The History of the Lookout Valley Community

By

Richard Alexander McKeel

Chapter Five

“Churches in Lookout Valley

1. Lookout Valley Primitive Baptist Church

                        In 1800, several citizens of Lookout Valley attended church services at Good Hope Primitive Baptist Church , located at Mountain Creek Road , the present site of Signal Mountain Concrete Company. Many of the members of the Good Hope Primitive Baptist Church helped the people of Lookout Valley form a church that they would be proud to call their own. On April 24, 1800 , the future members of Lookout Valley Primitive Baptist Church established their new church. Thomas Boydston let the congregation used an old slave cabin located on Simpson’s Hill and Little Sanders Creek.

            In 1829, the members erected a new log cabin house that served as a sanctuary until October 1863 when the church burned down during the skirmish on the Old Post Road (Brown’s Ferry Road ), part of the Battle of Wauhatchie.  It is rumored that many of the fallen soldiers who fought in the Battles for Wauhatchie are buried where the old church stood. After the war ended, many of the survivors of the battle returned to Lookout Valley and constructed a new sanctuary and after the completion worshiped with the congregation in 1871.  The land was donated by Cavanaugh Boydston.  In 1877, using logs from rafts that have been wrecked on the Tennessee River the church was finished with a new name, “The Auger Hole Baptist Church.”

            In 1909, the church burned it was burned sadly again. On a Saturday night in 1909, while the church was having a Saturday Night Revival the building caught fire. Luckily, everyone escaped and no one was hurt. Also, luckily all the furnishings were recovered. After the fire, the services were held at the R.J. Massey Farm until the building could be restored. The building was yet burned down again in 1956. As a result of this fire, the congregation met at the home of Brother Mackus “Mack” Brown until the church was restored in 1957. The church closed its doors in 1975: the building remained closed for many years

under the watchful eye of Ira Daniel Tinker. The church was used at different times for different churches and meetings. Today, the church building is used by the congregation of the God’s Kingdom Fellowship Within. The church is currently located on Brown’s Ferry Road near Boydston Road . 

Lookout Valley Primitive Baptist Church 1800-1975

2. Patten Chapel Interdenominational Church

            Patten Chapel Interdenominational Church was established in 1905 off of the northern end of Smith’s Hill. Many pastors served the church part time through the years. However, the first full time pastor to serve the church in 1936 was an Assistant Pastor of Chattanooga First Presbyterian Church, Reverend Willard Alexander Peek. There is not much known about the early years of the church, because the original church was almost destroyed by fire in the mid-1930s, and all the church documents were destroyed in the fire. In 1939, the church congregation purchased the old Patten Chapel Grammar School for $1,000.00 for Sunday school classes. Later the church remodeled the school building and this became the second home of the church. The original church building was sold for $450.00; it was dismantled and hauled away.

On March 31, 1946 , the congregation of the church after a many long days of discussion with the old Knoxville Presbytery formed the Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church. Reverend Willard Peek officially became the first pastor of Lookout Valley Presbyterian and served it for another twenty-eight years. Because of the rapid growth the church experienced, in nine years ground breaking of a new church building was to be held on May 22, 1955 . On March 25, 1956 the new church building was completed just in time for Easter and used for its first Sunday services.

In 1992, a major split occurred in Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church occurred for theological differences. As a result of this split, many members established, Mountain View Presbyterian which is in the Presbyterian Church in America denomination. Mountain View Presbyterian Church is located on Kelley’s Ferry Road .

Today Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church is still an active Presbyterian church. However, it is now in the Southeast Presbytery that serves the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and is still in its original location on Patten Chapel Road .

Patten Chapel Interdenominational Church 1930s

Patten Chapel Interdenominational Church Children in the 1920s

Second Home of Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church 1946-1956

Third Home of Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church 1956-Present

Mountain View Presbyterian Church 1992-Present off Kelley's Ferry Road

3. Wauhatchie United Methodist Church

            The Wauhatchie United Methodist Church today is in its sixth sanctuary since 1812 and is named in honor of Chief Wauhatchie. Bob Hicks started the church prior to the War of 1812 off of Kelley’s Ferry Road , in an old log cabin, at the foot of Grinde Stone Mountain ( Raccoon Mountain .) The first pastor of the church had to walk a trail along Aetna Mountain ( Old Aetna Mountain Road ) to give the sermon. When the original building was burned to the ground the congregation moved to the farm of Larkin O’Barr. During the Battle of Wauhatchie the church was used as a hospital. At the end of the Civil War the congregation moved across Lookout Valley to another section of Wauhatchie Pike to a log house adjacent to Rowden Springs on land donated by John Cummings.

