Baileyton United Methodist Church History

The Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1905. It was placed adjacent to Oakland Seminary, a .Junior College under the sponsorship of a board of trustees. ..On April 1st, 1891, the board met in Dr. Bruner’s Dental office. Rev. A. J. Bruner was elected temporary chairman. Rev. George Cox, the first pastor of the church, was the leading spirit in the organization and construction of the church. It was said he handled every piece of lumber that went into the building. Sad to say, he died before he was able to preach in the new church. G.A. Bailey and other leading citizens were responsible for raising the necessary money for the building. J.R. Sanders was in charge of construction. A bible was placed under the cornerstone.

The land upon which the church was built was given by Dr. John Linebaugh. Rev. Billy McNeese gave the land where the parsonage now stands.

The Ladies Aid was a great force in the church, seeing that the “Iittle things” were provided for the church and parsonage. Among the leaders were Mrs. .J.M. Yokley, Mrs. J.H. Hughes, Mrs. R. T. Kelley, Mrs. O.C. Morrison, Mrs. Grace Bailey Townley, Mrs. Madge Rush Fink, Mrs. J.O. Pierce, Sr., and many, many others. The Women’s Society of Christian Service continues the good work began by the Ladies Aid. Their accomplishments include a Sterling Silver Communion set for the church, new floor covering for the parsonage kitchen and new hymnals.

Rev. Geo. Rowan was pastor in 1906. Rev. Will R. Byerley served the church in 1906 thru 1912. Following Rev. Will R. Byerley’s pastorate, the following ministers served the Baileyton Methodist Circuit:

Rev. M. N. Davenport

Rev. Richard E. Walker

Rev. W. S. Bandy

Rev. N. K. Rowe

Rev. T.E. Goodman

Rev. I. B. Leonard

Rev. E.G. Gillespie—1920’s

Rev. J. Wallace Hamilton (went on to St. Petersburg, Fl. and made a great Evangelist)

Rev. Oren Marshall

Rev. P.R. Broyles

Rev. Ivan L. Cox

Rev. O. A. Lawson

Rev. Howard Byrd

Rev. Roy Wampler

Rev. W. L. Caldwell

Rev. Bovard Gillespie

Rev. David Denton

Rev. C. C. Martin

Rev. J. F. Caldwell—1936-1937

Rev. Joe F. Payne—1942

Rev. Toy W. Singleton—1946-1948 (During Rev. Singleton’s service to Baileyton Methodist Charge, the membership at the Baileyton Church was 150).

Rev. L. J. Mink—1948-1950

Rev. Archie Kelley—1951

Rev. W. S. Irwin—1952

Rev. W. A. Trobaugh—1953-1954

Rev. Howard Griffith—1955-1956

Rev. Charles Whetsel—1957-1959

Rev. Alvin C. Cobble—1961-1964

Rev. Alvin Latham—1965-1966

Rev. Alvin C. Cobble—1967-1973 (Rev. A. C. Cobble and wife, Marie, served the Baileyton Charge of five churches for a total of 13 years. Their daughters, Denise, Darlene and Dianne were born in Baileyton).

Rev. Charles Davis—1974-1977

Rev. Harry Tindell—1977-1978

Rev. Wm. D. Garman—1979-1982

Rev. Lee Roy Snapp—1983-1985

Rev. Gillis Wilmouth—1986

Rev. George Collinsworth—1987-1989

Rev. Bill Lichlyter—1990-1992

Rev. Mark Kilbourne—1993-1995

Rev. Karen Albers—1996

Rev. Rick Russell—1996

Rev. Bill Poister—1997-1998

Rev. Paul Miracle—1998-2004

Rev. Cathy Fowler–2004-2009

Rev. William Rimmer–2009-(continuing)

Wade McAmis—2002-2010 (continuing) (lay speaker for second and fourth Sundays)

The first trustees of the church were: .John R. Johnson, R.C. Henard, G. Newton Bussell, T. Newton Cooter, and Dr. Gilbert Newton Bailey.

The first young people’s organization, the Epworth League, received it’s Charter in 1907. It now carries on under the name of the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

In 1939, the Northern Methodist and Southern Methodist merged to form the Methodist Church.

