Sarepta Methodist Church | Franklin County, NC | c. 1840s
A Methodist Church called Sarepta (sometimes spelled Serepta) was first established here c. 1846, led by Dr. Sol Williams. At that time, the Methodist Church was looking to expand through North Carolina and 17 congregations were established around Franklin County. Each within a day or two-horse ride from the county seat meant that each church could be visited monthly by circuit-riding ministers who would travel amongst the district to each congregation.
After this point, I haven’t been able to dig up much further history on this church, outside of a few tidbits. The earliest burial here was in 1879 and in 1893, the congregation was actively announcing its monthly services in the newspaper of the nearest town. Back then, the preacher would ride in on a wagon on Saturday night, staying in the home of his congregants before preaching on Sunday morning. And while a congregation started meeting nearby here as early as 1843, I believe this building was constructed between 1900-1920.
Announcements in the Newspaper
In 1910, the church announced Sunday School services for the community, inviting everyone to attend. Back then, students gathered in different corners of the church building, divided by age, to study the bible and basic education. The interior of the church was heated with a wood-burning stove.
In December of 1924, the congregation took up an advertisement in a newspaper to announce a public Christmas tree viewing.
In 1950, Sarepta Church was closed and the proceeds dedicated to the other Methodist Churches in the circuit.
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