On the hallowed grounds where the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was born, White supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Klansmen will meet again November 18 – 20, 2022, to espouse their hateful beliefs. At the American Renaissance conference, participants desecrate the site as they justify, plan, and teach their racist version of American culture in the shelter of Tennessee’s Public Land, Montgomery Bell State Park. As a grassroots group of concerned Cumberland Presbyterians, not only are we sickened by their racist ideology, we are heartbroken that they will again meet near the birthplace of our beloved church. In response to this meeting and in the face of rising extremism, we have a duty and a responsibility to speak up. Silence is complicity. Therefore, we state together and with a unified voice: We denounce White supremacy as evil and a threat to justice, peace and the common welfare. We petition the State of Tennessee and Tennessee State Parks to cease sheltering hate speech and providing a platform to individuals and groups promoting White supremacy.

White supremacy undermines the safety, livelihood, and basic human rights of its victims and hardens its proponents against the dignity of all people. We vehemently oppose any ideology, philosophy, or theology that sees any human being as inferior to another – based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, age, nationality, or any other reason. We believe all persons are created in the image of God, even those who do not reflect God’s love. We pray for those who suffer under oppression and those who deliberately ignore or are unconscious to it. We pray for White supremacists and those of us who benefit from its systemic practice, for the harm it does to our humanity, and that all our hearts may be transformed.

We have faith that God’s infinitely wise vision for our diverse world includes the liberation of all humanity. Our prayer is that we always embrace reconciliation, love, and justice among all persons, classes, races, and nations. We acknowledge for that vision to be realized we must create communities that enable every human being to flourish, humbly examine our privileges, and work to end individual and systemic oppressions. We Cumberland Presbyterians declare that White supremacy and all forms of oppression have no place in the Kingdom of God, in any nation, in our church, nor at the place of our church’s birth. Therefore, we proclaim that our “covenant community, governed by the Lord Christ, opposes, resists, and seeks to change all circumstances of oppression–political, economic, cultural, racial–by which persons are denied the essential dignity God intends for them in the work of creation.” (Cumberland Presbyterian Confession of Faith)

Signatures from members of the global church and ecumenical supporters:

Rev. Mike Wilkinson, Knoxville, TN
Current Moderator of the General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Duawn Mearns, Ada, OK
Moderator of the General Assembly, 2021
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Shelia C. O’Mara, Gadsden TN
Moderator of the General Assembly, 2019-2020
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dr. Jay Earheart-Brown, Memphis, TN
Former President of Memphis Theological Seminary
Moderator of the General Assembly, 2018
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Lisa Anderson, Memphis, TN
Moderator of General Assembly, 2014
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Robert Rush, Tomball TX
Moderator of General Assembly, 2012
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Frank Ward, Atoka, TN
Former Moderator of General Assembly, 2007
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Campbell, Powell, TN
Moderator of General Assembly, 1990
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dr. Jody Hill, Memphis, TN
President of Memphis Theological Seminary
Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Dr. Peter Gathje, Memphis, TN
Vice President of Academic Affairs/Academic Dean
Memphis Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Michael Qualls, Memphis, TN
Director of Program of Alternate Studies
Director Cumberland House of Studies

Rev. Robert Truitt, Burns, TN
Rev. Nathaniel Mathews, Lubbock, TX
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Smith Goings, Dyersburg, TN
Rev. Jason Mikel, Nolensville Tennessee