Many changes have been made in the interior of the church building. Perhaps first was the remodeling undertaken during the pastorate of J. Wallace Hamilton, when the interior of the church was papered and painted and a raised platform was built for the choir. About ten years later, the interior was again changed by an entire ceiling of Celotex, new light fixtures and a coat of varnish on the Wainscoting. The outside of the church was also updated with a new coat of paint.

Church members once again got together a few years later, solicited money, and planned. Around the years of 1947 or 1948, the church building was jacked up and the men of the church and community dug out a basement and installed a Delco oil furnace, a gift from Harrison Bailey of Dallas, Texas (a former Baileyton boy). The rugs were secured soon after with the Gleaner’s class actively engaged in this endeavor. (Sock parties, apron parties, hat parties, lemonade and soft drink sales at ball games and many other schemes to raise necessary funds were used.) Beautiful shrubs were donated by the Home Demonstration club. For first time in the history of the church, worshipers were comfortably warm even the coldest weather. The basement was then improved upon until it was thought suitable for Sunday school rooms for the children. Swinging doors for the Vestibule were also added to ensure more warmth for the sanctuary. New pews were also added, donated by various church members as memorials to loved ones.

The year of 1955 was especially significant as the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Old members were invited back and participated in the reminiscences, music, comments and a covered dish dinner. It was also announced that new plans were underway for the erection of a new sign for the front of the church. Alex Hughes had the work under construction. Jim Underhill did the very careful work and put the sign up.

The year of 1967 saw the addition of a wing to the rear side of the sanctuary to be used (for Sunday School classrooms. This project had been needed for some time. With a little more faith and a little more sacrifice the church could have been more spacious and would include kindergarten, primary and junior classes. A 1968 note states that—the junior class meets in the church kitchen. The young adult’s class, a couples class and the Gleaners class occupies the remaining classrooms. The men’s Bible class occupies the Sanctuary. At the 50th anniversary it was announced by the Gleaners Class that they are at this time taking orders for plates with a picture of the church. The price – two dollars. Mrs. Claude Justis is the Treasurer of the class. Also in 1967 a new Hammond organ was purchased for the sanctuary with the financial help of former members and friends. Dedication service was on April 27, 1969.

In May of 1968, the E.U.B. and the Methodist churches merged to form the United Methodist Church.

During the year of 1970-71 a new oil furnace was purchased to replace the Delco heater. In 1975 a circular driveway was paved which added to the parking lot and made for better accommodations for motorists. The old stile and encircling fence was now only a memory among some of the older generations.

1976 is significant as the year when the old church was covered from steeple to basement with aluminum siding. This cost amounted to about $9,000.00, but the extra sacrifice was well worth it considering the permanence guaranteed and the freedom from any more cost of paint and labor.

In 1979, Virginia Garman, wife of Reverend Bill Garman, assisted the youth group in constructing chrismons for the church tree. These beautiful chrismons were constructed of white styrofoam, white and gold beads and pins.

On February 17, 1983, a letter was sent to all members, former members, and friends of the Baileyton United Methodist Church in regard to an expansion project, a new wing to provide additional classroom space and with folding partitions which when opened would accommodate large gatherings. The need for such an addition had long been needed. In addition to the expansion project, the church had been given additional parking space adjoining the existing front parking lot, donated by Robert H. Bailey of the Baileyton community. This area had to be paved and so a building committee was appointed. Thus the letter for pledges and donations requested for the two projects. The parking lot was completed first at a cost of $6978.

One year later, in February 1984, a ground breaking ceremony was held with District Superintendent Dr. Spurgeon McCartt in charge. In the fall, the contract was let on the new educational building and fellowship hall. Mrs. Kenneth (Amelia) Bailey served as treasurer of the building fund and a good response resulted from the letters that were sent out. The Gleaners Sunday School class pledged $2700.00 and the United Methodist Women gave a donation. Several women of the church quilted a number of quilts and the money that was collected from the sale of the quilts was given to the building fund ($1000.00). The Couple’s Class women compiled a cookbook to be sold for $5.00 each. They ordered 1500 and this money was also given to the building fund.

