Events & Visitations
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Whitsunday at St. John’s Church, Ashwood
May 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
All are invited to the annual Whitsunday celebration at St. John’s Ashwood. The three Episcopal bishops of Tennessee take turns presiding over Whitsunday services. This year, we welcome Bishop Phoebe Roaf of the Diocese of West Tennessee. Following the service, we will proceed to the historic graveyard to pray over the Bishops’ graves, followed by a covered dish picnic on the grounds of St. John’s. Please bring a dish to pass and invite your friends!
St. John’s Ashford is an historic church for a variety of reasons. Consecrated in 1842, it was built by the four sons of William Polk, the Revolutionary War veteran and surveyor-general of middle Tennessee. Membership peaked in 1850 with fifty-three members—twenty-four of whom were African American. The Sunday School found greater success with over one hundred souls—enslaved and free—engaged in Episcopal spiritual formation. After the Civil War, services were held sporadically and discontinued in 1915 due to low attendance. Since 2015, the property has been stewarded by a board of directors appointed by the Bishop of Tennessee. The graveyard is still active and the grounds are always open. Annual pilgrimages to the site started in 1921 and have continued ever since.