Mount Gilead Baptist Church

It was in a one-room school named Smoky Hollow, southwest of the present church on N.C. 191, that Baptists in the area of North Mills River organized a church in 1883.
Early members of the Mount Gilead Baptist Church included the Carland, Whitaker, Owens, Rhodes, Jackson and Youngblood families.
J.L. Carland donated the land for the church and a building was erected by 1884.
A new building was completed in 1913. Additions and remodeling were conducted in 1977.
Descendants of many of the earliest settlers in Mills River are noted in the cemetery. Surnames include Praytor, Israel, Lance, Allen, Bryson, Pressley, Stuart, Moore, Whitaker, Robertson, Bowen, Meece, Carland, Ballard, Ruth, Butler, Galyean, Davis, Cairnes, Waycaster, West and more.
The oldest grave is that of James M. Ballard, 1834-1891.
Two soldiers from Henderson County who died in World War II have grave sites in the cemetery.
Glenn Lance Allen (1922-1944) served in the Army’s Co. B, 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division. He was killed in action July 2, 1944, during combat in central Italy. He was born in Henderson County, the son of Jesse Paul Allen and Maggie Lance Allen. At the time of his enlistment he was working for Sayles Biltmore Bleacheries in Biltmore and lived in Mills River. He enlisted in 1943.
James Howard Praytor (1922-1944) served in the Army’s 133rd Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. He was killed in action Jan. 12, 1944, during combat in Italy, near Mount Capraro. He was born in Henderson County, the son of Martin Praytor and Camie Mahaffey Praytor. He lived in the Hooper’s Creek community. When he enlisted in 1942, he was working on a farm and his residence was listed as Fletcher.
Two soldiers who died in the Vietnam War also have grave sites at the cemetery.
Army Spc. Larry G. Lance served with the 15th Medical Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. He died Sept. 8, 1967, in a helicopter crash in South Vietnam.
Army Sgt. Richard L. Waycaster served in Co. A, 1st Cavalry Division. He was killed in action Feb. 19, 1967, from small arms fire at Tay Ninh.
There are three Confederate veterans with grave sites at the cemetery.
Hiram W. Carland enlisted in the 56th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. G, Henderson Blues. He was wounded at Petersburg, Va., captured at the Battle of Five Forks during the Appomattox Campaign, a prisoner at Hart’s Island, New York Harbor, and released in June 1865. He died in 1923.

George K. Moore enlisted in the 7th Battalion N.C. Cavalry that was consolidated into the 65th Regiment N.C. Troops (6th Regiment N.C. Cavalry). He died in 1910.
John Moore enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. H, Cane Creek Rifles. He died in 1905.
One man who joined the Union has a grave site at the church cemetery.
Thomas M. Stuart enlisted in the 2nd N.C. Mounted Infantry, Co. F, late in the war. He died in 1927.