First Catholic Church Constructed in Union County

Catholic Church in Union County Tennessee

In August of 2011, Glenmary Home Missioners formed the first Catholic Church in Union County, Tennessee. As a part of this formation, local Catholics would gather at the Senior Center with the first mass being held under a carport, being a “bring your own chair” event with twenty-six people in attendance. The group began to search for a rental location to house their church, meanwhile the first Sunday Mass was held in October 2011 at Miller’s Chapel United Methodist Church. Masses were held there for the month of October while the storefront property on Maynardville Highway was renovated. The first mass in this facility was held on the Feast Day of All Saints, November 1, 2011. On December 12, of the same year, the first Mass in Spanish was held along with weekly Spanish Masses beginning on the first Sunday of January 2012 with twelve people in attendance.

Growth during the first year of existence was rapid with the formation of a parish and financial councils and a vibrant faith formation program. During 2014, discussion of a permanent church began and a building fund was established. A year later, the community was elevated from a mission church to a parish by Bishop Stika. The Catholic Foundation of East Tennessee purchased land on behalf of the St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Community later that year. A major milestone was completed in a short time. During this time, the rental space was used at maximum. Architects were then hired to create a master plan which was approved by the Bishop in 2016, and the architectural plan for the first permanent Catholic Church in Union County was completed.

In September 2016, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was declared a Saint and the church officially became St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church. Besides these steps of physical growth, the church has been engaged in a variety of community, social, and outreach programs over the years. Many folks have received their sacraments, from baptisms, first communion, confirmations to weddings, as well as several funerals, with growth in faith formation programs every year.

Construction of the new church was not only exciting for church members, but also to the community. The structure is located across the highway from Union County High School and has a great beauty to those passing by. As the construction phase nears, each delicate finishing touch adds beauty and respect.

Upon entering the church, there will be a statue that was obtained from the old St. Mary’s hospital that has recently closed. The statue of Jesus Christ with his arms raised will be a symbol or greeting upon entry with a portrayal that “You are loved by God.” As spectators enter the double doors at the front of the church, their first steps are into the foyer designed with high ceilings and cutouts overhead to display patron saints. Patron saints, in a sense, represent friends in Heaven that can be asked to console us in prayer. All Patron Saints are models for Christian living and have been assigned different roles. The statues may rotate as time passes to represent different folks.

The new facility seats 250 attendees. Many pieces throughout the structure have a past representation elsewhere. For instance, the flooring used in the sanctuary a was retrieved as pews from the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville. Brother Joe Stein whom is a full-time missioner, is the craftsman behind this transformation of the 100-year-old planks. The floor was the last major project before completion of the church building itself. Outside, a mobile unit is being transformed into classrooms and an office with the addition of a deck.

All work has been donated labor from the parishioners. A grant from the St. Mary’s legacy foundation has paid for the materials to complete the office. There has been a combination of work from subcontractors and general contractors, three of them being parishioners (brick layers, framers, and siding). The floor was done by the parishioners as volunteers. The Queen of Peace Church of Cincinnati came down with other churches for three different weeks and assisted with framing and other work that needed completing.

All the inside finishing has been the work of the parishioners which is how they have been able to help keep the cost down. It has been a more expensive project than originally thought; however, it seems that most construction from the ground up does have that affect. In the future, the church hopes to have a bell tower, but that is another extremely expensive item that will be a project for later along with the paving for the parking area. Some paving and cement has been completed to meet the qualifications for fire code and compliant parking.

Local Boy Scouts plan to create a nature trail. Also, there will be a playground, and the youth want to put in a nine-hole Frisbee disc golf. The nature trail, disc golf, playground, and eventually, in the long-range plan, a soccer/sports field will all be welcoming to the community.

The official blessing of the church was held February 2, 2019, being the first time the church was officially in use. The St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church welcomes the public to enjoy their facility as a part of the community. Father Steve Pawelk says, “We want people to feel at home here and for them to feel that this is a part of their community. We have created something beautiful for the community to be proud of.”