            In 1945, the church was condemned because it was considered being unsafe to worship in. 1946 twenty-five members began working on a new sanctuary on the present site of the church. The first church service was held on December 14, 1947 , and the church was dedicated on October 30, 1949 , by Bishop Paul Kern, who was on the President Council of Bishops of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church . When the Congregation grew to over 363 members in the 1960s a second church building was started.

            The sixth building found in the present location was completed in three phases. The first phase was completed in 1966 and consisted of a fellowship hall, kitchen, and classrooms. The second phase of the building was finished in the early 1970s with additional classrooms and a pastor study. The final phase was completed with a new sanctuary and a church office completed on November 27, 1977 .

Old Photos of Wauhatchie United Methodist

Old Church that was found on Wauhatchie Pike closed in 1945 due to building was considered unsafe. Building was also used as a school till it was closed.

The fifth building located where it the present church is located

The Present Building of Wauhatchie United Methodist Church

4. Lookout Valley Baptist Church

            In 1927, a small group of people felt the need for a Baptist Church to be located in Lookout Valley . On October 14, 1928 , fourteen people assisted by the Reverend Thomas Smith, pastor of the Baptist Church of Alton Park organized Lookout Valley Baptist Church . But the original name of the church was West Chattanooga Baptist Church .

            The earliest congregation for the Baptist church worship service was held at Patten Chapel Interdenominational Church . In 1931, a commission was selected with the help of land donated by Judge William Cummings and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Boydston.

            In 1932, their first building was started and enough was completed to have the first service in the new building. On May 2, 1932 , the new building was completed with chairs was donated by R.J. Coulter Funeral Home and John A. Patten Elementary School .

Today Lookout Valley Baptist is one of the largest Christian church denominations in the Lookout Valley area, with over 500 people attending services every Sunday. Reverend Lamar Moore said, "That God has blessed the church over the years."  Currently the congregation of Lookout Valley Baptist Church is saving to build a new sanctuary with state of the art equipment. 

Lookout Valley Baptist Church Early 1940s

 

The Present Building of Lookout Valley Baptist

5. Riverside Baptist Church

            In the late 1940s Lookout Valley Baptist Church establish a Sunday school “Out Reach Program” on the lower end of Lookout Valley . The Sunday School Program was so successful that the participants established their own church. Today, that church is known as Riverside Baptist Church and is located on Boydston Road .

Riverside Baptist Church

 

6. Pan Gap Baptist Church ( Tiftonia First Baptist Church )

What is known of this church is that it was first erected on Pan Gap Road and later moved to its present location on Brown’s Ferry Road . The church was reorganized in 1942 and became Tiftonia first Baptist Church . The present day building was erected in 1958. The first pastor of the church was that of Reverend Benjamin C. Smith. New additions to the church were added in 1971 to allow establishment of Tiftonia Christian School .

Tiftonia First Baptist Church Located on Brown's Ferry Road

7. Valley Memorial Baptist Church

            The very first services were held at the garage of Larry and Frankie Shaffner. In June 1978, the congregation broke grounds for a fellowship building. The building was completed December 31, 1978 ; the congregation had a “Watch Nigh Service.” The first pastor of the church was Reverend Richard Dehart who served the church from may 1978 through June 1980. Today, after many renovations, Valley Memorial Baptist Church still serves the Lookout Valley Community by offering the Angel Food Ministry.

Valley Memorial Baptist Church

 

8. Other Denominations that call Lookout Valley Home

            There are other denominations that call Lookout Valley home and have been established one way or another. These churches are: an additional Baptist church, a Holiness Church , A Seventh Day Adventist, A Church of God Prophecy, Church of Christ , a Nazarene, and a Pentecostal Church . Also, a Greek Orthodox Church has been open in Lookout Valley .

Photos of other Churches in Lookout Valley

 

Lookout Valley Nazarene

 

Tiftonia Church of Christ

 

Tiftonia Holiness Church

 

Tiftonia Church Of God

 

Grace Baptist Tabernacle

 

Revival Worship Center

 

 

Greek Orthodox Church

 

Seventh Day Adventist Church

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER SIX

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Richard Alexander McKeel
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Copyright © 2004

mailto:richardamckeel@bellsouth.net