Rock Springs Methodist Church was originally established in 1861. For several years, the new church met for worship and Sunday School in an old log school house . Before the church was officially organized, the people met for worship in different homes in the community. The early families who organized and led the church in its beginning were, for the most part, the same families that through the years played a prominent part in its life and growth.
The list of local preachers who first served the congregation includes Uncle Billy Depew, Haden Bell, and B. F. Hood. The first Conference preacher for the Circuit on record was Reverend Jonathan Baker, who served the Fall Branch Circuit to which Rock Springs Church belonged in 1867.
The property passed into the hands of Jesse DeVault, whose widow made it her home until it passed into the hands of Earl Garland.
United Methodist Church
227 Church View Drive - Kingsport, Tn. 37664
The first church building was built in the year 1886 on ground donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Flinn. This location is the same as that on which the present church building stands. The original structure burned in 1905, and only a few pews and chairs were saved from the fire. The church was rebuilt in 1905 and used until 1944, when a new church building was constructed. Reverend P. E. Ramsey, who was the pastor at that time, mixed most of the mortar for the laying of the brick. He and his wife are now buried in the church cemetery.
In 1961, a building was constructed adjacent to the sanctuary to house classrooms and a fellowship hall.
Today, in addition to the main structures, Rock Springs United Methodist Church maintains a residence that has been converted to a meeting place for the youth, one rental property, two cemeteries, and a community park located at 1751 Rock Springs Road.
In his early journals, Bishop Asbury speaks of visits to the community and preaching in different homes.
The second parsonage for the church was used until a third parsonage was built in 1956, when the Reverend I. G. Crowder was pastor.
The first parsonage built in Rock Springs was for the Fall Branch Circuit. This house was sold to Rush Bell, and he made his home there for many years. The property passed into the hands of Jesse DeVault, whose widow made it her home until it passed into the hands of Earl Garland.
God has richly blessed Rock Springs United Methodist Church. We are thankful for His faithfulness and for the families who helped to build the congregation and the buildings in which we meet. We hope to continue to honor their efforts by making sound decisions, daily living out God’s word, loving the church family, and reaching out to the community for His glory.
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