GLEN ALPINE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
3200 Glen Alpine Road
Kingsport, Tennessee 37660
Organized September 30, 1929
Although Glen Alpine Methodist Church came into existence about 2 years after Fairview or Lone Star Methodist Church burned, the history of the church goes back more than 30 years before its formal beginning in 1929. Glen Alpine’s history began with the formation of a Sunday School by a Presbyterian group in 1896. A lush green glen surrounded by beautiful tall pine trees was owned by George M. Bachman and given to this Presbyterian group who built a little white frame church.
In 1924, Hubert L. Riggs, Sr., bought the Glen Alpine building from the Presbyterian group for $400. Besides church services, the building was used as additional classroom space for Horse Creek Academy, which was across the road from the church.
During this same time, a Methodist Church, “Fairview” or “Lone Star,” known by both names, was meeting in its church on Lone Star Road. After the Lone Star Church burned in 1927, the members began holding services at Glen Alpine. For a time “union” services were held with other denominations.
Noted in the forward of the original record book, “a revival was held, with 35 professions, and the Glen Alpine Methodist Church was formed on September 30, 1929.” Glen Alpine replaced Lone Star in the circuit. In 1932 Glen Alpine was on a circuit with only Fall Branch and Mt. Lebanon. In 1948 Glen Alpine was with Litz manor, and in 1949 with Depew’s Chapel. Glen Alpine became a full-time station in 1950.
Building and Expansion
No major work was done on the original church building until 1944, when a two-story wing with basement was added. The basement consisted of one classroom and a furnace room.
Keeping up with the needs, construction of a modern brick church was begun in 1949, which replaced the original white frame building. The new church had a full-size basement, consisting of 8 classrooms, a furnace room and restroom facilities. First services in the new church were held in August of 1950.
In 1954 growth of the church required the addition of a one-level room to the rear of the building, which served as a fellowship hall, [converting to 4 classrooms by sliding doors], a kitchen, and pastor’s study. In 1964 a second story was added to the fellowship hall addition, and an extended two-level addition to the north wing. This renovation consisted of 10 classrooms, 2 offices and a work room, choir room, chapel, enlarging the kitchen and sanctuary, and a drive-under carport in the rear of the building. A 12'x12' stained-glass window was placed in the sanctuary during this remodeling.
August 1998 brought about another major building expansion. A two-level addition was built on the south side of the church and an extended front foyer. Eight classrooms, two bathrooms with shower facilities, and several storage areas were built on the lower lever. The upper level included a fellowship hall, commercial kitchen with storage/pantry area, and bathroom facilities. The sanctuary was extended and sound booth built in a balcony area. The front entrance of the church was extended to a large narthex with extended side entrances, both handicapped accessible by a ramp on the north side and street level with elevator on the south side. Occupancy of this new addition was in March 2000. Our current building totals 30,300 square feet.
Program and Ministry
Glen Alpine has always been on the fore-front of educational programs and ministry. We offer quality Bible studies for all ages of children, youth, and adults, through regular Sunday school classes, in-depth Bible studies, and special programming. We enjoy a variety of fellowship activities, such as covered-dish or catered meals, picnics, hayrides, and seasonal programs and special activities.
We have a very active Senior Adult Ministries with groups meeting monthly for various activities including Bible study, outings for meals, sight-seeing, plays, and tourist attractions.
We have a strong music program for all ages. Our King’s Kids Choir/Teen Angels provides an after-school program for grades K-8 and is open to community children. This serves several families not otherwise involved in a home church. Our youth participate in the King’s Kids ministry as helpers and also join our Chancel Choir for special music through solos and instruments. Our Chancel Choir is faithful in providing an eclectic style of music for all our worship services.
We have been very active in missions and outreach ministries throughout the years. We have supported Conference missionaries both state-side and abroad. Through major fund-raising efforts, Glen Alpine financed the building of a church in Hyberbad District in India in the mid 1970's. We offer financial assistance to area families in need throughout the year, provide food baskets to families at Thanksgiving, and serve around 25 children and their families each Christmas with gifts. Glen Alpine serves as a host church for Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Kingsport, opening our doors for one week each quarter to low-income homeless families needing love and support while they are trying to regain their independence. Glen Alpine serves as a host site for the Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry once a month.
Glen Alpine supports short-term missions, sponsoring both youth and adult work teams each year for work in the United States. Since 1993 our youth have spent one week each summer in various types of mission work, such as painting, sheet-rocking, roofing, demolition from flood damage, and home repairs in various parts of the United States. Since 1994 an adult mission team has traveled each year to Nuevo Progresso, Mexico, to build houses in poverty-stricken communities. Close to 100 homes have been built to date by Glen Alpine-sponsored teams in the colonia in Nuevo Progresso, as well as construction and repair work on the church, parsonage, and school in that area. Due to unrest in Mexico, this mission team has diverted their skills to other areas of need. Our Building Hope Mission Team serves families in our community with minor home repairs and needs.
Glen Alpine has a strong unit of United Methodist Women, organized for service since 1938. They are very active in missions and outreach ministries in our church and community, and support various national and world missions.
Mr. and Mrs. Riggs were a guiding force in securing the charter for Glen Alpine Methodist Church. Their inspired leadership and the dedication of seventeen charter members laid a strong foundation for a church whose ministry has grown today to encompass the earth – a church that triumphantly proclaims the Living Lord. After more than eighty-six years of service to its members and the community, Glen Alpine stands on a threshold of a new age, with many opportunities to expand her ministry and to extend the Kingdom of God.