A community where you belong,
no matter what.

Cullowhee Baptist is a church where everyone is welcome, and we mean everyone...  

...single, married, divorced, widowed; straight, gay, trans, bi, or questioning; rich, poor; skinny as a rail or could stand to lose a few pounds; crying newborns, antsy children, ornery aged; hadn’t been to church since you were a kid, or die hard church-goer; vegans, carnivores, junk-foodies, pescatarians; latte drinkers, beer guzzlers, energy drink addicts, wine connoisseurs, prefers h2o without lemon; in recovery or/and addicted; inked, pierced, long haired, short haired, no haired; can see perfectly, requires glasses; able to do cartwheels, better use the walker; dunked, sprinkled, never been baptized; shorts, t-shirts, oxfords, polo's, bow-ties, skirts, pants, blue jeans, khakis…..

Our Roots

Cullowhee Baptist Church was organized in 1821

The congregation was organized on Nov 16, 1821 with ten charter members, James, Jane, and Thomas Stiles; Martha, James, and Nancy Buchanan; Benjamin Hatfield, Jaley Hibbards, Sarah Mason; and Henry Wood. Meeting first in a log structure near the confluence of Love's Branch and the Tuckaseigee River at Webster, NC, the church moved in 1830 to a hewn-log building near the mouth of Cullowhee Creek. The Tuckaseigee's periodic flooding chased the people to higher ground; and in 1856, a church building was constructed on property adjacent to the present church cemetery. Other structures-frame buildings-were constructed on the periphery of the cemetery in 1885, and then again in 1918. The present brick building was completed in 1929.

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What Kind of "Baptist" Are We?

Cullowhee Baptist Church is a Congregational Partner with the Alliance of Baptists

Baptists in America are as varied as salamanders in the Appalachians. In other words, Baptists are not all the same. At Cullowhee Baptist, we are aware that the "urban legend" of Baptists as conservative, close-minded, restrictive, and woman-hating are an apt description of many Baptist churches around us. In contrast, our congregation focuses on the Baptist tradition of "freedom" that leads to inclusion and grace, peace and justice, welcome and affirmation. After all, Galatians 5:1 says that "for freedom Christ has set us free."

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do you believe about Science and the Bible?

Science and the Bible are not incompatible!  The Bible is not a Science book, nor is Science a theological discipline.  Yet both are capable of connecting God and humanity together in a way that is fulfilling and helps us understand the truth. Science enhances our wonder of God. Knowing God feeds our curiosity about science.

How is this church different than other Baptist churches?

We are progressive in theology, traditional in our worship, inclusive of women in leadership, welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ Christians, and affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists. Our history of acceptance runs deep: we have had African American members in 1825 and our first woman deacon in 1966; thus we have long honored the idea that God calls anyone to be a Christian, and all Christians are welcome to be a part of Cullowhee Baptist Church.

I'm a part of the LGBTQ+ community.  Am I welcome and affirmed here?

Yes. Always. We believe that one can be both Christian and LGBTQ+.  

What if I'm not sure what I believe, or if I even believe in God at all?

We feel the church is the best place to ask questions about God, even if they are questions of doubt. We hope that faith will always be seeking understanding.

What do you have available for children?

Check out our children's page here!  We work hard to serve all our church community and are blessed to involve children in our worship and in our process of growing in understanding of God. We believe children are a part of the church today, not just the church of the future.

Church Leadership

Rev. Tonya Vickery

Pastor, since 2002

Dr. Jeffrey

Pastor, since 2002

Valeria Raymond

Director of Choirs

Alejandrina Perez Guillen


Emma Parrish



Church members chosen by the congregation to serve as deacons for three years

Betty Jo Allen


Pam Martin


Kelly Holder


Emily Burrtram




Michelle Provost


Meagan Wilmoth


Jeff Davis


Laura Stiens



church members chosen by the congregation to serve in official roles

Joyce Pope



Finance Secretary

Robin Pope


Meagan Wilmoth


Mike Doppke


Joyce Pope