Central heading and air conditioning was added to the new addition which provided a comfortable atmosphere for all seasons. A handicap ramp was also added to the new building. This made the unit complete and a joy to all. Best of all, it was all paid for with a balance to take care of driveway paving in back of the church and landscaping.

On February 17, 1985, two years after the letter was sent out requesting financial assistance from members and friends, Bishop R. Kern Eutsler and Dr. J. Spurgeon McCartt, Supt. of the Morristown district together with Pastor Lee Roy Snapp presided and conducted an impressive Dedication Service. Snow and extreme temperatures limited the number in attendance. Following the service everyone assembled in the fellowship hall for a bountiful meal.

The first parament set of red and white reversible fabric was given in memory of Kenneth Pierce. A beautiful new green parament set was placed in the church by the Gleaners Class in memory of deceased members. A blue parament set to be used during advent and a red set for use during Pentecost were given in memory of Myrtle and Olen Ripley. This was given by their children Mr. and Mrs. Olen Ripley, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Ripley. A white parament set for use at Eastertide was placed in memory of Newman Cooter by Evelyn, Barbara and Norman Cooter.

In the spring of 1987, Myra Moore organized a charge-wide Bible School. The first churches that participated were Baileyton, Doty’s Chapel, Sulphur Springs, and Zion. Wesley’s Chapel later joined with the charge. Each year, a different church was in charge of the Bible School. Most of the time, the Bible School was held at Baileyton Church. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Bible School. There were classes for all ages. With the cooperation and dedication of the church members, attendance has grown every year.

In 1987, the windows were covered by plastic storm windows for insulation and to protect the beautiful stained glass.

The beautiful brass cross was given by the Aubrey Hughes family. It was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 1988.

In 1989, a dedication service was held for the Kim Yokley Memorial Garden which was sponsored by the United Methodist Youth Group fund. It was installed by a local landscaper in the courtyard. A scholarship fund was also set up for graduating students in memory of Kim.

In December 1990, Myra and Heather Moore stained and donated a life-like ceramic nativity set. The set includes fifteen figurines.

In November 1991, new red pew cushions were installed in the sanctuary. A new Baldwin organ replaced the old organ in January, 1992. These were donated by George and Ora Malone.

On Sunday, September 6, 1992, a dedication service was held in the sanctuary of the church for the beautiful new stained glass memorial window of Christ Knocking at the Door. For many years the church had been saving memorial gifts in memory of loved ones in the church. The window was dedicated—In Memory of Loved One, 1905 – 1992– in a beautiful ceremony designed by the pastor, Bill Lichlyter. His text for the sermon was, Behold, I stand at the Door and Knock, in which he challenged the congregation to rededicate their lives. The window was designed and crafted by Kaleidoscope Stained Glass, Kingsport, TN. The artist and craftsmen were Jim Guinn and Becky McClellan. Aubrey Hughes and Porter Bailey coordinated the planning and installation of the window. The highlight of the service was the reception of seven new members into the church.

For many years at receptions and covered dish dinners, there was always a problem of having ample amounts of ice for the drinks. In May, 1993, an Ice maker was installed in the educational building. The well worn green indoor-outdoor carpeting was taken up and the steps were covered with Flo-Crete step covering in a special brick design. This was also donated by George and Ora Malone.

On Sunday, November 7, 1999, we had a homecoming and pastor appreciation day. Rev. Paul Miracle was the host pastor. After the morning service, a covered dish lunch was served to all the members and friends who came to worship with us. Marvohn Hastings, superintendent of Sunday school and teacher of the young adult class, read the history of the church.

There was concern about the condition of the Celotex ceiling for several years, it was beginning to come loose and also a question as to whether or not it could support the weight of another coat of paint. In late fall of 1999, the Board of Trustees started obtaining quotes for the remodeling of the sanctuary. In April of the year 2000 a memorial fund, from the estate of Louise McCollum, was used to finance extensive remodeling. Included was the installation of sheetrock in the sanctuary, a new coat of stain and polyurethane to the wainscoting and the pulpit chairs. While the pews were taken up for the remodeling, the church members voted to also install new carpeting. Before the pews were put back in place numerous church members worked together cleaning and refinishing the woodwork on the pews, the pulpit and other sanctuary furniture. During the month of April, services were held in the Fellowship Hall while the remodeling was being done.

