Submitted by Eleanor Sharp
Lynn Kaufman, an artist and student of the Lexington Theological Seminary, designed the cover of the church bulletin with her sketch of the front of the church, walk, gates and gatepost, along with the huge cedar trees beside the church. From 1972-1975, John Stauffer, minister was working on his doctoral degree while pastor at Drennon Christian Church. Attendance was showing much growth while he was here, largely due to the purchase of a bus ministry from the newly purchased bus that transported to and from church and other outreach activities. He was from a three-generation family of ministers and had the gift of calling.
Other changes over time had been noted, such as: Jack Hardin, member of the church, designed and made a cross which connects to the top of the steeple; what a way to adorn the true meaning as seen from all around the valley. Melvin Jones, also a member of the church, had the wooden imprint made of Drennon Church 1862, and put them on the front of the steeple beneath the circle. In 2009, Malissa Beatty painted a portrait of “Jesus Knocking at the Door” to fit inside the circle.
After Brother Fisher, other ministers were Kenneth Baird, B.F. “Ben” Lewis, Franklin McGuire, Richard White, Noble Lucas, James Gleaves, Wayne Neiderhuth, William “Smitty” Lucas, John D. McInnis, H.W. “Buddy” Westerbrook, Herbert Hicks, Wayne R. Nelson, Clyde C. Leeds, John W. Stauffer, Michael Weber and Daniel Webster. In 1981 Margaret L. Pride of Berea was the first female minister. She was there for 14 months and had to overcome many struggles to be accepted not only as a female, but also as a minister of the gospel. All were divinity students except Noble Lucas and Clyde Leeds, as Drennon Church was a “training” church for student ministers). William F. Bill Coley, F. Michael Peacock, David Mark James, Lynn Powell, Terry Giovanneti, Pam Ford Smith, Rebecca Zelensky, Mrs. Kerrie Grogan, Mark Smith, William “Bill” Utterback and David Wilde.
Most recently was Shawn Golden, a native from New Castle and a Baptist Seminar student who had received a call to continue his ministry at Campbellsburg Baptist Church and lives in the parsonage in Campbellsburg. Rev. Carl L. Rucker, retired, served as interim minister until Corey Beatty, an ordained Disciples minister and art teacher for Oldham County Public Schools, came to fill the pulpit in 2009. Corey’s wife, Harriett Braden Beatty, had family roots in Drennon. What a wonderful awakening that has come of the old chapel into Chapel Valley and its calling. 80 were in attendance for Easter 2010.
History says “Without a past, you can have no future!” The history of Drennon Springs lives on through the Historic Drennon Storytelling and Crafts festival. The first festival was enacted Oct. 4, 1986, on the church property and the nearby properties of Jake, Joylee and Bob Howard, Ethel Sharp, Charles and Eva Mae Adams with the help of church members, friends and neighbors. It began when the Henry County Historical Society maintained that our church needed the fundraiser to support the church and decided in 1988 to have it every year on the second weekend in October.
Then, Drennon Christian Church decided to keep up the tradition. Folks travel from several states for a grand homecoming, back to their roots while reliving the past and sensing the memories of the grandeur, splendor of the hills and valley, all with the renewed feeling of the Holy Spirit of the church. The “Old Chapel” comes alive while the aroma seeps out from the Blue and White Sulphur Mineral Springs as if to say, “Smell my fame and remember my historic place as part of the path of Drennon Springs too.”
Do you wonder why the Indians gave the name “A Land of Seven Springs” to the Drennon area before the discovery by Joseph Drennon and Matthew Bracken on July 7, 1773? The were here first and taught the marvelous healing powers of the different kinds of sulphur mineral waters that flowed from these springs, and also how to use the salt from the saline mineral spring.