Hiwassee Community • Madisonville, TN

Our Location
Nestled below the rolling Knobs of East Tennessee, Hiwassee is the first multi-family Bruderhof location in the South since the 1950s. Our region is steeped in Cherokee history – the word “Hiwassee” means “broad meadow”, and many Cherokee settlements were located along the nearby Hiwassee and Little Tennessee Rivers. The Unicoi Mountains, which form the southwest slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains, are visible from campus. Hiwassee is located along the I-75 corridor between Knoxville and Chattanooga, roughly three hours’ drive from both Atlanta and Nashville. 

Our Campus
Hiwassee College was founded in 1849 by the Holston Branch of the United Methodist Church, and its 170-year history of serving students from the surrounding area and beyond is woven into the fabric of Monroe County. Its stately red-brick buildings, spreading elms, and surrounding pastures house many fond memories in the minds of former staff and alumni. We are keenly interested in, and appreciative of, all that has been invested and accomplished upon these grounds over the past decades, and acknowledge the rich heritage as we repurpose this beautiful and revered campus into family residences, community and educational areas, and work spaces. 

Our Vision 
With most of the existing former college buildings dating from the 1950’s and earlier, we anticipate that renovations will take a number of years, and will in fact be ongoing forever! We gladly welcome visitors in the interim, although overnight accommodations may be challenging. Besides residential spaces, plans include a community center for common meals and gatherings, a daycare center, a K-12 school, and a manufacturing facility which will allow many of us to work side by side during the workday. We are also looking forward to using existing venues such as the former college auditorium and student center to host local events. 

Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to meet and learn more about our plans for the Hiwassee Community.

Meet some of the people who live at the Hiwassee Bruderhof:

MimBazeley

Mim: Hi, my name is Mim. My husband, Brendan, and I and our four children, ages three to fourteen, live in East Tennessee at one of our newest Bruderhof communities. Hiwassee is a 175-year-old college campus. Our family moved here to help with repair and renovations. My husband is an electrician, and since the college is old and has been unoccupied for two years, there is no lack of work! I am a nurse, and have been working in our community clinics for about twenty years. Here in Hiwassee, even though I still slap a Band-Aid on now and then, I mostly spend my days helping to clean up the old buildings and caring for the community’s smallest children. Every day is different and always full of adventure!  

The campus has beautiful rolling lawns dotted with old elms, willow oaks and southern magnolias. The view to the east looks toward the majestic Unicoi Mountains, close neighbors to the Great Smoky Mountains. Most mornings we wake to a spectacular sunrise over the mountains, and end the day watching the reflection of the setting sun on them. I can’t get enough of it!

Our favorite part of living here is building up a place where people can live together in peace and love as followers of Jesus. We are enjoying meeting and befriending our new neighbors. Many live just adjacent to our property, and we meet them strolling through the campus, or stop to chat in their backyards. We are amazed by the hospitality and feel very welcome.  

We hope as our buildings get renovated, God will lead many more to join us in service to Christ here in East Tennessee! In my opinion, we live in one of the best parts of our country, so y’all should come see for yourselves!

MartinMaendel

Martin: Hello, my name is Martin. My wife, Kymberly, and I moved to Hiwassee in early 2021. We are pretty much empty-nesters, so the time was ripe to do something completely new. It has been an exciting roller coaster ride! We moved from Maple Ridge, a much larger, established community up in New York, to a brand new, small community in Tennessee. A lot of things are different, practically speaking – except the spirit of communal living is the same. We take care of making sure nobody starves or is out of snack material. One of the most exciting things about living here is the fact that nobody in the area knew about the Bruderhof before we got here. So we are starting from scratch with neighbor relations. When people come visit they like to join us in singing fun or nature songs, and of course activities like making S’mores or playing cornhole are always popular. The other day we invited folks for a BBQ and softball game on the perfectly laid-out field here. One of the guests pitched the entire game. So you are all invited, especially anyone living near here in the South. We have a lot to learn from you!

Contact Information

225 Hiwassee Community Dr
PO Box 367

Madisonville, TN 37354
United States

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