The Keywood and Huffacre Conferences

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From:Leota Bennet (personal communication June 9 2008)

Francis Asbury spent the better part of his adult life on  horseback, spreading methodism along the eastern seaboard and inland into the backcountry.
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Francis Asbury spent the better part of his adult life on horseback, spreading methodism along the eastern seaboard and inland into the backcountry.

The Keywood Conference was hosted by two families in May 13-15, 1788. Bishop Asbury then went to Kentucky and when he returned to the area, he held Huffaker Conference on 1792 at the home of Michael Huffaker/Halfaker at his Greenfield farm home. The conference was held in May and the weather took a turn and was bitter cold. The house had only one fire place. It was downstairs and used for cooking the meal for the gathered group. The men met upstairs. These were the second and third conference. There had been an earlier one at or near Pine Chapel (see also: Pine Chapel) at the French Broad Settlement with Arabella Cunningham and her daughter Arabella C Winton's husband John Winton being the host families.

In 1801 or 1802, Michael Huffaker/Halfaker gave two acres of his land to

form the Mahanim Methodist Church and Cemetery. The Church exist today and is still has a circuit rider minister. It in on the north west section of the farm. The church holds its annual conference locally in May.

Today the area is called Clinchburg to the west and Greenfields to the East

of the Stone Mill road. It has a railroad overpass going through it and another road. The mill at one time sat on the road near the RR underpass. Of course the Stone mill was there from the late 1700's. The mill collapsed over the years. The large wheel was removed a few years ago and is used in a restoration mill exhibit near the Saltville Golf Course. Most of the Huffaker/Halfacre family move to the Seven Islands area where the French Broad and Holston Rivers meet just east of Knoxville.

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