Mountain Hill Community Church
Some 170 years ago, church documents show that Sister Jane Gosnell transferred her membership from Cross Roads Church, located at the intersection of Tugaloo and Smith Roads, “to the Church on the Mountain” where she and husband Morris lived and owned property. This is the first written evidence of our Church on Glassy Mountain.
The Gosnell’s likely worshiped in the Chestnut Log Church/School/Meeting House structure built in the mid 1800”s. As the Glassy Mountain Township grew to 150 cabins, per the 1882 map, Mountain Hill Church moved to a larger facility, located adjacent to the west side of the existing cemetery. However, Church and Mountain population growth were interrupted with the coming Of WW1. Property owners were forced to leave as all of Glassy, except for the Church and Cemetery properties, were used as an Army artillery firing range.
Prior to WW1, George Burrell and Issac Ballew had deeded one acre to the church, and later, I.P.Harrison conveyed 2 acres for the sum of $1.00.
With the war over, families began returning. And, with them came Greenville County’s former Superintendent of Schools. While employed with the county, Morris Barton realized that the school district lacked funds for Mountain quarters, adequate schooling and a lack of navigable roads made Mountain Hill School inaccessible. Now in his retirement years, Barton, with the help of eight mountain families, planned and constructed a new stone Church/School facility. (Built in the early 1930’s, this church has been retained as an integral part of the Mountain Hill Church expansion, completed in 2016).. Barton and his crew removed the former church structure. He continued to teach Mountain folk, ranging in age from 5 to 23 for over 10 years. During weekdays the church pews were pushed against the stone walls, allowing room for desks to form a school room. Five windows allowed enough light, and the Pastor’s pulpit was also useful to Teacher Barton.
In August of 1978 lightning struck a Spruce tree which crushed the Church roof with the fire destroying all but the stone walls. These same stone walls, standing strong today, were deemed safe by county inspectors. Funds were raised by church members and, along with gifts of supplies and volunteer labor the Church stood again. Pews were provided by Locust Hill Baptist Church and electric power was now available to the Church. During this time, children were transported off the mountain for school and the facility was utilized as Mountain Hill Baptist Church. Note that the Church name has officially changed over time from Mountain Hill Church to Mountain Hill Baptist Church and now to the current name, Mountain Hill Community Church.
As the Mountain population continued to grow the church added “wings” on both the East and West sides, along with a Fellowship Hall and Kitchen areas. Soon afterwards, a longtime resident of the upstate by the name of James Anthony, began purchasing property from Mountain residents. He supported the church in many ways: by installing a potable water system for bathroom and kitchen use, and providing additional acreage thereby allowing an entrance to the new parking area.
As “The Cliffs at Glassy” began to flourish, so did Mountain Hill Community Church. The little stone church had served the Mountain well under the leadership of Rev. Paul Manous, but now it’s members, with Rev. Lee Norris as pastor, realized that the church must expand to meet the needs of the Mountain’s new homeowners. In 2014 the church members voted to approve a major expansion costing over three million dollars. Plans were presented to the Glassy community and construction commenced mid-2015 with the dedication ceremony in late 2016.
One can enjoy additional historical details by visiting the church Parlor and by going here.
Summary by Jim Moore