Denominational affiliation of the African American Church that I remember

I would like to know if the Negro Church that was located on Haynes Street and in very close proximity of the old Presbyterian Church, had a denominational affiliation. I remember the church so well where on hot summer nights we used to listen to their beautiful music flowing through the hot summer nights. It burned one cold winter night about 1960.  I am working with the Holston Conference Historical Society and Robert L. Howard, who has prepared a list of all the Methodist Churches in Claiborne County.  If you know please email me Joe Payne



Taken from "The History of Tazewell United Methodist Church, 1803-2000
conducted by Students of Emory & Henry College - May 15, 2000

Interviewer:  During the '60's, how did Tazewell, if at all, react to the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement?

First member: No, no, there was not protest to it as far as this church was ever concerned, cause anybody that went, they was behind the persons that went you know.  So there was nothing, nothing, ever, no controversy at all over the war.  Like Franklin Roosevelt always said "I hate war," well everyone else hates war.  But, um, there was no dissension, no uprising or anything at the time.

Interviewer: What about the Civil Rights Movement, how did people react to that?

First member's wife:  There was no controversy.

First member:  Never was a controversy in this place.

First member's wife:  I don't think there would have ever been anything said about a black person that attended church.

First member:  Blacks didn't try to walk in like they did, like when the movement really started, these people didn't never join in it then, the blacks didn't cause the whites treated the blacks good.  If you worked a black, they was nobody that wasn't good to them, they idolized that person.

Second member:  They didn't want to integrate.

First member:  That's right, they wanted their own church.

Second member: They didn't want to integrate here at all.  They wanted to keep their own school, own churches and everything.

First member: And that has still been the case here.

Second member: But they were pushed out though.  I know about it, I worked for the school system for 31 years.

First member:  Didn't no blacks come to this church and they, I don't think they is at the Baptist is there?

Second member: Not that I know of.

First member: But, they got their own church out here, and it's always been that way.  And it wasn't forced on them.

First member's wife: What happened to the black man that lived right over here that came on Sunday?  Lived right over here.

Second member:  He's still over there.

First member's wife: Well the {indiscernible} came on Sunday.

Second member: He did, and he came to prayer meeting about twice.  Then he didn't come back no more.

First member's wife: Well maybe he didn't feel comfortable.

Second member: I don't know.

Interviewer: Did any of your preachers preach on these topics: the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement during that time?

First member: I don't remember.

First member's wife: No, not....

First member:  Let's see, who was here?

First member's wife:  It would be brought into the sermon, but it wouldn't be just a sermon on that one particular...

Second member: They could mention it, but not any forceful thing.

First member's wife: No emphasis on it.

Subject changes.....

Bishop Daniel Pope Guest Speaker At Joint Methodist Services

Bishop Daniel C. Pope of the AME Zion Church will be guest speaker at the Tazewell United Methodist Church next Sunday evening, April 29, 1962 at 7:30 pm. Bishop Pope served as a missionary in Liberia West Africa from 1924 to 1930 as the Department of Foreign Missions of his Church from 1942 to 1952 and in 1952 was elected Bishop. He was assigned to Bishop of West Africa including the countries of West Africa including the countries of Liberia, Ghana and Eastern Nigeria where he served until 1960.

He is presently serving as Bishop of the Conference of South Carolina, Georgia and of East Tennessee and Virginia Conference. He will speak on the experiences in Africa. Special music will be given by the choir from the AME Zion Church of Middlesboro.

This joint service is sponsored by the Tazewell AME Zion Church of which Brother Simmons is pastor and the Tazewell and New Tazewell Methodist Churches of which Brother Stuart is pastor.

The pubic is cordially invited.

Subject: The Negro Church that was located on Haynes Street
From: "A Thomas"
To: ""
Cc: ""

Good day,
My name is Anitra Pope. I am online looking for information on my family history. I am looking up my grandfather, who loved me dearly, Bishop Daniel C. Pope and found the article copied below. ("above on this page")

It has a picture of my grandfather (below) of which I have the original plate of that picture which was taken in London. As a very little girl I am told that I was even in the pulpit with him. I would really like to hear of your story of that church. I am also interested in hearing from Mr. Howard. Will you please email me back and if you are interested talking I will give you my number. I also am emailing Mr. Roy L. Howard who responded to you.
Thanks in advance.


Anitra Pope

Re: "The Negro Church that was located on Haynes Street"
From: "Joe Payne"
To: "A Thomas"
Cc: ""

So very good to hear from you. I am in the middle of a work week and think you would not benefit from my response until I can find time to gather again my remembrance of the Church that I remember. Probably what I have online is the basic remembrances I have but I am sure I can gather more as I recall my childhood. I will respond again with more at a later date.

