Flea Market, 8am to 2pm at Balsam Grove Community Center.
Blue Ridge Baptist Church
HISTORY OF BLUE RIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH
Blue Ridge Baptist Church is one of the oldest churches in this area. Some of its earlier history has been obscured by time, but records indicate that it was first known as Blue Ridge Campground and was formed as early as 1836. Its' members came from the neighboring South Carolina Association and the Cathey's Creek Association.
The first building was destroyed by fire in 1850 and was a log construction. A frame building was erected in 1855 on the same site and was also destroyed by fire shortly before the Civil War under what was described as "mysterious" circumstances.
The third building was a wooden structure not unlike other sturdy buildings of its day. This building withstood the elements until 1928 when a freak tornado turned it on its' side. The members returned it to an upright position and it continued in use until the present building was constructed across the road in 1940. The parsonage now occupies the original church site.
James Bums Senior deeded the property to the church on August 25, 1855 "for the use of worship and burying ground to be held first by the Baptist as long as not abandoned for worship, then any other denomination can take over." It is signed by James Bums, Jackson Heath (Church Clerk) and Solomon Jones (witness". Elizabeth (Merrill) Shipman gave it the name of the Baptist Church of Christ at Blue Ridge. The minutes state that "the Bible was received as its constitution."
Blue Ridge has always been fortunate in its' ministers. Rev. Charles Pierson is the present minister. Some of the pastors from it's founding until 1883 were Rev. J.W. Blythe, H. Patterson, M.E. Smith, A. W. Beck, E. J. Mullinax, W. L. Anderson, G. W. Meece, A. B. Thomas, Franklin Barton, Street Burns, Thomas Bums and Davis Bane. Other pastors since 1940 include Cleveland Reese, H. L. Southers, S. B. McCall, Kadez Wilde, Carmel Hall, Charles Pierson, Harlon Ramsey, Pete Lee, Don Riddle, Oliver (Butch) Skerrett, and currently Rev. Charles Pierson.
Last Year vinyl siding was put on the sanctuary and this year we added a new heating system with air conditioning. Our church contributes to Transylvania Baptist Assoc., N. C. State Convention, and missions (Bradley Mission and Coal Mine Mission).
Blue Ridge Baptist Church remains an active force in the community . It is a testament to the perseverance and loyalty of its members and of their trust in God. Each year we meet in Homecoming the second Sunday in August.
Prepared by Inez Grooms