East Alarka Baptist Church
Established 1933
      The East Alarka Baptist Church is located in the Alarka Community of Bryson City.  The church was organized on August 12, 1938 with 18 members from the Old Alarka Church.  These members were Josh Baines, Frank Baines, M.M. Barker, Rufus Barker, Callie Baines, Lonnie Barker, Nola Baines, Josie Ledford, Laviny Oliver, Frank Oliver, Ellie Phillips, Emma Thomas, Lorance Barker and three others not on record.  The first deacons were Lorance Barker, Rufus Barker, and Frank Cochran.  The first pastor was Josh Baines.  Church was held in the Little Alarka Schoool.
      No records are available from the organization of the church through 1936.
      The church purchased the land and school building from the Swain County Board of Education in 1937 for $56.25.
      In 1937, J.H. Johnson became pastor and in 1938 and 1939, Josh Baines was reelected.  In September of 1938, the church voted to no longer hold box suppers. Some members during this time were often excluded for un-Christian conduct. Some had to make statements to the church for backsliding.
      During 1940, a revival resulted in 14 new members. Also, six ladies volunteered to quilt quilts in order to finance the church. Charles Medlin was voted pastor.
      In 1941, John Tabor was elected as pastor and no records were kept again until 1944. At that time, J.D. Watson was pastor until Josh Baines was once again elected as pastor. Glen Lequire was ordained as deacon.
      M.M. Moore from Hendersonville, N.C. became the pastor during 1946. At this time, the church  voted to meet for preaching only on the second and fourth Sundays each month.  They also started collecting money for the new church.  The committee for this was Andrew Earls, Grover Simonds, Glen Lequire, Elijah Fortner, and Bill Moore. J.H. Greene served as pastor from 1947 to 1950. In these years, the first Sunday School was held and the first sermon was preached in the new rock building. The rocks were hauled from the Needmore area.  The lumber that was left over from the building was sold and the money was put into the treasury. Grover Simonds, Roy Cochran and Bill Moore were ordained as deacons in November 1948.
      The Lord's Acre Project was started in 1949. This was an acre of land set aside for the church to plant beans. Members of the congregation picked the beans and carried them to town to sell for church funds. Also at this time, the church voted to have a homecoming the third Sunday in September and to get back on the Baptist Discipline. The Lord's Supper and Footwashing was set for every fifth Sunday.
      Nath Smith was ordained as deacon in January, 1950 and Willie Owle was pastor until 1952 when Claude Taylor was elected. In this year, the church bought a piano, a communion plate, a water bucket with a dipper, and towels and pans for footwashing. $7.15 was spent to buy coal for the church. By the end of the year, they had to take up money for coal because there was only $1.00 in the treasury. It was decided to use the Bible for Sunday School instead of the literature that had been in use.
      In 1953, Sunday School money had to be used to buy coal because there was no money in the treasury.
      Claude Taylor remained as pastor until 1954 when Willie Owle was reelected. Before the year was out, Claude Taylor was once again elected and remained as such until 1956. During this time the church purchased a Chevrolet bus and Hoey Jones was ordained as deacon.
      The next pastor was Ed Cook. He served until 1958 when Frank Parrish was elected, the church bus was sold for $75.00 in 1957.
      Paul Reagan was the pastor from 1959 to 1962. In 1961, the footwashing service was changed to the fifth Sunday in May and October. The Christmas treats for that year cost $2.00.
      In 1962, classrooms were built for the church and Von Ramsey was voted pastor. He served until 1966. In 1964, it was decided to wait four months before taking in new members from other communities or someone not known. Also, an oil furnace was purchased for $375.00 that was borrowed from the bank at 6% interest. In 1965, the church helped Swain County Hospital raise $50,000 by giving the offering of the first Sunday of each month.
      Buford Owenby succeeded Von Ramsey in 1966 and in 1967, Abe Brooks became the new pastor. Added to the church were restrooms, Sunday School classrooms and steeple. It was decided that the pastor would have every fifth Sunday off.
      In 1968 and 1969, Harvey Lequire was the pastor of the church. Onby Jones was elected in 1970 and Paul Reagan was reelected before the year was out.
      Paul Reagan pastored until 1972 when Von Ramsey was once again elected. George Moore and Charles Smith were ordained as deacons in this year.
      Hoey Gregory served the church from 1973 to 1975 and Harold Waldroup pastored from 1975 to 1977.
      From 1977 to 1984, Harvey Gass was the pastor. In 1980, the air conditioner was installed and Joe Crisp was added to the deacon board in 1982.
      In 1984, Steve Gunter was elected and he served until 1986. In 1985, the church began supporting missionaries, paneled above the stage curtains and ordained Max Cochran and Gary Moore as deacons. In 1986, the area where the picnic tables were built was filled in with dirt to make the parking lot level. New tables and a storage shed were purchased.
      In 1987, Tommy Ashe pastored and was followed, in 1988 by David Hoyle.
      In 1989, the church purchased a new piano and a new roof was put on the church. A guitar was also donated for church use. $300.00 was taken out of the church treasury for the purpose of helping the victims of hurricane Hugo.
      The fellowship hall was started in 1990 and work continued throughout the year. $100.00 was spent on supplies for our soldiers fighting in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. Max Cochran was elected as pastor for the duration of the term. He was reelected but did not accept.
      The fellowship hall was completed and paid in full in 1991 and Mitchell Smiley became pastor.
illiam (Buster) Wiggins was ordained as deacon in 1992. A new ordinance was accepted into the rules of the church. It reads as follows: "The East Alarka Baptist Church will never accept a person who is homosexual into the membership of the church."
      In April, 1994, the church purchased a bus for the purpose of church activities. Also in this year, new siding and rock work was place on the church and windows were installed.
      At the time that this history was recorded, Mitchell Smiley still served as pastor of East Alarka Baptist Church.

            Note: All information was taken from available church record books. A special thanks to all that donated pictures.




Update: Since the time that this history was recorded, EABC has been pastored by Terry Taylor,  Todd McKeehan,Tim Reeves, and Jeff Waldroup who is currently serving as pastor.  Current deacons are Andy Turbyfill, Kevin Jones, Ronnie Bowers and Brian Duplak.
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