SURGOINSVILLE — On Sunday, Sept. 15, Surgoinsville’s Amis Chapel United Methodist Church celebrated 100 years of service.
To commemorate the church’s century of existence, numerous members dressed in clothing appropriate to the early 1900s, when the church was founded.
The service included special music by Brian Burchfield and a message by guest speaker Rev. Jack Edwards entitled “100 years and counting.”
The church is regularly pastored by Greg Fletcher, who also pastors Surgoinsville’s Fudges Chapel United Methodist Church.
“The church was so full that we had to bring out additional chairs,” said visitor Tina Henderson.
Attendees enjoyed a special lunch after the service that consisted of chicken from The Country Kitchen, a home-cooked ham provided by member Sharlene Spaulding, and a large collection of desserts brought by various members.
Evelyn Henderson, who is the only living charter member of the church, was able to attend the commemorative service to see her church come full circle.
A brief history of Amis ChapelAccording to the bulletin distributed at the service, Amis Chapel got its name from the original owner of the land upon which the church was built.
Much of the congregation came from the nearby Limestone Church, which was located on Stoney Point Road.
The land was purchased on Sept. 19, 1919 from W.L. Amis who owned “Amis Farm.” Records indicate that the entirety of the land cost the church $1,000. Construction on the church building began shortly after this purchase, as the church was finished before the end of 1919. Men in the local community provided the labor. The church was officially dedicated in 1921, with Rev. S.D. Lambert serving as the first pastor.
Apparently, members of the Amis family were active within the church, as the land deed was made out to three trustees: John Amis along with G.F. Armstrong and Jon Christian. The first three recorded members to be baptized into the church are Joe Amis, Alpha Amis and Bertha Mae Amis.
The later yearsWhen the membership began to outgrow the original building in the 1950s, three Sunday School rooms were added to the building. Two more were added in the early 1960s. The two bathrooms at the front of the church were added in 1978, and the Fellowship Hall was added in 1992.
The church also has a history of working together with neighboring congregations, as the church received its first piano from First Broad Street United Methodist Church in Kingsport in 1953 and partnered with Elm Springs United Methodist Church of Church Hill to construct the parsonage in 1984.
Though it’s seen members come and go and received many a facelift, Amis Chapel has served as a center of worship for 100 years and continues the count.