What if anything do you know about the Church or what affiliation it or other small churches during that time may have had? My aunt attended a Methodist Episcopal that I can find very little reference to here in Tazewell.

Joe Payne


Mr. Howard,
Thank you for your letter, I just opened and read it.  I would be most interested in researching the disposition of what I am sure was at least an attempt to form an African American Methodist Episcopal Church in Claiborne County.
My family have lived in Claiborne County since about 1865 when my great grandfather, Anderson G. Payne,  moved here from Scott County, Virginia and joined the Primitive Baptist Church in Springdale, Tennessee.
As I might have mentioned he and several others had a row with that congregation and moved just a few miles on down the highway and built Lone Mountain Baptist Church. 
I do not have the histories of many of the churches that I wish I had.  I spend too much time a frivolous things when I wish I had concentrated more on those type of important things but maybe it isn't too late.
I am concerned that the African American population, since I have lived in Claiborne County have found it necessary to move away from here to find any type of comfortable living.  I know that the economic situation here in the rural area's are bad and not getting much better.  Both my wife and I drive to Knoxville to our respective jobs and are considering a move in the distant future.
I can remember the old Negro Church as it was called that sat not far from the Tazewell United Methodist Church where we met the other Saturday.  I don't know for sure if it had a direct connection to any particular organization or not, but it neighbored land that my family owned, and it was many many nights that we would sit out and listen to the wonderful music coming from that building.  It sat just next to what was the oldest church in Tazewell, the Presbyterian Church and I would imagine was built soon after the Civil War, because of the Negro population wanting their own place of worship, having been made to sit in shackles for so many years in the balcony of the Presbyterian Church.  I can barely remember going in the old church back in the 1950's and seeing some of those shackles myself. 
We integrated our schools in the mid 1960's soon after President Kennedy's assassination.  It was during a time that some pretty bad things were going on in other areas.  We had just started football in our high school and I was a fairly good player.  We had three African American players and many times I would take my father's car over to their houses to bring them to practice and then take them home.
I knew many of the Negro population and still know a few who have remained through all the years.  Their names are Cloud, Robinson, Yeary and Fugate and many others that can be found on the 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules that I have listed on my website.  
Many names that were taken from the wealthy landowners who at one time kept them as slaves.  Now this may sound a little harsh but I am of the opinion that the African American population here has not been allowed the opportunity that could afford them the privilege of freedom of religion and some of the other inalienable rights that other Americans have enjoyed.
I think I know where the Neal's Chapel Church is located.  One of my best friends attended there until his death last year.  His name was Marvin Cloud.  His brother, Frank Cloud still lives within walking distance of that church.  I will take the time to visit with him soon and ask several questions regarding his remembrances, if any, of that old Negro Church building.  I am ashamed I haven't done so sooner but have visited him several times to pay condolences for his brother's death.
Again thanks for your kind assistance and any further help you could be.
Joe Payne
At the above meeting I discovered that up until 1937-1939 that any Methodist Church meeting in the conference was either the Methodist Episcopal Church, South or the Methodist Episcopal Church, North but I can find no reference to a specific Methodist Episcopal Church, North except in a short article Roots of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. I am suspecting that the New Tazewell church was a Methodist Episcopal Church and when The Methodist Episcopal Church; The Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and The Methodist Protestant Church joined in 1937 it became The New Tazewell Methodist Church and the Tazewell church became The Tazewell Methodist Church. From Delbert England's recollection the church building they met in burned about 1940 and was the Lilly Grove Methodist and the thought at that time, at least by his father, was that the New Tazewell or Lilly Grove congregation would join the Tazewell Methodist Church congregation, which they did until they decided to build the building they currently meet in. There has been through the years efforts to join the two churches but it is pretty apparent that will probably never happen. Anyone having more information please email me. Joe Payne - Also a recent email and a short video of Mountain View Methodist Church, Hwy 63, Powell Valley. More information regarding this connection between the Methodist Church and the Freemason movement. I have learned there is no direct connection only that the Freemason's, often a mixture of all denominations, often use our Methodist Church for Lodges too. The Mountain View Methodist Church has only about 3 well to do members among it's roles at present but they attend faithfully. From a listing of churches in Claiborne County the Mountain View was a Methodist Episcopal South church and was founded between 1907 and 1927. It was known as the Harrogate and the Arthur Church at times too. Whether it sat at it's present location all that time is unsure. The cantilever design is definitely unusual to say the least.

Hello. I am interested in information on Mountain View UMC, a very small church in Speedwell. Can you tell me anything about it? Chloe Nichols

When finished, I will have histories of Arthur and Harrogate churches, along with some other material. Would you like an electronic copy of this paper? And I said electronic of course, being the environmentalist I think I am.

October 2008 History Weekend at Cumberland Gap National Park