The story of religion in the western North Carolina highlands began with the arrival of missionaries among the Native Americans. Soon they were followed by settlers that brought a variety of faiths along with them.
By the 1740s Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania filtered into the region, to establish Presbyterian congregations. In the 1750s Baptist churches were appearing, joined by the Methodist in the 1770s. By the 1840s the Episcopalians were in evidence as well.
As settlements expanded and the population grew, all the denominations began constructing houses of worship in many of the towns and villages. Those early congregations were the forebearers of some of the historic and beautiful churches that are still found in the region.