In 1853 there were 99 members, many of whom were from the Dodson families. Church records show that during the American Civil War (1861-1865), the congregation of Eastanallee consisted of both black and white, slave and free; and all were considered equal members. All worshiped together. That was extremely rare of any organization during those terrible days. It speaks to the heart of the congregation, which is today, much like then – an incredibly loving people committed to reaching people from every walk of life.
Further records indicate, “In 1866 and 1867 it (the house for the church) was again torn down and rebuilt and enlarged. In 1896, the house was repainted.”
From 1896 until the present time, much history has been made, and hundreds upon hundreds of families have participated in the ministries and growth of the church.
HistoryToday, the congregation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them; those who prayed, built, celebrated, sacrificed, worshiped, and prayed even more.
The Church in this pristine valley has witnessed the nation in good times and bad, prosperity and hardship and has remained faithful for almost 200 years to proclaim the life giving message of Jesus.
In the 1970’s, Pastor Oran Creasman was called as pastor and served for almost four decades, after which Pastor Mickey Basham was called as Pastor. While he was pastor, the growth overcame capacity and a new day of ministry dawned, so the church bought acreage nearby that had been used for years to raise crops such as corn and other grains, hence the phrase that is often used now about Eastanallee, “The Church in the Cornfield” was born. After getting the church established in its new worship and educational facilities, Pastor Mickey left East Tennessee and journeyed back to his West Tennessee “Reelfoot Lake” roots and there after a very successful season of ministry went home to heaven.
Ralph Jenkins from Rome, Georgia became the next pastor and God used Pastor Ralph to take the church to the next step of transition from where the church was to where it needed to be. The great influence, blessing and effectiveness in ministry that the church now has did not happen overnight and is not due to any one person or group, but to God in His wisdom bringing the leadership to the church that the body needed at the right time; and the church being sensitive to follow Biblical leadership.
In August of 2012, the church asked Dr. Tony Crisp, a native of McMinn County to lead Eastanallee as Pastor of the congregation.