In the year 2000, Easter was celebrated in a most joyful renewed unity of the church under the leadership of Rev. Paul Miracle.

On July 17, 2000, a beautiful new stained glass window of the “Ascension of Christ” was placed in the sanctuary as a memorial to Ruby Cooter Mottern. This was placed by her daughters Charlotte Jones, Iva Mae Cutshaw and Edna Waddell.

In September 2000, eighty new United Methodist hymnals were donated to the church by George Bailey of California in honor of his aunt and uncle Porter and Ethyl Bailey. On November 8, 2000, George Bailey also donated a brand new Baldwin piano to the church. The piano and the hymnals have added so much to our services. Porter Bailey has been our choir director for several years.

On Sunday, March 4, 2001, a dedication service was held in the sanctuary for the interior renovation of the church, the new stained glass window, the Baldwin piano and the new hymn books. Reverend Jack Edwards D.S. was in charge of the dedication service and also delivered the sermon. A bountiful meal was served in the fellowship hall of the church after the service.

The children’s classrooms were painted and new carpet installed. New cabinets were bought for the class rooms. Jane Pierce painted the walls.

A beautiful new sign was installed in front of the church Sept 13, 2001. Ken and Amelia Bailey were in charge of the project and also in keeping the messages changed. The total cost of construction was $3000.00. Rob Bailey and Carroll Pierce were in charge of installing the sign.

Stained Glass Windows:

The following windows have been donated to our church by members in honor or memory of loved ones:

The first stained glass windows were given as a memorial to three brothers; Marian L. Bailey, Dr. Gilbert N. Bailey and George A. Bailey by their families. These windows are the center windows in the back of the sanctuary and on either side of the sanctuary. A fourth window was donated in memory of E. K. Weems by his family. All four of these men were early members of Baileyton Methodist Church.

In 2002-2003, eleven beautiful stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary. These windows pulled the original windows together in a lasting tribute to our Lord Jesus Christ. These windows were given by their families in loving memory of past family members. The following is a list of the windows and who it was given for:

“Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus in a Manger Scene”, in memory of A. F. and

Mary Starnes and Family.”

“Jesus and the little Children”, in memory of Guy N. Bailey and Virginia L. Bailey.

“Jesus in the Garden”, in memory of George Benson and Effie Jones Bailey.

“Jesus and Mary at the tomb”, in memory of James H., Sarah Hughes and Eula

Lee Hughes.

“Walking on the Water”, in memory of Thomas Porter Bailey.

“The Baptism”, in memory of M. D., J. D. and Lola Ellis.

“Flight into Egypt”, in memory of George Malone, Bill Dykes, Charles and Kathleen Justice.

“Jesus in the Temple”, in memory of John Oscar Pierce and Oleatta Ripley Pierce.

“The Crucifixion”, in memory of loved ones that have passed from 1993-2002. (This

window was place in our church by memorial funds)

“Jesus with Martha and Mary”, in memory of James Bill Kite and Golden Blevins; J. W. and Bea Blevins and J. W. Blevins, Jr.

“Come Unto Me”, in memory of Lennis Sensabaugh Evans and Family.

The new stained glass windows in the rebuilt building were made by State of the Art, Inc., Stained Glass Studio in Knoxville, TN. All the glass in the landscape area is painted and fired stained glass. There are 12 Stained Glass windows currently in the new church.

A beautiful metal casting of “The Last Supper” which was placed in the Fellowship Hall in 2003, was given in memory of Virginia (Gin) Bailey, by her family.

The playground equipment, that has thrilled the children, was installed in July, 2004 behind the church fellowship hall by the young adult class, J. D. and Dorles Sensabaugh.