Services will be held on Sundays with 9am being English and 11am Spanish, and Wednesdays with bilingual at 6:30 followed by k-adult services including English and Spanish in the adult classes.



Truan Targets Cumberland

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Union County High School senior Dalton Truan signed to wrestle with University of the Cumberlands Patriots April 10.

“Dalton is the hardest working guy, day in, day out,” said UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez.

Local Youths Succeed in 4-H

Pictured - Raven Walker with her Blue Ribbon Lemon Drizzle Muffins

March is Extension Month in Tennessee. Established in 2015 by a proclamation from the Tennessee General Assembly, Extension Month celebrates the educational outreach, service, and economic impact achieved by Extension across the state. Over these past three years since Extension Month began, county offices across the state have used the month as a way to showcase their programs and attract new clientele. Union County Extension took March as an opportunity to celebrate successes, tell stories, and show new and current audiences the value that Extension brings to their lives and communities.

Self-Assessing Back Pain by App Just as Effective as Traditional Methods, Study Shows

Patients can assess their own back pain using an app on their phone or tablet as effectively as current paper methods, a new study has shown. The study demonstrates that digital versions of established measurements for assessing back pain are just as reliable and responsive, opening the possibility for their use by patients for routine measurements and clinical trials.

The researchers see this study as a necessary first step in the greater use of digital media in clinical settings, in light of recent calls for greater use of such technology by healthcare providers.

Smelling Vinegar

I know it sounds weird, but I enjoy the smell of vinegar. It brings back some awesome childhood memories of Easter.

When I was growing up, we always used the PAAS® kits to die Easter Eggs. My mom dropped the colored tablets into coffee cups and poured a certain amount of vinegar onto each one.

Musical Money

Ronnie Mincey

Those who know me well probably won’t believe this, but the first money I remember earning was for singing.

When I was about four or five years old my family rented a house on Academy Street in downtown Maynardville. The yard did not have much grass in either the front or the back.

Poke Salad, a Mountain Tradition


A family tradition my mom kept was to seek out young poke sprouts in the spring and make poke salad, a king of cooked green. Back before grocery store chains and refrigeration, country folk came out of winter craving a fresh green to eat, and poke was one of the newly sprouted plants that were sought out, along with “creesies” or spring crest.



Public domain file photo. Kudzu growing in Atlanta.

Who, in the South, doesn’t know kudzu? And usually curses it.

It has several names: The Vine that Ate the South, Mile a Minute Vine, and Foot-a-Night Vine. Whatever you call it, we commonly see it along the roadsides, covering bushes, trees, and telephone poles. Where did it come from?

What is Life?

Sophia the Robot

Back in 1989, an episode of the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, aired that posed an intriguing question. It’s a question that thirty years later generates even more head-scratching. The title of the episode was “The Measure of a Man.” At the focus of the story sat an android who represented the pinnacle of contemporary artificial intelligence.


Need A Ride To Church

Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 10:00
Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Project Planning Workshop

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 19:00
Project Planning Workshop

There will be a “Project Planning Workshop” Thursday, April 25 at 7:00pm at the Union County Courthouse. This meeting is the second planning session to include the public, along with elected officials, to discuss and determine future projects. The meeting will begin with ...


Denise Hurst Caudill

Denise Jean Hurst Caudill, age 45, of Tazewell, Tennessee, was born on September 23, 1973, and passed away at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, TN on April 16, 2019, with family by her side. She professed faith in God at an earlier age and had a personal relationship with God.

Nora Carol Schmalenberger

Nora “Carol” Schmalenberger-age 61 of Orlando, Florida passed away of cancer Wednesday evening, April 17, 2019 in Maynardville, TN. She was surrounded by her family at the time of her passing. Before her diagnosis, she was employed full time by Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida as a housekeeper. Her hard work and dedication were appreciated by all she worked with. She was preceded in death by father, James W. Hill; mother, Vincie M. Beard.

