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Something new added: January 27, 2008
The Primitive Baptist Church house was completed in 1887 near the site of an earlier log structure. The cemetery at this house of worship provides the resting place for many of our community pioneers and leaders.
Also read Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church
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Building Destruction
As additional families established home places in the Cove, the need to gather together for an expression of their faith became compelling. The initial meetings were probably at designated cabins but soon the desire for a more formal identity and affiliation became justified. The Baptist Church was established in 1827 with trustees, John Oliver and Peter Cable, accepting property for a church house from William Tipton. A log structure was built and the first Cades Cove church established. The Baptist Church subsequently split over doctrine disagreements. The Methodists also became prominent with two branches established reflecting faith in those doctrines. Mormons also found their passage into the Cove along with Presbyterians and others. Log structures were eventually upgraded with frame structures.
The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1839 The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church served the community well for over 130 years and today remains a focal point for former members, descendants and others who appreciate the significance of this church to the Cove’s heritage.  Also read(Same page)
Primitive Baptist Church CCPA
This was either a Funeral or Cleaning Day at the Primitive Baptist Church ca late 1920'S
Cades Cove History
Cades Cove Methodist Church

One of the more treasured Cades Cove images is that of the Methodist Church as captured from the Rich Mountain Road. Cove churches were forces for integration of the community’s religious, social and communications needs. The penetration of the Methodists into the Cove may have preceded that of the Baptists as Methodist circuit riders ministered to many isolated mountain communities in the early 19th Century. Dr. Abraham Jobe’s childhood memories included Rev.George Eakin preaching as early as 1823.

Sparse records exist for the events and circumstances of the early Methodist Church.  The Cades Cove Church is included among those of the Holston Conference’s Little River Circuit in 1830. A Methodist church house was not erected until after 1840 when James F. Deaver deeded three acres of land for $25 to the Methodist Episcopal Church Trustees. Religion was a “shared” community experience with the church house often used by several congregational affiliations for individual and joint services such as revivals. Initial church houses were of log construction and typically functioned as schools also. The Feezell family, led by George W. Feezell and son William A. “Billie” Feezell, were prominent supporters of the Methodist Church. Billie deeded land in 1874 which provided the site for at least two church houses and a cemetery. The present church house  was built by Rev. John E. McCampbell in 115 days for $115! It featured two doors and a physical divider to segregate males and females for the minimization of spiritual interruption with more earthly issues! The adjacent cemetery contains at least 100 graves and is the second oldest church cemetery in the Cove. During the Civil War, the political environment resulted in a “split” of the Methodists and the subsequent provision for a Methodist Episcopal Church North, initially using a log school house and ultimately the Hopewell Church House on a knoll donated by Dan Lawson just east of his former home site. Although the building is gone, the Lawson Cemetery remains as a reminder of this church. The Methodists, never as dominant as the Baptists in the Cove, served the community well and provided value which certainly exceeded that of the  images which are now so popularly represented.
Transcribed Contract for the building of a Church House
Contract for the Building Church House of Methodist Episcopal Church South iCades Cove, TN

