WE ARE 135 YEARS OLD
On December 25, 2021, Wears Valley United Methodist Church will mark 135 years of service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1886, under the leadership of the Rev. J.D. Lawson, the congregation of Methodist in Wears Cove built a structure that would allow them to worship and minister to the community. On December 25, 1886, Rev. Lawson preached the first sermon and dedicated the current sanctuary to the service of God. Around 35 people gave funds to build the structure. The chandelier, a central part of the original lighting of the sanctuary, is on every Sunday during worship services. The first Church was called Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Church, it had no floors and only a crude area in the center of the building for a fire to heat the structure.
The following is a timeline of events in the life of the church
• 1904 in October Churches in the valley resumed Sunday School after a four week suspension due to small pox.
• By around 1907 the Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Church had become Wears Valley Methodist Episcopal Church with about 71 members.
• A new bell was purchased to replace the one that had cracked
• February 13, 1909 Trustees vote to install metal roofing.
• February 12, 1912 Trustees vote to build an additional Sunday School class room and make other improvements.
• 1946 electricity installed.
• During the 1950’s Fellowship hall, two restrooms and three classrooms were added and other improvements made.
• May 31, 1953 Church was used by Wearwood Elementary School while a new school was being built to replace school structure that had burned.
• 1958 Women’s Society of Christian Service sold a quilt to buy hymnal racks.
• 1963 New roof and steeple were approved.
• 1980’s saw an influx of people moving into the area. The congregation welcomed them and saw an increase in membership that is still evident today.
• February of 2001 the Sanctuary Cross, built by John Frye, was dedicted.
• September 2001 an adult choir was started by Paul Moats and it had eight members.
• March 9, 2003 Charge Conference presented and voted to accept a proposal to build and addition that included a new Fellowship Hall, kitchen, and five additional classrooms. Groundbreaking was on March 30, 2003. Due to commitment of members the loan was paid off in three years.
• In 2008 Handbell Choir was Started.
• 2008 a parsonage was purchased and paid off in one year.
• 2011 Wears Valley UMC celebrated 125 Years.
Today the church continues to serve God, grow and make a difference in the community and the world.
Thank you for all you do!!!!