The story of Long’s Chapel is a rich one. Its pages are filled with the hand of God writing in the lives of his people. From its inception in 1859 with only a handful of individuals who were probably unaware of the journey God was inviting them to take, Long’s Chapel has prospered. The journey has led to growth on our campus through increased membership, spiritual development, and community outreach.
People have come and gone since 1892, and buildings have been built and adapted to meet the ongoing needs of its people. The heart of Long’s Chapel is what it has always been, which is to love God and God’s people as we Reach, Grow, and Serve together.
This church was planted in this community to serve and share Jesus with people living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Long’s Chapel has always demonstrated a special desire to help people grow by offering educational resources that strengthens their faith and guides them in times of uncertainty as well in times of joy. A special emphasis on being a missional church by sharing God’s love on our campus, in the community, and beyond continues to be a priority. Reaching people by helping them grow in their faith and serve Christ in the world has been the driving force of Long’s Chapel for 158 years and counting. This includes 158 years of worship, small group studies, mission trips, community engagement, fellowship, equipping thousands of lay servants to serve in many and varied ways, and witnessing the commitment of dozens of people who have experienced a call to ordained ministry.
We invite you to join us as we embark on our next century of mission and ministry.
Long’s Chapel Highlights
1859 – The Waynesville Circuit / Echota Mission and Richland Institute were established.
1892 – Participants built “the little white church” across the street from our existing campus and renamed “The Richland Institute” to, “Long’s Chapel,” which was named after the Rev. James R. Long.
1892 – 1929 – We occupied the “little white church” where worship happened and Sunday school classes met in all the corners of the main room. The bell in the current bell tower is from the little white church belfry.
1929 – Long’s Chapel moved across the street (to present location) and built a new church building to house growing worship and Sunday school ministries.
1932 – Long’s Chapel received its first full time pastor. Prior to that Long’s Chapel was a on a charge whereby it shared a pastor with other churches.
1946 – Long’s Chapel declared “A Year of Evangelism” where visitation evangelism was emphasized. Teams visited and took the message of Christ into each home and invited people to church.
1950 – 1953 Long’s Chapel demonstrated its love for young people by partnering with the Boy Scouts. The church then responded to become a growing discipleship by sponsoring a School of Mission.
1960 – Renovations were made to the Sunday school space and the building was expanded to include the current fellowship hall.
1965 – The Long’s Chapel weekday kindergarten program began by enrolling 35 children. (There was a privately owned kindergarten in the community that was closing, so the church assumed that responsibility.). This was before public schools offered a kindergarten program. A kindergarten type child care program to help prepare children for elementary school has been a part of Long’s Chapel ever since.
1973 – Long’s Chapel conducted a Lay Witness Mission to reach out into the community with the love of God and invite people to build friendships with those who need Jesus.
1979 – The expansion of the Sanctuary occurred, a narthex area and covered entrance was added.
2001 – A new Sanctuary building was completed to meet the demand of overflowing worship space with additional education and play space for children.
Early 2000’s – Due to an emphasis on Reaching, Growing and Serving, Long’s Chapel rapidly expanded in membership and worship attendance to become the largest United Methodist Church in North Carolina, west of Hickory. We remain so today.
2018 – We are eager to build on a significant past, which is our foundation, as we for a community that allows Jesus to change lives for generations to come.