This agreement, made and entered into this the fourteenth day of April, 1902, by & between Rev. John E. McCampbell of Tuckaleechee Cove, of the County of Blount & State of Tennessee, party of the first part, and W.A. Feezell, J.H. Feezell, N.J. Spradling, John Gregory, A.W. Shields, all of Cades Cove, Blount Co., Tennessee, a Building Committee of M.E. Ch. South, party of the second part.
Witnesseth that said John E. McCampbell, party of the first part, for considerations herein after named, contracts and agrees with said W.A. Feezell, J.H. Feezell, N.J. Spradling, John Gregory, A.W. Shields, party of the second part, and successors, that he, the said John E. McCampbell, will, on or before the first day of September, 1902, in a good & workmanlike manner, according to his best knowledge and skill, will and substantially erect and finish a church house on the old site of M.E. Ch. South in Cades Cove, Tenn., which said house is to be of the following provisions as described in terms & specifications hereto annexed.
The said house is to be 42 feet in length, 28 feet in width, 14 ½ feet high from sills to ceiling. The foundation of same shall be composed of nine pillars of stone & sufficiently strengthened with pillars of locust between; the sleepers shall be trimmed to five inches where they rest on the sills; the floor shall be tongued & grooved, broken jointed, undressed & to extend to weather boarding so as keep out varments; the ceiling shall be dressed, tongue & grooved & broken jointed; the studding shall be two feet apart, well nailed & braced;the framing shall be put together by toe nailing to sills & sleepers and put up plumb; rafters are to be put up & braced with beams braced to joice; the boxing shall be nailed to the rafters; the weather boarding shall be dressed, broken jointed and with two coats of paint; the house shall have a neat belfry: seats to be made after pattern of those in Missionary Baptists Church in Cades Cove, Tenn. and in number sufficient to seat house & made for two aisles from doors; the house shall have two doors & six windows & doors to be placed as to have three rows of benches; a neat pulpit shall face the doors; said house shall be finished around boxing & ceiling at door and corners with quarter round.
In consideration of which the said W.A. Feezell, J.H. Feezell, N.J. Spradling, John Gregory, A.W. Shields, Building Committee, party of the second part, does for themselves & legal representatives, promise to said John E. McCampbell, party of first part, his heirs, executors & assigns to pay, or cause to be paid, to said McCampbell, or his legal representative, the sum of one hundred & fifteen ($115.00) dollars in manner as follows, to wit: Twenty dollars ($20.00) when roof is on; twenty ($20.00) dollars when it is floored & ceiled; twenty five ($25.00) dollars when house is completed; and the balance , fifty ($50.00) dollars, to be paid on or before the 20th day of September, 1902. The said Building Committee furthermore agrees & contracts to furnish the hands to cover the house and two good hands to help with framing, and sufficient hands to score the sills; build the kiln, put lumber in kiln & assist in firing kiln and furnish all the material on the ground with bought doors & windows and board the said J.E. McCampbell while he is at work on house. This contract is void unless house is completed. In witness whereof, we have set our hands & seal, the year & date first above written.

         J.E. McCampbell W.A. Feezell   A.W. Shields  N.J. Spradling

                                               ANSWERED PRAYERS

The potential of a better life in the isolated Appalachian area known as Cades Cove was a compelling attraction for pioneering families. These pioneers were challenged with life-threatening dangers from the elements, the wildlife, the displaced Native Americans and an uncertain food supply. Armed with courage and purpose, our Cades Cove heritage left families, occupations, homes and communities to challenge the wilderness. These pioneers came equipped with critical survival tools including axes, weapons, seeds, and knowledge. Their survival skills encouraged and promoted independence.....with one major exception. The overwhelming majority recognized and demonstrated their dependencies on God for guidence and protection as their journeys and home building began. Many family Bibles came over Cades Cove Mountain or through Ekaneetlee Gap along with the other survival tools and many prayers were offered as the new life was begun. Their faith provided assurance that their prayers would be answered.
Although difficult, the pioneers established a tenuous foothold in the Cove. Accounts relate that the Olivers survived their first harsh winter only because the Native Americans compassionately provided food, an act which contradicts the circumstances of their eviction. The hand of God was there! Soon, sufficient pioneering families existed to erect church buildings, initially of logs but later modernized with frame construction. The foundations of their faith encouraged mutual aid in times of sickness and death resulting in effective and dependable community support. The community grew and prospered. Children matured and joined to establish second and later generation Cades Cove families. Some lived out their lives in the Cove. Others left for other frontiers. They maintained the values of their faith established in their homes and in the churches of Cades Cove.  God was there!

Baptist and Methodist doctrines dominated within the Cove resulting in church buildings which were symbolic of those beliefs. Individuals and families of other religious beliefs, such as Presbyterian and Mormon, also found Cove homes. Frequently church buildings were shared or homes were used for devotional services. Death does not discriminate. Neither did the Cove church cemeteries. These cemeteries provided final earthly homes for all, independent of individual beliefs, and serve to demonstrate the integrating and supportive characteristic of the Cove people, acting consistent with the tenants of their faith. God was there!

