Thanks for yesterday, God!
Renew us today, Lord!
Give us vision for tomorrow, Jesus Christ!
-1990 Bicentennial Prayer
A Brief History
-excerpts from History article in Dedication of Sanctuary Program, 1966 by Tom M. Little
Methodism first reached Anson County in 1775 when a church was organized near the old court house on Ingram level and was known as Jackson’s Meeting House.
When the Methodist Episcopal Church was officially organized in Baltimore at the Christmas Conference of 1784, Jackson’s became the mother church of Anson County Methodism. Bishops Coke, Asbury, and Whatcoat visited there in 1787, 1789, and Christmas 1794.
The Anson County Court House moved to Wadesboro in 1787 and a Methodist Church must have been organized soon thereafter, the court house being used as a preaching place. It is believed that our church was organized about 1790, and our  official board felt this a justifiable date to establish. This is supported by the following entry made in the journal of Bishop Asbury, dated Sunday, January 18, 1801:
“We came to Wadesboro after a court week. We held our meeting underneath the court house beneath the arches. We had a most delightful day. Bishop Whatcoat spoke with great ingenuity and authority about the wages of sin in death, but the gift of God is eternal life. My subject was Luke 18:27. We lodged at I. Cash’s.”
The first recorded deed for property of Wadesboro Methodist Church was entered in 1832 for a lot on Salisbury Street, but records show that the old court house was used until 1830. We feel that our first church building must have been built about that time on the lot once occupied by Crawford’s used cars. This is also supported by the report that the first church building was crude and unpretentious, but was remodeled about 40 years later. The bell that was removed from the church razed in 1959 is dated 1870 and was brought from the Salisbury Street building.
Our church served as host church to the South Carolina Annual Conference in 1850, when Wadesboro was a very small village. The conference was held in the upstairs of the old Masonic Building, as the church was not large enough to seat the delegates. Mr. James Plunkett, grandfather of Misses Bessie, Jennie Doak, and Mary Plunkett, entertained fourteen attending this meeting.
The first parsonage lot deed was recorded in 1853 to Samuel Spencer, trustee, lot No. 72, located on the corner of Rutherford and Martin Streets. The next parsonage lot was purchased in 1875, located on the East side of South Greene Street, and a house was built soon thereafter.
In the early 1880’s our forefathers decided it was time to make a big move to provide adequate facilities for their growing church. They selected and purchased in 1883 a very desirable location on the corner of Morgan and Greene Streets, known as the Buck Tavern lot, part of our present property, and proceeded to make plans for a new church.
They planned and built well, and they were a proud congregation when they moved to their new church in 1892. Some of our older people say that the church was quite a show place for a town the size of Wadesboro and people came from many parts to see and inspect this beautiful building with a tall steeple, spacious auditorium, and beautiful art windows.
The old parsonage was taken down in 1907, moved and re-erected on Chesterfield Road. A new parsonage was then built on the South Greene lot and served until 1939. This home was first occupied by Rev. J. H. West in 1908.
As Wadesboro grew, our church increased its membership and broadened its program to better serve the spiritual life of the community. The need for additional space for an expanding Sunday School was met in 1912 when a new planning committee was named; the building was completed the following year at the cost of over $6,700.
To add to our lot for church and parsonage:
- in 1939 the old Dunlap home was purchased adjacent to the church building,
- in 1945 a large lot was purchased on the corner of Leak Avenue and Hall Street for a future parsonage,
- in 1946 the Beachum home was purchased to add additional classrooms and expand the church lot, and an adjacent property was given to the church
- the old parsonage was converted into a fellowship hall and classrooms, and construction on a new parsonage began in 1949
Our people continued to show their interest and desire to expand and improve our facilities with talks of a building program. In 1950 needs for our young people soon took the lead with urgency for more space. Plans were developed for a large educational building. Construction on the new building (where the Beachum house was) began in July 1952, and was completed less than three years later. The spark of desire remained for a new sanctuary and additional classrooms, so plans were made for these in 1956.
On April 6, 1959, final services were held in the old sanctuary, which had served our people for over sixty-five years, and the building was razed to make room for a new building. Worship services were held in the fellowship hall in the interim.
We have kept ties with our history by preserving several items from former church buildings. We have placed in the new steeple the bell that was first used in the 1830 building (then moved to the 1891 building). It is now electrified to toll mechanically for specified times controlled by a time clock. Two pews have been preserved from the first church and two from the second church. There are three stained glass windows preserved from the second building, displayed in the narthex. The opening service of our sanctuary was held January 15, 1961, and a dedication service held in 1966.
