Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cades Cove Churches

Cades Cove is a section of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in which several homes, farm buildings, mills, and churches can be visited on the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road. Along this route is some scenery, such as the river shown here.

Two of the three churches that we’ve visited on this Loop Road are the Methodist Church and the Missionary Baptist Church.

J. D. McCampbell, a blacksmith and carpenter built the Methodist Church in 115 days for $115 in 1902. This replaced the original church, a log building, which had served the congregation since the 1820s. You may have noticed that there are two front doors. This usually meant that the church followed the custom of men sitting on one side of the church and women on the other. However, this church did not follow that custom. The two doors are there because the church borrowed the building plans of another church that did divide its congregation by gender.

The church interior was very simple. I assumed that the piano was still used in services, since the hymnal was opened to The Church in the Wild Wood.

In the cemetery were the graves of Martin W. Tipton (1829-1914) and his wife M. L. Handley (1836-1894).

In 1839, a group of Baptists expelled from the Primitive Baptist Church because they favored missionary work, formed the Missionary Baptist Church. This building dates from 1915.

The next two photos show the interior of the church.

On the floor in front of the front row of pews was a cross formed with bricks and surrounded by a wooden frame.

The churches were open to us as we traveled the Loop. The simple furnishings presented a serene setting for contemplation.

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