SAR President Van Deacon called the meeting to order. The Rev. Sam Melton gave the Invocation, Deacon led the pledge to the U.S. flag. Dave Whaley led the pledge to the Tennessee flag, and Claude Hardison led the SAR flag pledge.
Several guests were recognized, including Ed Lay, Glen and Kay Martin, guest speaker the Rev. Joel and wife, Debbie Huffstetler, the Hon. John B. Hagler and Curtis Goff.
Deacon announced that chapter secretary Joe Brock was chosen to receive a newly approved medal, the Chapter Medal of Distinguished Service, for his superb work. Three of the four chapter presidents Brock had served under presented him this prestigious award and spoke of his accomplishments during their year. These past presidents were Phil Newman, James Stone and Deacon (the fourth, Tommy McLain, was unable to attend this meeting).
The National State Medals of distinguished Service were recognized in 1998. The president general at National can only present one National Medal of distinguished Service during his tenure, and likewise the state presidents can only present one State of Distinguished Medal during their year.
This also applies with the new Chapter Medal of Distinguished Service with chapter presidents only presenting one in their year. Since this medal is brand new, the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter is probably the first chapter in the Tennessee Society to present this medal, since these medals will generally be presented at the chapter Annual Meeting in December or later.
Whaley, as co-chair of the nominating Committee for selecting chapter officers for 2014, read the slate of names, the election was conducted, and the slate of names was approved unanimously. The chapter officers for 2014 are:
n President — Dave Whaley
n 1st Vice President — Bob George
n 2nd Vice President — Bill McClure
n Secretary — John Clines
n Treasurer — Bill Hamilton
n Chaplain — the Rev. Sam Melton
n Registrar — Lynn Freeman.
Tennessee Society SAR President-Elect Hardison presented to Deacon a streamer for the Sept. 20-21 events which included the grave marking of Revolutionary War Patriot Robert Young, the 227th anniversary of the Gathering at Sycamore Shoals and the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, formally ending the Revolutionary War. Chapter members attending these events were Evans, Clines, Hardison and Stone.
The program for the evening was presented by the Rev. Dr. Joel W. Huffstetler, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland. He reported how the American Revolution caused the end of the Church of England (Anglican) in America and the creation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America.
Huffstetler was raised in Gaston County, N.C., almost in the shadow of Kings Mountain, where the decisive battle was won by the Patriots which was the turning point in the Revolutionary War.
His family earlier lived in Wilkes and Caldwell counties, which is where Col. Benjamin Cleveland lived. Also, Huffstetler gave the invocation at the chapter’s “Unveiling of the Bronze Statue of Col. Benjamin Cleveland” last April 19. So right off he had strong ties with the chapter. Prior to becoming rector at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church here in Cleveland, Huffstetler had been rector in Canton, N.C., and assistant rector in Chattanooga.
Huffstetler first covered the country’s earlier Colonial period. The first Anglican chaplain, Robert Hunt, was the chaplain who came with the three ships that landed at Jamestown in 1607. The earlier Anglican churches first were established primarily in Virginia, and partially in New York.
Later they were established in other colonies; 1702 in Maryland, 1765 in North Carolina and 1768 in Georgia. He stated that lay leadership prospered primarily in America, because there were no Anglican bishops in the colonies in the early years.
The colonial legislature during this time established the churches in the colonies. The early bishops/priests later on were ordained in England. In 1783, Samuel Seabury of Connecticut was the first bishop ordained elsewhere; he was ordained in Scotland.
In New England, the Puritan style of the Anglican religion was practiced. The major Puritan influence started under Charles II in England. Later in America a renewed church of the Anglican was established, which was the Methodist Church, founded by John and Charles Wesley.
This church had a fast growth after the Revolutionary War since it was further removed from England than the American Episcopal Church.
Since the Colonial legislature established churches in the Colonies, during the Revolutionary War in the South most went to the Patriot side; 20 percent in Virginia were Loyalist, while the clergy in the Mid-Atlantic states remained Loyalists at 80 percent. After the war large numbers of these Loyalists fled to Nova Scotia and Bermuda.
The early founders, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were staunch Anglicans and regularly attended the Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg. After the Revolutionary War the American Episcopal Church prospered, although Chief Justice John Marshall didn’t think that it would last. The first established church was in North Carolina in 1823, and the oldest standing Episcopal Church is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in Isle of Wight County, Va.
Deacon next spoke of several ideas for the chapter in the coming year, one being to form a Veteran Color Guard. He announced he would be holding an executive meeting in early December, probably at the Museum Center at Five Points to pass on obligations from the older chapter officers to the new ones — a sort of pass-down.
On Oct. 26, James and John Clines participated in the Patriot Grave Marking Ceremony of Revolutionary War Patriot David Hickerson in Manchester. It was conducted by Joseph Greer Chapter, primarily in conjunction with the James Madison and Stones River Chapters. The grave is in the Granny Hickerson Cemetery, adjacent to Old Stone Fort State Park. Stone and Clines were also involved in the musket-firing salute.
Evans and Stone, in Continental dress, participated in a flag-raising program at Highland United Methodist Preschool in Hixson on Monday, Nov. 4. It was sponsored by the John Sevier Chapter of SAR and the Chickamauga Chapter of DAR, both from Chattanooga. The children in attendance were real excited about the program.
Hicks encouraged all to get their dues in, and if any wanted to pay that night to give the checks to the treasurer, Bill Hamilton.
He also announced the 4-H held its Poster Contest at Bradley Square Mall, Nov. 8-9. Three chapter members showed up for the judging of the posters from grades 6-12. They were Hicks, Evans and Hardison. Hicks presented a check for $100 again this year, to help the 4-H with its prizes. Hicks read a nice letter from the 4-H thanking the chapter.
The chapter was reminded of several upcoming events, several of which were the chapter’s 10th Anniversary meeting in December, the Wreaths Across America program Dec. 14, the second Saturday in December at Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Evans encouraged members to purchase wreaths to be placed with the group, and how this chapter has been the leader of the Tennessee Society SAR on this program.
The formal program will commence at noon Dec. 14, with many chapter members involved. He passed around several large pictures of previous wreath-layings. A considerable amount was collected or promised.
Evans next reported the National Society had initiated programs similar to the World War II Corps program which was previously worked, honoring all World War II veterans who were SAR members. These two new programs are the Korean Service Veteran Corps and the Vietnam War Veteran Corps. Evans said he was appointed chairman over both these programs in the Tennessee Society. Work has started on getting all qualified members in this chapter into these programs, along with the rest of the state.
With no further business, President Deacon proceeded to close the meeting, and with Deacon leading the recessional, and the Rev. Huffstetler giving the benediction, the closing gavel was struck and the meeting adjourned.