Pastors Who Have Served Our Church
1834-1835 – Kenneth Murchison
1835-1836 – John H. Robinson
1836-1837 – Allen McCorquodale
1837-1839- Daniel G. McDaniel
1839-1840 – Arch B. McGilvery
1840-1842 – Ira L. Potter
1842-1843 – Samuel W. Capers
1843-1844 – Henry H. Durant
1844-1846 – Samuel Leard
1846-1847 – Theophilus Huggins
1847-1848 – Charles S. Walker
1848-1849 – Joseph H. Wheeler
1850-1851 – Tracy R. Walsh
1851-1852 – Charles S. Walker
1853-1854 – Thomas Mitchell
1854-1855 – William W. Wood
1855-1856 – Osgood A. Darby
1857-1858 – L.A. Johnson
1858-1859 – F. Milton Kennedy
1859-1860 – Lewis M. Little
1860-1862 – H.C. Parsons
1862-1864 – Samuel J. Hill
1864-1865 – Algernon S. Link
1865-1866 – Thomas J. Clyde
1866-1870 – E.W. Thompson
1870-1871 – R.R. Pegues
1871-1873 – M.V. Sherrill
1873-1875 – G.J. Brent
1875-1876 – Bernice B. Culbreth
1876-1877 – James W. Wheeler
1877-1879 – Thomas W. Guthrie
1879-1880 – Pinckney L. Groome
1880-84 – William S. Rone
1884-1885 – Fred B. Swindell
1885-1886 – William C. Cannon
1887-1889 – J. Edwin Thompson
1889-1892 – Thomas A. Boone
1892-1893 – Frank Townsend
1893-1894 – C.G. Little
1894-1896 – T.P. Bonner
1896-1900 – Parker Holmes
1900-1901 – F.H. Wood
1901-1903 – D.M. Litaker
1903-1907 – M.A. Smith
1907-1911 – J.H. West
1911-1915 – G.D. Harman
1915-1917 – A.L. Plyler
1917-1918 – A.L. Stanford
1918-1920 – E.R. Welch
1920-1921 – C.A. Wood
1921-1924 – W.R. Shelton
1924 -1926 – J.H. Armbrust
1926-1927 – Carlock Hawk
1927-1928 – W.O. Goode
1928-1932 – W.B. Davis
1932-1935 – G.B. Clemmer
1935-1939 – Paul Hardin, Jr.
1939-1940 – T.F. Higgins
1940-1944 – C.P. Bowles
1944-1948 – W. Ken Goodson
1948-1950 – J.E. Carroll
1950-1954 – Walter Lanier
1954-1957 – Dwight B. Mullis
1957-1960 – E. Paul Hamilton
1960-1964 – D. Moody Nifong
1964-1967 – Harley Dickson
1967-1971 – Ernest D. Page
1971-1973 – Horace McSwain
1973-1976 – N. Carson Williams
1976-1980 – Bill E. Bass
1980-1982 – A.C. Kennedy
1982-12/31/85 – James B. Long, Jr.
2/1/1986-91 – Mack M. Armstrong
1991-1995 – Cameron Conover
1995-1999 – Robert A. Clanton
1999-2004 – Albert L. Joyner, Jr.
2004-2012 – Robert W. Rollins, Jr.
2012 -2015- Benny Clodfelter
June-Sept. 2015 Harrison Hinson, interim
2015-2021 – Sarah B. Kalish
2021- Stacey Lundy
WEHB-LP Radio Station, 98.3FM
The WEHB-LP Radio Station is not currently operational, but we seek to restore and expand its reach! The station for years broadcast music and worship services within a 1.5 mi radius of the church.
The mission of radio station WEHB-LP is to be an extension of the ministry of First United Methodist Church, Wadesboro, North Carolina and the surrounding communities.
The concept of a low-frequency FM radio station serving Wadesboro and Anson County came from Dr. Al Joyner, former pastor of FUMC. In December 2002, Dr. Joyner took advantage of a “window of opportunity” and applied for a construction permit for a low-power FM radio station. The Federal Communications system granted this permit in April 2003. The late Bill Billingsley undertook the leadership to construct the station, with much assistance from Dr. Joyner, Dr. Bob Davis, Tim Hildebrandt and Jeff Watts of Statesville.
FUMC received the James S. Bellamy Television/Radio Award from the Conference Committee on Communications at the Annual Conference in June 2004. Also in June, the Administrative Council appointed Lonnie Baucom as Chief Operator. Subcommittees were appointed: Format, chaired by Sandy Bruney, and Finance, chaired by Dr. Bob Davis.