Rev. James McGuire, Greeneville, TN
Rev. Byron Forester, Memphis, TN
Rev. Dr. Tiffany McClung, Memphis, TN
Rev. William Warren, Germantown, TN
Rev. Dr. Brittany Meeks, Memphis, TN
Rev. Joyce Merritt, Rockvale, TN
Rev. Joy Warren, Murfreesboro, TN
Rev. Christopher D Warren, Murfreesboro, TN
Rev. Sandra Shepherd, Nashville, TN
Rev. Dr. Patricia J Pickett, Ashland City, TN
Rev. Garrett A Burns, McKenzie, TN
Rev. Mark Brown, Memphis, TN
Rev. C. William Jones Jr., Lexington, TN
Rev. Taylor Young, Hendersonville, TN
Rev. Christian Smith, Cookeville, TN
Rev. Tilope Eddins, Memphis, TN
Rev. Ellen Clark, Nashville, TN
Rev. Tommy Clark, Nashville, TN
Rev. Paul Earheart-Brown, Memphis, TN
Rev. Lisa Cook, Nashville, TN
Rev. Kip J. Rush, Brentwood, TN
Rev. Billy Price, Knoxville, TN
Rev. Dr. Mitzi Minor, Memphis, TN
Rev. Dr. Christopher Davis, Memphis, TN
Rev. Paul Tucker, Nashville, TN
Rev. Alfred Roundtree Jr., Newbern, TN
Rev. Ean Taylor, Hermitage, TN
Rev. James Harris, Jackson, TN
Rev. Robert Wood, Cordova, TN
Rev. Hamisítvány Keresztény, Nashville, TN
Rev. Andrew B Ward, Goodlettsville, TN

Rev. Perryn Rice, Dallas, TX
Rev. Michael Leslie, San Francisco, California
Rev. Joshua Murray, Pensacola, FL
Rev. Cynthia Fansler Burdick, Newalla, OK
Rev. Emily Young, Cherokee AL
Rev. Cardelia Howell-Diamond, Huntsville, AL
Rev. Abby Prevost, Cullman, AL
Rev. Pat Driskell, Anderson, AL
Rev. Lorelei Kay, Portland, OR
Rev. D. Kim Fields-Haley, Albuquerque, NM
Rev. Ainsley Herrick, Medford, OR
Rev. Iwao Satoh, Louisville, KY
Rev. Tyler Lindsey, Bremen, KY
Rev. Theresa Kay Hitchcock Martin
Rev. Jennifer Hayes
Rev. Lee Kellett Hollingshed, Dallas, GA
Rev. Adam Bowling, Woodbridge, VA
Rev Linda Snelling, Waxahachie TX
Rev. Carroll Richards, Lincoln, IL
Rev. Mitchell Walker, Sr., Huntsville, AL
Rev. Kenta Karasawa, Tokyo, Japan
Rev. Masahiro Matsumoto, Yamato-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Rev. Makihiko Arase, Tokyo, Japan
Rev. Nobuko SEKI, Tokyo, Japan
Rev. Kenji Ushioda, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Rev. Atsushi Suzuki, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Rev. 平 尚紀, 東京都 町田市, Japan
Rev. Takehiko Miyai, Kanagawa, Japan
Rev. Koichi Sugawara, Kunitachi-shi, Tokyo, Japan
Rev. Darren Kennemer, Birmingham, AL
Rev. Gail Brooks, Hot Springs, AR

