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
President: Miss Candie Allison
Vice-President: Mr. Wesley Knupp
Secretary-Treasurer: Miss Jeannie Walker
Adult Counselor: Mrs. Barbara Walker
Roll of Members 1973 – 1974
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
Noblitt, Sammie Silvers, Peggy Walker, Harry
Walker, Lillie Walker, Susan Walker, Wade
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