Colleen Trenwith


I had seen the sign many times on the old road between Erwin TN and Sam’s Gap, where the Appalachian Trail crosses under the highway. The sign read, “Jennie Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church. Est. 1901.” There had to be a story there, and I was interested in the reason why anyone would establish a Presbyterian Church in this particular valley in Rocky Fork State Park, when every other valley in that County had a Baptist Church providing a church home for the people of that region.Jennie Moore, herself rode up the creek-bed from Erwin, Tennessee on horseback in 1903. I drove to Rocky Fork, by car, one Sunday in 2009, and stepped through the door of the church, to be greeted by the people with welcoming hugs and handshakes and to be warmed and moved emotionally by a sound from my past… the comforting sound of “fellowship.” I have told the story of the Church in subsequent written projects, (Jennie Moore essay ) and have myself attended Jennie Moore Memorial Presbyterian in Rocky Fork ever since.