Laws Chapel Primitive Baptist Church – The Church Journey


January 21, 2021 –

I had the privilege to visit Laws Chapel established 1847. The Baptist began preaching in this area about 1790. A year or so earlier than that in Grainger county a church was organized at the mouth of Richland Creek, in 1788. Among the earliest ministers nearly all were men of limited education, and received no pay for their services, but they possessed a rude and fervid eloquence, well suited to the mass of their hearers, and their congregations grew. It was not long until the Baptist had outnumbered both the Presbyterians and Methodist, and they have ever since maintained that position. [1]

On the 25th of December 1802, delegates from nineteen Baptist Churches, formerly belonging to the Holston Association, assembled at Beaver Creek meeting-house, in Knox County, and organized the Tennessee Association.  The association numbered 27 churches by 1815. The following year at Miller’s Cove Church, Blount County, Tennessee, the association (now comprised of 28 churches) heard Reverend Rice’s petition and concerted measures for the Constitution of a Missionary Society, with the reservation, however, that the churches were not bound by the action of their delegates. A petition to divide the association was referred until the next session. The following year (1817) Gap Creek, Cedar Fork, Glade Spring, Cole Creek, Hinds Creek, Big Spring, War Creek, Powell’s River, Thompson’s Settlement, Davis’ Creek, Buffalo Creek, and Big Barren formed the Powell Valley Association of Baptist. It was at this meeting that the association established the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible as its standard. [1]

At the session in 1822 the number of churches in the association had increased to 28, and it was agreed to divide it by a line running from Chilhowee Mountain with the Little Tennessee River, to the Holston: thence northwest so as to include the East Fork of Popular Creek and Hickory Creek at the upper end. A committee was then appointed to meet at Pisgah on the fourth Saturday in May 1823 to form a constitution for the lower association, which was known thereafter as the Hiawassee Association. In 1825 John and Lucretia Oliver were able to organize a branch of the Miller’s Cove Baptist Church for Cades Cove. After a brief realignment with the Wear’s Cove Baptist Church, the Cades Cove Church was pronounced an independent entity in 1829. [1]


In the 1830’s, a division in the Baptist Churches known as the “Anti-mission Split” occurred throughout East Tennessee. The debate was over whether or not missions and other “innovations of the day” were authorized by scripture. The debate was so emotionally charged at the Cades Cove Church that it required the intervention of the Tennessee Association of United Baptist. In the end, 13 members of the congregation left to form the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. The Primitive Baptist, as the name implies, believe. By 1843, the Tennessee Association of Primitive Baptist was comprised of 9 churches in Sevier and Blount Counties, Tennessee. The association grew to include churches in North and South Carolina, as well as Tennessee, which totaled 22 by 1912. [1]

Today the association is comprised of ten churches: Millers Cove established 1811, Laws Chapel established 1847, Popular Springs established 1822, Chilhowee established 1906, Meadow Branch established 1911, New Providence established 1932, Welch Cove established 1932, Edgewood established 1939, Pine Top established 1948, and Cove Road established 1978. [1]


It was an overcast cool day as I drove to the location of the fifty second church, I visited during 2020. The white wooden primitive church established in 1847 is still serving the community outside of Walland Tennessee. The Foothills Parkway is just minutes away from the location of this beautiful white church in the Great Smoky Mountains  

As I was reviewing the pictures from Laws Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, which was the last church, I visited in 2020, I discovered that the sun burning threw the overcast sky provided a beam of light on this old primitive church. What a perfect way to finish The Church Journey during the wearisome year of 2020. It reminds us that God continues to shine a light on us no matter what we are going through.

The Bible says: “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will NOT remain in darkness.”  John 12:46 NASB



My goal in 2020 was to visit 52 churches I am happy to report that I met my goal. Laws Chapel Primitive Church was number 52 when I went on December 15 2020. I have enjoyed this journey, which allowed me to share the history and pictures of the wonderful churches I have visited on my Journeys. More important it allowed me the opportunity to share the Gospel with people around the world.   I appreciate each and every one of you that took the time read my posts. As of today, on my Word Press blog I have 105 followers and experienced many more visitors over the last year.

Here is a list of the different countries that have visited The Church Journey:  United States, Canada, India, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Philippines, Qatar, Pakistan, Turkey, Portugal, Nigeria, Morocco, Finland, Ireland, Kenya, Italy, Indonesia, South Africa, Ghana.

Looking at 2021 I will continue to post Gospel related posts. Some of the posts will be churches that I visit, and others will be sharing inspirational pictures that I capture along each new journey. 


Church Website:

Date Visited: 2020 December 15th

Location: 3602 Laws Chapel Rd, Maryville, TN.

May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – (Acts 2:38)

Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges.

May this find you well and happy, God Bless




  1. Laws Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, “Minutes Tennessee Association of Primitive Baptists” (2020, January 11) Retrieved from

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