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The History of Beaver Ridge Church

The history of Beaver Ridge Church is entangled with the history of east Tennessee and the Karns community located in northwest Knox County since 1815.

The first interdenominational Church at Beaver Ridge met on Emory Road. Services were conducted one Sunday each month.  This building, a small log structure with one window and one door, also served as a schoolhouse.

On April 1, 1815, the Trustees of the Church, Thomas Reed, James Scott and David Hall purchased the land adjoining the church for use as Beaver Ridge Cemetery.


On April 3, 1869 Samuel D. Leinart gave a strip of land from the south end of the cemetery running down to Beaver Creek to be used as a site for the Methodist Church and the Masonic Hall.


The brick for this building was made from clay on Mr. Leinart's farm. This building was used by the church until 1900, when the congregation moved. This old brick building is still standing.

In 1900, the Methodist congregation erected a white frame building on the present church site. The land was given by the Amos Trotter family.

In 1929, the frame building was remodeled and completely refurnished with new pews and chancel furniture. 

This section of the church was taken down after the new additions were made in the 1960s.

In 1950, an educational unit was built to meet the growing needs for space. The unit included five classrooms, restrooms, a kitchen and fellowship hall. All but two rooms of this unit were removed in May 1961 to provide for future expansion. The remaining two rooms were removed in 1975 to provide space for the addition to the fellowship hall.

In 1957, on August 18, the Official Board voted to launch a financial campaign to seek funds for a new educational building.  Dr. T. L. Williams was secured to direct the campaign for November 4-7 , 1957.


On July 30, 1959, the contract for the construction of the educational building was awarded to the R. L. Overman Company.

In 1960, on September 25, a Formal Opening Service for the new building was held. The Rev. John W. Duck, Pastor, and the Rev. Opie C. Clarke, former Pastor, officiated. The building and equipment cost $76,099.31 .

In 1963, on Sunday, May 5, the Educational Building was officially dedicated. Bishop Roy H. Short led the service of dedication.

With the growing membership, a Building Committee was elected at the Fourth Quarterly Conference, March 7, 1965, and authorized to develop studies and plans looking toward needed construction.


On March 1 , 1967, at a Called session of the Quarterly Conference, detailed plans and specifications for the new Sanctuary and Education Building were approved and construction authorized. Loan arrangements with Hamilton National Bank were approved in the amount of $180,000.00.  A contract with Hagan-MacMurray Company was authorized in the amount of $204,500.00.  A ground-breaking service was held on March 12th.  A financial campaign, under the leadership of Dr. Ben St. Clair, held February 5-9, had resulted in commitments exceeding $74,000.00.


The first services were held in the completed building in December of 1967.




In the 2000s, Beaver Ridge Church expanded more by adding a Family Life Building to the campus.  During the week it houses our Parents Day Out and Nursery programs. 

We have a walking track and a basketball court.  New fellowship hall has a modern commercial kitchen.

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Celebrated 200 years

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (June 30, 2015) -- On May 3, Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church celebrated a tremendous milestone, the 200th anniversary of the congregation.

Hundreds of past and present members and pastors of Beaver Ridge gathered for the special service of celebration that began with one of the oldest and youngest members of the church ringing the bell that once hung at the old church building. The special service combined the whole church in one joint service and enjoyed having the Oak Ridge District superintendent, Rev. Adam McKee, delivering a powerful message entitled, "We Have Come This Far By Faith."

Beaver Ridge members were invited to celebrate the various time periods of history the church had witnessed by dressing up in clothing from different eras. Everything from Southern belle dresses to poodle skirts was represented in the congregation. The resident historian for Beaver Ridge, Barbara Stevens, collected historical pictures and documents to have on display during and after the service, and members were delighted to see how far their church has come.

After the service, the congregation enjoyed fellowship with a potluck lunch. It was a wonderful celebration of a church that has traveled to different sites and buildings in Karns, but continues to thrive and focus on their love for the Lord.

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