First Christian Church and Parsonage
Sometime in the 1860s the denomination known as Christian, which had several congregations in
Washington County, decided to establish a church in Jonesborough, Tennessee. The lot
purchased was located at the corner of West Woodrow Avenue and South Cherokee Street. At
this time South Cherokee Street continued down the hill in front of the church, across the railroad
tracks and connected with North Cherokee Street on the other side of Main Street.

The planning of the First Christian Church and parsonage began about 1866, but when building
began, lack of sufficient funding, changes in the original plan of the church roof and other
setbacks slowed up construction.  

By June of 1873, the church was almost completed when a cholera epidemic broke out in
Jonesborough and all work stopped. William M. Fleming, listed in the 1860 census as a master
carpenter was credited with the interior woodwork of the church. Unfortunately, one of the
congregation’s most generous donators, George E. Gresham, was one of those victims.

In 1873 the Herald and Tribune newspaper reported that when completed, the church “will be a
handsome one and an ornament to the town” and in September, 1874 that the completed church
was a “magnificent temple erected in this place.”

When first built the church had an openwork wooden spire removed several years later reportedly
by John Gresham. It remains a mystery as to when and why and no records are known to exist to
answer these questions.  

Money problems plagued the First Christian Church throughout the years. Due to a small
congregation occasionally increased by revivals, lack of sufficient funds was never ending.
Services were often irregular and the church was placed on inactive status between 1900 and

In the 1880s the church was used for varied community events such as lectures and concerts. At
one time it was said to have been referred to as Temperance Hall.

The buildings were not properly maintained and by the late 1940s the church was in a state of
great disrepair. About 1950 it was deconsecrated and sold along with the parsonage. The church
was then used as a woodworking shop owned by John Miller and the house a residence.  

In 1972 developers Jimmy Neil Smith and Dorothy Payne purchased both properties with the
vision of converting the church into a restaurant. The inside of the church was a mess - the
windows broken out, the walls and floor gone, it was overgrown with weeds.  The church was
renovated to include a large commercial kitchen with a main and upper dining area.  

Originally the intent was to tear down the old parsonage, but instead it too was renovated, called
the Widow Brown, with the first two floors being used as meeting and dining rooms.   

The Parson's Table
In 1973 The Parson’s Table restaurant opened for the first time as an old fashion dining
experience with favorites such as resin baked potatoes, the Parson’s Brew, sweet potato pudding,
hot apple fritters and many other delectable goodies from the Parson’s kitchen. The specialty of
the Widow Brown was steaks grilled in the newly built gazebo behind the house. The Parson’s
Table reputation steadily grew over the years and it became a destination unto itself.

In 1986 the restaurant was sold to Jeff and Debra Myron who redecorated and enhanced the
building’s Victorian origins. They specialized in creating a fine dining experience with special
attention given to each and every guest. The Myron’s attention to the little details and
showmanship continued to enhance The Parson’s Table reputation.  

In 2006 Mike and Susan Chikar purchased the property, opening it as a banquet, reception and
wedding venue.

The Parson’s Table remains a landmark to this day - remembrances of those special occasions in
people’s lives, a place where they were made to feel special, a place of memories. Time after time
when people are asked what they remember the most about eating at The Parson’s Table they

…“the wonderful atmosphere.”  

       …“the elegance.”  

                …“I was made to feel special.”

                          …”a place where memories are made.”
Church after renovation, 1973; from
The Parson’s Press, A Publication
of the Parson’s Table, Oct., 1973
Inside of Parson’s Table,
ca. 1995 copied from old
Parson’s Table pamphlet
A major landmark in the town of
Jonesborough, Tennessee.  

While historical documentation of this 1870'S brick
gothic revival style church and parsonage is at
times sketchy and contradicting, the buildings are
known to have served various purposes
throughout the years.
Call to discuss your
plans or schedule an
appointment to visit.
Susan & Michael Chikar
102 W. Woodrow Ave.
Jonesborough, TN 37659
Susan & Michael Chikar
102 W. Woodrow Ave.
Jonesborough, TN 37659
Call to discuss your
plans or schedule an
appointment to visit.
The Parson's Table

Special Events Facility