Beaver Dam Baptist Church has a vibrant, rich history. First known as Beaver Creek Baptist, the church was one of seven forming the Holston Baptist Association in 1786. Many of the earliest records were lost while others became unreadable due to fading homemade ink.
The historic annuals record the people who lived by sweat, blood, a sense of humor, as well as a strict code of propriety. The earliest legible minutes, written in 1819 by John Mynatt, clearly reflect strict rules of conduct. Members were “cited” to appear before the church for not attending services. Some members were “turned out” for too much “spirituous liquor,” adultery, card playing, drunkenness and gossip.
The church survived many dark days of our country’s history. During the Civil War, Union troops used the church as an emergency hospital. This occupancy sometimes kept the church from meeting. Slaves were included as members of the early church family. In 1853, a church member freed his slaves and gave them some property. The slave owner believed it was the only way the former slave could be free in the state.
Following the war, Beaver Dam hosted the first meeting of the Knox County Baptist Association with 15 messengers representing 19 churches. Beaver Dam Baptist first met in Smith Peterson’s store, which was located at the corner of Andersonville Pike and Gordon Smith Road. Later, the church family moved to the corner of Emory Road and Andersonville Pike (Halls Crossroads). In 1847, John Mynatt donated $50 and a tract of land at the corner of Emory Road and Maynardville Highway.
Under the leadership of Pastor Joshua Frost (1849-1951), the congregation completed their first building on the new property. This served as the house of worship for almost 100 years. Hearts were broken in 1948. Fire destroyed the historic church, leaving only a few benches, chairs, and the piano (carried from the building before it collapsed). The congregation worshipped at Halls High School while constructing a new building. This new building served as space for worship and education. A new sanctuary, primarily for worship, was completed in 1955.
Beaver Dam Baptist celebrated 200 years of ministry in 1986. According to church records, it stood as the oldest church in Knox County. The church experienced continued growth and started a second Sunday morning worship service. On June 12, 1993, the church family moved into the present worship center, allowing the congregation to return to one Sunday morning worship service.
God continued blessing Beaver Dam Baptist Church. As the church family continued to grow, they again needed a second morning worship service on Sundays. A need for additional education space led to construction of a new building. In December 2001, all preschool, children and youth entered new space for Sunday School and other discipleship ministries. We continue to grow, honoring God for His immense blessings to the Beaver Dam Baptist Church family.