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 created in the present location.
Note: In March and April daffodils bloom in Cades Cove. Look for daffodils which bloom on the right between the church and Tater Branch. If you look closely and use your imagination, you can still see the flowers have a message, “Co. 5427.” That message was meant to be a memorial to the company of the Civilian Conservation corps (CCC) who built so many of the trails, roads and bridges within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We owe the workers of the CCC a debt of gratitude for enhancing our access to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.