WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Hill McDowell (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:

Abstract: The Cullowhee united Methodist Church will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 1994. The establishment of the church was preceded by more than 150 years of Methodist development in England and America. Methodism was brought to the American frontier through an efficient organizational infrastructure which utilized circuit systems, itinerant preachers, a dedicated laity, and camp meetings. By the1840s Methodists represented the largest Protestant body in America.In the nineteenth century, large numbers of people began to move into western North Carolina as lands were legally opened for settlement . Along with the building of businesses, farms , and homes, early settlers organized schools and churches. Methodist churches were established at the communities of East LaPorte, Speedwell , and Webster by the 1830s. As part of a circuit system, these churches were served by itinerant ministers. Speedwell and East LaPorte churches eventually served as the parent churches for Cullowhee Methodist, which was founded in 1894 with 35 charter members . Several of these members were also noted as founders of another Cullowhee Valley institution, Western Carolina University, established in 1889.The history of the Cullowhee united Methodist Church is closely tied to the development of Western Carolina University. The church's first meeting place and all subsequent sanctuaries have been located on university properties. The university community has been heavily represented in the church's membership and leadership . Many local and national events affecting the University have also affected the Church. Church and school continue to share physical facilities, personnel, and resources to the present day.The Cullowhee church also has a long and successful record of service to the students at Western Carolina University. Many of the church members who worked closely with students during the week continued to concern themselves with the spiritual needs of these young people on weekends. Likewise, many ministers who served the Cullowhee church taught at the University in addition to devoting a major focus of their ministry to college students .The Cullowhee church membership has been a caring group of people who have reached out to meet community needs throughout its history . Early projects to help the needy have been replaced by more highly organized altruistic endeavors such as the Christmas Store project, the Jackson Village housing project, and the United Christian Ministries of Jackson County, Inc.Today, the Cullowhee united Methodist Church continues a fine tradition of service to God and community. with an active membership of over 300, the church is an affirmation of the faith espoused by those early founding members. The Methodists of Cullowhee Valley stand ready to face the challenges of a new century.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1991
Cullowhee United Methodist Church -- History
Methodist Church -- North Carolina -- Cullowhee -- History
Cullowhee (N.C.) -- Church history

Email this document to