Historic Knoxville church working to save its bell tower

Historic Knoxville church working to save its bell tower

Posted:
The church bell at Shannondale Presbyterian Church on Tazewell Pike in East Knoxville has been ringing since 1886, but the signs of aging are showing. The church bell at Shannondale Presbyterian Church on Tazewell Pike in East Knoxville has been ringing since 1886, but the signs of aging are showing.
The bell has suffered water damage from the bell tower leaking through the ceiling. The bell has suffered water damage from the bell tower leaking through the ceiling.
The pastor says it will take about $25,000 to fix the bell tower. If you'd like to help, the church is accepting donations. The pastor says it will take about $25,000 to fix the bell tower. If you'd like to help, the church is accepting donations.
By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville church with nearly 130 years of history is trying to save its bell tower.

The church bell at Shannondale Presbyterian Church on Tazewell Pike in East Knoxville has been ringing since 1886, but the signs of aging are showing. The bell has suffered water damage from the bell tower leaking through the ceiling.

"We found the tower was leaking and we had some experts out to check on it, and the inside was just decomposing. We found we have to take the whole tower down and rebuild it and put it back up again. This is a very very small church and our finances are limited," said Pastor Don Grady.

Pastor Grady and his wife Alice say everyone should care about saving this bell because it's a piece of Knoxville's history.

"It would be a shame to see it go into disrepair and not be used anymore," he said.

The Gradys came to the church two years ago. They're proud of the historic building and say they're trying hard to grow the 10 member church.

"There was some talk a while back that maybe the church should close because we do have a small attendance right now, which we're trying to build up, but I feel like the word of God is still preached here, it needs to still be standing," said Alice Grady.

Lynn Clapp lives across the street from the church. He says he wants it fixed because there aren't many church bells left.

"We'd like to see it go on, see the church go if it can," said Clapp.

The pastor says it will take about $25,000 to fix the bell tower. If you'd like to help, the church is accepting donations.

Donations may be sent to the church at  4600 Tazewell Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918.
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