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Namesake: Inskip in North Knoxville

2:15 PM, Feb 4, 2011   |    comments
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With an abundance of churches, the signs of faith appear throughout the Inskip neighborhood in North Knoxville.  The name Inskip also refers to an individual whose religious message left a lasting impression on the nation.

"John S. Inskip was the first president of the National Camp Meeting Association," said Dr. David Lewis, reverend of the Inskip United Methodist Church.  "He was a famous evangelical Methodist minister who was born in England and then moved to the northern United States when he was around four years old." 

Inskip served as a chaplain for the Union forces during the Civil War.

"He felt it was his duty to serve during the war and he was at the Battle of Bull Run," said Lewis.  "He also served as pastor of several churches throughout the Northeast and was a leader in the Holiness Movement."

In the years following the Civil War, Inskip and other Methodists felt that the nation needed to return its focus to the common bond of scripture.

"They felt that the nation following the Civil War period was in terrible condition.  Hatred and animosity was still going on between the north and the south," said Lewis.  "They began holding these Camp Meetings where they traveled across the country and held Christian gatherings.  They would set up tents and hold prayer sessions and lessons for ten days, then move on to the next stop."

Inskip held a couple of Camp Meetings at a railroad stop just outside of Knoxville.

"In 1872 and 1873, they just decided this little village outside Knoxville, Tennessee, would be a good place to set up a Camp Meeting. There were a few houses here and there was a store and a train stop, but this was not a large area at all," said Lewis.  "Inskip pulled a flat bed train car that had all of the tents, posts, and benches.  He and a few other men would set the whole thing up."

Lewis said the Camp Meeting attracted more than 4,000 people to the site down by the railroad tracks.  Some were initially attracted to the meetings by suspicion rather than religion.

"Keep in mind that this was just after the Civil War.  Some well-known people in East Tennessee like Horace Maynard, who was at one point the Postmaster General for the U.S. Post Office, came to the meeting with a lot of suspicion.  A lot of people felt like they were Yankee spies from New York."  Lewis added, "When Maynard saw what was truly happening, he told Inskip that he had done more good here than anybody else could to bring healing to the people."

The camp meetings left such an impression with residents, the area became synonymous with Inskip's name.

"People would refer to this general area as 'the Inskip place' or 'the Inskip stop.' It was just sort of named by general usage.  The name stuck and it has been that way ever since.  He apparently did a lot of good for the people here in East Tennessee."

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Note: Namesake is the renamed title of the series formerly known as 'Why do they call it that?'

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