Who We Are
The history of Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church began in 1859 with the establishment of a community of worshipers at the Richland Institute at Tuscola (now Lake Junaluska), North Carolina. That worship services started at this school was a natural consequence, as the principals of the school were ministers from the Methodist Holston Conference of Tennessee. These individuals included the Rev. James R. Long, for whom the congregation was named when the first dedicated church building was constructed in 1892. That building, “the little white church”, served the rural community through the Civil and First World Wars.
The years in the little white church were marked by a gradual growth, as the congregation began its tradition of ministering to the established community while, at the same time, embracing newcomers. By 1929, the growth of the congregation and the passage of time had made the old structure unsuitable for the needs of the future.
A new sanctuary and educational rooms were dedicated just prior to the start of the Great Depression. For the congregation, the need for more educational space was as great, and possibly even greater, as the need for an expanded area for worship. This emphasis on education is a hallmark of Long’s Chapel and is fitting considering its inception in a schoolhouse.
Until 1932, Long's Chapel was part of a circuit, where one minister served several small churches. In 1932, Long’s Chapel became a single church appointment, meaning that it began a new chapter in its history with a dedicated pastor. Of course, having a dedicated pastor meant that there was a need to provide housing for the pastor and his family. In 1933, the first parsonage was built. In 1979, the sanctuary was enlarged and classrooms were renovated.
By the late 1990’s, the church had again outgrown its facilities. So, in 2001, the new and current sanctuary and more classrooms were built.
More important than a history of its facilities is the history of the warmth and sense of fellowship experienced at Long’s Chapel. This feeling of a spiritual home within the community has characterized Long’s Chapel. You are invited to come “home“ to Long’s Chapel and become part of the continuing history.