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.
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.