Appalachia Music

This Little Light of Mine

Lufty Baptist Church

A few months back, we visited the Lufty Baptist church in the Smoky Mountain National Park. If you’ve been reading the Blind Pig for a while, you’ll probably remember the time we hiked back to the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church.

Last fall Chatter was looking through some videos when she came across the one we filmed at Little Cataloochee. She said “You know that was one of funnest things we ever did. Didn’t you say there were other churches in the park?” I told her there were other historic churches in the park and she said “Well lets go sing in another one!”

I passed Chatter’s wish along to Don Casada-aka Smoky Mountain Park Expert. With Don’s help we planned a trip to the historic Lufty Baptist Church.

The church is located near Cherokee, NC and is easily accessible. There’s a place to park within view of the church which made carrying the guitar a breeze compared to toting it back to the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church.

Smokemont Baptist Church

There’s a sign at the bottom of the hill that reads Smokemont Baptist Church. One closer to the church reads Lufty Baptist Church. Don loaned me a book about the church: Ocona Lufta Baptist Pioneer Church of the Smokies 1836-1939.

Ocona lufta baptist church

The morning we set out for the church was cold, but the day warmed up fast and the sun shone brightly for us. We’d been planning the trip for a few weeks. The girls knew what songs they wanted to film, but it seemed like every time they planned to practice something came up. I hoped they would at least be able to practice the night before the trip.

Unfortunately, the day before the trip ended up being filled with teenage angst. Once I realized there’d be no practicing that night either, I wondered if we should call the whole thing off, but both girls begged me not to and promised they could handle it.

Visiting lufty baptist church

Since the church was shut up tightly and the sun didn’t quite hit it, the inside was cold! Even though the sun felt warm outside you could literally see your breath inside the building.

Historic buildings in the smoky mtn park

We checked out all the cool details of the church and then it was time to get down to the business at hand.

Smokemont

After the girls changed into their performing outfits they found some flowers that had been thrown over the bank. Don said he thought someone had recently had a wedding at the church. The flowers just happen to match the girls’ outfits which tickled them to death.

When the silliness finally subsided (it never goes completely away) the girls made some of the best music they’ve ever made. I’m not sure if they were trying to make it up to me or if it was just the perfect day for singing.

Once we had planned the trip to Lufty Baptist Church, I kept hoping a story would come to me the way the Cora Lee Mease story did when we visited Little Cataloochee Baptist Church.

No story came in the days leading up to the trip.

I looked in every nook and cranny of the church the day we were there-still no story. I thought well, it may just be about us this time.

A good while after we visited Lufty Baptist Church the story finally came. It’s not anything like the Cora Lee Mease story. Actually it’s more of a connection or a thought than a story.

Drop back by over the coming days for more about the church, the singing, and the story too.

—————-

I hope you enjoyed this re-post. The girls have been wanting to film in another historic church and I’m hoping we can make that happen sometime this summer so be on the lookout for another Pressley Girls church singing video.

Tipper

This post was originally published right here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn in 2013.

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Sheila-thank you for the comment! Yes there is an outhouse behind the church : ) I bet it is the one you remember! Hope you have a good week.

  • Reply
    Shelia
    May 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Tipper,
    So glad to see this post again…and what a coincidence that you posted it. For the past few days I’ve been thinking about a little church in the Smokies that my husband and I found a few years ago. It was built on a steep knoll (I can’t think of another way to describe it) and I wondered how in the world worshippers got to the church. And then I realized the terrain had probably changed a lot since the church was built, with the road coming through. Anyway, something else interested me about the church we found …the outhouse behind the church. I scrambled up the hill to peep I the windows of the church and checked out the outhouse.
    I think this might be the church we found…it’s been so long ago I can’t remember the name of it. Do you remember if there’s an outhouse out back?
    I so enjoyed “This Little Light of Mine”! Singers LOVE to be surrounded by wood!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures of the Ocona-Lufta Baptist Church and the girls singing “This Little light of Mine!” Thanks for sharing. One–with the oldest (log) building, nor even the second building not there anymore, but the “third” building is still standing is my home church, Choestoe Baptist about 8 miles south of Blairsville. This church was founded in 1832 (before the Trail of Tears). Even though the original building is no longer there, the history of the church goes ‘way, ‘way back. Maybe you’d like to go there and have them sing in the “oldest” building at the church site. Two more buildings, one now under construction, have been built on the grounds in more recent years.