Elaine Wallace, Clarksville, TN (Member of CP Church for 70+years)
Gwen Holland McKenzie, TN
Mary Overstreet, Knoxville, TN
Wendy Keiser Chattanooga TN
Lynette Brown, Powell, TN
Cheryl Summers, Greeneville, TN
Anna Vickers, TN
Andrea McLeod, Collierville, TN
Carol Warren, Joelton, TN
Tina Miller, Smithville TN
Sam Wolfe, Asheville, TN
Charlie Trapp, Memphis, TN
Elizabeth M. Grant, Monteagle, TN
Bethany Hollingsworth, Bruceton, TN
Jeff Farr, Greeneville, TN
Nancy Bean, McKenzie, TN
Christy Jones, Lexington, TN
Jarid Warren, McKenzie, TN
Eleanor Brown Forester, Memphis, TN
Rebecca McCurdy, Knoxville, TN
Joe Carthage, Carthage, TN
Elizabeth Smith, Murfreesboro, TN
Susan Hill, Bruceton, TN
Dr. Tricia Vesely, Memphis, TN
Beverly Brown, Memphis, TN
Jan Davidson, Nashville, TN
Larry Davidson, Nashville, TN
Arthur Gardo, Jr., Memphis, TN
Christine Fox, Memphis, TN
Lizzie Young, Hendersonville, TN
Deborah Montague, Jackson, TN
Lily Anderson, Memphis, TN
Vicki Livingston, Antioch, TN
Julie Travis, Brentwood, TN
Jon Travis, Sharon, TN
Pat Roberts, Germantown, TN
Jeff Edwards, Grand Junction, TN
Jamie Travis Gallimore, Sharon, TN
Helen Hamilton, Savannah TN
Vickie Summers, McKenzie, TN
Brian T. Albea, Rutherford, TN
Lea Sanders, Clarksville, TN
Melinda Cunningham, Cookeville, TN
April Powell, Nashville, TN
Audrey Adams, Martin, TN
Terri Hosale, Antioch, TN
NaKayla London, Dickson, TN
Edna Major, Murfreesboro, TN
Ed Adair, Powell, TN
Emrie Smith Rogers, Memphis, TN
Mary Tim Burgin, Cleveland, TN

Elizabeth Forester, Brooklyn, New York
Lauren Albrecht, New Jersey
Rolf Maurer, Stamford, CT
Jackie Tow, Birmingham,  AL
Lezlie Daniel Houston, TX
Dena Griswold, Fairfield, IL
David Henderson, San Francisco, CA
L.A. Daniel, Houston, Texas
Lisa Whitehead, Huntsville, AL
Nancy Young, Ada, OK
Lora Rogers Kerner, Symsonia, KY
Jean Herrick, Parma, MI
Randy Herrick, Parma, MI
Lori Harnish, Birmingham, AL
Melinda Reams, Russellville, AR
Ashlei Warburton, Florence, AL
Rose Stucchio, New York, NY
Dana Cook, Mountain Home, AR
Dan Andrews, Dallas, TX
Matthew McDonell, San Francisco, CA
Sherry Poteet, Gilmer, TX
Siera Saldana, Suwanee, GA
Lucho Romero, Garland, TX
Paige Moore, Bellingham, WA
Olene Rush, Tomball, TX
Quinton Johansen, Plainville, CT
Jill Acree, Ada, OK
Carrie Bryant
Anna Mathews, Lubbock, TX
JaNell Fleming, Ada, OK
Tonya Sanders, Sulphur, OK
RheAnn White, Evansville, IN
Patricia White, Evansville, IN
Claire Hoagland, Montclair, VA
Barbara Yunker, Bedford, TX
Lynna Bond, Magnolia, TX
Elizabeth Glyer, Woodbridge, VA
J. Scott Robb, Woodbridge, VA
Ichiro Wada, 大和市, Japan
玉井幸男, Japan
HIdeko Ushioda, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Keitaro Ohi, Hadano, Kanagawa, Japan
Kazuhiko Furuhata, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Marshall Sartain, Pittsburg, Texas

Next Steps:

  • Contact Montgomery Bell State Park and politely request they do NOT host this event in the future: 615-797-9052
  • Tag Montgomery Bell State Park in social media posts opposing the event and the racist ideology it will promote. Encourage others to share your posts.
  • Contact officials in Burns, TN: http://townofburnstn.net/admin.html
  • Contact Cindi Gray, Dickson County Commissioner representing District 12 (Burns, TN): 1135 Johnny Hall Road, Burns, TN 37029; 615-519-0400
  • Follow developments via facebook.com/OpposeFascistsAtMontgomeryBell.
  • Attend the protest at Montgomery Bell on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Meet at the Visitor Center.
  • Share this information with everyone in your network and ask them to help as well

More about AmRen:

Related Cumberland Presbyterian Statements/Study Papers:

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