Our History

St. Mark’s Mission started in the Ducktown Basin, later called the Copper Basin, in 1852. The Reverend John Lenoir Gay came as a missionary to the Diocese of Tennessee which included Ducktown at that time. By 1907 St. Mark’s services were being held in local homes. In 1915 a Sunday School was established. In 1939 St. Mark’s was received in the Diocese of East Tennessee as an organized mission. Finally, in 1952 the tiny church on the hill was consecrated. Below is a timeline of the development of St. Mark’s Church to present day. 

1907 Services were held in homes
1915 Sunday School was established and Dean Russell held services at irregular intervals
1920s Arch Deacon, Henry J. Geiger was given charge and held services monthly
1929  Mrs. W. M. Goodwin of Knoxville organized a Women’s Auxiliary
1930  Services were held in the old Masonic Hall in McCaysville, Georgia
1948 Services were held in a room in the Copperhill YMCA
1950 Reverend Walter Roland Foster appointed Missionary Priest of Copperhill until 1952 1952 St. Mark’s Church at Hill and Riverview Streets was consecrated
1952 Reverend John Richard Lodge held evening services
1956 Reverend Chester Allen Cooke is the first Resident Priest
1959 Reverend Harry Evans Allen, Jr. is the Resident Priest
1961 Reverend Bruce Green is the Resident Priest
1965 Reverend Raymond Hoch Mong is the Resident Priest
1968  Reverend Donald Chapman is the Supply Priest
1969  Reverend Allen Archer McKee is the Resident Priest
1972  Reverend John Richard Lodge is the Supply Priest
1973  Reverend Herbert Frederick Gough, Jr. is the Resident Priest
1976  Reverend James Willbanks is the Supply Priest
1977  Reverend Richard Delano Landis is the Resident Priest of Chattanooga
1987 Reverend Christina Combs Brannock is the Resident Priest
1992 Reverend John Walter Riddle Thomas is the Resident Priest
1995 Reverend Mary Margaret Blanchard is the Resident Priest
1999  Reverend Robert J. Reuss is the Supply Priest
2000  Reverend Pat Cahill is the Supply Priest
2000 Reverend Dr. Matilda E. G. Dunn is the Supply Priest 
2009 Reverend Dr. Claude Y. Stuart is the permanent part-time Priest
2014 Reverend Perry Scruggs and Reverend Gordon Temple are the primary Supply Priests
2017 Reverend Erik Broeren is Priest-in-Charge

With a rich history dating back to 1852, St. Mark’s Church has been an integral spiritual and educational component of the Copper Basin area. With its 165 year history, the parish remains a hidden pearl in the Appalachian Mountains. Parishioners often hear from others the exclamation, "I had no idea there was an Episcopal Church in Copperhill!”

As the area continues to be discovered as a beautiful place to live (with wonderful opportunities for hiking, boating, fishing, and other outdoor adventures), St. Mark's is poised to serve as a vital part of the community of the future.