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The following article on the anniversary of Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church was likely published in a September 1973 issue of the Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times.  Article submitted to the Blount TNGenWeb Project by Caleb Teffeteller.

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“Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Blockhouse Road, Maryville, marked the 100th anniversary of its founding on September 5, 1973.

A church history was prepared by Mrs. R.E. (Mayme) Parker, a member of the Piney Grove Church since April 1933, and church clerk since April 1943, for the centennial celebration September 2, 1973. Material and pictures were furnished for today’s column by Ollie White and Mrs. W.E. (Edna McDonell) Morris.

Information for the contents of the church history came from reading all past records available in the Chilhowee Baptist Association office, Maryville, and from talking with older members, such as “Uncle Sam” James who passed away in 1964, and “Aunt Mary” White who died in 1965, both in their 90s and with many other members. Materials was also obtained by reading all church minutes available since the organization of the church on Friday, September 5, 1873.

The people in the vicinity of the Grindstaff School (called by some Piney Grove School) held a revival under a brush arbor in a little hollow in back of the Delve Grindstaff home, and on Friday, Sept. 5, 1873, organized the Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

The membership consisted of Henry Russell, Margaret Russell, M.J. Russell, Isaac Russell, Permelia Russell, Sophina Russell, Dorthula Russell, James W. Hall, William L. Cupp, Margaret Cupp, William Everett, Daniel Headrick, Caroline Headrick, Mary Ann Whitehead, Mary Jane Nuchols, Hannah Cupp, Catherine Teffeteller, Henry C. Cupp, Frances N. Cupp, Jacob Simerly, Jane Simerly, James Simerly, Margaret Simerly, H. Simerly, Martha Everett, Thomas Gaines, Mary C. Hall, Martha Curtis, Josiah Curtis, Rebecca Hall, Margaret Hall, Henry Barker, John Morton, William Hall, Theo Everett, Mary Nuchols, G.A. Brannen, Eliza Jane Hall and Isaac T. Nuchols.

Land on which to build their house of worship was given by Mr. & Mrs. Sam Campbell (she was the former Rachel Feezell, daughter of George Washington Feezell & Margaret Eliza Guin Feezell). The land was about two miles from the site of the brush arbor where the group first met in revival.

The membership then called Brother James R. Coulter, who served one year as pastor. Brother James W. Hall was elected church clerk. This body bound themselves under a covenant similar to the standard church covenant we now have, and also accepted the 18 articles of faith.

The first deacons were Isaac Russell and J.T. Nuchols.

The first building was erected on the location near where Old Piney Church now stands. The material for the building came from an old federal still house located back in the mountains [located off Mell Hall Road] which the government was no longer using. Some notes say this building was also used as the Piney Grove School house.

In the first business meeting, delegates were appointed to meet with the Pleasant Grove Church in a convention to unite with them in the organization of a new association. The early associations were: Little River Association; Mt. Harmony Association; Tuckaleechee Association; and the Association South of the Holston River. The Chilhowee Association was not organized until 1885. After that, delegates were sent to the Chilhowee Association.

In November 1873, the church voted to have a “protracted” meeting with Brother James V. Iddins “to attend at that time.” The first communion meeting (Lord’s Supper) was taken in May 1874, with Brother Iddins preaching on Baptism.

Delegates from the church were sent to associational meetings and willing workers meetings which were held alternately with various churches. Delegates were also sent to Baptist State meetings and Sunday School meetings.

Many successful revivals were held in the early days of the church, some lasting as long as 23 days, with as many as 50 additions to the church. Offerings during the revivals rarely exceeded $15. Though money was scarce, regular mission offerings were taken, some of which totaled less than a dollar. The pastor received as his salary whatever amount the offering might be, usually from two to five dollars. The first fixed salary mentioned for a pastor was in about 1902, when the church voted to pay $50 a year, and once because the pastor was so “satisfactory,” he received a raise to $60 for the next year.

The early church was more apt to discipline the membership than the present day church. Charges were brought against members, both men and women. These members were dismissed from the fellowship for: profanity, drinking, bootlegging, playing cards, fighting, lewdness, fornication, adultery, improper conduct, departing from the faith and for non-attendance. Many times during the winter months the pastor could not get to the church, at which times no business meetings were held.

Sunday School was not organized until March 7, 1886. It was during this year that the deacons were charged to attend to difficulties in the church as far as possible.” —-Elizabeth “Tizzy” Timmons.

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From the Maryville Enterprise newspaper, 26 Apr 1917

Charles Boyd, better known in Maryville as ‘Uncle Charlie’ died at his home on Cemetery street last Wednesday night.  Uncle Charlie was 86 years old.  He had been in feeble health for several months and the end was not unexpected.   Born in slavery, Charlie was taken into the civil war by his master, W.Y.C.  Hannum, and it was the slave’s heroism that gave to Maryville one of her foremost citizens.  When Captain Hannum was wounded in the battle of Cedar Run, Va., the slave carried his wounded master through the darkness to safety and although the injured leg was amputated, Captain Hannum was a useful citizen for half a century following.  Uncle Charlie was known to all of the traveling men coming to Maryville because for years he met every train that entered the city.  The family consists of Dr. Charles, Knoxville, William, Asbury Park, N.J.; Dr. Luther, Knoxville; Robert, Chattanooga; Harry and Herman M. of Maryville; Delia Green, Dalton, Ga.: Maggie Whitley, Hendersonville, N.C.; Susie Boyd, Knoxville, Bertie Brown, St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Hazel White, Maryville.  The funeral was held from the Colored Presbyterian Church Sunday morning.

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In the last post on the will dispute in Asbury vs. Hannum, one of the alleged witnesses to the will was a Charles Boyd.  Turns out, Mr. Boyd was well-known in Maryville. In the Spring 2004 issue of the Blount Journal, there is an article about him. The article is a reprint of one that appeard in the Knoxville Journal & Tribune newspaper April 20, 1917.

Charles was from the Huntsville, Alabama area and the article describes his background and experiences during the war with his former master, William Hannum.  Mr. Hannum was the husband of Eliza White (after Hannum, she married Rev. Fielding Pope)  Charles had been the slave of Eliza’s father and went to her when the family estate was divided.  Charles then evenutally went to her son, William. 

Census records indicate Charles was born around 1837, though the article states 1831. Charles was married to Mary and they had 12 children: Cordelia, Charlie, James, Mary, (a son whose name starts with the letters Mc?), Luther, Maggie, Lee, Suzie, Bird, Hazel, Herman all appear on the various census records for the family (1870, 1880, 1900, 1910).  In 1920, his widow, Mary is living with their son Herman.  In a couple of the census records, his mother Susan was also living with the family.

In doing some online searching about his master’s family, I found out that the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has some papers of the White family.  Eliza was the daughter of  Colonel James White(1770-1838) and Eliza Wilsonin. She was one of 9 children; her siblings were Jane C., James L., Eleanor, William, Thomas, Newton, Addiston and Milton.  According to the newspaper article, the White family owned extensive property/plantations in Virginia and Alabama. Eliza herself was born in Virginia.  Eliza died in 1883. 

The last few sentences of the article read: “For nine months, the conspicuous old man’s face has been missed at the station and on inquiry it was found that he is confined to his home on Cemetery Street, Maryville.  Suffering with a chronic disease. Slowly, but surely, this type of patient and faithful antebellum negro is passing to the great beyond and the time is not far when Charles will join his ex-master.”

According to the death records database, Charles died soon after this article was published; his obituary appearing in the newspaper on April 26, 1917.

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