Three picnic tables were bought by the Young Adult Class in the spring of 2003. Bobby and Sarah Stevens and sons, Billy and Andy, planted two dogwood trees in May 2004. One tree was donated in memory of the Morrison family and one in honor of the Stevens family.

The Children’s Class built a wall and made a beautiful flower bed in May of 2004. This flower bed is located in the back of the church.

During the year 2005, we celebrated our Centennial anniversary. Each month we commemorated our church’s history by having a special events such as a guest speaker, Red Hat-Black Hat, Antique Car Show, Lord’s Acre Sale, and finally our Home Coming was celebrated in October with Bishop Swanson delivering a wonderful message. During that celebration, the corner stone was opened for all to see its contents that had been there for 100 years.

A brick Centennial Walkway to honor past and present church members past pastors and loved ones was placed on both sides of the church, extending from the front steps. The walk also featured individual names engraved into brick pavers. The walkway was an outstanding addition to the front of our church.

In 2007, members of the church decided to replace the roof on the church. It was decided to create a cookbook to help with the expenses. Myra Moore was chairperson of the cookbook committee. Other members of the committee were, Sarah Stevens, Sandy Bailey, Nikki Pierce, Jane Ann Pierce, Donna Stephenson, and Mary Ann Hall. The committee decided that Morris Cookbooks would publish the cookbook and the committee would use the on-line method of printing the cookbook. The committee began collecting recipes. Then the disaster occurred.

On Saturday, November 24, 2007 a fire destroyed our beloved church building. This 102-year-old sanctuary burned to the ground in 45 minutes. As the bell tower fell, the bell was heard to toll before it crashed into pieces. The 19 beautiful stained glass windows were gone in minutes, leaving tiny chips of glass and huge blobs of melted leading. The entire congregation was devastated by the disaster. The next day we were allowed to meet at the Baileyton School Auditorium. We met there for two and one-half years and finally our new church was completed.

On Saturday, April 10, 2010 Carroll Pierce, who had worked diligently to complete the ground work around the new church, passed away. Everyone wanted to have his funeral at the new church. With everyone working and pulling strings, Carroll’s funeral was held on Wednesday, April 13, 2010 even though only half of the pews were set in the church and the other side incorporated folding chairs for the remainder of the congregation.

Baileyton United Methodist Church’s new building was consecrated Sunday, April 25, 2010 in a service presided over by Holston Annual Conference Bishop James Swanson.

The church was packed by members and friends from the Baileyton community and surrounding areas. Reverend Bill Rimmer, current pastor, welcomed the guests and then introduced Rev. Mickey Rainwater, District Superintendent on Sunday, he said, many of those same people were gathered again, “seeing the past honored and dreams of the future brought together for the glory of God.” Rimmer also presented Bishop James Swanson. Bishop Swanson gave a memorable message about what this church has in store. He also said that the congregation rebuilt on the site of the burned church “not so people can talk about how good we are at Baileyton United Methodist Church, but how great God is.” Swanson also said that many people made many different kinds of sacrifices for the church to be rebuilt. But whether one listener happened to be the person “who had the privilege of giving more than anyone else,” he said, and another could only give a dollar “doesn’t matter in the kingdom of God.”

After the service, the congregation was invited to enjoy the refreshments which the church members prepared and had set up in the Christian Activity Center of the new church.

After many months in the new church, the acoustics problems in the Fellowship Hall have been made much better.  Thanks to Nikki and Chad Pierce, they organized a fundraiser to purchase acoustic boards to absorb the sound.  Many people from the church have purchased 4 x 8 feet boards so that the Fellowship Hall can be used without an echo.  It is wonderful!!

November, 2015 five tapestries have been placed in the back wall of the Sanctuary of our church in memory of Lucille Pierce who passed away on November 17, 2015. These tapestries were placed in the church by: Nancy Easterly, Bill Easterly and family, Janie Lloyd and family, Tim and Jennifer Randolph, Dennis Eggert and family, Edwin Eggert and family, Julia Brown and family, Matthew and Jennifer Moore. Heather and John Wilson and family. The tapestries contain scripture with serene vistas and angelic images.

Last Published: September 25, 2017 3:58 PM
Empowered by Extend, a church software solution from