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Center_Methodist old white church BW.jpg

A Brief History of
Center Methodist Church

Established - 1830

The wooden church used
prior to the new brick building
that was completed in 1956

A History of Service Since 1830

Including historic details provided by Bill Seaford


1830 – Church members gathered in the home of Joel Penry.

1833 – Land deed for a church building was acquired from John Smith to several men – 2 acres.

The first church was a log structure located where the cemetery is today.

1870 – More land was acquired (3 acres) from the Tutterows, Richards, and other families across the road from the cemetery.

A new frame building was constructed. The wood was hand-hewn with a broad ax and put together with wooden pegs.

Only the best forest pine was used.

1876 – An arbor was erected to be used for Camp Meetings.

1877 – The first Camp Meeting was held. A large crowd came from miles around to attend these events which often lasted for several days.

1931 – The wood church was moved west of the current

church and five classrooms were added. A bell tower was

added along with a large bell donated

by Mr. & Mrs. George Evans, Sr.

1946-50 – Talk began of some work on the church and it

was decided that a new structure should be built.

1951 – The congregation began raising money for the new

building. Plans were drawn by George Evans, Sr.

1953 – Ground was broken.

A well was drilled and work began.

1954 – Brick was layed and the outside was completed.

1955 – Work was completed on inside. All work was done

on a "pay-as-you-go" basis. 

1956 – New church complete. Much of the labor was

done by members of the congregation who met every

Monday night to work.

April 1 – Last service held in the old church. 

The building was sold, dismantled and moved.

April 8 – First service in the new church. 

July 1 – Furniture was in the sanctuary.

Quarterly conference was held with Rev. Hipps

(District Superintendent) preaching.

Sept. 1, 1957 – Formal dedication of the new building at


Church cost $45,000 to build (due to donated labor).

1958 – Church consisted of 164 members.

A cornerstone was layed on May 4.

Since then...

A new Family Life Center has been added including a

large kitchen, classrooms, storage, library, office, and

restrooms. The parking lot around the church has been

paved. A log cabin was moved to the property and is the

meeting place for Center's Boy Scout Troop 505. A Pre-School program has been added to the church. The Historic Center Arbor weathered near tornado force winds in 2004 which destroyed the roof and is now covered with a new metal roof.

2023 – Center Methodist Church became an independent Methodist congregation after members voted to disaffiliate from the "United" Methodist Church's Western North Carolina Conference. The new church is based on the original foundations of Methodism as designed by John Wesley.

Center Choir old pix2.jpg

Center Methodist Church Choir from 1935 or 1936

Drilling the well for the new church in 1953 from behind the old church.

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