(Possible Black Burials)

            New Hope Baptist Church and its cemetery are located on New Hope Road in the Garrett Community west of Decaturville. The church was established under its first Church Covenant dated September 24, 1842, though church records begin in June 1842. Like many antebellum churches, the membership was mixed race.

            It is probably that at least some of the black members of the church and possibly some other blacks as well are buried in the church cemetery. If blacks are buried in marked graves within the cemetery as it exists in 2004, their burials are most likely represented by a line of about 8 small fieldstone markers in the middle of the western-most row of the cemetery.

            Black church members under the first Church Covenant:

In December 1862 all members were given letters of dismission and the church ceased to meet until 1867.

            New Hope Baptist Church was reorganized in June 1867. The reorganized church also had black members:

            Also listed as "colard" in the second membership list is T. L. A. Lomax (female). However, this colard designation probably is a mistake. She is not listed as colard in the monthly record of November 1868 when she joined. This may be Temperance Lillian Lomax (ca. 1854-bef. 1888), later to be first wife of Francis Marion Harrington. This white couple is buried in fieldstone-marked graves just to the south of the marker for Emma Harrington.


Reference: Cox, Freda R., Minutes of New Hope Baptist Church Decatur County, Tennessee 1842-1925, 1988.


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