Located on Elk Shoals Church Road in eastern part of Alexander County, near Iredell County line, Elk Shoals ARP was founded in 1875.
by Jerry Dagenhart
The land was donated by Barbara Moser Hedrick. Aunt Barbara gave the land under the stipulation there would never be a cemetery because she did not want to look out her back door and see tombstones or have to rush and get her laundry in if a funeral was scheduled on laundry day.
Aunt Barbara inherited the land from her father Jacob Moser. She was born into a Lutheran family but embraced the Presbyterian Reformed Church through her cousin Lavinbia Barbara Sigman Alexander whose mother Betty Isenhower Sigman helped raise Barbara after her father died.
Members of the Alexander, Sherril and Hedrick families were among the Charter Members of Elk Shoals; many trasferring from Iredells New Sterling ARP. James Leander and Jenny Lewis Alexander were Charter Members and James Leander was an Elder in the Church.
James T Hedrick, Barbara’s husband was the lead carpenter supervising the construction of the church. Family legend has it that Grandpa John Ivy Quinton Alexander had lumber cut to build a new two story home at the homestead of his parents. His wife Lavinia Barbara Sigman Alexander went to vist her family in Catawba County and when she returned the workman were clapboarding her father-in-law’s old cabin and adding on rooms. She soon learned that her husband had donated the bulk of the lumber he had milled to the construction of Elk Shoals Church. It has been said Lavinia was the proudest woman who ever walked the floors of Elk Shoals Church, for she considered more than just her church for she had sacrificed her new home for it’s construction . Much of the ineterior remains the same and the original heart pine hand made pews are still in use.
John Ivy Quinton and Lavinia Barbara Sigman Alexander’s daughter, Jesse Evelyn, taught Sunday school at Elk Shoals for many years. Mrs Lois Waugh recalled that she had been assigned the task of helping her baby sister Louise learn her catechism. When she quizzed her sister “Who made you?” she expected to hear the Lord God Almighty, but instead little Louise said “Miss Jesse” referring to her Sunday school teacher
Members of the Sherrill and Alexander family still attend Elk Shoals and Mr J Atwell Alexander was a major benefactor of the church during his lifetime. The church shares a minister with New Sterling ARP in Iredell as it has done for many years.
Members of the church are buried at the Union Burial Ground at Marvin UMC as they have been since the church was founded. James T and Barbara Moser Hedrick ‘s graves can be found right at the entrance to the cemetery.