Cades Cove 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 1830′ s saw a division among Baptist churches throughout East Tennessee because of what was known as the Anti-Division Split.
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. 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. The remaining congregation of the Cades Cove Baptist Church then changed its name to the Primitive Baptist Church.
The start was rocky for the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church . 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.