Old Log Church at Bat Harbor

Located in the Bat Harbor community, a short distance above Bridgeport Elementary School, the Old Log Church stands as a testament to some of the earliest settlers in that community.

The following sketch about the church was penned by Miss Bernice Brooks (1896-1997), who once taught school here and who recorded much history of the area.

The Old Log Church, located in the Bat Harbor community, was built about 1878 with logs from an old church across the road and additional logs hauled to the site by oxen. Originally named Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church, bats roosted in the building between scheduled services, causing a passerby to remark that it had become a “bat harbor”—the name stuck for the church and the surrounding community.

The outside of the building is much as it was except shutters have been removed. The inside has been updated with electric heat and lights replacing the “pot-belly” stove and wall lamps but the original hand-hewn beams are still visible.

The building has been used as a church (at one time Methodist and Baptist ministers conducted services on alternating Sundays); a school, and for community activities, such as special programs, singing schools, and reunions.

Due to a declining membership during the 1930s, the Methodists sold the church. It was purchased by Charlie Mantooth, the grandson of Green Inman, who had given the land for the building and nearby Inman Cemetery. Mr. Mantooth, a former county court chairman, declared it would be available to any group who wished to use it as a “soul saving station.” It has been used by many since that time and is still in use for that purpose.

In more recent years, a handicap accessible ramp has been constructed in the front of the church. This, plus the two window air-conditioners, creates a unique setting of both old and new, an excellent example of the adaptation of a venerable building which continues to provide a valuable service to the community.

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