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The long-time Pastor of the Victory Baptist Church on Cowee Mountain, Benny Bagwell, has decided to step down as Pastor after 23 years due to the stress of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Bagwell will preach his final sermon as Pastor on this Sunday, July 29, at the 11 a.m. service.

Pastor Bagwell and his wife, Beth, came to Victory following a 15- year career in the Christian School ministry. Under his leadership the church has built five buildings and is nearing completion of the largest building of all which is the new church sanctuary. The attendance has grown from a beginning of 45-50 to an average of more than 300 for several years with some high days around 375. More than 400 new Christians have been baptized in the creek during his ministry. The missions program has expanded from supporting eight missionaries to now supporting more than 70 missionaries with the monthly giving to missions more than $12,000 per month.


The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced its 2012 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide funding for projects that preserve, interpret, and promote Western North Carolina’s rich agricultural, craft, Cherokee, music, and natural heritage. These five legacies earned the region a Congressional designation as a National Heritage Area in 2003.

“Western North Carolina is such a special place to live and to visit,” says BRNHA Executive Director Angie Chandler. “Our grants help preserve our heritage while boosting visitor spending and other investments in our towns and communities.”


The 38th Crisp Reunion was held Sunday, June 24 at Cliffside Lake near Highlands.

Seventy-one people were present.

The oldest was Lillie Crisp and the youngest was Jessica Crisp, daughter of Stephen and Misty Crisp, granddaughter of Earl and Helen Crisp of Franklin.



Macon County residents were greatly saddened last week when they learned that Al Slagle passed away in his home on June 28. Slagle, who was a native of Macon County born on Feb. 27, 1950, was a resident of the Cartoogechaye Community. He passed away after a losing battle with lung cancer.

Slagle spent the last several years serving the people of Macon County as an active member of the Macon County Planning Board and was recently re-appointed to serve another three-year term.

“There are certain people that you cross paths with in your life that help develop you into the person that you will eventually become,” said Town of Franklin Planner Derek Roland. “I had the privilege of working alongside Al Slagle for three years, while I served as Macon County Planner. The first thing I noticed in working with Al, second to the love he had for his family and Rainbow Springs, was his love for Macon County.


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