Mt. Hebron Wesleyan Church Historical Review

Crooked Creek Community in Old Fort, North Carolina

The year was 1895, when Cherry Springs Baptist Church moved to the site opposite the current Crooked Creek Fire Department.  On this current site, stood the Cherry Springs Community Building across from Bethel Methodist Church.  Because of this move the people of Mt. Hebron Community could not attend due to transportation problems.

Mr. Henry J. Burgin felt the need for a Sunday school in the community so strongly that he contacted various people about beginning one.   Several promised to support such an effort and services were begun around 1900 in the New Hope School Building.

 Different preachers came to preach; revivals were held and many of the community became Christians.  One long-remembered revival lasted four weeks with four preachers, two of whom were Miles Harvey and George Curtis.

 Around 1905, Mrs. A.G. Hadley, a Quaker from Goshen, Ohio came to the community and began Bible Classes on the front porch of Mr. Wilson Moffitt’s log cabin.  In April 1906 Mr. Moffitt and his brother F.A. Moffitt donated 2 ½ acres of land to the Society of Friends of Crooked Creek for a Bible School.  The men of the community, like the men of old who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, had a mind to work.  Charles Curtis, Mont Burgin, Tell Moffitt, Gerome Moffitt and others put oxen into the woods and soon had timber to take to the sawmill.  They then constructed what is known as the “Lower Building” of the Mt. Hebron Bible School.

 The Sunday school which had been meeting in the New Hope school became a part of the church sponsored by the friends Church of Goshen, Ohio.  Some time later the New Hope School was moved out of the community and children of the community attended Mt. Hebron School where they were drilled daily in bible studies as well as the “3 R’s”.

 This grammar school continued to meet the educational needs of the community until 1932.  The Bible School first closed in 1919 and re-opened about 1927 for 3 – 4 years.

 In September 1913 the Mt. Hebron work, known as Friends, became Mt. Hebron Wesleyan Methodist Church.  The church was led by Rev. G.A. Pegram and was organize with 28 members under the leadership of Rev. H.W. Hawkins, then President of the N.C. Annual conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America.  Some of the charter members were:           Mr. & Mrs. Allen Burgin, Mr. Henry Burgin, Mr. Mont Burgin, Mr. Jack Fortune, Mrs. A.G. Hadley, Mr. & Mrs. A.E. Belk

The Wesleyan Methodist congregation worshipped in the Lower building of the bible School until 1927 when they purchased a small tract of land and began to build their church.  Rev. I.A. Rhinehardt was pastor.

 James and Garland Knupp hauled logs from the “old Harvey place” to the sawmill for the building.  Mrs. Sallie Knupp and MR. R. Harvey donated a white ash which stood on their property line to make benches.  Bart Walker and Sam Pyatt did the carpentry work on the benches.  Other contributed of their money and labor.

 In this building there was preaching “every other Sunday”, but members had Sunday school, prayer meeting and Sunday night services.  Every fifth Sunday they had “special singing and dinner on the grounds”

 Many pastors came to serve the church. Some stayed only one year while others stayed longer, but all had a part in the building of the Mt. Hebron church.

 During the “lean” years following the depression (1936 – 1941), Rev. W.C. Cockman ministered to the church and community.

 During the war years (1941 – 1944) when means of transportation were few, Rev. Jesse Peele helped the people as they had need.  He also boosted the church with his interest in the children of the community.

 Rev. M. R. Harvey, who had supported the church during its early years, came as pastor in 1950.  Mr. Harvey and his wife are held in high esteem by the members of the church community for the service they rendered during this time.

 A building program was started in 1952 for the construction of a new church building while Rev. Carlis Vernon was pastor.  During the pastorate of Rev. Sam Parker (1953 – 1957) a building fund was set up and a building committee elected. Mrs. George Moffitt, Mrs. A.R. Walker, Roy Burgin, Carter Burgin and Clifford Knupp were member of this committee.

 Carter and Faye Burgin donated a tract of land, and an adjoining tract was purchased fro the new church site.  Men of the church and community cleared the land and by summer of 1957 footing was poured and the basement walls laid.

 It was Rev. Robert J. Freeman, pastor from 1957 – 1962, who worked to see the church building constructed.  The people of the Church cut the timber themselves and worked to see the building erected.  People of the surrounding area gave of their money and labor.   Even some the small boys, Wesley Knupp, Henry Effler and Danny Effler did their part.  Finally, the work was completed and in the summer of 1959 the new church was ready for worship.  Many prayers were prayed during these days and God answered those prayers.

 This picture is from the 1961 church calendar, listing Mr. Carter Burgin, Rev. Freeman, and Mrs. Hettie Walker, Mr. Wallace Walker and Mr. Roy Burgin as the church building fund committee members.

 In 1962, Rev. L.R. Price became pastor and served for one year.  Rev. Forris G. Bernard, who came, as pastor in August 1963 was instrumental in building a parsonage.  In 1966, the completed 5-room brick home with a full basement was occupied by the parsonage family.

