We are a country church with a vibrant, growing congregation!

Christian doctrine was being preached as early as 1825 in the area of Heaton, which was known then as the Ford of Elk, North Carolina. John Ellis bought a Bible from Hiram Daily at Elizabethton at this time (this Bible is now owned by Clark Ellis family).

The first building used for church services was a log cabin built and first lived in by Faye Holtsclaw. Although the date is unknown, the site where it was located is near the present highway through Heaton (back then, there was only a rough trail for wagons). The next building (sometime between 1890 and 1898) was a school house that was used for preaching services, and it was located on the land that is today owned by Earl Williams. The building still exists and is owned by J.O. Shell.

The 1948 Building

The 1948 Building

The third building was built around 1904 and stood above the present intersection of the highway at Heaton and Beech Mountain Road. The building had three rows of seats, two aisles, and of this, one side was for the women and the other side was for the men. It was dedicated sometime between 1907 and 1908 with Mr. Dungeon, president of the Elizabethton bank, present. It was known that at this meeting Mr. Bill Arnold was asked to give some money to the Lord; he replied, “I imagine I will see the Lord before you will. I’ll just give it to Him myself.”

It was around this time that the Heaton school house was built with handmade cement blocks. School was held in this building until 1957, and then the Church of Heaton bought the building and land in 1958 when David McCord was the minister. The present church building was built in 1948 when Davin Rose was the minister.

Jim Heaton Sr

Jim Heaton Sr

There were certain individuals who were responsible for the preaching of the Gospel in the early years of the church at Heaton. A few of the main ones were David Ellis, John Ellis, his son John Ellis, and Jim Heaton, Sr.

Raney Miller was Jim Heaton’s stepfather and was born in 1845. He married about 1863 and started living in the house now occupied by Rhode Miller, joined the church about 1875, and was a member of the board in 1885. He died October 29, 1915 when he was serving as an elder. His wife joined the Church of Christ at Buck Mountain in 1883. Later he became a member of the church at the ford (Heaton). He married Callie Gaultney on June 16, 1888. Callie Perdew Heaton was born September 10, 1874 and was baptized by Isaac Meginnis in 1886. She joined the Church of Christ at the ford, NC, in 1890 and married Jim Heaton on January 22, 1907. Nancy Perdew the mother of Callie Heaton was born in 1845 and joined the Baptist Church at an early age; she then joined the Church of Christ about 1895 and died on April 29, 1898. Lou Heaton at an early age. She then joined the Church of Christ at Heaton, NC in 1900. Callie died between 1907 and 1914. Lou married Jim Heaton on March 28, 1914. In 1909 Jim Heaton, Sr., Mrs. Charles Eller, Ernest Johnson, David Ellis, and Lou Heaton went to Milligan to school for one semester when the president was Kirshner, the Dean of Girl was Pearl archer, and a Professor Garrett was teaching who soon was to marry Pearl Archer. Prior to this time in 1896 the post office at Heaton (then known as “Hale”) was started by David McGuire and John M. Miller. Jim Heaton then started a store and continued in business throughout most of this life besides carrying out leadership duties in the Heaton church. Jim Heaton started the first annual meeting in 1916. Later in 1931, there appears in the Christian Standard a picture of the leaders of the churches in this area and a picture of the third building that the church at Heaton was used within its history. The annual meetingwas usually held on the Thursday or Friday before the first Sunday in September every year with the meeting every four years at the Heaton Church. Professor Hopwood and Ed Edens were present at the first annual meeting. In 1911, Aver County came into existence with the courthouse built in 1912.

Several things that were just mentioned in the available records are interesting to note. E. Roy Gentry salary as $25.00 a month. Ed Hayes and Ed Eden s are just named and nothing more is said about them and John Meredith only worked a short time (six months) at Heaton, Elk Park, Minneapolis, and Upper Shell Creek because he could not work Foscoe, Lower Shell Creek, and Boones Creek in his preaching schedule. During the lengthy ministry of W.L. Stout (1932-1946), his salary was $10.00 a month for preaching once a month, the membership was 150 with 50 young people, there was a disastrous flood in 19339 and 1940, and the average attendance in 1940 and 1941 was 75 with a year’s offering of $138.08.