Local News

N.C.'s Oldest Active Methodist Church Continues To Keep History Alive

Posted December 22, 2004 6:11 a.m. EST

— Peace is the only word on the directory of the Hebron United Methodist Church in Warren County. Just as the word has universal reach, so does the message of the state's oldest active Methodist church.

Members open their doors to people from all faiths, especially this time of year. With a rich history, the congregation has much to share.

"This church was actually put here in 1771," said Al Fleming, trustee at Hebron United Methodist Church.

Remodeled in 1820, the church retains many of its colonial features -- original walls, original windows and original pews.

"When these pews were put in the church early on the story was the men set on one side and the ladies set on the other side," Fleming said.

Fleming said he loves to tell about the history of the church, including the time President George Washington worshiped there.

On Wednesday, the congregation will take a trip back in time, remembering its heritage during a special Christmas event. Volunteers will circulate the edge of the church property with luminaries for the candlelight service.

"Basically, people will go out and form a circle with all the candles at that point, nothing but candlelight," Fleming said.

The service will have a colonial flavor with a message of universal peace. The church is located on the Wise-Five Forks Road about five miles east of Highway 1.