Presbyterians' Arrival

An excerpt from the book "Windows on the Past"  ęCopyright 2002 by Vardy community Historical Society, INC.


The Vardy Community Center began as a result of the 1890s Presbyterian mission school movement.  In East Tennessee alone, five mission schools operated in the Holston Presbytery:

The Vardy mission school served the eight-mile stretch of the Vardy Valley in Tennessee, which is also known as Blackwater Valley in Virginia.

According to the Vardy Community Presbyterian Church records, Miss Annie B. Miller and Maggie Axtell were appointed as missionaries under the Presbyterian Women's Board to serve the Vardy Community.  Prior to their arrival, Rev. C. Humble and Rev. H. P. Cory served as circuit ministers in the area.  "This church is largely due to the results of Miss Annie B. Miller and Maggie Axtell under the Women's Board," wrote Noah Collins, the church clerk, and Rev. J. H. Wallin, moderator, in the sessions record headed one of his reports, "Organized by Rev. C. Humble and Rev. H. P. Cory, recorded in Vardy, Tennessee, July 4, 1902."

In a letter Margaret McCall explains that she was living and teaching in Topeka, Kansas, when she learned of the Presbyterian plan to establish a mission school at Vardy.  She and Annie B. Miller of Rogersville became boarders at the home of Batey and Cynthia Collins.