Take a drive down just about any rural road in eastern North Carolina, and you’ll see many family cemeteries along the way. But there’s one cemetery just north of Oak City that’s sure to catch your eye. 

To one side is a miniature church, only about 10 feet tall, built by Council Smith in his family’s cemetery.

“You’d be surprised about the people that stop by and ask about the church and the cemetery,” said Council Smith. 

The Smiths said it all started when they built their home just next door.

“My husband is a carpenter,” said Fannie Smith. “And after he built this house for us he had material left over.”

“I had a little bit leftover,” said Council Smith. “And I thank God for giving me the strength to build the house.”

“He’s a jack of all trades,” said Fannie Smith. “He loves to do things. So, he just decided to build a little church and put it out there in the graveyard.”

“He blessed me of having a vision of building a church and putting it in the cemetery,” Council Smith said. 

But the church isn’t the only thing that grabs your attention. 

There is a sign right next to the church the reads:

“Church door closed due to the rapture, sinners you’re too late,” said Council Smith. “So, it’s no repentance after the grave. Now is the time to get your soul right for heaven.”

A deacon at his full-sized church, Council decided to use the miniature church and the sign to preach the gospel to others.

“That’s what it’s all about,” said Council Smith. “I’m saved, and I pray to Lord that when I get to heaven I get to see you and many others. Amen.”

Until then, Council and his wife sit back at their home and watch as so many curious drivers stop for a closer look. 

“Every time I see somebody stopping, I walk out on the porch to see if they’re going to come and ask me who built it,” said Fannie Smith. 

“Well I know they’re going to laugh at me, but I’m the pastor of that church,” said Council Smith.

His congregation? 

“Well the congregation is only 13 people in the cemetery,” said Smith. 

As for the family cemetery where that church stands, Council said his father, grandmother and several aunts and uncles are buried there and where he, his wife and his children will be buried, too.