This Cades Cove congregation also began modestly meeting in a log structure with a fire pit and dirt floor. As change came rather slowly in the Smokies, it took sixty two years to get a newer more modern building. In 1902 carpenter/pastor, John D. McCampbell built the pretty white frame structure which became the Cades Cove Methodist church. The buildings two front door design was common in the 1800’s in the Smokies and elsewhere. Generally a two front door design allowed men to enter and sit on one side of the chapel and women and children on the other.
Some churches even had a divider in the middle of the chapel. However, the Cades Cove’s Methodist congregation was more relaxed and sat where they pleased. Records show the builder was simply copying the design of another church building which happened to have the two door design. What a lovely result. The balanced design of the little Methodist Church tends to a feeling of peace and harmony in its Smoky Mountain setting.
Yet the peaceful setting and harmonious design of the church building did not shield this Smokies congregation from controversy. The Cades Cove Methodist was troubled by division during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Dissidents split off and formed the Hopewell Methodist church. The Hopewell building no longer stands.