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