Wayside Presbyterian Church 

Wayside Presbyterian Church can trace its origin back to 1917, when a community Sunday School in the Fairmount/Walden area was organized by Mrs. Della Camp, a resident of Walden and a mother of 14 children. In 1921 the community Sunday School moved to the Walden’s Ridge Civic League Building next door, the same building that is now the home of the “Mountain Opry.” The Walden’s Community Church was organized around 1932 and continued to meet in the same facility as their community Sunday School.

Mrs. Z. C. Patten deeded land to the church for its own building. Construction began in 1939, with the first stones for the foundation coming from a building being torn down on the site of the present Chattanooga downtown post office. Construction was halted on the new church by World War II. In the spring of 1944, the church’s first minister began his work under the Home Mission Committee of the Knoxville Presbytery. In December 1945 the Community Sunday School unanimously voted to become Wayside Presbyterian Church and was approved as such by the Knoxville Presbytery.

The new minister drew up plans for the new church and work resumed in July 1946 with financial assistance from Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. 210 truck loads of stone was brought in from Sequatchie Valley. The bronze bell in Wayside’s bell tower was cast in Cincinnati in 1857 and was used in a Chattanooga church before being used at a fire station. Church member Ernest Clevenger purchased the bell from the city commission.

The first service was held in the new building in July 1948, though the building was not completed until July 1949. The church’s first wedding was held between those dates; there was no roof, no glass in the window openings – and wild rabbits attended the ceremony. The Sunday School building was added in 1964. In 1973, Wayside became one of the first churches in America to join the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

The pipe organ at Wayside originated as a home organ built by Dr. George Cannon, with ranks assembled from hither and thither. It was donated to the church by his widow and extensively rebuilt and enlarged by Barger & Nix, with a new console, in 1995. The small sanctuary is quite attractive and is very popular for weddings.

Barger & Nix, 1995, 2/15


16′ Gedeckt 12
8′ Principal
8′ Melodia
8′ Viole SW
8′ Viole Celeste SW
4′ Octave 12
4′ Koppelflote SW
2′ Super Octave 12
III Mixture
8′ Trompette SW
8′ Oboe SW
8′ Clarinet SW
Unison Off


8′ Gedeckt
8′ Viole
8′ Viole Celeste
4′ Prestant
4′ Flute 12
2 2/3′ Nasard 7
2′ Koppelflote
1 3/5′ Tierce 5
8′ Trompette
8′ Oboe
8′ Clarinet
8′ Vox Humana
4′ Clarion 12
Unison Off


16′ Principal 12
16′ Bourdon
16′ Gedeckt GT
10 2/3′ Sub Quint —
8′ Principal GT
8′ Bourdon 12
8′ Gedeckt SW
4′ Octave GT
32′ Trompette Cornet (derived)
16′ Contre Trompette 12