1815 Beulah Baptist Church
1859 Pleasant Grove Baptist Church
1894 Etowah Presbyterian Church
1899 Etowah Mission of the Episcopal Church
1907 Etowah Methodist Episcopal Church [now, Etowah United Methodist]
1917 Etowah Baptist Church
The former site and first location "Old Beulah Baptist Church," raised in 1815 by the French Broad Baptist Church. It is thought that the church was located near the end of Mt. Pleasant View gravel road, off Pleasant Grove Rd, above the historic cemetery. [The sign date of "C 1840" refers to the Cemetery.]
Source for the following: Excerpts from a Times-News newspaper article, date unknown, "Is This Not the Land of Beulah."
" About the year 1750 to 1758, long before Beulah Church was formed, in the upper section of what is now known as Pleasant Grove Community, and Jeter Mountain, there came together a group of people, to read and study the Bible.
... This group met in the homes, and at a place called "Allison House," for years, carrying on their worship.
As time passed the 'Old Everet School House' was secured, according to a deed made from Efram Henry to Joseph and Noah Henry. (Recorded in Book 3 Page 242, register of deeds, Henderson County Court House.) This building served the people for many years. It was here that French Broad Baptist Church raised Beulah Baptist Church in the year 1815, with fifteen charter members. The trustees were as follows: Jeroam Blythe, Sion Blythe, Robert Jordon, Jeremiah Taylor, other members were: Perry Cantrell, Sarah Tramell, Joseph Evans, Joseph Henry, Thomas Henry, E. Hightower, Eli Merell, Jane Shipman, Jacob Shipman, B. Taylor, Elizabeth Williams.
... March, 1843, it was agreed to move Beulah Baptist Church to the mouth of Big Willow Creek, to the public school house, done by the order of the church [Jeremiah Osborn, church clerk]. ... The church agreed to appoint a committee for the purpose of making a sale of the old meeting house. This was on the Efram Henry Land. ... In 1844, Efram Henry made a deed to Joseph and Noah Henry for land on Bridge Creek, the old Everet School House property on McClain line, Laurel Creek, Fat Mountain, and Hamilton line, thus completing the sale of the original site of Beulah Baptist Church. "
See also, Old Beulah Baptist Cemetery,
located at Mt. Pleasant View / Pleasant Grove Church Rd.
Old Beulah Baptist Cemetery is one of the oldest in Henderson County. Pioneer Families include: Henry, Orr, Shipman, Aiken
The 2nd - Beulah Baptist Church ~ on Hemlock Lane, Big Willow
The second "Beulah Baptist Church" pictured at left was built after the congregation decided in 1843 to move from the Pleasant Grove community to Big Willow. This church was dismantled in 1979.
According to a Hendersonville Times-News article, January 1, 1989, "Etowah man converts church into his house,"
". . . [Alan] Kara took his hammer and crowbar to the white frame country church's interior ten years ago  after reading an ad offering its contents for $250 to whoever dismantled it. A new brick church was built to replace the old church. "
"It took me six months to dismantle it. At the end of the project, the deacon came out to the church and gave me my $250 back."
[Kara] "took the materials from the church and applied himself to the task of raising the roof of their home."
"From the 150 -year-old Cartwright shingles to the front doors, Kara used every part of the church." The Kara's home was built in what is now the town of Mills River.
A 1987 painting of the former church on Hemlock Lane, by Jean Wells Huggins, hangs in the office area of the present day church.
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Pleasant Grove Road originally stood by the Pleasant Grove Cemetery on Pleasant Grove Church Road. This became the second church to serve the residents of the community. Beulah Baptist (1815) had moved to Big Willow and some families wanted a church closer by. The families of this part of the Etowah Valley then formed Pleasant Grove Baptist church.
The history of the Etowah Presbyterian Church dates back to the latter part of the nineteenth century. In the spring of 1894, Mecklenburg Presbytery appointed a commission to organize a church at Holly Springs. This commission met at the appointed place July 28, 1894 and the church was organized. Present: Ministers - E. A. Sample, F. D. Hunt, H. M. Parker, L. H. Baldwin. Elders - J. H. Burgin of Mills River Church, Willie Deaver of Davidson River Church.
The name 'Midway' was chosen [because it was midway between the Mills River and Davidson River Presbyterian Churches]. The same pastor served the three churches, riding horseback and stopping at Midway to rest and preach in the afternoon.
