, most recently Rev. Don Hubbard from 1965 to 2001, and Rev. Randall Mayfield since 2001.


The bell and belfry were added to the church in 1910.  It was later moved to its current location in the bellhouse and can be heard calling the church to worship each Sunday morning. 

Presbyterian Church