The creation of Fairview Church is intermingled with the dreams of pioneers who settled this area. Four miles north is Jonesborough, the oldest Tennessee town and county seat; even closer is the historic Old Stage Road; beside the church is a cemetery used since 1790. Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers, veterans of all U.S. wars, native Americans, and others peacefully sleep as generations of children wander amid the remembering flowers. In the historic Quaker Church nearby, once called Maple Grove, those who had chosen for their homes the gentle land with the "fair view" realized the need for another "House of the Lord". They envisioned a place for worship, for praise, for fellowship, a Church that would nourish and serve and grow.
In 1908, a Methodist preacher, Rev. Richard Walker, and interested others, organized Fairview Methodist Church. An acre of land was purchased from J.W. Smith for $35.00, and a board of trustees was formed. Included were J.W. Smith, Fuller Shipley, J.D. Droke, Floyd Taylor, and Arthur Campbell. With R.C. Goebel, James Sellers, and John T. Bacon, they formed a building committee.
Precious monetary contributions, donated materials, and free labor enabled construction to begin in August, 1908. Workers from nearby New Hope Brethren Church and Sulphur Springs assisted with the labor. Wood for pews was donated by Mrs. Virda Bacon. A few old seats are still used in the Fellowship Hall. Others were purchased by members. The original oak pulpit is now in the Fellowship Hall. The two front doors were separate to allow men to enter on one side, women on the other, but the Quaker practice of segregating the groups was not used. The current transom windows may be the original glass windows.
Rev. Walker, whose salary as the first pastor was $65.00 a year, preached the first sermon in the building in December, 1908. The finished church was dedicated in 1909. Floyd Taylor became the first Sunday School Superintendent. Each Sunday, adult members paid a penny for their literature. Of special interest to the children were small, colorful "Bible cards". J. Horace Smith, a dedicated teacher for over 50 years, set an example of devotion by having almost perfect attendance for 60 years.
Shared charges include: Telford, Sulphur Springs, Clear Springs, Gray, and Marvin's Chapel. Weekly Sunday School was essential. "Preaching" schedules progressed from once a month, to two, to weekly services. The schedule of worship was reversed in 1993. In 1998, Fairview became a single-station charge, with a part-time pastor. The first minister was Chris Ford, then Dale Jarrett, and Rev. Calvin Maas. In 2005 Fairview got its first fulltime pastor, Rev. Chuck Griffin. He was followed in 2011 by Rev. Christi Taylor.
The funeral of Mrs. Vertie Bowman Campbell was the first to be held in the church, in 1908. The first church member's funeral was Mrs. Laura Droke Smith's, in 1914. In October of 1949, the initial wedding was solemnized. Purchased for $40.00, the 700 lb. bell was tolled for community deaths, and was rung each Sunday to call worshippers. Neglected and dangerous, the bell hung mute for many years, until 1997, when some young members took action. Bryan and Randy Orchard cleaned and strengthened the belfry, cleaned the filthy bell and repaired the broken clapper. Today, its renewed call can be heard again throughout the area.
Mrs. Nancy Smith Bowman donated the $4.00 sanctuary clock in 1920. Cared for and wound each Sunday morning for over 50 years by member Carroll Campbell, a clock and watchmaker, its gentle ticks still remind us of the constant passing of time.
The 1911 organ was replaced in 1958 and 1976, the piano in 1975. Mrs. Grace Smith Campbell served as musician for 63 years, assisted by her sister, Mrs. Hazel Williams, and by Mrs. Edith Good. She trained young accompanists to follow her dedicated example: Judith Campbell Plumb, Karen Fulkerson, Kathy Lewis Shelton, and Treva Rogers Kinnett. Other pianists include Ross Droke and Jane DeLoach Morison. Several free "singing schools" for all ages were taught by Floyd Taylor. Area-wide "Singing Conventions" were often hosted in the Church. Thomas J. Mahoney served as song leader and teacher of the adult class for over 50 years.
Structural changes, renovations, the addition of rooms and a fellowship hall, heat sources, painting, carpeting, new windows and doors, new siding, a front porch added in 1998 continued to change the building begun in 1908. By the early 2000s it was becoming obvious that the church would need to expand its physical structure. To economize, it was decided that expansion would proceed in stages. In 2004 the men and women of the church embarked on a building project, constructing a 1550 square foot addition. This addition now houses the nursery with its own bathroom and new men's and women's restrooms closer to the sanctuary. Donations of materials and time from the community enabled the church to finish this project without any additional debt.
