Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Cataloochee

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Little Cataloochee Baptist Church

I’ve been in lots of old buildings-churches, cabins, houses, factories, etc. Sometimes I feel something inside them-even the ones that have been empty for years. Other times I don’t feel a thing.

On the day we hiked to the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church, we were all glad when we reached our destination. We were tired and ready for lunch. Three of the Blind Pig family were suffering from tacos that didn’t sit right and a late night at the races (not me-the tacos didn’t hurt me a bit).

Since I had never been to the church I was anxious to see the inside, to see if it really did have an amazing acoustical sound like Don said.

The inside was bright with sunshine. I guess the whitewashed walls, ceiling, and benches help with the sunlit effect.

After we looked over the church, we ate lunch, and videoed the girls. Before we left we spent time in the cemetery reading stones and wondering about the people who called Cataloochee home.

Did I feel anything in the church? Yes. I felt a welcoming spirit as if those who once congregated in the Holy Hall were glad we were there. When I walked outside alone I fully expected to see a church yard full of smiling faces telling me I did good by coming.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.



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  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I would have loved to take that hike with you. I wonder just how many places like tthat are around that we don’t know about?

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    August 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I have spent many hours in Palmer’s Chapel, but have never been to &Little Catalooch. I know I feel the same sense of history & spirit in that peaceful place that you felt. Time seems to stand still & I feel the people-joy & sadness intermingled. My wedding day was part of the joy & I am so proud to be part of the history & so pleased a portion of it has been handed down to all of us.

  • Reply
    Jackie Garvin
    August 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I felt like I was in the church with you. Well written. Loved the music!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    August 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    tipper i adore churches.. especially the ones with history.. and like you i wonder about the people before us… and imagine the hymns being sung.. or the births celebrated, weddings. and even memorials… i do however especially love churches which have statues. i love the way the girls sound singing. thank you so much for sharing with us, and for a bit we can experience things through your eyes . hope all is well with you and yours.. sending many blessings and ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I know the feeling of welcome you experienced. Sadly, I also have felt the intense sorrow imbued in an old mission. That mission was the Alamo. I almost dreaded walking through the doors as the mere ground still screamed. The feeling inside was of complete and utter hopelessness. It almost took all my breath away and I had to retreat. Thank heavens you found a happy place filled with the love of God and the happiness of former parishioners.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I’ve been in a few old abandoned
    Churches and its awesome to still
    feel His presence. When I get to
    go to one of your family’s singings, I always feel that
    special Christian fellowship that
    seems to flow with good times.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2011 at 10:18 am

    i love your blog, the music, your writing…just everything about it! i had a similar experience and an old church in georgia…we were out driving around and came upon this old church, got out and walked around it, walked up on the porch and just because, not thinking they’d be open, but tried the doors and they opened right up…loved the feeling of the pretty, white, old church….then we also walked around the church graveyard….i could just spend the day alone in old buildings/cemeteries soaking up the feelings…i say alone because the rest of my family just isn’t into it like me lol

  • Reply
    B f
    August 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

    you really caught my attention as old churches/old houses/outhouses /barns really do take me back , you know it reminds me of myself .old old old
    thanks for the good work

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 4, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Nice picture Tipper, both the photo and the word picture. You’re very good at that.
    I know the feeling you are talking about. I don’t have a name for it either but I know it’s real.
    I’ve been in some little old mountain churches in the western part of our country that were so vibrant I expected to see ghosts walk thru!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2011 at 9:34 am

    i have often noticed that feeling in different churches. even the ones still in use. for the past few years, i have visited several churches and one of them, i felt i could hardly sit there until the service was over, i wanted to get up and run out. wish i could visit this little church

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    August 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I too feel drawn to these old buildings and often wonder what they look like inside. If I was still at home, I would probably peek in and explain that I grew up with there. Thanks for taking us along.
    I very much enjoyed reading the interview about you on Glenda Beall’s blog. Always nice to know more about someone. Thank you for keeping your heritage alive.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Awesome post Tipper. Maybe those old churches that you felt something in were more “spiritually alive” than the others. Have you ever been in a church (one that still functions)that was “spirtitually dead”? I have, there’s nothing, it’s dry and I felt emptiness. That’s never a good thing for a church, it’s sad.
    You sound like a spiritual person and that you pick up on the aliveness that was once there. Those people enjoyed their church and being present with the Lord!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 4, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I really love old buildings. I agree sometimes you feel it and sometimes you don’t. I think that is from the amount of energy expended within. This must have been a very active church.
    Hope the family is over the taco attack and back to normal.

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