Jones Chapel United Methodist

Jones Chapel United Methodist Church stands in a beautiful grove of trees in Del Rio near the intersection of Hwy. 107 and Dry Fork Road.

Its history dates to about 1820 and the establishment of Methodist congregation three miles south of Del Rio at Dry Fork. The late Nathan Jones wrote the following history about the church.

The first Methodist Church in Cocke County was O’Haver’s Chapel, located on the Greeneville road between Parrottsville and Greeneville. Many families of that neighborhood are descendents of members of that church. About 1820, one of the early Methodist churches founded in Cocke County was built (in Del Rio)…a crude log structure…and was used for Camp Meetings which was an important part of the religious life of that day. The Methodists continued to use this building for many years for both church and school.

Some time later the Baptists built a new building, a short way up the creek and like all good Baptists, they were willing to share their new building. Both congregations continued to use this facility for many years. Although we do not know the official name of this church, it was known locally as “Becky’s Temple,” having been named for Mrs. Rebecca Grigsby, the wife of Col. Grigsby, who was a well-known landowner of that day. The building was also used as a public school.

Church. The late Dr. John C. Orr preached the dedication sermon…

About the time the old church divided, the remaining Methodists at Dry Fork decided to rebuildAfter the General Conference of 1844, a plan of separation was drawn up by dividing the Methodists into two branches generally known as the Northern and Southern Methodist Churches. The issue, of course, being slavery. The division seemed to affect all Methodists. Even a congregation as small as Dry Fork divided. The group that withdrew secured land from W. R. Stokely on Big Creek and built a new church. It was a nice, two-story structure used for both church and school and was named Shelley Rock. It was continued in use until 1910, when the public road was relocated and moved some distance from the church. A new lot was secured from Charles S. Goodnough at Nough. The old building was torn down and rebuilt at the new location. The new church was named Nough Methodist Church South…I can remember the dedication of the Nough their church near where the original log church was built. The new structure was an attractive white frame chapel. It was built almost single handed by Charles Jones and became known as Jones Chapel. I do not think this was the sole reason for its choice of name but rather was in memory of his mother who was the founder of Methodism in the neighborhood and the leading influence in the building of the original log structure in 1820. She was recognized as a great source of good throughout the neighborhood…

…a beautiful brick structure has been erected here. The third building on the same lot. This building was dedicated in March of 1976. The dedication sermon was preached by Bishop L. Scott Allen. It was a great sermon and a most impressive sermon…

we do not think this story would be complete without mentioning some other Methodist churches of this neighborhood. First there was Mulberry Gap where there has been a Methodist Church for more than a hundred years…At other times there were Methodist churches at Timber Ridge, located on land given by Jefferson Burnett. There was another at Oak Grove on land given by Nick Fox. There was also a Methodist Church at Boomer. We assume that because of the location that land came either from the Rolands or Slade Goodnough…

It is interesting to note that the very first of these churches was Jones Chapel and it is one of the two remaining today. When the Nough church was closed most of its members united with this fellowship to make it a more active and vital church in the community.

We should mention some of the many leaders of this historical church. Time and space would not permit us to mention all. First we should mention Sarah H. Jones, who has always been considered as the founder of this church. Then next came her son Charles and his son James. No one contributed more than Mrs. Hattie M. Waddell. She has been loyal, devoted, dedicated, and generous in the giving of her time, talent, and means. There was her mother, Mrs. Addie Jones Huff, who was also a devoted member. John J. Sexton and wife were also loyal members. He will be remembered most of all for his singing. Mrs. Bonnie S. Moore and her daughter, Lucille Rowland, were strong supporters of this church during their lifetimes. Another family who strongly supported Jones Chapel was the William C. Bryan family…

For more than one hundred fifty years this church has been a guiding light to those who are located within its sphere of influence.

On Sunday, July 24, 2016, Jones Chapel United Methodist Church celebrated their 150th anniversary with a special homecoming service. Pastor Charlie Williams and congregation enjoyed this special day.

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