In 2007 Fairview began the second expansion phase. Because Fairview's church building was located on an irregularly shaped piece of land adjacent to a cemetery, additional land was needed for expansion. The church purchased a small lot in 2008 from a church member. Plans were drawn up for a new facility which would eventually cost $541,200 and included a fellowship hall more than three times the size of its existing one. The 7360 square foot addition also included an enlarged kitchen, new bathrooms, and nine classrooms. With $120,000 in its building fund, construction was begun and completed by late 2008. This new facility accommodates church and community fellowship and educational activities, as well as the children's and youth ministries. The initial three year capital campaign in 2008 was repeated with another three year capital campaign in 2011. As of the end of the third quarter of 2012 the mortgage on the new building had been reduced to under $200,000.
2012 saw the replacement of the aging playground set, again assembled by the men of the church. Ever a do-it-yourself church, they even poured the concrete for the basketball court. A secure area for the littlest nursery children is soon to be completed.
Changes to Fairview's buildings will no doubt continue. Hopefully the future will include an enlarged sanctuary. But the early vision remains: a House of the Lord where God's people can worship, praise and fellowship. Opportunity for nurturing and growing and serving the world in God's name is the exciting future of the present Fairview United Methodist Church.
WE HAVE A MISSION
Why does the church exist? According to Matthew's Gospel, the risen Christ made it clear: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you" (28:19-20).
Based on this "Great Commission," our United Methodist Church has stated its purpose: "The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs".
So the mission of our congregation is to make disciples. This is a four-fold task. We could abbreviate our mission as one of welcoming-worshiping-nurturing-sending.
We reach out to people and welcome them into the church
We have a direct responsibility for people of the "world" around our church, the community in which we and others study, work, shop, play, and so forth. In this world are people with many hurts, doubts, and questions. There are some who are new in the community and feel a little lost, some who are proudly self-sufficient, and others who are in desperate circumstances. Our mission is to reach out to them, listen to them, accept them, share the gospel in word and deed, invite them into the family of faith, and joyfully receive all who will respond.
We relate people to God and help them deepen their relationship with God
The second task in making disciples is to offer people opportunities for growing closer to God. Whether they are visitors or old-time members, just beginning the journey of faith or well along the road-all are in need of God's love in Christ. Through worship, prayer, study, and honest sharing, we help one another discover that the Holy Spirit is not far off but present with us, wanting an open and loving friendship with each of us-not only friendship but commitment as well. Through our congregation's various ministries we encourage one another to give our selves to Christ, to ground our lives in the living God.
We nurture people in Christian living
Third, our congregation's mission is to nurture people of all ages in the Christian faith and to help them practice the disciplines of discipleship. The church exists not to serve itself but to serve the world. We come to church not only for our own personal enrichment but also to prepare ourselves to do the work of love and to get ready to be Christ's disciples in the community. Through worship, baptism, Communion, Bible study, prayer, and other means of grace, we're strengthened for ministry.
We support people in their ministry
As members of the congregation, we're sent into the community to serve those in need and to make our community more loving and just. We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers and guides us in these ministries and that wherever there's need and suffering, we meet Christ, already at work. But still, we cannot be effective in ministry on our own. So the congregation exists, in part, to surround and support each member in his or her ministry. We do not always succeed in our efforts to be faithful disciples in the world. But with the loving support of the community of faith, we can continue to grow.
METHODISTS IN MISSION
The United Methodist faith is deeply rooted in the Scripture and in the basic beliefs of all Christians. Out of that theology and the faith have grown some specific actions that mark United Methodists as Christians engaged in ministry to the world. The early members of the groups that eventually became The United Methodist Church:
took strong stands on issues such as slavery, smuggling, and humane treatment of prisoners
established institutions for higher learning
started hospitals and shelters for children and the elderly
founded Goodwill Industries in 1902
became actively involved in efforts for world peace
adopted a Social Creed and Social Principles to guide them as they relate to God's world and God's people
participated with other religious groups in ecumenical efforts to be in mission.
THE MINISTRY OF ALL CHRISTIANS
All Christians are called by God, through their baptism, to be in ministry in the world. Therefore, the term minister is appropriately used to describe any Christian who responds to God's call to reach out to the world and its people through loving acts of service. The ministers of the church are called to serve in a variety of ways.
As Laity- From its earliest days, Methodism has been a lay movement. The term laity comes from laos, which means of the people. The laity are the whole people of God, who serve as ministers witnessing to the work of God in individual lives and in the world.
As Clergy- Within the body of all Christian ministers, though, some are called to fulfill a specific ministry through the church.
Deacons- ordained ministers appointed to focus on servanthood. A deacon models the relationship between worship in the community of faith and service to God in the world. Deacons serve in a variety of ministry settings, both in the church and in the world.
Elders- ordained ministers appointed to lead congregations of Christians in the celebration of the sacraments and to guide and care for the life of the community. Some elders may also serve in extension ministries beyond the local church.
Local pastors- licensed ministers appointed to perform the duties of a pastor in a specific church or charge.