  • Reply
    Phyllis S
    May 22, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Enjoyed the girls so much……thank you!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Tipper,
    I heard the funniest joke today.
    A man was visiting a new church were his gospel quartet was scheduled to play music and sing. He noticed something different from the small country Baptist and Methodist churches that they usually were called on to sing and play. Being a straight forward type of guy, he just went ahead and asked the Church of God preacher! “Why does the congregation hold a arm in the air when we start playing n’ singing each song?” The preacher, knowing his guests religious background seized the moment! “Why to get a better connection!”, he replied.
    Thanks Tipper,
    Always loved this post of the girls singing in the old church…. for some reason it just seems more sacred.

  • Reply
    Dolores
    May 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    That was so enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    We used to sing “This Little Light of Mine” in school. Public school! That was 50 some years ago. I’ll bet you couldn’t get away with it in today’s politically correct world.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I loved hearing this–it’s a great sermon! With so much mean-heartedness in the world today, we need that light shining more than we ever have.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 22, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Tipper,
    As the Pressley Girls were singing “This Little Light of Mine”, I noticed my little dog, Whisky, sitting and waging his tail…almost in time with their singing. I think he likes Chitter and Chatter too…Ken

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    May 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

    The lighthearted song is very cheery. I love the simple and honest setting, and the way the music reverberates off those hallowed wooden walls. I remember this song from summer camp in West Virginia, sixty years and centuries ago.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    May 22, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Beautiful!!! I remember singing this as a child. Chitter and Chatter did a wonderful job! I loved the photos too! We love going to Cataloochee and the Smokies and walking to the old buildings. The last time we were in Cataloochee we were in one of the old churches and I overheard two teenage girls say they should write something (there was so much graffiti, such a shame. Of course, I said out loud and proud as only a granny would to my husband, “it is such a shame that people would vandalize such a beautiful historic place, the should be ashamed”. The girls walked out without writing a thing, and probably cursing me under their breath! I say we’ve got to save it one comment at a time!
    Pam
    scrap-n-sewgranny.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 22, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I have the Occonoluftee church book to and remember reading of a woman who was baptised in the river in December.
    There is a church back in the woods beyond the Amicalola State Park in Georgia. It is at the end of the gravel road. The name is High Shoals Baptist. It is normally unlocked but I think visitors lock it thinking it is a mistake to be unlocked. It is a beautiful white church with a red roof and about now there is a large mountain laurel along the cemetery fence that is probably blooming heavily. And they have landscaped all around the building as well. There are garden benches on the porch and a perpetually-flowing, spring-fed water fountain just to the side. The cemetery has graves dating back to the Civil War.
    I think the singing and filming in these historic churches is a wonderful idea and a real tribute to their founders as well as their reason for being.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 22, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Your right, Tip, that’s some beautiful singing. It seems so different without the fiddle.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 22, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Your right, Tip, that’s some beautiful singing. It seems so different without the fiddle.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 22, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I have visited most of these churches in the Smokies. Love the ones in Cades Cove. The insight into the lives of those that built them overflows.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 22, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I have visited most of these churches in the Smokies. Love the ones in Cades Cove. The insight into the lives of those that built them overflows.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 22, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I have visited most of these churches in the Smokies. Love the ones in Cades Cove. The insight into the lives of those that built them overflows.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 22, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I have visited most of these churches in the Smokies. Love the ones in Cades Cove. The insight into the lives of those that built them overflows.

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    May 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Good way to start the morning.In our church one person may get up and sing a song using the guitar and the next may sing out of the old baptist hymnal.For those who don’t know what that is,there is no music with the old songs.The way they are sung, the song makes the music.I can’t really describe it properly.These songs have a lonesome,haunting sound,but can be very spiritual.I will admit that some are too long.I use to believe they would die out,but some of the younger members are now singing them.
    E.KY. LG

  • Reply
    Eleanor Loos
    May 22, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Oh yes, yes, Tipper! I surely enjoyed this morning’s post. It reminds me of a small church my husband and I attended in the woods of Pennsylvania one year when we hunted in the Alleghenies. It’s wonderful to discover a place of worship “out in the middle of nowhere”, but known certainly to our God and those who live in the area and claim it as their church “home”. OK .. now off to my church on a busy highway here in Columbia Station OH.
    Eleanor Loos

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    May 22, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Amen!!! That was the best!! Beautiful harmony!! Thanks for the great singing this morning before I leave for church. We have traveled through the Smokies and have been t0 Cades’ Cove and walked to some of the old churches. I just can’t remember if we stopped at that church, but i can tell you that the experience would have been a lot better if we could have heard singing like that coming from it.

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