The following is a brief summary of our history.

Foundation of the Church

The history of our church is the same as any church that follows Jesus. After his death and resurrection, Jesus tells his followers to, “. . . go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Soon after his ascension, on the day of Pentecost, the disciples receive the Holy Spirit and hear Peter’s message to the crowd. After, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Acts 2:41)

This is where the Church universal, and all churches throughout history, trace their origins. Church is not a man made organization. Instead, it is the community of those who accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and follow him.

The Restoration Movement

Over time, the united Church seen in the New Testament, began to change. Many divided into various denominations based on their own understanding of Scripture and preferences of religious practice. Along the way, some attempted to return the Church to the roots of faith found in the New Testament. Among those was a group of Christ followers in the early 1800s in America. They would eventually become known as the Restoration Movement. Their goal was to see unity restored and for all followers of Christ to simply consider themselves, “Christians.” These too are among our ancestors and part of our story.

Local History

Around this same time, hunters and settlers were moving in to and beginning to develop the east Tennessee valley. People from the area fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Then in 1875, a new county was formed from parts of Washington and Carter counties. This was the start of Unicoi County. By early 1876, there was a need for a centrally located county seat. The Town of Erwin was formed and officially incorporated in 1891.

First Christian Church Established

The first gatherings of a faithful few meeting in a small log cottage, began what would eventually become First Christian Church in Erwin, TN. The oldest records of this church being mentioned come from the minutes of the East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia Coopertation for 1888. Then in 1891, a report was sent to a convention meeting at Hale’s Station, that 31 people made up the church, with W.C. Maupin named as the minister, and J.P. Miller and James Linker named as Elders. This congregation met in a log building at the present site of the Martin Creek Cemetery.

By 1893, a brick building at the current location was built at a cost of about $4,000. Records indicate that membership had grown to 87, among whom were many members of the Love family. Their generosity and service made the establishment of the church congregation and building possible. These and other early church members were among the pioneers of Unicoi County. We continue to be blessed by what they did so long ago.

Appreciating the Past

First Christian Church of Erwin, TN has a long history of faithful men and women from the congregation ministering to the local community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Countless lives have been touched and transformed through a steadfast commitment to loving God and loving others. Many people of faith have filled the pews as songs of worship and words of life have echoed through the walls for generations.

Looking to the Future

As that tradition continues on in future generations, there is much to celebrate and remember from the past. Both the heritage and the hope of First Christian Church is firmly rooted in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. At the end of the day, our history is His story of faith, hope, and love. If you don’t know it, we would love the opportunity to tell you the good news of Jesus.