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The grandmother church of White Zion, the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, is celebrating its 225th anniversary on 13 October 1991, the same day White Zion is celebrating the 150 Anniversary.

Many members of the pioneer families of White Zion were lineal descendants of Rev. John Knox who led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. This line comes down through John and Janet Witherspoon who came to America with their seven children in 1734 and were charter members of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. John Witherspoon was the first person to be buried in the Williamsburg Cemetery. There were the ancestors of not only the Witherspoons of Pontotoc but other families mentioned by Hunter League.

Rev. W.V. Frierson Sr. was a member of the Concord Presbyterian Church near Akron Alabama before moving to Pontotoc in 1841, and his first wife and child and two brothers are buried in the Concord Cemetery. Rev. W.V. Jr. was an infant when they moved to Pontotoc. The parents of Josiah Osgood Fulton (the first clerk the session of White Zion) are buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, a few miles away from the Concord Presbyterian Church. The pioneer families who established these two churches moved from the Zion Community in Maury County, Tennessee during the period 1818-1820s.

A number of former residents of Pontotoc from these families returned to Zion Community in Tennessee to be buried in the Zion Community Cemetery. Josiah Osgood Fulton and his three wives are buried there. Florence Foster Frierson, daughter of W.V. Frierson Jr., is buried there with her husband Enoch Bleeson Stephenson, a great-great-grandson of Rev. James White Stephenson, the first pastor of Zion (Maury County) and the schoolmaster to two U.S. Presidents.

Many members of the pioneer families of White Zion were descendants of the 15 Revolutionary War soldiers buried in the Zion Presbyterian Cemetery in Maury County. I have asked the Tennessee Society of SAR to provide Revolutionary War markers for these graves, and this action is now before their committee on Historic Markers and Graves Registration.

A number of sources in the Pontotoc Library provide additional information. THE HISTORY OF ZION CHURCH AND GENEALOGY OF THE FRIERSON FAMILY by Judge William Stuart Fleming (He was the kin of the Flemings buried at White Zion. His daughter, Florence Fleming was the first wife of Col. Duncan Brown Cooper, a nephew of my g-g-grandmother Hemphill.) THE FRIERSONS OF ZION CHURCH AND THEIR DESCENDANTS by Theodore Frierson Stephenson is a valuable source . He was the brother of Enoch Stephenson who married Florence Foster Frierson of Pontotoc, the daughter of Rev. W.V. Frierson Jr. also WILLIAMSBURG PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH and FOLLOW THE COVENANT TRAIL are valuable sources.

Submitted by Bill Pittman

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