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NELSON’S MEETING HOUSE

June 12, 1991

NELSON’S MEETING HOUSE

By: Jonesborough Genealogical Society

     Nelson’s Chapel was situated in the vicinity of the present site of Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee. It was the third society of which we have any record in the Holston Country, and the second in Tennessee.  The chapel was named for William Nelson, a man who entertained Bishop Asbury often when he visited the section of Holston. In his journal bearing the date of March 29, 1797, we read that the Bishop was a guest in the Nelson home. The chapel was built near the home. In 1793, Conference was held at Nelson’s Meeting House. It is thought that this is the third conference in the Holston Country. The bishop mentions Nelson’s house in his journal of 1790, and it is possible that a conference was held there that year. The 1793 Conference began on April the second, and the bishop wrote in his journal: “We have only four or five families here. We had sweet peace in our conference.” William Nelson’s farm adjoined that of James Nelson, and here on the latter’s place was located the Brush Creek Camp Ground was a few hundred yards northwest of  what is now the public square of Johnson City. The camp was still standing during the War Between the States but later disappeared. It was here that the Methodists gathered yearly to listen to sermons of the outstanding ministers of the church. Many souls were converted and the people of God renewed their faith in God and the allegiance of their souls to Christian ideals.

     The site of the Nelson house has been marked for several years. Bishop Horace M. Dubose delivered an address as a dedicatory service held there during the session of the Conference, which was held in the Munsey Memorial Church at Johnson City. The Conference was adjourned to visit the site of the chapel.

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