Church’s annual Christmas music program continues to be cherished gift to community

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Franklin Cumberland Presbyterian Church has been providing a musical respite for the community during this busy time of year for two decades.

That tradition will continue at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8 as the public is once again invited to stop by the church, at 615 W. Main St. and “get a little Christmas” with its 20th annual Christmas musical pro-gram, a gift to the community from the church.

In 2000, Earl Nichols, who was then the new pianist at the church, reinstated the annual musical tradition after a hiatus of many years. Nichols was and still is a member of the Glory Pickers, an old-time gospel bluegrass group. 

“This church is full during his program,” said Judith Policastro, a church member who authored “The Historic Franklin Cumberland Presbyterian Church,” a pamphlet-style book. The book chronicles the history of the church, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, from its founding in 1871. 

Policastro’s book is subtitled “If These Walls Could Talk, They Would Probably Sing.”

“The acoustics are second only to the Ryman, probably because it was designed by same architect, Hugh Cathcart Thompson,” Policastro said. “You can sit in the back of the church and clearly hear each note of the music.” 

What’s more, quite a few famous gospel and country musicians have performed in the church or had their beginnings at the church, and some of their talented children still attend the church. The list is long and includes Skeeter Davis and Cindy Walker.

The church will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 14, the same day at the annual Dickens of a Christmas festival in downtown Franklin.

Church members will be available for guided tours and to relate some of the church’s rich his-tory.


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