WITH NO OTHER facilities available to the Holiness Churches, J.C. and Melissa Murphy
agreed to host the first Assembly in their mountain home. Melissa Murphy actually owned the
home, which she had inherited from her first husband. The house was located at the edge of a
forest with evergreen pine trees highlighting an otherwise barren winter landscape.
The front room of the rustic house was transformed into a meeting place. The normal
furniture was moved to another room and replaced with chairs lined in rows, facing a rough
pulpit. Because of the chilling winds and falling snow, J.C. Murphy kept logs burning in the fireplace. Small children slept on feather mattresses and quilts in another part of the house.
Other church members prepared meals for the delegates during the two-day meeting.
Pastor Tomlinson later remembered that “good Sister Murphy cooked and served the entire
Assembly.” Nettie Bryant also helped cook, and children assisted by carrying water from the
natural springs flowing nearby. Most of the delegates boarded in the homes of other church
members scattered along the mountainside.
Today, the Shearer-Murphy House is maintained by the Church of God of Prophecy as a
historical landmark. Church of God Men and Women of Action assist when called upon. The
home is located on River Hill Road not far from Fields of the Wood, which is 18 miles west of
Murphy, North Carolina, on NC-294.

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