Missionary Baptist Church
John and Lucretia Oliver introduced the Baptist denomination to Cades Cove in 1825 when they organized a branch of the Miller's Cove Baptist Church there. The Cades Cove Baptist Church was pronounced an independent entity in 1829. Church unity would be short-lived, however, as the 1830s saw a division among Baptist churches throughout East Tennessee because of what was known as the Anti-Division Split.
The split mainly concerned differences over missionary work, temperance societies, and Sunday schools. These differences led to Pastor Johnson Adams and a number of congregants being dismissed from the original Baptist church. The group would band together to establish the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church on May 15, 1841, even though they had no meeting place. The remaining congregation of the Cades Cove Baptist Church then changed its name to the Primitive Baptist Church.
The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church began meeting in individual homes, although it would occasionally meet at the Primitive Baptist or Methodist church buildings. The church did hold services at all during the Civil War. Following a particularly successful revival after the war, however, the church was able to erect its own building on Hyatt Hill in 1894. Over the years, the church roll would grow from 40 to over 100 members, prompting the construction of a new building in 1915. This building is the one visitors to Cades Cove can still see today.
Next Stop: Elijah Oliver Place