Early Methodist Church Served Community for 100 Years

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. 

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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.

If you have any stories to share about this place, please comment below or email me: kelly@theforgottensouth.com

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8 thoughts on “Early Methodist Church Served Community for 100 Years”

  1. I have a soft spot for these old forgotten churches. I would love to refurbish it and make it into a home. I find them so beautiful!

  2. I live in a small town of White Springs, Florida, Florida’s first tourist destination. So much of what you write about here, I live from day to day in a small town that time passed by, and only some remnants of a once golden past remain.

  3. Love these snippets of days gone by. Interesting read about the methodist church as Iā€™m a member of a methodist church in my country x

  4. Jerry Lancaster

    The Church is located in Centerville,NC. I grew up with in a half mile of it. A true landmark for our community.

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