The following information is a reply to a letter I had written for information about the History of Goshen M.E. Church.It was compiled and sent to me March, 1984, by Jewell Baker Shouse.
Note:I would imagine if the names in the Goshen story were researched many more than the ones I have designated were kin to John Fly (born 1772)
Goshen United Methodist Church
In the early 1800's the first religious services in the Goshen area were held under a brush arbor on a farm now owned by Elizabeth Anglin Burns Parham.The present location of the Goshen United Methodist Church is 1 1/2 miles southwest of this first campground.
There is no record of the transaction at the Maury County Courthouse but in Century Review, 1807-1907, John Fly, a pioneer from North Carolina, is given credit for donating 3 acres of land for a church building and burying ground in 1808.This was the year when the Duck River Circuit with Zadock B. Thackston as preacher appeared for the first time in the minutes of the Western Conference.John Fly, who was a Faith doctor and lay preacher, served as local preacher until circuit riders wete sent by the Methodist Conference.
Caleb Fly, John's son, also preached under brush arbors before the first church building was erected.It is told that during one of the revivals held under a brush arbor, the wind blew so hard that the preacher could not be heard.Caleb Fly prayed for the wind to stop blowing so the people could hear. THE WIND STOPPED BLOWING!At the time another revival was being held during a drought year on a clearon a clear night with bright shining stars, Caleb Fly again prayed and this time he prayed for it to rain.THE NEXT MORNING IT WAS RAINING!
There is a mound of flat rocks marking a grave near the church with the inscription "C. Fly".No date is on this marker.
The Tenessee Conference of the Methodist Church came into being through the division of the Western Conference in 1812.At the first meeting of the new conference in November, John Crane was appointed to the Duck River Circuit which included Franklin, Columbia, Santa Fe, and about 20 other places.
John Crane was the son of Lewis Crane, one of the first settlers in the Cumbrrland area.He was born at Eaton's Station, a fort about two miles down the river from the public square of Nashville in 1787.At the age of twenty, Crane was admitted into the Western Conference.During the six years of his active ministry, he served circuits in North Carolina, East Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Missouri, and Kentucky.Of these early ministers it has been said, "no change of weather or climate, no swollen stream or lofty mountains hindered them."Crane continued to travel and preach until about two weeks before his death when he was forced to quit, worn out from great fatigue and suffering from a severe cold, which developed into inflamation of the lungs.He died February 14, 1813, at the age of twenty-six, at the Mitchell home, located about one mile south of Goshen at the Mitchell home, located about one mile south of Goshen Church.According to tradition the Mitchell place was later the Bill Cook farm, now owned by Donald Goad.Crane was the first member of the Tennessee Conference to die and the first person to be buried at Goshen.
After his death, his purse was opened and it was found to contain twenty-five cents and his parchment of ordination.This confirms that Crane was one of those dedicated Methodist circuit riders who "labored, suffered, triumpphed in obscurity and want...Principal alone sustained.
this information will be continued under Goshen M.E. Church, part 2.