Church of the Week: Irwin's Chapel

This week's featured church is Irwin's Chapel, a one-room log church which was built around 1840 near the community of Hamburg in the mountainous county of Madison, North Carolina. After it was no longer used as a meeting house, it was acquired by a local farmer and later purchased by Thomas Tweed of Woodfin, NC, for $35 and a cowboy hat. John Rice Irwin purchased the building and all its contents from Tweed's widow in 1976.

The log pulpit and benches were reportedly from the original church, and the rocking chair belonged to Ben Davis, a Baptist preacher who rode over Madison County on a horse.

Irwin's Chapel is nowadays part of the excellent Museum of Appalachia, in Norris, Tennessee, just off I-75 north of Knoxville. I took the opportunity to preach a very short sermon from the I could say I did.

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