Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church

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The Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a Christian denomination in the United States that maintains less than 1,000 members among twelve congregations in Alabama and Tennessee.

Christian denomination identifiable Christian body with common name, structure, and doctrine

A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization, leadership and doctrine. Individual bodies, however, may use alternative terms to describe themselves, such as church or sometimes fellowship. Divisions between one group and another are defined by authority and doctrine; issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, eschatology, and papal primacy may separate one denomination from another. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs, practices, and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity". These branches differ in many ways, especially through differences in practices and belief.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Alabama State of the United States of America

Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

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Origins

The name Cumberland comes from the church's historic connection with the Cumberland Presbyterian (CP) denomination. The Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church uses a slightly revised version of the 1883 Confession of Faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; the main body of the CPC adopted a new Confession Of Faith in 1984. The seeds of the Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church arose from a group known as the Fellowship of Cumberland Presbyterian Conservatives. Members of this group protested modernizing trends within that denomination, in particular the widespread usage of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible.

Revised Standard Version

The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is an English translation of the Bible published in 1952 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches. The RSV is a revision of the American Standard Version, and was intended to be a readable and literally accurate modern English translation which aimed to "preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the centuries" and "to put the message of the Bible in simple, enduring words that are worthy to stand in the great Tyndale-King James tradition." The New Testament was first published in 1946, the Old Testament in 1952, and the Apocrypha in 1957; the New Testament was revised in 1971. The original Catholic edition of the RSV was published in 1966, and the Apocrypha was expanded in 1977. The second Catholic edition was published in 2006. In later years, the RSV served as the basis for two revisions – the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of 1989, and the English Standard Version (ESV) of 2001.

The Fellowship of Cumberland Presbyterian Conservatives formed a conference and planned a second one in Memphis, Tennessee. When the CP General Assembly declared their actions to be unconstitutional, several leaders of the group departed the CPC and formed the new Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Memphis, Tennessee City in Tennessee, United States

Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. The 2017 city population was 652,236, making Memphis the largest city on the Mississippi River, second-largest city in Tennessee, as well as the 25th largest city in the United States. Greater Memphis is the 42nd largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 1,348,260 in 2017. The city is the anchor of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region, which includes portions of neighboring Arkansas and Mississippi. Memphis is the seat of Shelby County, the most populous county in Tennessee. As one of the most historic and cultural cities of the southern United States, the city features a wide variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods.

The Upper Cumberland part of the name refers to the fact that the denomination was established in Gallatin, Tennessee on the Upper Cumberland River, the section of the Cumberland River east of Nashville, Tennessee.

Gallatin, Tennessee City in Tennessee, United States

Gallatin is a city in and the county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee. The population was 30,678 at the 2010 census and 32,307 in 2013. Named for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the city was established on the Cumberland River and made the county seat of Sumner County in 1802. It is located about 30.6 miles northeast of the state capital of Nashville, Tennessee.

Cumberland River river in the United States of America

The Cumberland River is a major waterway of the Southern United States. The 688-mile-long (1,107 km) river drains almost 18,000 square miles (47,000 km2) of southern Kentucky and north-central Tennessee. The river flows generally west from a source in the Appalachian Mountains to its confluence with the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky, and the mouth of the Tennessee River. Major tributaries include the Obey, Caney Fork, Stones, and Red rivers.

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 691,243. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 667,560 in 2017.

The King James Version is the official Bible of the denomination.

Distribution

The Upper Cumberland Presbyterian congregations are mostly rural, country churches. They are located in three geographic areas; East of Nashville, South of Nashville, and North Central Alabama.

Governance

The representatives of the twelve congregations meet twice a year to form a presbytery. This is the highest church court of the denomination; there are no synods or general assemblies as in other Presbyterian bodies. A moderator of presbytery is elected for a six-month term. The denomination's official publication is called The Bulletin.

Training of ministers

The denomination does not have a college or seminary. Ministers are usually self-taught men who are then further trained by the Ministerial Training Committee. Some prominent ministers of the denomination have held other careers while serving as pastors.

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