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Posted on 12/21/2021

The History of the Old Country Church at Dollywood



Built from Local History

At a mere 48 years old, the church building is young compared to many Appalachian churches. But look closely. Many of the warm, welcoming touches here are much older than the building itself and connect to Sevier County history:

  • Walk through doors crafted in 1891 for the Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church.
  • Sit down on wooden pews formerly used in a local church and a courthouse in the late 1800s. 
  • Look out through the windows, knowing that more than 130 years ago, students gazed out these same windows and daydreamed. The windows come from the county’s first secondary school, open from 1806 to 1890. 
  • The small stained glass window from the early 1900s once graced the First United Methodist Church. 
  • That window’s soft gold and blue hues are the backdrop for the wooden statue of a shepherd Jesus, carved by Dollywood artisans in the 1990s.
  • The chapel bell originally hung in the historic Williamsburg School in Pigeon Forge. 
  • The upright piano used to accompany hymns has seen plenty of services in its 118 years. The piano was the gift of a former Dollywood employee. 
Welcoming Worship

The Robert F. Thomas Chapel holds weekly services. All are welcome to join in 30-minute worship, held Sundays at 11:30 a.m. during Dollywood’s regular season and Sundays at 4:00 during Smoky Mountain Christmas celebrations. 

Stay near Dollywood, in a Pigeon Forge cabin, and explore the theme park’s history as well as its rides and shows.

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