Prayers Answered
                                 Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church

The first memory of the Baptist Church in the Cove provides a record that the Wears Cove Church of Sevier County, Tennessee “extended an arm” in 1826 or 1827. Members from the Wears Cove, Six Mile and Millers Cove Baptist Churches dismissed members who subsequently joined the Cades Cove Baptist Church. Ten people are reported to have established the initial Church body. These included Richard Davis, Preacher; William Davis, Clerk; John and Luraney Oliver; James Oliver; James and Emily Johnson; Edward James; John Lacy and Christopher Winders. The first minutes book was purchased by John Oliver for $1.50. Elder Thomas Hill of Sevier County and Augustine Bowers of Ellejoy in Blount County officially legitimized the Church on June 19, 1829.#

The Cades Cove Baptist Church undoubtedly met in members’ cabins until October 1832 when a meeting house of crude log construction was built. Blount County records establish that William Tipton deeded land to John Oliver and Peter Cable, agents of the Baptist Church. The conveying deed specified  land near the Baptist meeting house for “the use of publick worship forever”.# This property may have established the beginning of the current cemetery. Another conveyance was provided by D.B. Lawson and Wm. A. Feezell to members of the Primitive Baptist Church in 1883. The original log construction was replaced by the current frame construction in 1887.

In addition to Richard Davis, Elders of the Primitive Baptist Church have included William Andrew “Preacher Andy” Gregory, William Howell “Preacher Will” Oliver, and John W. Oliver. Andrew Witt Shields was also an influential element of the Primitive Baptist Church. The Primitive Baptist Church resisted closure until the 1960s, more than twenty years after establishment of the GSMNP. Its leadership and membership helped establish a major portion of our Cades Cove heritage.

   Old Timers Day Fall 2002
# “Cades Cove: A Walk Through the Past”, Spiritual food was among Cades Cove settlers’ first needs, Inez Burns, Maryville Alcoa Daily Times, 1999.
# “Cades Cove, The Life and Death of A Southern Appalachian Community, 1818-1937, Durwood Dunn, The University of Tennessee Press, 1988.
CC Primitive Baptist Church
Hyatt Hill Church
        Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church
The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1839 by 13 former members of the Cades Cove Baptist Church to provide a church supportive of the missions doctrine, a devisive issue not restricted to the Cove community. Brother Johnson Adams was the initial preacher and Brother Green Hill clerk. Meeting places through the majority of the 19th Century were possibly cabins, school houses, “shared” churches, or in a log church building. Records establish that the membership remained less than 20 until the Civil War when, due to community conflict, all Cades Cove churches were dormant. Afterwards, the church became active with a modest growth in membership. In 1893, the “Blacksmith Preacher”, Thomas Sexton led a spirited revival which stimulated a growth in membership, enabling support for a regular preacher holding services one day each month. In 1895, this growth encouraged building  a frame church on a knoll just west of Hyatt Lane near the home of Shadrack Hyatt, called the Hyatt Hill Church. Situated as it was, this structure was visible from one end of the Cove to the other. By 1915, church membership grew to 95. During this year the church elected to build a new building at the foot of Cades Cove Mountain where the main access, the Rich Mountain Road, intersected the Cove road. Members pitched in to salvage materials from the old church. Vernie Burchfield later recalled that, as a youth, his job was to pull nails from the boards.

