Meet author Simpson Dec. 14

Dec 12, 2012

Author Wilma Hicks Simpson will sign copies of her book, “Greater Than the Mountains Was He: The True Story of Johann Jacob Shook of Haywood County, North Carolina,” at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St., in Waynesville.

Simpson is a resident of Olympia, Washington, and the great-great-great granddaughter of Johann Jacob Shook.  She considers it a privilege to tell the story of his life, his family and his work for God.

Many in the area may know of Jacob Shook because of the Shook House in Clyde. The book tells of his life and accomplishments and explains why he is an important figure in the history of Western North Carolina and in the history of Methodism.

Jacob Shook served in both the Revolutionary War and with the North Carolina Militia in numerous Indian skirmishes. Having visited the Pigeon River Valley during the course of these services, he chose this place as the place he wanted to bring his family and live the rest of his life. After there was peace in Western North Carolina, he brought his family and settled in the Pigeon Valley circa 1786.

Jacob had been raised as a devout Lutheran. He was first introduced to Methodism by Methodist circuit preachers. His conversion to the Methodist church is legendary. His home and hospitality soon became the center for all Methodist movements in Western North Carolina for the early pioneer years.

When he built his large home in Clyde, he built four rooms over four rooms, with a full third floor attic room, which he devoted to God as a place of worship.  When it was finished, the first Methodist Church in N. C. was organized in the Chapel Room and they used this room as a place of worship, as long as Jacob lived.

The Chapel Room had many uses during his life- time; always in an honorable way, as a church would be used today.  The church that was organized there is the Louisa Chapel Methodist Church in Clyde and it is still going strong today.

All are invited to the book signing.  Call 456-6000.

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