- This article is about the Methodist minister. For his son, the Birmingham mayor, see Mel Drennen.
Drennen was the son of Thomas Drennen (or Drinnen) and Mary "Polly" Blythe, who had been widowed by Labon Gravlee. He came to Alabama with his mother as an infant, arriving at their homestead on the Mulberry River near Hamby's Mill in 1820. Thomas was to arrive later, but never did and was presumed killed by Indians.
Drennen entered the clergy and married Matilda Hardin Cornwell in 1841. The couple had eleven children. Two of his sons, Charles and Walter Melville, became prominent citizens of Birmingham, serving as a physician and as a businessman and mayor, respectively.