Kelly Renee Jones

Jones, Kelly Renee, age 51, of Corryton, passed away April 17, 2019. Preceded in death by mother, Flora Voltz and twin sister Karen. Survived by father and step-mother, Wade and Betty Jones, step-father and caregiver, Bill Voltz, brother, Michael Jones, nephew Parker (Catherine) Jones, and special aunts, Carol, Kathy and Diane. Friends and family will meet at 12:45 pm for a 1:00 pm interment on Friday, April 19, 2019 at Lynnhurst Cemetery, Larry Ensley officiating. Online condolences may be left at

Hazel Mae Hall Burress

Hazel Hall Burress, 85 years old of Knoxville went to her heavenly home on April 17, 2019. At the time of her passing she was the longest living member of Union Baptist Church, Washington Pike. Hazel loved her Lord, her church and family. She was preceded in death by parents, Sam & Dicie Hall, Brothers, Claude, Hughes, LeRoy, Floyd, Doug, Herbert. Sisters, Melzena Riggs and Rachel Witt. Stepdaughter, Donna Tallent. She is survived by devoted nieces, Carol (Don) McCarty, Judy Witt, Wanda (Dan) Margelowsky, brother: John Hall, California.

Russell Harold Douglas

Russell Harold Douglas passed away at the age of 90 at Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center on Thursday, April 18, 2019 after a brief illness. He was born and raised in Elk Valley, Tennessee. He worked in the nearby coal mines until moving to Toledo, Ohio as a young man. He soon met the love of his life, Reba Hyden, by chance at a church revival. They spent 66 years in adoring love. Russell enjoyed gardening and writing stories about love, his family, and his devout faith.

Barbara Ann Heath

Barbara Ann Heath – age 60 of Maynardville, went to meet her Heavenly Father on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Barbara attended Circle Assembly of God. She loved her family and enjoyed being around people, especially her church family.

She is preceded in death by her father, Donald Wolfe; and sisters, Vivian Heath and Darla. Barbara is survived by her husband of 42 years, Mark Allen Heath; sons, Mark Anthony and Joseph Aaron Heath; mother, Jo Ann Wolfe; niece, Davida Henderson; and nephews, Lucas and Brody Henderson.

Samuel Charles Talbott II

Samuel Charles Talbott II age 42 passed away unexpectedly Monday morning April 15, 2019. Preceded in death by father, Samuel Charles Talbott; daughter, Kaylie Talbott. He is survived by mother, Patty Talbott (Danny Baker); son, Hayden Bailey; sister, Lisa Armentrout; nieces, Alyssa Hawkins (Brandon) and Abby Armentrout; great-nephew, Dalton Hawkins; special friend, Tandy Vanzant; many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sammy was a graduate of Horace Maynard High School. Like his father, he never met a stranger and made friends everywhere he went.

Eastridge, Doris Ann

Doris Ann Eastridge – age 73 of New Tazewell, passed away peacefully at her home on April 15, 2019. She was a member of Carr’s Branch Missionary Baptist Church. Doris was retired from the Claiborne County School System.

Curits E. (Kurt) Russell, II

Curtis E. (Kurt) Russell, II-age 44 of Knoxville passed away suddenly Sunday, April 14, 2019 at his home. Kurt was a member of Beaver Dam Baptist Church attending First Comforter Church. He was a 1992 graduate of Halls High School. He loved playing the guitar; singing and recording at Songwriters Studio. Many years he took guitar lessons from Ed Wing and voice lessons from Terri McClellan. His dad taught him to enjoy U. T. Football at an early age. He loved life, his family and friends.

Thurman "Truman" E. Davis

Thurman Eugene Davis-age 70 of Knoxville, known as T.D. to his friends went home to be with the Lord Sunday morning, April 14, 2019 at Tennova North Medical Center. Thurman proudly served his country in the Army 1969 – 1975. Preceded in death by his loving wife, Susan Diane Davis; parents, Cody and Nettie Davis; brothers, Hubert, Carlos, R. V., Hobert and Hessie Davis; sister, Margie Davis.

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