FOX Church History

This report was given on May 28, 2000 at the Cummings Chapel Church, which has been closed for several years. Heritage Day was being observed by the three churches (Cedar Bluff, Eden, and Fox) of the Fairgarden Circuit, Maryville District, Holston Conference and the United Methodist Church.

The following is a history of Fox United Methodist Church as given by Charlene K. McGaha.

"My church affiliation in the Fairgarden Charge dates back to when I was a small child. My grandparents, parents, late husband, Roy McGaha, and my son, Charles Thomas McGaha, have always been active in Fox United Methodist Church.

I can recall when there were seven churches on the Fairgarden Charge, Namely, Union Grove, Catons Chapel, Cedar Bluff, Eden, Cummings Chapel, Parrotts Chapel and Fox. One pastor served all of these churches. Day and night services were divided among the churches. Quarterly Meetings would rotate to different churches on the charge.

The first church in the area of Fox Church was said to be a Lutheran. Fox United Methodist Church is located in Northeast Sevier County, in an area that has long been known by its residents as “Fox Community”. The church building is visible from U.S. Highway 411, between the 25 mile marker and Fox Cemetery.

In 1851 William Fox, the youngest son of Adam Fox, donated 1.25 acres tract of land to a Board of Trustees that had been commissioned to build a Methodist Church. By 1860 the Board had completed a small church building on the tract and named the church “Edmonsons Chapel” in honor of its first pastor. Worship services were conducted in this initial structure until 1896, when it was replaced by a larger frame building. This new building survived, with major repairs after some church members felled an oak tree on its roof, but it had to be razed after a tornado touched down in the area on March 21, 1932.

The main body of the current structure was completed in 1933 at the depth of the “great depression”. Beginning in the 1950’s the next twenty-five years brought significant changes. First, the name was changed to Fox United Methodist Church, reflecting what members had called it for years. In 1958, adjunct to the front of the building provided facilities for two classrooms, gas heat and bathrooms. In 1975, larger addition provided four additional classrooms and a fellowship hall. Also, added was a picnic pavilion."

Fox Methodist Church belongs to the Fairgarden Circuit, Smoky Mountain District, Holston Conference and The United Methodist Church.


Submitted by Charlene K. McGaha Old Newport Hwy. Sevierville, Tennessee 37876