Mount Pleasant Church History

Mount Pleasant Church, which stands in section 30 of Crab Orchard Township, was organized in November, 1839 by a little group of Cumberland Presbyterians. James E. Alexander was their leader, and thirty-two charter members subscribed their names “to enjoy the means of grace and the ordinances of the church.”

The Shed, familiar name for this church, dates even farther back. In 1835 the newly arrived Motsinger family joined with their neighbors the McDonalds and the Furlongs and built a brush arbor to shelter an autumn camp meeting. Posts were set, rafters laid across, and rough boards formed a roof. Straw covered the ground in place of a floor. A four weeks meeting followed, some of the faithful remaining to the end. Lean-to shelters and un-chinked log cabins were built nearby, to house those who came from a distance. They brought their beds and meager provisions. Hunters brought in food daily. This Motsinger Shed was the forerunner of Mount Pleasant church.

John N. Calvert was named pastor of the flock in May, 1843. He was a member of the county commissioners’ court at the time and his family was established at Marion. His son, Napoleon B. (“Bone”) Calvert was one of the first elders when a Presbyterian church was organized at Marion in 1845.

The marriage of Robert P. Erwin and Elizabeth Furlong was recorded at Mount Pleasant church in 1843. The couple moved into the new village of Crab Orchard, where Furlong and Erwin operated the mill. Mrs. Erwin’s brother, James M. Furlong, was the other partner and also session clerk of Mount Pleasant church during Rev. Mr. Calvert’s ministry. The Erwin’s’ son became the first historian of the county and a representative in the legislature.

Back to the top

(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939 which is on sale at the Williamson County Museum)