Black Mountain Baptist in Cullowhee has come a long way from services held in a shady grove of trees. Until early 1880 folks walked from many miles away across the mountains to Ochre Hill or Cullowhee Baptist church for worship services.
Around 1885 Abe Norman and Columbus Bryson and others persuaded a circuit rider to hold services on the Wayehutta. The first services were held under a great oak tree in a little clearing above the creek. The circuit rider usually came once a month. More than 50 people would gather for services.
When winter came on services were moved to Columbus Bryson’s workshop situated beside a creek. The creek roared so loud people couldn’t hear the preacher. John Sitton, a preacher, and Ivy Bryson Dills discussed the issue. John told Dills to talk with folks on the lower end of the creek, and he would talk to folks on the upper end. Interest was high and soon people turned out to raise the walls for a meeting house that was also used for a school.
On June 28, 1919 the church was officially organized and named Black Mountain Baptist after the mountain behind the church.
On June 3, 1951, the church decided to build a new church building using some of the materials from the old building. This is the present Black Mountain Baptist Church. There have been many changes to the physical structure of the church such as a fellowship building, a baptistry and additional classrooms. What has not changed is the preaching, teaching, singing of God’s word and fellowship with others. The church still follows the sacred Scripture our forefathers believed in and welcomes everyone.
Black Mountain Baptist invites the community to mark its 100th year anniversary at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Information provided by Betty Littrell.