 Sunday School rooms in the church basement were finished during the pastorate of Rev. L.W. Mi8lstead (1967 – 1971).  Plans were made for carpeting the sanctuary of the church, and several extra payments made on the church debt.

 In 1971, Rev. Bill Flinchum was called to the church on Crooked Creek.  In September 1972 the Sanctuary and nursery were carpeted.  At the beginning of the conference year 1973-1974, it became the desire of the members to see the church free of debt.  The goal was set and the final payment on the church loan was paid in April 1974.

 In less than eight years, the congregation, by God’s help paid off the total church indebtedness, which included the church and parsonage, of $19, 700.00.  Over $6,000.00 was paid in the year preceding the final payment in April 1974.  This was the result of sincere praying, liberal giving and full cooperation of both members and friends of the church.

 “It is the prayer of the congregation that it will be able to serve the spiritual needs of the Mt. Hebron community and glorify God who through His grace makes “all things possible to them that believe”  (pg. 5, Historical Sketch of Mount Hebron Wesleyan Church, 1974, Rev. Bill Flinchum)

 In 1974 – 1976, the educational/Fellowship building was planned and erected, under the direction of Rev. Bill Flinchum.

 Progress continues to be made at the little country church on Crooked Creek.  The pews have been padded (date), chimes have been added in the bell tower (date), carpet installed (date), renovation of men’s bathroom and addition of ladies powder room (date), parking lot paved (date).

Wesleyan Church of America, Box 2000  Marion, Indiana

 The Official List in 1973 – 1974 of Church Officers

 General Superintendents of the Wesleyan Church of America:  Dr. J.D. Abbott, Dr. Robert W. McInytre, Dr. Virgil A. Mitchell, Dr. Melvin H. Snyder

 District Superintendent of North Carolina, Colfax District:   Rev. Watson C. Black, 601 North Rotary Drive, High Point, NC

 Pastor of Local Church:   Rev. Bill Flinchum, Rt. 2 Box 134, Old Fort, NC

 Church Secretary:                       Mrs. Faye Burgin

Assistant Secretary:                    Mrs. Rebecca Knupp

Treasurer                                   Mr. Clifford Knupp

Tithing Secretary                        Mr. Howard Lytle

Pianist                                                Mrs. Mildred Flinchum

Assistant Pianist                         Ms. Martha Knupp

Choir Director:                           Mr. Clifford Knupp

Assistant Choir Director:             Mr. Wallace Walker

 Members of the Local Church Board:   Wallace Walker, Chairman

Mrs. Faye Burgin                                  Mrs. Mildred Elliott            Mr. Clifford Knupp

Mrs. Sarah Burgin                                 Mr. Howard Lytle              Mrs. Willie Walker

Trustees:   Mr. Wallace Walker            Mrs. Clifford Knupp                     Mr. Howard Lytle

 Auditing Committee:  Mrs. Sarah Burgin, Mrs. Helen Walker

Communion Committee:   Mrs. Mildred Flinchum,  Mrs. Freida Lytle

Flower Committee:   Mrs. Freida Lytle, Mrs. Bea Mason

Music Committee:  Mr. Carter Burgin, Mrs. Mildred Flinchum, Mr. Clifford Knupp, Mrs. Rebecca Knupp

 Sunday School Officers:

Superintendent:  Mr. Howard Lytle

Assistant Superintendent:    Mr. Carter Burgin

Cradle Roll Superintendent:   Mrs. Helen Walker

C.Y.C. Director:   Mrs. Mildred Flinchum

Sunday school Committee:  Mr. Howard Lytle, Mr. Carter Burgin, Mr. Clifford Knupp, Mrs. Helen Walker

Women’s Missionary Society:

President:                                           Mrs. Rebecca Knupp

Vice-President:                                    Mrs. Mildred Flinchum

Secretary-Treasurer:                             Mrs. Helen Walker

YMWB Director:                                   Mrs. Joan Walker

 Wesleyan Youth:

President:                                           Miss Candie Allison

Vice-President:                                    Mr. Wesley Knupp

Secretary-Treasurer:                             Miss Jeannie Walker

Adult Counselor:                                  Mrs. Barbara Walker

Roll of Members 1973 – 1974

Full Members:

Allison, Candie        Elliott, Kaye                     Knupp, Clifford        Walker, Barbara

Bean, Judy              Elliott, Mildred                  Knupp, Hilda                    Walker, Hettie

Bean, Ruth             Flinchum, Bill                    Knupp, Martha        Walker, Helen

Burgin, Carter         Flinchum, Mildred              Knupp, Penny         Walker, Joan

Burgin, Faye           Jones, Sarah                    Knupp, Rebecca       Walker, Wallace

Burgin, Mary           Lytle, Freida                     Knupp, Wesley        Walker, Willie

