523 Church Street
The first American-born bishop of the Methodist Church, William McKendree
was closely associated with the establishment of the Methodist Church
in Tennessee. Born in Virginia in 1757, McKendree visited Nashville as
early as 1797. Three years later, he became the church's Western District
field marshal and took on the responsibility of organizing new churches
and circuits and recruiting new preachers. McKendree proved to be "the
superintendent who most significantly influenced the development of Methodism
in Tennessee." (1) Elected bishop in 1808, McKendree moved to Nashville
permanently and lived there until his death. In 1812, with Bishop Francis
Asbury, McKendree organized the Tennessee Conference, the general governing
organization for Methodism in Tennessee.
His last sermon came at Nashville's McKendree Methodist Church upon its
dedication on November 23, 1834. McKendree died in 1835 and was buried
in Sumner County; later his remains were reinterred at Vanderbilt University.
From Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture