Nelson Marker Rededication Ceremony

Aug. 8, 2019

A historic marker—commemorating the early days of the Methodist church in the Tennessee frontier—has been moved to Hunter’s Lake community from its original placement in 1926 on Knob Creek Road.


The granite boulder, inscribed with the words “Ancient home for Methodists,” marks the site of the former Nelson/Carr homestead where circuit rider/bishop Francis Asbury came for worship services and early conferences in the late 1700s.

Joining in the monument rededication ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 8, were (left to right) Phil Pindzola, director, Johnson City Public Works; Jenny Brock, mayor, Johnson City; Mitch Cox, owner, Mitch Cox Properties, who developed Hunter’s Lake community; Rev. Michael Lester, associate pastor, Munsey United Methodist Church; Rev. Doug Grove-DeJarnett, associate pastor, Munsey; Rev. Patty Muse, associate pastor, Munsey; Rev. Richard Edwards, Methodist pastor, Farragut, Tenn., representing former owners of the property; Betty Canestrari, Munsey member who helped arrange the marker’s move; and Rev. Carol Wilson, senior pastor, Munsey.


More than two dozen others—including farmstead descendant Hank Carr, sesquicentennial volunteers Charlie Stahl and Rebecca Henderson, Munsey church members, Hunter’s Lake residents, and friends—also attended. 

Here's the backstory: 

On Oct. 8, 1926, several hundred ministers and laymen traveled by motorcade from an annual conference downtown at Munsey to dedicate the memorial, placed by the S. C. Williams Sunday School Class from Munsey. The natural granite boulder had been hauled from the Watauga River and inscribed with the words “Ancient home for Methodists." 

Methodist pioneer Asbury (1745-1816)was one of the first two bishops in the Methodist Episcopal Church in America and was best-known as the foremost “circuit rider,” an itinerant preacher and church planter in the opening frontier for more than 30 years. Asbury grew the denomination during that time from 1,200 to 214,000 members with 700 ordained preachers, including the first black pastor in the United States, Richard Allen.

Asbury traveled an average of 6,000 miles per year by horseback and carriage, preached and conducted conferences, and kept detailed notes in a journal that has become important to historians today for its first-person account of life on the frontier.

In 1788, Asbury ventured to Knob Creek, where his first sermon preached in Tennessee happened at the farm of William Nelson. The home soon afterward became a favorite stopping place for Asbury. Nelson also built there the first Methodist church erected in Washington County, Nelson’s Chapel, in 1789, and meetings were held in this chapel for what would become today’s Holston Conference of the United Methodist denomination. The farm was later owned by R.T. Carr and his descendants before being developed into the Hunter’s Lake subdivision.

For more than 90 years, a granite boulder stood alongside Knob Creek Road, overgrown with weeds and overshadowed by steel cables tethering a power pole. Then, a few weeks ago, due to efforts by members of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, it was moved to a new resting place, next to the Hunter’s Lake neighborhood clubhouse.

Camp Bays Mountain

SUNDAY, August 18

3:00 - 7:00pm

3:00: Explore the grounds, swim in the pool, climb on the climbing tower, practice archery, play bingo, play fun games, and fellowship*

4:45: The dessert contest judging begins, so bring your best dessert to impress our judges. 

5:00: Dinner at Allison Lodge - bring a salad or side dish and main dish to feed 8 people. We'll also have s’mores at the fire pit.


Please let us know if your dish or dessert contains nuts. We will designate for our little friends who have life-threatening allergies.

Directions to camp bays mountain from Johnson City:


Camp Bays Mountain is approximately 20 minutes from Munsey

  • Take I-26 West toward Kingsport

  • Take Exit 3 then turn left onto Meadowview Parkway (which is renamed Reservoir Road in about a 1/4 mile)

  • Proceed for 1.2 miles (veer right at the fork towards Bays Mountain Park) and turn right at Depews Chapel United Methodist Church onto Hood Rd

  • In .8 miles turn right onto the camp property at 500 Hood Road also known as 1435 S'mores Trail.

  • There will be balloons to mark the turn onto S’mores Trail.


Munsey will be taking a special offering on May 26 & June 2 to help in the opioid crisis in our area!


Thank you, Munsey, for your generous giving toward our Annual Conference offering for our regional opioid crisis. The total received by our Holston Conference was $132,733, $30,082 coming from Munsey!

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