FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, churches played a vital role in the life of communities throughout the rugged Great Smoky Mountains. Churches served as houses of worship, as community centers, and as schools. Today the National Park Service preserves seven churches in the Smokies as reminders of the importance of the Christian faith to the hundreds of families who once called these mountains home.
Author Charles Maynard has contributed to numerous books on the Great Smoky Mountains and the southern Appalachian region, including Waterfalls & Cascades of the Grea Smoky Mountains, Time Well Spent: Family Hiking in the Smokies, and In the Spirit of Adventure. He has served as Executive Director of Friends of the Smokies and is an ordained minister.
This full-color booklet describes the history of religion in the Smokies from the days of brush arbors and circuit riding preachers to the "homecoming" and declaration days that still occur in the park each summer. The booklet takes an in-depth look at the seven churches that are preserved in the park and describes the Smoky Mountains burial practices, cemeteries, church music, baptisms, weddings, and the roles of churches in the community life
© 2004 Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association
Written by Charles W. Maynard
Editied by: Kent Cave, Steve Kemp & Tom Robbins
Design and Production By: Christina Watkins
and Amanda Summers
Photography by Jerome Brown, Kent Cave,
Mary Ann Kressig, Bill Lea, and Don McGowan
Historic photos used courtesy National Park
Service, the Methodist Collection of Drew University,
and the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation.
Photo research help by Annette Hartigan.
Editorial review by Elise LeQuire.
Printed in The U.S.A.
by Chocklett Press.
Published by Great Smoky Mountains Association,
GSMA is a private, nonprofit organization whish sup-
ports the educational, scientific, and historical pro-
grams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our
publications are an educational service intended to
enhance the public's understanding and enjoyment of
the national park. If you would like to knnow more
about our publications, memberships, guided hikes,
and other projects, please contact:
Great Smoky Mountains Association, 115 Park
Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-7318