Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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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.



Primitive Baptist Church


Some of the earliest settlers organized this church in 1827, and a log building served their needs until 1887.

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...

In the cemetery lie the Oliver's, Gregory's (Gregory's Bald being named after Russell Gregory), 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 and the surrounding Smokies area, it took faith to settle the American frontier so religion was a big part of life for the settlers. Up until the founding of the Baptist Church, the Cades Cove members had to travel through the Smoky Mountains to attended Sunday meeting in Millers and Wears Coves. They also went to campground revivals in Tuckaleechee Cove, present day Townsend. The Cades

Cove Baptist church was established in 1827. In time a schism developed over biblical interpretation. One side said the scripture allowed for missionary work and others in the congregation said it did not

This problem was not isolated to the Baptists in the Smokies but was widespread elsewhere as well. As for the Cades Cove Baptists, they decided to rename their church in order to distinguish it from Baptists with other beliefs

Their church became known as the Primitive Baptist Church in 1841. The small congregation met in a log structure for sixty years until the white frame church was built in 1887


Primitive Baptist Photographs
Click Thumbnails for Enlargements




  Photo by Bruce Lemanski  

Photo by Bruce Lemanski

Primitive Baptist Church
Latitude: N 3536'07.7"
Longitude: W 8348'49.2"
Elevation: 1860'

Information supplied in-part from Booklets by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.