History of the Restoration Movement

Esten Gray Macon


Life of Esten Gray Macon

Esten Gray Macon was born on February 6, 1913 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. He was the son of David Harrison "Uncle Dave" Macon (1870-1952) of Grand Ole Opry fame. His mother was Matilda Richardson Macon. Young Esten grew up in the home of a hard working family. Before his days as a professional entertainer, his father farmed and operated a freight line between Murfreesboro and Woodbury, Tennessee. It was called the Macon Midway Mule and Wagon Transportation Company. This was the environment into which Esten and his siblings were born. It would not be until the mid 1920s before his father would become more professionally known for his banjo and humorous vaudeville-type sketches.

Esten was baptized February 13, 1931 by C.A. Taylor. He attended the Science Hill church of Christ, just south of Murfreesboro, on the old Woodbury Pike. It was there where he began preaching in 1941. Brother Macon attended Tennessee State College (now Middle Tennessee State University) in Murfreesboro, and obtaining the Bachelor's of Science degree. He also attended the Y.M.C.A. Law School in Nashville and Harding School of Bible and Religion in Memphis.

Some of the churches for which he preached were the East Florence church of Christ in Florence, Alabama; the Anderson church of Christ in Anderson, South Carolina (1947-1950); The 47th Street church in Chattanooga, Tennessee; The Richard City church in Richard City, Tennessee (1952-1955); the Mt. Lea church in McMinnville, Tennessee (1955-1957); the Bruswick, Georgia church (1957-1960); and the Mt. Airy church in Dunlap, Tennessee from 1962. From 1978-1982 he preached for the Cornersville, Tennessee church. More facts are needed to reveal his other works.

Brother Macon wrote some for the Gospel Light publications, and also produced a commentary on the book of James. It was never published however.

Esten Macon gained popularity as a minister in part due to the successes of his father on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. In the early days of radio, broadcasts of the country music show on WSM in Nashville could be heard all over the south every Saturday night. So, folks would come to hear the son of "Uncle Dave Macon" preach the gospel in revival meetings around the country. He preached meetings in towns like: Hooker, Oklahoma; Buna, Texas; McMinnville, Tennessee; Candler, North Carolina; Florence, Alabama; and many other places. Nearly every town where he preached regularly, he also conducted radio broadcasts as well. He had programs in: Florence, Alabama; South Pittsburgh, McMinnville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Vidalia and Lyons, Georgia; Ozark, Alabama; and Dayton, Tennessee.

He was married to Elizabeth D. Gray July 22, 1948 in Sheffield, Alabama. She was born July 10, 1917 in Alabama. They had one child, Marilyn Kaye.

Esten Gray Macon passed from this life July 22, 1993 in McMinnville, Tennessee. He was preceded in death by his wife of forty-three years who had passed away March 24, 1991 in Coffee County, Tennessee.

The Macons are buried in the Macon family plot in the Coleman Cemetery, near his parents. Today the cemetery, located on Woodbury Pike, just out of Murfreesboro, is easily located by a historical marker dedicated to his father. The Macons are buried within a mile of their old homeplace just south.

-Scott Harp, Web Editor, www.TheRestorationMovement.com 06.2011
Sources: Preachers Of Today, Vol. 2,3

Uncle Esten & Aunt Lizzy D Macon

Directions To The Childhood Home of Esten Macon
And Home of "Uncle Dave" Macon

Esten Macon grew up on the old Woobury Pike, or East Main St./State Hwy. 1 in Murfreesboro. Go out Woodbury Pike, just past the Science Hill Church of Christ. The house will be located just past the church on the right. 8372 Old Woodbury Pike, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

GPS Location of Macon Home
35°49'15.5"N 86°14'26.5"W
or D.d. 35.820984, -86.240702

Home Of "Uncle Dave" Macon

Directions To The Grave of Esten G. Macon

Esten G. Macon is buried in the Macon Family plot at the Coleman Cemetery, just east of Murfreesboro on East Main St. or Old Woodbury Pike. Head out from town toward Science Hill Church of Christ. The cemetery will be on your left. If you go past the church building, you have gone too far.

GPS Location
35°49'49.3"N 86°17'39.1"W
or D.d. 35.830355, -86.294197

Coleman Cemetery
Burial Place of
Uncle Dave Macon
44ft To Uncle Daves Grave
Erected by
The Macon Family

"Uncle Dave" Macon
Born in Warren County, in 1870, David H. Macon,
the "Dixie Dew Drop," was a farmer, freight
hauler, and banjo picker and comedy singer
in vaudville. He was one of the first artists
on the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed
for 27 years. Wearing his black felt hat and
big smile, he played his banjo and sang of the
people and country he loved, gathering much
of the material for his songs from personal
experiences. A country music immortal, he
died in 1952 and is buried here.
-Tennessee Historical Commission

"Uncle Dave" Macon Played On The Grand Ole Opry 27 Years

A Noble Woman A Lovely Wife
A Devoted Mother No Purer
Spirit Ever Entered
The Kingdom Of Heaven
Matilda Richardson
wife of
Uncle Dave Mason
October 1, 1877 - February 14, 1939

Dave H. Macon
October 7, 1870
March 23, 1952
Known To His Friends As
"Uncle Dave" Macon
The Worlds Most
Outstanding Banjoist

Macon Family Plot

Elizabeth Gray Macon
July 10, 1917
March 24, 1991
Married on June 22, 1948

Esten Gray Macon
February 6, 1913
July 22, 1993
Married June 22, 1948

Photos Taken 05.2011
Courtesy of Scott Harp

History Home

History Index Page