Licensing was obtained from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC to legally play copywrighted music on the airways.
Equipment was put together with the help of many interested parties, including broadcasting friends of the late Bill Billingsley, whose dream was to see the radio station come into being.
Operations and Format began to put together a library of music. Andrew Puryear began the effort by recording music from CD’s. Lonnie and Jim Bruney learned the software, Digilink Free, to automate the station by computer. This entailed many hours of work, but we now have over 1,500 songs in our digital library.
The Format Committee agreed that almost all kinds of music should be played except that which is not in accordance with the teachings of the First United Methodist Church. Hymns, spirituals, Christian Rock, seasonal, “oldies”, big band, country and western religious, soft rock and easy listening are among the styles listeners have enjoyed.
As WEHB-LP grows, we will add PSAs (Public Service Announcements) about community events such as cultural events, fundraisers, and school closings. We also have the capability now to interrupt broadcasting with severe weather alerts. And, our Sunday morning worship service is broadcast each Sunday at 11 a.m.
Station WEHB-LP 98.3 officially signed on the air on Sept. 7 at 7 a.m. in order to meet the Oct. 14 deadline imposed by the FCC.
Jeff Watts filed an application with the FCC for full licensing, which was accepted on Sept. 24. It could take from 90 days to six months before the application is accepted or denied; during the review period we will continue to operate under our construction permit, which was automatically extended after the license aplication was accepted.
We are now using an antenna on the side of the H.W. Little Building until we obtain clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to use the taller antenna on top of the building. Clearance is needed because of the antenna’s nearness to the Jeff Cloud Airport. Once this is granted, we expect to cover most of Anson County.
The chancel window designed for First Methodist Church by the Willet Studios of Philadelphia is composed of symbols in an ornamental background. One of the three members of the Trinity is shown at the top of each of the three lancets.
The left lancet has at the top, the hand of God, the Father extended in benediction. Beneath it, at the bottom of the lancet, may be seen the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden represented by the tree of knowledge around which is coiled the Serpent of Evil and the Fruit which proved man’s downfall. In the center is the flaming sword superimposed on a cross. Above this medallion is the burning bush symbol of Moses. Next comes Isaiah who is represented by the flaming coal from the altar held in tongs with which the prophet’s lips were sealed.
The center lancet represents Christ. At the bottom the manger and star of Bethlehem portray the nativity. Above this is the cross with a winding sheet symbolizing the Crucifixion. Next above is the mythical bird, the Phoenix, who is said to rise newborn from the flames of their nest, thus typifying Christ’s Resurrection. At the top is the symbol for the second person of the Trinity, Christ the Lamb of God. The medallion next above contains a type of Christ’s ascension, the fiery chariot in which Elijah was take up into heaven.
The right lancet has at the top the descending dove of the Holy Spirit, the symbols beneath it represent the ongoing church. At the bottom are symbols of the Sacraments. Baptism is typified by the dove superimposed on a font above which is the escallop shell used in the ceremony, from which depend the three drops of water, the Trinity. For communion the sacred chalice and paten are used. The Great Commission given by Christ to His followers to go into all the world and preach the Gospel is depicted by a compound symbol comprised of the crossed pilgrims’ staff and banner of victory in front of a cross upon which is seen the globe of the world. Behind the cross upon the sea of life is the ship with cross-shaped mast, symbol of the Ecumenical Church. Most prominent of all is the lamp of Christian knowledge.
The Sanctuary organ was dedicated in 1965, and refurbished in 2010 by Cornell Zimmer in Denver, NC. It is a pipe combination hybrid with 3 manuals and 62 ranks.
The Sunken Garden is located just down the steps from our labyrinth and columbarium off Morgan Street. Here you will find the original cornerstone and surrounding brick from the 1891 building. The brass rails that adorn the steps also come from the 1891 church, originally donated by the Plunkett sisters in memory of their parents.
Good Shepherd Window
The Good Shepherd window from our 1891 sanctuary now hangs in the narthex. Miniature ornament versions are available for purchase in the church office.
Opening Service of 1961 Sanctuary
Jan. 15,1961: First service held in new sanctuary with (former pastor) Bishop Paul Hardin, Jr. guest preaching.
Columbarium & Labyrinth
In 2018, a walking prayer labyrinth and a columbarium were installed. Labyrinths are designed for you to “walk” your prayer and center your spirit. The columbarium backs up the Labyrinth, and is available for members of FUMC.
This postcard of the 1891 church building was sent in 1913! The church bell, cornerstone and surrounding brick, and some stained glass windows were preserved for our current building.