Sevier County church restoring historical bell tower

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – A Sevier County church more than a century old is getting back a piece of its history.

The Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church house was built in 1890. It was added to the National Historic Register just over a year ago, and church members been working to keep the building in its historical state.

It is not a big place, with maybe 10 people in the pews each Sunday.

“It’s just a sweet church where we can glorify God,” said Helen Harwood.

Putting the bell up might seem like an easy process, but it is now a project more than a month in the making.
Putting the bell up might seem like an easy process, but it is now a project more than a month in the making.

When the church house was added to the National Historic Register, the congregation wanted to restore it to all of its former glory which included a bell that had been stored in a cupboard for more than 50 years.

“Somewhere around 1960 we had to take it down because it was becoming unstable,” said Harwood.

Originally the plan was to restore the bell and keep it by the sign so people could see it as they drove by, but because of safety reasons, plans changed and they decided to put it back in the original bell tower.

“It’s been exciting working on it. It’s had its challenges,” said crew leader James Perry.

Putting the bell up might seem like an easy process, but it is now a project more than a month in the making. The only way into the tower was too small, so they had to make a new one, and now they are having to reconstruct it.

“Finding wood and parts is not an option. We have had to have some things special made,” said Perry.

The project has come with some unexpected surprises.

“They sandblasted it and that’s when they found out it was actually brass as opposed to cast iron,” said Harwood.

As they near completion they say all the work has been worth it.

“To glorify God the bell did not need to be in a closet somewhere,” said Harwood.

Church members are hoping the bell tower project will be completed in about a week.

blog comments powered by Disqus