(Citizen-Times) Rob Neufeld looks start of churches in Western North Carolina

“In the western section of the diocese,” the Rev. John Stark Ravenscroft told North Carolina Episcopalians in 1825, “the prospect (of advancing the faith) is very discouraging, though not without hope.”

“Spiritual destitution” is how Bishop Levi Silliman Ives characterized our region’s religious landscape 19 years later, though the physical landscape was “beautiful and striking, far beyond my powers of description.”

Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians had made great spiritual progress in Western North Carolina as early as the 18th century. Samuel Edney, head of the Methodist church’s Swannanoa circuit, established the first camp meeting west of the Blue Ridge in what is now Edneyvillle in the 1790s; in 1797, the Rev. George Newton turned Asheville’s Union Hill Academy into a Presbyterian school named after him. The French Broad Baptist Church was organized in Henderson County in 1780, and regional churches formed the French Broad Baptist Association in 1807.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Methodist, Other Churches, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ

5 comments on “(Citizen-Times) Rob Neufeld looks start of churches in Western North Carolina

  1. CSeitz-ACI says:

    My father (his newly-wed wife at his side) was the first year-round minister in Blowing Rock, serving parishes there and in Boone, Valle Crucis and West Jefferson. The history of the Episcopal Church in NC is a very interesting read.

  2. Milton Finch says:

    My father served at St Mary’s of the Hills in Blowing Rock Dr.! Loved it there. Beautiful church. They incorporated the rectory into the church proper for office space. Played football in three feet of snow on the front lawn. During the Johnny Unitas days.

  3. CSeitz-ACI says:

    The rectory was ‘designed’ by my mother. This was a summer parish in 1951. What they had was, well, not ready for WNC winters.

  4. Milton Finch says:

    I loved the curved reddish rust wood planks. I slept in the corner room that was located on the secondary road at the end of the rectory. (Towards the direction of the hospital, I think, that was up a long hill. ) There were some rocks that had water coming down that would turn to ice in the winter. Our mother had just purchased my brother and I new suits, and we ruined the pants portion sliding down that frozen rock slide.

  5. Milton Finch says:

    My father, I believe, new your father. I called him and he immediately said, “I knew a Tom!” My father is The Rev. Floyd Finch, Jr. You may know him.