Burgin, Roy            Lytle, Howard                   Riley, Aubry

Burgin, Sarah          Knupp, Arcie                     Riley, Elisabeth

Associate Members:

Noblitt, Sammie                         Silvers, Peggy                            Walker, Harry

Walker, Lillie                              Walker, Susan                            Walker, Wade

Junior Members:

Flinchum, Phil                                      Murphy, Toni                    Walker, Rhonda

Flinchum, Tamara                                 Owenby, Dennis               Walker, Keith

Murphy, Mark                                      Owenby, Jimmy                Walker, Woodrow

Pastors of Mt. Hebron Wesleyan Church

 1913 – 1914                                                 G. A. Pegram

1914 – 1915                                                 Mrs. A. G. Hadley

1915 – 1916                                                 A. E. Belk

1916 – 1917                                                 J. L. Bolen

1917 – 1920                                                 S. D. Hill

1920 – 1921                                                 C. W. Benton  (1920 – 1922)

1921 – 1922                                                 Charles W. Curtis (not listed)

1922 – 1924                                                 Grover C. Greene

1924 – 1926                                                 Mills A. Harvey

1926 – 1929                                                 I. A. Rhinehardt (1926 – 1928)

1929 – 1930                                                 M. A. Harvey (Rhinehardt/Harvey 1928-29);  G.F. Settlemyer (1929 – 1930)

1930 – 1933                                                 C. H. Capps

1933 – 1934                                                 E. D. Packer

1934 – 1935                                                 Robert Phillips

1935 – 1936                                                 Julia Klous              Associate: Melvin Burgin

1936 – 1941                                                 W. C. Cockman       Associate: Melvin Burgin

1941 – 1944                                                 Jesse Peele

1944 – 1947                                                 F. M. Wilson (1944 – 1946)

1947 – 1948                                                 A. L. Whiteside (1946 – 1948);  A. J. Kendrick/Howard C. Kennedy(1948 – 49)

1948 – 1949                                                 F. M. Wilson (not listed)

1949 – April 1950                                         J. W. Kiser

April 1950 – August 1950                               Harold L. Rickman, (Supply)

1950 – 1952                                                 M. R. Harvey

1952 – 1953                                                 Carlis Vernon

1953 – 1957                                                 R. Sam Parker

1957 – 1962                                                 Robert J. Freeman

1962 – 1963                                                 L. R. Price

1963 – 1967                                                 Forris G. Barnard

1967 – 1971                                                 L. W. Milstead

1971 – 1981                                                  Billy E. Flinchum

1981 – 1983                                                  Mike Pinner

1983 – 1990                                                 Ron Rider

1990 – 1993                                                  Mylon Pope

1993 –                                                          Tommy Wright

*Dates in parenthesis were the dates as listed in the “Centennial Celebration 1879 – 1979, North Carolina (Colfax) District, The Wesleyan Church, section on the Mt. Hebron Wesleyan Church.

Following are excerpts from a 1931 – 1932 brochure of the Mt. Hebron Collegiate Bible Institute ran by Mrs. A. G. Hadley.

 Location:    This school is located about six miles southwest of Old Fort, NC. in a beautiful valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Old Fort is twenty-eight miles east from Asheville, the great Summer and Winter resort of eastern U.S.

 The water of Mt. Hebron Mineral Springs has been analyzed by the State.  It contains nine minerals and is medicinal, pure and soft.

 The climate is healthful.  The altitude is 2,000 feet.  It is an attractive health resort for summer guest who will be entertained at reasonable rates.  Write for terms.

 Calendar for 1931 – 1932

First Semester:       Registration is October 5, 1931; Class work begins October 6th

Thanksgiving Vacation November 26 & 27

Christmas Vacation December 24, 1931 to January 4, 1932

First Semester closes January 29, 1932

Second Semester begins February 1, 1932

Baccalaureate, Rev. A.E. Belk, May 14, 1932

Closing Exercises May 18 and 19

Ladies Advisory Missionary Board     The duty of this board is to have charge of the “Students’ Aid.” Members of the board were:            Mrs. Clara Moffitt, President; Mrs. Vassie S. Burgin, Vice President; Mrs. Eunice Fortune, Secretary; Mrs. Sallie Knupp, Treasurer

What to bring:        Each student should bring a Bible, a pair of blankets, two quilts or comfortables, white spread, pillow with two cases, three sheets, a lamp a laundry bag, three napkins, toilet and laundry soap, two or three kitchen aprons, rubbers and $5 for books and incidentals.

 Cost:            Tuition to be paid every four weeks in advance in cash or eatables.

Tuition – Theological                            for 4 weeks            $ 3.00

Tuition – High School                           for 4 weeks            $ 2.00

Tuition – Preparatory                           for 4 weeks            $ 1.50

Tuition – Grades                                 for 4 weeks            $ 1.00

Room and Board                                  for 4 weeks            $14.00

Piano 50 cents for one lesson per week.

This history was compiled by Mrs. Mildred Flinchum