The idea for starting a Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Germantown had its beginnings with three families who were driving from the Germantown area to the Whitehaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church to worship each Sunday. Several meetings were held in the homes of these families to discuss the possibility of starting a church. A decision was made to pursue the idea. Contacts were made with friends, neighbors and family members.
Under the leadership of Dr. Thomas D. Campbell, the first worship service was held in the Germantown Community Center on March 16, 1975, with 44 persons present. The group was organized as a Fellowship on July 13, 1975, under the direction of the Board of Missions of Memphis Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. An executive committee was elected to direct the group.
Dr. Paul B. Brown, Professor of New Testament at Memphis Theological Seminary, became pastor of the Fellowship on September 1, 1975, and remained in this position until September 1984. A beautiful wooded lot was purchased in April 1976 on the corner of McVay and Riverdale Roads. A contemporary, multi-purpose building was erected on the lot. The members of the Fellowship were filled with excitement and gratitude as they entered their newly completed building for the first worship service on Sunday, January 8, 1978. On the afternoon of that day, William Warren, a young man who was to graduate from Memphis Theological Seminary in June, was ordained to the gospel ministry in the new sanctuary. The Reverend Mr. Warren was later to become pastor of the church.
In a service of worship on Sunday, April 2, 1978, the Germantown Fellowship was officially organized and dedicated as a Cumberland Presbyterian Church by Memphis Presbytery. Nine elders were elected and installed. The fellowship had finally become a church.
From the beginning, the group had a well-planned educational program with Sunday School classes for each age group, Vacation Bible School, ministries with youth, a women’s organization and a commitment to service.
An addition was built to the church in 1981, giving the building a pastor’s study, library, added nursery and church school classrooms. On March 9, 1997, a Christian Education wing was dedicated. It was named the Rosa Mae and Eugene L. Warren Christian Education Building.
Upon the decision of the Reverend Dr. Paul Brown to return to teaching at Memphis Theological Seminary, the Reverend Mr. William Warren was called to pastor the Germantown Church in September 1984. He continues to serve in this position.
From its beginnings to the present the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Germantown has celebrated the love of God for every person, and sought to reflect that love by being a community where regardless of age or circumstance in life people may know the welcome of Christ’s community and the call to Christian faith and discipleship.
Worship, Hospitality, Christian Education, and Outreach have been at the center of the church’s life from the very beginning. As such, it has been a church that has encouraged its members to embrace both the journey inward in relationship to God and the journey outward through service to and with persons in times of need, giving to denominational and ecumenical mission efforts and living out the call of Christ in the challenges of daily life.
While the church is now 34 years old, there is a feeling among many of its present members that the best is yet to come as it continues to be open to the leadership of the Spirit for a new day.