Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Loop Tour: <<< Back One Page   Next Page >>>
These points of interest appear in the order of the trip you will take around the Loop Road
01 Sparks Lane 02 John Oliver Place 03 Primitive Baptist Church 04 Methodist Church 05 Hyatt Lane 06 Missionary Baptist Church  07 Rich Mountain Road 08 Cooper Road Trail 09 Elijah Oliver Place 10 Abrams Falls 11 Cable Mill Area 12 Henry Whitehead Place 13 Nature Trail  14 Dan Lawson Place 15 Tipton Place 16 Carter Shields Cabin.



Missionary Baptist Church


This church was formed in 1839 (a log building served their needs until 1887) by members of the Primitive Baptist Church who were dismissed because they favored supporting missionary work. This was a national issue that concerned Baptists everywhere.

During the Civil War ill feelings and turmoil shut the church down, demonstrating that Cades Cove was not immune to outside influences. Their own official correspondence from the period states: We the Primitive Baptist Church in Blount County in Cades Cove, do show the public why we have not kept up our church meeting. It was on account of the Rebellion and we was Union people and the Rebels was too strong here in Cades Cove. Our preacher was obliged to leave sometimes, and thank God we once more can meet...

During the Civil War the church ceased to meet, but reopened after the war with a revised membership list. Confederate sympathizers were absent.

The present building dates from 1894 when there were about 40 members. Enrollment eventually rose to 115.In the cemetery lie Oliver's, Gregory's, Shields, Anthony's and other who first populated the Cove. Wander among the graves, but not on them! Notice the different kinds of stones, the infant burials and other hints of life as it once was here

In Cades Cove as in the rest of the Smokies, Baptists were divided into camps of members who supported missionary work, temperance societies and Sunday schools and those that didn't. Some thought there was no Biblical support for those things. In the end, a number of Cades Cove Baptists were eventually dismissed from the original Baptist church for their beliefs including Johnson Adams who was pastor.

On May 15, 1841, Adams and other disenfranchised Smokies pioneers banded together and established the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. The start was rocky. They had no meeting house and had to meet in individual homes. Sometimes they made arrangements to meet at the Primitive Baptist or Methodist church buildings. Also, in the Smokies there was much confusion over the Civil War. During the Civil War and reconstruction, the Missionary Baptists didn't meet for long periods of time.

After the war however, they had a particularly successful revival and were able to erect their own church building in the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains. Their church was constructed on Hyatt Hill in 1894, with their rolls bulging with 40 members. Eventually the rolls grew to over one hundred. In 1915, a new building was needed and was built at the present location.


Submitted Photographs
Click Thumbnails for Enlargements




Missionary Baptist Church - Cades Cove

Missionary Baptist Church - Cades Cove

The National Park Service allows weddings in most Cove churches. You will need to call the Park Service for more information. Number of cars are limited because of the many visitors touring the Loop Road.