The first building was erected on the Turnpike Road something over a mile south of Holly Springs, near the Harvey Moffett place, and north of the present Etowah Valley Golf Club. On April 15, 1900 a congregational meeting was called to discuss moving Midway to a more convenient location. A committee was appointed: Miss Julia Hood, Mrs. Charles English, and Mrs. O. P. Orr, to look into moving the church. The church was moved to its present location about 1904. It was built on land donated by Joseph Leander and Margaret Indiana Stewart Gash. It is said that Mr. Gash stated that he would give the land to any denomination that would build a church on it.
The Gashes had purchased the land from the Noah Henry's. The Noah Henry's lived in a log house near where the former Ingle's was located [now Etowah Shopping Center]. It was Mrs. Henry who went daily to the spot where the present church stands, and at the foot of a tree prayed that a Presbyterian Church might be built there. When the church was built, the tree was cut down and the church erected over the stump.
Source: This text was compiled from three versions of the history of the Church.
"INTERESTING VIEWS AT ETOWAH"
Photos taken July 1927 "during our meeting" at the Etowah Presbyterian Church
"Our Mountain Work (In Asheville Presbytery)"
published by The Home Mission Committee of Asheville Presbytery
Biltmore, N.C. Sept. 1927, Vol. X., No. 11.
The front page article accompanying the photographs above,
entitled "GOOD TIMES AT ETOWAH," begins by retracing the early years
of establishing and strengthening the church.
In closing, the pictures are described in detail, as follows.
"The pictures in the accompanying cut were taken during our meeting in July. In (1) you see our Saturday morning congregation. The people were busy, but attendance of church members was almost 100 per cent, day and night - the community responding well as [sic] night; in (2) on the wagon you see Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Anderson and their nine children, with Grandmother A. A. Anderson, to whom the church owes so much in the past. they have all come to church in the wagon - this they did night and day for eleven days - two miles over a road that a car could not travel - missing only once, a very rainy night; in (3) you see the catechism graduates of the Sunday School, fifteen of them, with Grandmother Anderson again. Seven of her grandchildren are in the picture. She it was who through so many yearskept the little church alive by her faithful teaching in the Sunday Schol. Part of the time she was the superintendent, the secretary, the teacher, all in one.
In (4) you view the home of Mr. Bert Grier, one of our deacons. Mr. and Mrs. Grier and their children who still remain at home are in the center, with the pastor and Mr. Rauschenberg on the ends. Of a large family, one is dead, the nothers not in the picture are grown up and away from home. We have just come out from a bountiful dinner to have our picture made.
Mr. Grier's home is indicative of the pioneer conditions which still maintain in our part of the country. From such good old homes as this have come much of the strength of our church - many of her ministres [sic] and workers. And we desire the world to know, that still, in our mountain strongholds, we have great numbers of stalwart boys and modest girls growing up unspoiled by sity life, ready to be used of the church. The Etowah field is full of opportunities for Sunday School Extension, full of boys and girls whom we expect the world to hear from some day, by and by.
In (5) we have the "Old Guard," so named by Mr. Rauschenberg because these never missed a single service. They are, left to right, Rev. W. S. Hutchinson, Mr. Meroney, Mr. Orr, Mrs. Homer McKinna, with Mrs. McKinna's little daughter, Helen Louise, in the front."
Article written by W. S. Hutchison, Pastor
[The article identifies Rev. F. Rauschenberg as the Superintendent of Home Missions and Sunday School Field Worker, and recognizes him for "his invaluable help in gathering the people and putting renewed courage into their hearts."]
The Ravenscroft Episcopal Theological Training School of Asheville established a mission in Etowah in 1899.
Services were held in the Oak Forest School, but ended after seven years. The name 'Ravenscroft' refers to the street in Asheville where the Episcopal school was located.
Source for the following text: "The Ravenscroft School in Asheville"
Dale Wayne Slusser, McFarland & Company, 2014.
"The completion of the 'Hendersonville and Brevard Railroad' in 1894 not only provided easier access to the Ravenscroft mission churches at Brevard and Bowman's Bluff [Gethsemane Church 1887 - 1907], but also resulted in the opening of a mission church at Etowah, which was one of the stops on the new rail line. The Rev. A. H. Stubbs would get off at the Etowah station when visiting the church at Bowman's Bluff, which was just three miles south of the station.