WE ARE ALL CALLED TO MINISTER
Though our gifts vary widely, we're all called to and engaged in the one ministry of Jesus Christ. Some aspects of our ministry are easy and come naturally. Some are difficult, involving long hours, tough work, perhaps with conflict, perhaps with disappointing results. What drives us? What keeps us going? The list includes at least these three things:
the memory of Jesus' life of service to others, which inspires us to follow him in ministry;
the assurance of God's gracious love for us, which empowers us to love others;
the promise of God's coming reign on earth, which draws us into action directed toward this vision.
Let's be more specific. Where does ministry happen?
It happens in our daily activity
For those who are alert to the needs of others, each day abounds with opportunities to serve. We minister with our families as we inquire about one another's lives, as we listen and respond with care, as we touch, as we smile and offer a kind word, and as we decide questions and reconcile conflicts. We take time to listen to a friend in need and we respond; this is often the greatest gift we can offer. We minister at work, to both co-workers and those we serve. We minister in the neighborhood or the shops as we go about the day's work.
It happens through new initiatives
We also go out of our way to minister. We hear of a need, read of a crisis, or see an opportunity to share God's love. It may be with someone across town, someone of another racial or economic group, a person with a disability, or a person of another nation or culture. We take time to call, to visit, to write, and to ask how we can help. We also take the time to respond.
It happens through groups and institutions
Many needs are best met by joining forces with others. We take part in community groups that are trying to serve human need or trying to change social forces that cause suffering. We give our time, our energy, and our money. Though others in these organizations may not think of it this way, for us it's Christ's ministry.
It happens through the church
Through our support and our contributions, we participate in the far-flung ministries of The United Methodist Church, in our district and annual conference, across the nation, and around the world. Here in our congregation we take part in service groups, we sign up for special action projects, we visit, we telephone, we lead, and we teach. And we minister face-to-face in all kinds of ways, both when we gather and in our informal contacts.
Inspired by the example of Jesus and empowered by God's love for us, we all carry out our ministry, both individually and together with others.
UNITED METHODISTS BELIEVE
WE BELIEVE that God is understood in three distinct forms. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
WE BELIEVE in one God, who created the world and all that is in it. We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is ruler of the universe. We believe that God is loving. We can experience God's love and grace.
WE BELIEVE that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified. We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God. We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins. We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is God with us. We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God. We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God's will and empowers us to live obediently.
WE BELIEVE that God created human beings in God's image. We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God. We believe that all humans need to be in a relationship with God in order to be fully human.
WE BELIEVE that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today. We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We believe that the church is "the communion of saints," a community made up of past, present and future disciples of Christ. We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.
WE BELIEVE that the Bible is God's Word. We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice. We believe that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).
OUR DOCTRINAL HERITAGE
United Methodists profess the historic Christian faith in God, incarnate in Jesus Christ for our salvation and ever at work in human history in the Holy Spirit. Living in a covenant of grace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we participate in the first fruits of God's coming reign and pray in hope for its full realization on earth as in heaven.
Our heritage in doctrine and our present theological task focus upon a renewed grasp of the sovereignty of God and of God's love in Christ amid the continuing crises of human existence.
Our forebears in the faith reaffirmed the ancient Christian message as found in the apostolic witness even as they applied it anew in their own circumstances.
Their preaching and teaching were grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened in experience, and tested by reason.
Their labors inspire and inform our attempts to convey the saving gospel to our world with its needs and aspirations.
OUR DOCTRINAL HISTORY
The pioneers in the traditions that flowed together into The United Methodist Church understood themselves as standing in the central stream of Christian spirituality and doctrine, loyal heirs of the authentic Christian tradition. In John Wesley's words, theirs was "the old religion, the religion of the Bible, the religion . . .of the whole church in the purest ages." Their gospel was grounded in the biblical message of God's self-giving love revealed in Jesus Christ.
Wesley's portrayal of the spiritual pilgrimage in terms of "the scripture way of salvation" provided their model for experiential Christianity. They assumed and insisted upon the integrity of basic Christian truth and emphasized its practical application in the lives of believers.
This perspective is apparent in the Wesleyan understanding of "catholic spirit." While it is true that United Methodists are fixed upon certain religious affirmations, grounded in the gospel and confirmed in their experience, they also recognize the right of Christians to disagree on matters such as forms of worship, structures of church government, modes of Baptism, or theological explorations. They believe such differences do not break the bond of fellowship that ties Christians together in Jesus Christ. Wesley's familiar dictum was, "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think."
But, even as they were fully committed to the principles of religious toleration and theological diversity, they were equally confident that there is a "marrow" of Christian truth that can be identified and that must be conserved. This living core, as they believed, stands revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal and corporate experience, and confirmed by reason. They were very much aware, of course, that God's eternal Word never has been, nor can be, exhaustively expressed in any single form of words.
