day of rest

Historical Background
Many of the churches of Allegheny were constructed around the late 19th and early 20th
century when access to sawmills encouraged a boom of church building. The earliest
surviving church building is the 1870 Piney Creek Baptist Church. Baptists and
Methodist churches dominate the landscape.” Typically these turn of the century
churches are plain, front-gabled, rectangular structures clad in weatherboard. Many of
the churches have projecting vestibules. Baptist Churches are more plain that Methodist.
The Antioch Methodist Church in Roaring Gap is one of a few churches with steeples.
Two churches stand out as more elaborate than most: Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and
Glade Valley Presbyterian. With their Gothic-influenced windows and bell towers, these
two churches stand out.
The Antioch Methodist Church in Roaring Gap was established on this site in 1850.
Among the early church leaders was the Reverend Morgan Bryant, renowned preacher in
Western North Carolina, and Reverend Thomas Smith. By 1880 the congregation had
diminished and the original log structure was in a state of disrepair. About 1895 the men
of the community led by John Simmons and his brother Thomas built the wood frame
church that stands today.32
The cemetery serves as the final resting-place for the first settlers of Alleghany County,
Absolom and Agnes Smith, who came to the area between 1770 and 1775. The Smiths
eloped to this area from Norfolk, Virginia, where Absolom was indentured to a wealthy
landowner. When Absolom fell in love with the landowner’s daughter, Agnes, the two
fled to North Carolina where Virginia laws had no jurisdiction.–NCDOT