Although the Cades Cove Methodist Church was organized in the 1820s, few early records of the church still exist. It is believed the church was started through the efforts of circuit riders, such as George Eakin.
It was included among the churches in Holston Conference's Little River Circuit in 1830. The original church meeting place consisted of a log structure with a fire pit and a dirt floor. John D. McCampbell would construct the church building which still stands in Cades Cove today in 1902.
McCampbell, a carpenter who was also the pastor of the church, built the new structure in 115 days for $115. The building featured two front doors, a common feature of architectural feature in the 1800s, which allowed men to enter and sit on one side of the chapel and women and children on the other.
Where some churches of the day featured an actual physical divider between the two sides, the Cades Cove Methodist Church permitted its congregants to sit where they pleased. The church's cemetery is the second-oldest in the cove and contains at least 100 graves.
As was the case with much of Cades Cove, the church was affected greatly by the Civil War. Divisions among the congregation during both the war and Reconstruction resulted in a church split and the formation of the Hopewell Methodist Church.
The Hopewell building no longer stands, however, while visitors can still visit the Cades Cove Methodist Church today. The building visitors can view on the driving tour is the structure built in 1902.
Next Stop: Missionary Baptist Church