They were also prepared, as a matter of course, to reaffirm the ancient creeds and confessions as valid summaries of Christian truth. But they were careful not to set them apart as absolute standards for doctrinal truth and error.
Beyond the essentials of vital religion, United Methodists respect the diversity of opinions held by conscientious persons of faith. Wesley followed a time-tested approach: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."
The spirit of charity takes into consideration the limits of human understanding. "To be ignorant of many things and to be mistaken in some," Wesley observed, "is the necessary condition of humanity." The crucial matter in religion is steadfast love for God and neighbor, empowered by the redeeming and sanctifying
CHURCH OFFICES AND COMMITTEES
It is hardly possible to state with sufficient clarity the importance of the leadership role of the pastor in The United Methodist Church. It is a role that is pivotal if the congregation is to fulfill its mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ. The pastor is one of the few persons in the church who is called to look at the whole of the church organization and be sure that there is an overall vision that moves it toward its mission. When this work is done with consultation and collaboration and with sensitivity to the views and needs of others, your work as pastor will be faithful and effective, allowing you to help advance the mission of the Christ.
Most importantly, you are entrusted with the spiritual lives of the persons within the congregation. It is a daunting and noble task that requires the best of your time, energy, devotion, and prayers and that shows its rewards in the transformation of persons and the growth of the kingdom of God.
All pastors have the same general responsibilities that fall into four main categories, described as Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. This fourfold ministry includes (but is not limited to) preaching; worship; studying and applying Scripture to daily life; celebrating the Sacraments; developing congregational leaders; attending to the day-to-day business of the church; caring for the spiritual and temporal needs of the congregation and community; modeling for and leading the congregation in acts of compassion, mercy, and justice; and nurturing the congregation for mission and ministry in the world as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
1. Spiritual leader : The pastor is the primary spiritual leader in the congregation and is responsible for helping members grow closer to God through worship and spiritual disciplines.
2. Worship leader, preacher, and teacher
3. Trainer of laity: The pastor seeks to equip lay persons to discover how they have been called to ministry in the world and to accomplish those ministries.
4. Administrative leader and steward of the congregation's vision of how they are called to accomplish the mission of making disciples.
5. Custodian of institutional integrity: The pastor protects the integrity of the reputation of the church in the community—as a place of honesty, safety, hope and reconciliation—and upholds the traditions, polity, and beliefs of The United Methodist Church.
6. Participant in the United Methodist connection: A United Methodist pastor is part of an extensive network of ministry as a member of an annual conference, a district, and the denomination. He or she has responsibilities to participant in and support these connections and to inform the congregation about its participation in this connectional system.
7. Minister to the community: Pastors are in ministry beyond the walls of the particular congregation to which they are appointed by being involved in the life of the community in ways that witness to the mission of Christ in the world.
The Church Council is the administrative board of the church responsible for planning, implementing, and managing all ministries and operations of the local church. Its membership is comprised of (click below):
The person in this position acts as the liaison for the laity and the pastor and plays an important leadership role in the church.
CHURCH COUNCIL CHAIR
The Church Council is the church's main administrative body. The person filling the position of Chair serves as a facilitator over the Council meetings and is a member of all the committees.
LAY MEMBER TO ANNUAL CONFERENCE
This person attends the four-day gathering of all the churches in the Holston Conference, held annually in the second week of June at Lake Junaluska, NC. The Lay Member votes at this conference, along with the pastor.
ALTERNATE LAY MEMBER TO ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The Alternate serves if the Lay Member to Annual Conference is unable to serve.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Members of this committee work to ensure the church building and grounds are properly maintained and, when necessary, expanded. Nine members are appointed for two-year terms.
STAFF-PARISH RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Members of this committee (SPR) offer support and act as an accountability group for paid employees of the church, including the pastor. Six members are appointed for two-year terms. Also on this Committee are the Lay Leader and Lay Member to Annual Conference.
Members of this committee guide the church's finances, developing and monitory budgets and investments and ensuring the church's financial situation is understood by the congregation as a whole. Members include the Chair, the Treasurer, Lay Member of Annual Conference, SPR Chair, Trustee Chair, Lay Leader, and two members at large.
COMMITTEE ON LAY LEADERSHIP
This Committee identifies leaders within the church and seeks ways to develop leaders. Six members are appointed for two-year terms. The committee is chaired by the Pastor and includes the Lay Leader.
Parish Nursing is a Ministry of Presence. This ministry is provided in conjunction with Mountain States Health Alliance. Our nurse is a Registered Nurse who conducts monthly blood pressure screenings the first Sunday of the month, visits shut-ins and nursing home residents, and provides education on health issues to the congregation.
OVERVIEW OF CHURCH LEADERSHIP