HIGHLAND UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
1836, Godfrey and Tabitha Young moved their family from
Pulaski County, Kentucky, to the Highland area of
Lincoln County, Kentucky. Church services were held in
their home at that time. Records indicate that the
Highland Methodist Church was established in 1849 on a
knoll just east of the Old Corduroy Road, which is the
present Highway 1247. The original church was built
beside the cemetery and was known as the Pleasant Hill
Meeting House. It had two doors, one for women &
children and the other for men. When the Civil War
started in 1861, one door was used by the supporters of
the North and the other by sympathizers of the South. To
further separate the Blue and Gray, a partition was
built down the center of the church to keep the groups
apart as a result of hostile feelings.
The following excerpt is from an old church record book.
It is dated September 3, 1938 and was written by Cyrus
"I do not know when the old church was built but I can
remember while attending school in the church when I was
very small and can remember one incident of said school
and that was playing with the other children in an old
dilapidated shed or tabernacle that had been used for
church services. Seeing the old pulpit is all that I can
remember about it. The shed stood just to the right of
the road near where the gate to the cemetery is at the
present time. The old church was a log house about 24' x
28' with two windows on each side and as well as I can
remember was weather boarded on the outside but not
ceiled on the inside. The deed to the church lot was
made by my grandfather, Godfrey Young, in November,
1849. I suppose the church was built sometime
In 1877, ten feet was added to the old church and
another window on each side. It was plastered inside and
a bell was put on top. Cyrus remembered many "glorious"
revivals being held there.
On March 9, 1904, John H. Butt and Everette Young chose
the site for a new church to be built. Through the
influence of Mr. William Landgraff, an agent for the
Lincoln County Land Company, they secured the half acre
lot for free. Squire Griffin made the foundation and
prepared the cornerstone making the figure 1904 on the
stone from a cardboard that Cyrus Young had cut the
figures on for him. On October 5, 1904, John H. Butt,
Newland E. Butt and Walter Young began putting down the
Here are more excerpts from the church record book:
"On Saturday, October 15, 1904, a small crowd of people
gathered at the old church for service in the a.m.
Dinner on the ground. Although the crowd was small,
Brother Cannon succeeded in raising $40.00 in small
amounts. The two largest amounts over $1.00 being given
by John H. Butt - $5.00, and Rhoda Butt - $1.25. At 2:30
p.m. the cornerstone ceremony was conducted by Rev. G.
H. Cannon, assisted by Reverends Cook, Cloyd &
Blackburn. Something like 150 names of donors were
recorded in the book which was deposited with some other
things of which I don't remember. Many of the names of
very small boys and girls giving five cents and ten
cents. Some of whom have passed on to their reward."
They were having trouble raising more money and work was
stopped from time to time. Mrs. Lockey Young, wife of
Cyrus, started writing to people for donations. Finally,
it was completed and dedicated on August 30, 1908.
Afterward they "repaired" to Cyrus' spring, where a
bountiful dinner was spread on the tables under the
trees (his property adjoined the church lot on the
north, on the corner of what is now Red Oak Lane and
1247). The last sermon in the old church was on
September 16, 1906, and the first in the new church was
June 21, 1908. Services between those dates were held in
the school house, which was near the cemetery.
The following description of the new church was taken
from the Highland United Methodist Church 50th
"It consisted of one large room; there was no basement,
no Sunday school rooms and no bathrooms. It was heated
with two large coal burning stoves. Kerosene lamps were
used for light. To the left of the pulpit and yet on the
same floor level where the congregation sat, there was a
section called the Amen Corner. Any member who felt
worthy to sit there was welcome. Often during the church
services, the sound of "Amen! Amen!" could be heard from
that section. To the right and on the same level as the
pulpit was the church organ and the choir. The altar
extended the length of the pulpit and around the side in
front of the Amen Corner. Each Sunday school class had a
designated place in that same room. When classes were
over, everyone was dismissed for a short intermission.
Many would take a walk outside and always the bell would
be rung to let everyone know that worship service was
ready to begin."
In 1942, it was decided to demolish the church and
replace it with a new one. Rev. Arnold Watkins was the
pastor at that time. Mrs. Nannie Butt had the honor of
removing the very first shovel-full of dirt at the
ground breaking ceremony on April 21, 1942. A tin box
was placed inside the cornerstone. Some of the items
sealed within the tin box included a Holy Bible, copies
of the "Discipline" and the "Christian Advocate", the
Kentucky Methodist Quarterly, a list of contributors to
the church and some children's pictures, papers and a
card. The present building was dedicated on November 15,
1942. Hardin Cook was the main carpenter along with
other members, many of whom were Youngs, worked long
hard hours. The altar and pulpit from the previous
church is still used. The old bell, which rang in the
belfry, is still there today and is still rung to invite
the community to church services every Sunday.
Tabitha B. Young was a granddaughter of Godfrey Young.
On December 8, 1885, she was married to Elbert G. Baugh
by Rev. James M. Cook. Elbert was a steward and trustee
of the church and also was a secretary and treasurer of
the Sunday school. In honor of Tabitha and Elbert, their
children purchased a stained-glass window memorial for
the Highland Methodist Church in 1942 for $25.00. This
window is located inside the church office.
On July 26, 1992, the congregation celebrated the 50th
anniversary of the present church building. Pastor Rev.
Dennis Spencer led the morning worship with prayers and
beautiful hymns. During the service there was an
introduction of former pastors and a presentation about
the history of the church.
In the year 2020, attendance is small, but worship
continues by the descendants of the founding fathers of
Highland United Methodist Church.