NASHVILLE — State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) praised action taken by the Tennessee State Building Commission’s Executive Committee on Monday to transfer 1.6 acres to Stephens Baptist Church for property being used for church operations.  This action will resolve prior boundary issues and clearly delineate the property to be utilized by the Church.

“I am delighted that this matter will be resolved soon and that this property will be transferred to the Church,” said Senator Yager, who worked with the University of Tennessee and Stephens Baptist Church on the matter.  “This is a huge relief as the property is needed for church operations and parking capacity.” 

Yager also credited Representative John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) and Morgan County Executive Brian Langley who were very supportive in finding a solution.

The transfer of property will be made from the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), which owns approximately 8,361 acres in Morgan and Scott Counties for their Cumberland Forest Research and Education Center.  In 1952, the UTIA granted Stephens Baptist Church the perpetual right to use approximately .42 acres of Cumberland Forest property to build and operate a Church building. According to the Building Commission, it has been determined that a portion of the building was constructed outside this area and the Church has used an additional area parking.  

“This Church is a very vibrant and important part of our community,” Yager added.  “I appreciate Morgan County Executive Langley for bringing this to my attention and Rep. Windle for lending his strong advocacy for the Church.  I also appreciate the cooperative attitude and leadership of Pastor Kilby and the wonderful congregation of this Church who do great work in this community.” 

“We are very grateful that UT has agreed to transfer the property and that it will remain part of the Stephens Baptist Church for future generations to worship,” Yager concluded.