After establishment of the GSMNP, the church continued to serve the community until the mid 1940s when the decreasing membership could no longer effectively support the church. Subsequent decisions by the GSMNP, providing farm lease agreements, encouraged a resurgence in Cove population and an active church again in the early 1950s. Later, in the early 1970s, the church again became inactive as the Cove population decreased. Former members then secured use permits, requiring maintenance considerations, but which assured some degree of control and protection for this sacred Cove treasure. The final use permit expired in the early 1990s, control was provided to the GSMNP and the church doors opened to the public. The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church served the community well for over 130 years and today remains a focal point for former members, descendants and others who appreciate the significance of this church to the Cove’s heritage.
Prepared By The CCPA
Homecoming 2002
Missionary Baptist Church
Hyatt Hill Church
Hyatt Hill Church
Hyatt Hill  Missionary Church
Photo from new book  "Cades Cove As It Was"
Deloras Abbott Coada
& Judy Abott Hill
page 77
Cades Cove Cemetery Decoration Days in the Cove

William Tipton to John Oliver and Peter Cable for the Baptist Church
Certified November 10, 1836

This Indenture, made the -------- day of October, one thousand eight hundred and thirty six, between William Tipton of the one part and John Oliver and Peter Cable of the other part. Witnessed that the said William Tipton as well for and in consideration of the affection which he, the said William Tipton, hath and beareth unto the said John Oliver and Peter Cable, as also for the better maintenance and support of the gospel (of) the said John Oliver and Peter Cable, hath given, granted, aliened, enfeoffed and confirmed, and by these presents doth give, grant, alien, enfeoff, and confirm unto the said John Oliver and Peter Cable, agents for the Baptist Church, and to the succeeding members of the church, forever, all that piece or parcel of ground lying in Cades Cove on the waters of Abrams Creek on the top of the ridge north east from the place where B. Tipton formerly lived in Cades Cove. Beginning at a small black oak, thence west seventy rods to a stake, thence north to a stake, thence east to a stake, thence south to the beginning, so as to include one half acre of land, the place where the Baptist meeting house now stands in Cades Cove with the appurtenances, unto the said John Oliver and Peter Cable for the use of public worship forever, to have and to hold the said land, tenements and hereditaments with them and every of their appurtenances unto the said John Oliver and Peter Cable and for the use of said church forever, and that I, William Tipton, for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators doth covenant and agree to and with the said John Oliver and Peter Cable and the B. Church by these presents that he, the said William Tipton, his heirs and assigns shall and may at all times hereafter peaceably and quietly have, hold, use, occupy, possess and enjoy the said land tenements and hereditaments with their and all former and other gifts, grants, bargains, sales, -----------, enfeoffments, dowers and estates and of and from and against all former and other titles, charges and incumbrances whatever done or suffered by them, the said John Oliver and Peter Cable, the church or any other person or persons lawfully claiming of, from or under them or any of them. In witness whereof, the said William Tipton hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year above written.

Signed and delivered in the presence of
Will Tipton
A. Henry
Will Sinsleton

State of Tennessee
Blount County
Personally appeared before me, A. Henry, Deputy Clerk of the County Court of Blount County, William Tipton, the within named Bargainor with whom I am personally acquainted, who duly acknowledged the within deed of conveyance to be his act and deed for the purposes therein contained.
Witness my hand at office in Maryville the
10th day of November 1836.
Nathaniel Reagan  Clerk
By A. Henry D.C.
Registered this 20th day of March 1837
by Jas. M. Anderson
Transcribed by Dave Post Feb. 16, 2005
                              Source Blount County Warranty Deed Book M 1836-1838
The writing of the Blount County Warranty Deed is difficult to distinguish and legal terminology has changed significantly in the ensuing 150 years or so, compounding the transcription difficulty. Punctuation is also "at the beauty and interpretation" of the reader! Nevertheless, the intent of William Tipton's Deed to the Cades Cove Baptist Church is easily discernible. Dave Post
Read more details about this transaction on the CC Genealogy Family
Transcribed Tipton Deed For Baptist Church  (More Here)
Interpretation By "Granny"
Inez McCaulley Adams
G. Motter 5-2005
Three of five original churches remain
in Cades Cove today.
The oldest among them is the Primitive Baptist Church, built in 1827
Take a closer look, you will see finger prints on the ceiling of the Baptist Church
by Gloria Motter 5-2006
CCPA Float at the Thompson Brown House 12-06
The Bibles of Cades Cove
The Bibles of Cades Cove