The History of Tazewell Methodist Church is rooted in the historic visit of Bishop Asbury in 1802, when many early citizens of Claiborne County were converted to Methodism.  Asbury speaks in his journal of preaching "at Hunt's at Claiborne Courthouse", on October 14, 1802, at which date there were 2,767 white member of the Methodist Church in the State of Tennessee, and 180 black members.  By the year 1803, the number of Methodists within the State had grown to 3,560 white members, and 248 black members.

The Methodist Church in Claiborne County became popular, and gained a strong following at a very early date.  We find, in the records of Big Springs Baptist Church, that on April 2nd Saturday 1804:  "In consequence of a report of Sister Elizabeth Campbell's joining the Methodist Society, we send our Sisters, Sarah Henderson and Hannah Neal, to inquire into the matter of the case.  On May 2nd Saturday 1804:  "Elizabeth Campbell excommunicated for neglecting to attend her meeting, and for joining another society".  By 1812, the Holston District of the Methodist Church contained 4,365 white members, and 327 black members.

At what time the Methodist Congregation at Tazewell was formally organized is uncertain, however, the early Church worshiped at the large framed Presbyterian Church, built by William Graham, Willis Hayes and others, in 1815.  Among the early Pastors of the Methodist Church, who preached at the old Presbyterian Church were Rev's Charles MaAnally, William Burgess and William Rogers.

Land for the first Methodist Church at Tazewell, which was a framed structure, and stood on what is now Church Street, at the far corner of the Methodist Cemetery, was deeded by Jacob Shultz, in 1825, to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, namely; Benjamin Cloud, Michael Clark, John Pearson, William Clark, William Hooper, a Mr. Cooper and a Mr. Houston.  The first church was erected in that year, or very soon thereafter.  The first person buried in the old cemetery, that is known, was Marra Garrett, who died in 1826.  Benjamin F. Hooper designed and made the church bell, which was fashioned in the form of a triangle, with a hammer attached.  It was the first church bell to sound in Tazewell.

Among the early members of Tazewell Methodist Church were:  Elijah Evans and wife Mrs. Walker Evans, Zachauak Hodges, William Eppes and wife, David Cardwell, Walter Brown and wife, John Easley and wife, Tennessee Margraves and wife, John Hodges, Louisa Hansard, Marra Garrett.   W. S. Carr, G.E. Hodges, James Dickenson, and certain members of the Sewell Family.  Many of these rest in the Methodist Cemetery.

Again, from the Big Spring Church records, on July 2nd Saturday, 1828:  "Sarah Hodges, for communing with the Methodist Society, in and unto their love feats, and declaring she would not be barred from the privilege and benefit she enjoyed at such meetings, the Church agreeing to set her at liberty, she is therefor excluded."

Following the lead of the Tazewell Church, two more Methodist Churches came into existence.  By the year 1840, Thompson Chapel was organized, built upon land deeded by William Thompson, and Howard's Quarter Church, erected long before the Civil War, upon land deeded by John Pearson.

Between 1844 and 1846, the second Methodist church, which was brick, was built, on the site of the previous framed structure, but, unfortunately, the church was wrecked by a violent storm, around 1862.  Mr. Walker Buchanan purchased the original church, dismantled, and removed the structure to a new location, at the time the brick church was constructed.  The Baptists and Presbyterians also built brick churches at this date.  It was during these years that the Methodist Episcopal Church split over the issue of slavery.  The Methodist Episcopal Church South, separated from the Northern body in 1845, and was perfected on May 1, 1846.  Following the destruction of the brick church, the Methodists worshiped at the Presbyterian Church.

Several members of the Tazewell Presbyterian Church converted to Methodism, and became members of the old brick church.  Mary McCarty, who belonged to the Presbyterian Church in 1836, later united with the Methodists, Mary Lane, a member in 1841, later joined, and Ann Jane Sewell, widow of Benjamin Sewell, who later married John Kelly, a Methodist minister, joined on August 18, 1850, but returned "by certificate" to the Presbyterians, on October 14, 1871.

The present church was erected in 1908, upon two lots purchased from Mr. A. J. Francisco and wife, for the sum of $750.00.  Mr. Fransciso, father of the late Lon Francisco, deeded the property to the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in 1907.  The Reverend Mr. Kinser, the first pastor of the present church, with great ingenuity, designed the building.  The first trustees were:  Elbert Essary, Sneed Essary, W. G. Parkey, and E. J. Brown, father of the late R. R. Brown of Tazewell.

On it's 75th birthday, Tazewell United Methodist Church stands as one of the most elegant churches in Claiborne County, and is among the most beautiful in EAST TENNESSEE.- Written by Phillip H. Hurst, Submitted by: Delbert England.