Roberts United Methodist Church – The Church Journey
September 28, 2020, http://mynetzone.com/
I had the privilege to visit Roberts United Methodist Church, which is a United Methodist Church in the Smoky Mountain District of the Holston Conference. They aspire to the theme “Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors.” 
The Holston Conference is the organization of nearly one thousand United Methodist churches in thirty-three East Tennessee counties, seventeen southwest Virginia counties, a county and portions of two others in northwest Georgia, and one church each in Alabama and West Virginia. There are nearly one thousand pastors, chaplains, and other clergy, and nearly 175,000 lay members. The conference took its name from the three forks of the Holston River, which rises in southwest Virginia and flows into the Tennessee River. 
The first official Methodist pastor, Jeremiah Lambert, came to the Holston country in 1783. Initially one “circuit” covered nearly half the present territory. The conference organized in 1824, with Robert Richford Roberts as its first bishop. Until the 1880s Holston Conference encompassed several counties in western North Carolina and two or more West Virginia counties until 1939. Almost all the land in the Cherokee Nation once fell within the Holston Conference, including parts of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, as well as southeast Tennessee. 
Through approximately 175 years, the bodies that today make up the Holston Conference have placed a great deal of emphasis on education and social service, as well as on preaching, worship, and salvation. Today, the conference owns two senior colleges and a junior college. 
This church was not on my list for a visit, but while I was visiting other churches in the surrounding area, I had to stop to visit this beautiful white wooden church standing proudly in a country setting. With the National emergency for the COVID-19 virus many churches are remaining closed during the week only providing limited capacity openings on Sundays. At the time of my visit the church was closed, so I spent time outside the church in meditation and prayer.
Like many churches this church was creative to accommodate church services during this pandemic. In June in order to reopen their doors related to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, they had to go through phases before we can completely reopen. They took advantage of their pavilion to hold outdoor services when indoor services were halted. 2020 has been a challenging year as many churches are challenged and forced to be creative to strictly follow the state and CDC guidelines.
During times of uncertainty remember what is most important: the covenant relationship between God and the people. It doesn’t matter how hard you work. You will not be satisfied until God is once again at the center of your lives.
Church Website: Only using Facebook
Date Visited: 2020 August 17.
Location: 1810 Jayell Road Sevierville, TN
If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)
Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.
May this find you well and happy, God Bless
- Roy L. Howard, Published October 8 2017, “Holston Conference” Retrieved from Tennessee Encyclopedia on September 13 2020, https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/holston-conference/#:~:text=The%20conference%20took%20its%20name,nearly%20half%20the%20present%20territory.
- Roberts United Methodist Church “ About” (2020, September 13) Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Religious-Organization/Roberts-United-Methodist-Church-1661553187393184/