Records indicate that the Etowah mission was established sometime in 1899. Services were held in a schoolhouse at Oak Forest, which was a public school built around 1872. The school was located along the modern-day School Road, just across from the present-day Oak Forest Cemetery.
Apparently the congregation at Etowah was very small; in fact, during the mission's short lifespan there were never any communicant members. The 1901 report of the Ravenscroft Associate Mission stated that in the previous year (September 1899 - September 1900), thirteen services were held at Etowah, but there were no baptisms, no confirmations, no marriages, no burials and no communicants!
Services were held regularly at Etowah beginning in 1899, but it was not until the September 7, 1902, service that 'an offertory [was] received for the first time' and the mission officially named St. Paul's. St. Paul's was maintained by the Rev. Stubbs and lay readers from Gethsemane Church at nearby Bowman's Bluff. Frank Valentine, an Englishman from Bowman's Bluff who also was a headmaster at Ravenscroft High School in Asheville, would often play the organ during services at St. Paul's. But by 1904, the mission at Etowah had been handed over to the Rev. R. N. Wilcox, rector at St. James in downtown Hendersonville. Sometime after 1906 the mission ceased to exist."
Today, Etowah United Methodist Church
Excerpt from EUMC website:
"The earliest recollection of a church in Etowah was of a small frame structure called Belew’s Chapel, located two miles from the present site. Callie Robertson tells us that one day when picking huckleberries with her mother up on the hill where the Pine lake subdivision now stands, they came across the church ruins and her mother told her, “This is where we used to worship before we built the new building.”
The new building was of white frame construction and was completed in 1907 at the present site on fourteen acres of donated land. A new name went with the new building – Etowah Methodist Episcopal Church. Since the community had no public school building the church opened its doors every weekday for the school children. The first preachers were also teachers. A wood burning stove warmed the place and kerosene lamps provided light. It was the ladies Aid Society that raised money through ice cream socials and the sale of homemade quilts that provided the first electric lights.
In the early days the preacher traveled about the circuit in a horse drawn buggy. When the roads and weather would not permit this, he came by horseback. Worship services were held on Saturday night and Sunday morning only once a month because of the large circuit. Through the ensuing years Etowah Church was grateful to students and teachers from Brevard College who filled the pulpit."
History as written by Margaret Morris Gash (?)
Article appeared in Western Carolina Tribune, date to be identified.
"Everything must have a beginning, whether it be great or small. The most beautiful flower in the world comes from a tiny seed. When the flower has reached its maturity, it also brings forth more seeds and the garden plot must be expanded. This is true in the church organization.
In the spring of 1915 we see four mothers with consecrated hearts dedicating their lives to God and organizing a small Sunday School at the Oak Forest School House. These four mothers were Mrs. David Orr, Mrs. Cornish, Mrs. Mrs. G. W. Weese and Mrs. F. M. Blythe. Their invitation was, "We Methodists and Presbyterians are organizing a Baptist Sunday School at Oak Forest. We need you. Come and join us!"
Soon after this, the Rev. Elijah Allison was passing through the community and heard of the efforts of these people in rendering such a great service to God and His people. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, Brother Allison organized the church and became its first pastor. It was organized on Friday, February 9, 1917, at 11:45 A.M. with the following sixteen charter members:
Mr. Webster J. Ervin, Mrs. Jesse Ervin, Mr. Robert Merrill, Mrs. Belle Merrill, Mr. J. P. McKinna, Mrs. Dollie McKinna, Mr. A. C. McKinna, Mrs. Fannie McKinna, Mr. T. E. McKinna, Mr. W. H. McKinna, Mr. J. Lewis McKinna, Mrs. Annie Mae McKinna Parker, Mr. G. W. Owens, Mrs. Lucinda Owens, Mr. G. W. Weese, Mrs. Addie Weese Morgan
The church continued to meet at the Oak Forest School until 1926. By then the little flock had increased in number until the school was too small. A new building was erected on the present site of the church under the direction of the pastor at that time, Rev. Carl E. Blythe (1881 - 1964). The lot for this building was donated by Mrs. J. P. McKinna in memory of her husband. The logs for the construction were given by the members. On October 31, 1926, the first service was held in the one room brick church." [Rev. Blythe is buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery]