A HISTORY OF THE CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH
OF ASHEBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
BY J. E. PRITCHARD, D. D.
Publication authorized by Fourth Quarterly Conference held September 12, 1951
Having been requested by the Quarterly Conference of the Central Methodist Church, in 1949, to write a history of the Church, I have decided to set down in order such facts as I have. The sources from which I get my information are: My own memory, the Quarterly Conference Records and the Journals of the Annual Conference.
It might be appropriate to say in the very beginning that this church was established as a Methodist Protestant Church and remained such until Methodist Union came in 1939 when the Methodist Episcopal Church, The M. E. Church South and the Methodist Protestant Church were merged into The Methodist Church.
It is always important to get back as near to the beginning of any organization as is possible. It is, therefore fortunate that there has been preserved an anonymous article which was printed in Our Church Record, later The Methodist Protestant Herald September 19, 1898 which deals with the founding of this church. Since this writer evidently had first hand information it seems wise to quote this article in full:
"Early in the spring of 1891 it became evident that the time was ripe for the establishment of a Methodist Protestant Church in Asheboro, and though there were few members in the immediate vicinity there were enough to form a nucleus for a membership to cluster round. Early in the year mentioned, according to appointment President W. A. Bunch met in the Sheriff's office a committee consisting of Peter Voncannon, S. R. Richardson and J. A. Spencer. and to this number were added R. R. Ross and Wm. C. Hammer. After consulting among themselves and some friends among other denominations, among whom I would mention E. A. Moffitt of the Christian Church, W. P. Wood of the M. E. Church and A. C. McAlister of the Presbyterian Church, it was decided to build. A location ·was chosen, the deed was made to Peter Voncannon, S. R. Richardson and J. A. Spencer, Trustees and their successors. Later Rev. W. R. Lowdermilk was appointed to solicit subscriptions, and W. F. Redding, E. G. Lowdermilk and R. R. Ross constituted the building committee. The energetic work of these brethren and their co-laborers, assisted as they were by the members of all the denominations represented in the vicinity and by many who were not church members was rewarded by the completion of a large and beautiful house of worship early in the year 1892. But the end was not yet. There were no seats, no bell and a debt contracted. That big hearted Alec M. Rankin, though he had given liberally already, then proposed to R. R. Ross that they as individuals should give their note payable in twelve months and furnish the house with good seats in preference to some make shifts proposed by some. It was done and at the end of the year these brethren were relieved of the debt by the then entire male membership of the church. A bell was not wanting. The late John Ferree of Randleman, a man whose soul grew fat by his liberality, one who invested his money in almost every church and school house in his reach and one whom all worthy causes found with an open hand, though a member of another denomination now came forward and presented us with a bell, equal, perhaps, to any in the county. May its inspiring tones lead many of us into a life of usefulness.
In May 1892 the Rev. W. M. Pike preached the first sermon in the new church at 11 o'clock and in the afternoon organized a society of what we have been pleased to term 'The Original Thirteen'. From this time on we had preaching regularly once a month and were relieved of a considerable part of the debt, aided by the liberality of O. R. Cox, J. A. Spencer, J. C. Bain and others. Brother Pike served as pastor until the conference met in 1892 when Rev. C. A. Cecil was assigned to this and the Randleman Church. He was our faithful pastor for five years.
In expectation of the annual conference called to meet with us in 1894, during that spring and summer a special effort was put forth to paint and carpet the church. The last evening before the conference assembled saw this completed. A year later, by the assistance of neighboring circuits, by the sacrifice of willing souls and through the untiring energy and executive ability of Bro. Cecil, the entire debt had been cancelled and Rev. W. A. Bunch preached the dedicatory sermon, to a large audience. An able sermon but a disappointed audience for he announced that no collection would be taken. During Bro. Cecil's pastorate the membership of the church increased from thirteen to about seventy-five, a Sunday school was begun and a C. E. Society organized and the church firmly established. Rev. J. R. Savage is our third and present pastor and we believe the future has much to unfold to us."
The splendid article just quoted does not give the names of the charter members, so it seems that here is the proper place for them. They are: William C. Hammer, Jr., Minnie Hancock (Hammer), Reuben Lowdermilk, Rev. E. G. Lowdermilk, Walter C. Davis, Mrs. ·waiter C. Davis, M. L. Davis, A. O. Redding, Mrs. A. O. Redding, Mrs. Jennie Hancock, R. R Ross, Mrs. R. R. Ross and Bertie Ross McDonald.
In following up the work of this church and recording such facts as are available it seems wise to develop this story along the lines of each pastor's tenure in office. This will make it possible to give credit where credit is due. All pastors of this church have been faithful in the performance of their duties so far as the record goes, however, some have had more .visible results than others. But even here it is true as in many cases that one man laid the foundation and another built thereon. It must also be remembered that at the time this church was organized, Asheboro had a population of only about 500. Even at the close of the century the population was less than 1000.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. W. M. PIKE
The pastorate of Rev. W. M. Pike lasted only from the time the church was formally organized in May until the meeting of the Annual Conference in November. The Rev. Mr. Pike was pastor of the Randleman circuit and he could give only one Sunday in each month to the Asheboro church. But his sermons were always of such a nature as to attract attention and to win the respect of those who heard him. It was fortunate for this church that it had such a man during the first few months of its existence.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. C. A. CECIL
The annual conference of 1892 created a new charge known as Randleman and Asheboro. The two churches were Mt. Lebanon in Randleman and the Asheboro church. Rev. C. A. Cecil was appointed to the pastorate of this charge and continued to serve these churches for two years. The Conference which met in Asheboro in 1894 dissolved the Randleman and Asheboro charge and created a new charge known as Asheboro and Cedar Falls circuit. The churches on this charge were: Asheboro, Cedar Falls, Giles Chapel and Davis Chapel. The Rev. C. A. Cecil was appointed pastor of this new charge and continued in this relationship until the meeting of the Annual Conference in November 1897 when Giles Chapel and Davis Chapel were taken off this charge, leaving Asheboro and Cedar Falls to constitute the churches on the charge. The Rev. Mr. Cecil was a man of great energy and had considerable ability, especially for organization. He was also a man who was very anxious to do things in accordance with the law of the Church. This fact gave the Asheboro church a good beginning. In those days in the early nineties money was scarce and hard to get. As an illustration of the low salaries which ministers received, the conference journal of 1893 shows that the Randleman-Asheboro charge promised the pastor $500.00 a year and actually paid $441.80. The journal of 1894 shows that the pastor was promised $500.00 and actually received $430.00. One of the outstanding things during the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Cecil was the paying off of the church debt and the dedicating of the church. This church also had a new experience in entertaining the annual conference in November 1894. At this conference, Rev. T. T. Ferree, a native of Randolph County who had been elected President of the conference at Lagrange, N. C., the previous year was re-elected President. The Honorable G. S. Bradshaw who was clerk of the Superior Court of Randolph County delivered the welcome address on behalf of the local church and all the people of Asheboro. Rev. C. L. Whitaker who in later years served this church as pastor for a longer period than any other pastor, delivered the conference sermon.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. J. R. SAVAGE
The Annual Conference, meeting in High Point in November 1897 sent Rev. C. A. Cecil who had been pastor in Asheboro for five years, to Burlington and assigned Rev. J. R. Savage to Asheboro and Cedar Falls. As has been previously stated the Asheboro and Cedar Falls churches were the only churches on this new charge. The Rev. Mr. Savage remained on the charge for only one year. In so far as the records show, there was nothing of an unusual nature connected with his work.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. WILLIAM PORTER
The Annual Conference, meeting in Liberty, N. C., November 1898 assigned Rev. William M. Porter to the pastorate of the Asheboro and Cedar Falls charge. The Rev. Mr. Porter was a man of pleasing personality and was always popular with the people wherever he served. The Rev. Mr. Porter remained on this charge for two years and the record shows that the quarterly conference requested the Annual Conference to return him to the charge from year to year. The annual conference journal of 1899 began listing the records of individual churches rather than by charges. This record shows that the Asheboro church was supposed to pay $250.00 of the $400.00 promised by the charge and that it actually paid $256.80. The journal also shows that the president's claim was paid in full by the Asheboro church. The total amount raised for all purposes as recorded in the journal amounted to $490.16. While this amount may seem small in comparison with present day giving, let it be remembered that only about four charges in the conference raised a larger amount and most of these were at places where new churches were being built. While the conference journal listed payments by individual churches in financial matters, it listed membership statistics by charges. But the two churches on the charge are credited with having had during this first year of the Rev. Mr. Porter's pastorate 63 conversions and 44 accessions. The net increase for the year is listed as 38. The value of the two church buildings was listed as $3,500.00. The Journal of 1900 shows that the pastor's salary at the Asheboro church was over paid by $19.50. Even though the charge asked for the return of the pastor for his third year the annual conference assigned Mr. Porter to the First Church, High Point, N. C.
AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
Earlier in this story the names of the charter members of the church were given. From the time the charter members were received to the close of 1898 the dates when members were received were not given. But that posterity may know who the members were who carried on for the first few years it seems wise to record the names of all who were received during the closing years of the century. So all who were received through 1900 are being listed here. In those early days the names of the men and the women were recorded on separate pages, so it seems wise to record them here in the same order as given on the church register, listing the men first and then the women. Here they are: W. F. Redding, Arthur Ross, W. C. Plummer, John M. Hammer, Joseph N. Allred, Rev. T. T. Ferree, M. D., Robert F. Plummer, Johnathan Steed, Joseph Redding, Joseph M. Steadman, Orlendo R. Fox, A. A. Spencer, Charles Ross, T. G. Loftin, Alvin S. Hill, G. G. Hendricks, Kerney E. Hendricks, T. E. Lynden, John McDowell, Allen Hale, Fred Hendricks, Robert Ferree, Willie Ward, Wiley L. Ward, Ernest Redding, Eli Pritchard, Robah Hoover, J. W. Jolly, Ludolph G. Fox. John A. Wright, Mrs. T. T. Ferree, Mrs. J. N. Allred, Mrs. R. F. Plummer, Mrs. O. R. Fox, Sara Esther Ross, Mrs. A. A. Spencer, Nancy A. Loflin, Bertha A. Davis, Mrs. W. J. Scarboro, Roana Hill,, Fannie Millikan, Mrs. G. G. Hendricks, Annie Hale, Ella Hendricks, Mary Lyndon, Mrs. Eli Pritchard, Annie J. Dunn, Lizzie Spencer, Mary E. Wright, Mrs. M. C. Spoon, Martha S. Mendenhall, E. C. Davis, W. E. Davis, Alma Ferree, Mrs. W. W. Jones, Cornelia Allred, Myrtle Pritchard, Beulah Fox, Bessie Teague, Laura Smith, Florence Hendricks, D. M. Holiday, Joseph M. McDowell, Charles. F. Smith, George Ferree, Joseph L. Norman, John H. Pritchard.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. W. R. LOWDERMILK
The annual conference of 1900 assigned Rev. W. R. Lowdermilk to the pastorate of the two churches; Asheboro and Cedar Falls. The Rev. Mr. Lowdermilk was a native of Randolph County, having been brought up about three miles east of Asheboro. He was the first of Randolph County's native sons to be appointed pastor of the Asheboro church. The officers of the church for the conference year running from November 1900 to Nov. 1901 were: Supt. Sunday school, W. J. Teague; Trustees: G. G. Hendricks, O. R Fox, W. F. Redding, R R. Ross and Robert Plummer. The Class Leader was Dr. T. T. Ferree. The Stewards were, Mrs. W. C. Hammer and D. M. Holiday. The President of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was Charles Ross. At the first quarterly conference of that year Miss Bertie Hampton Ross (McDonald) who had been secretary for the past few years was succeeded by W. J. Teague who served for the next several years. The second quarterly conference of that year asked the trustees of the two churches to use their own judgment as to having the churches insured. The pastor's salary for that year was four hundred dollars with Asheboro assessed $250.00 and Cedar Falls $150:00. D. M. Holiday of the Asheboro church was elected delegate to the annual conference with W. J. Teague as the reserve delegate. The quarterly conference instructed the delegate to ask for the return of the Rev. Mr. Lowdermilk for another year, however, Mr. Lowdermilk was sent to the Anderson charge in South Carolina and Rev. W. A. Bunch was sent to Asheboro and Cedar Falls.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. W. A. BUNCH
The Rev. W. A. Bunch who had served as president of the annual conference from Nov. 1889 to Nov. 1892 and again from Nov. 1895 to Nov. 1897 was now sent to the Asheboro and Cedar Falls charge. From Nov. 1901 to Nov. 1902 The Rev. Mr. Bunch served both these churches, however, the annual conference of 1902 made the Asheboro church a station and attached Cedar Falls to Randolph circuit. During the first year of the Rev. Mr. Bunch's pastorate when the charge consisted of the two churches the pastor's salary was increased from $400.00 to $500.00 a year. The Asheboro church was asked to pay $312.50 and Cedar Falls was to pay $187.50. Nixon Presnell of the Cedar Falls church was elected delegate to the annual conference which was to meet in the Asheboro church in November 1902 and W. J. Teague of the Asheboro church was the reserve delegate. In the fourth quarterly conference a motion was made to postpone the matter of apportioning the pastor's salary to each church until the first quarterly conference of the next year. But before the next year came in the Asheboro church had been made a station and was responsible for all the salary.
Now that the Asheboro church had been made a station, it launched out on a program all its own. D. M. Holiday, W. F. Redding and W. J. Teague were appointed as members of the Advisory committee. Mrs. W. C. Hammer, Jr., was appointed chairman of a visiting committee with the privilege of appointing her assistants. Mrs. R. R. Ross was appointed to head up a committee to visit Methodist Protestants living in the community who had not joined the local church. Action on the amount of salary to be paid the pastor was postponed to the second quarterly conference. Mrs. W. C. Hammer, Jr., Mrs. W. J. Scarboro and Mrs. G. G. Hendricks were appointed on entertainment committee. D. M. Holiday, Rosa Spencer, Bessie Teague and Joe Ross were appointed on the board of stewards. Esther Ross, Lizzie Spencer, Beulah Fox and Florence Hendricks were appointed to collect the general interests (Missions, education, etc.). In the second quarterly conference the pastor's salary was fixed at $400.00. Other items in the budget were: General Interests $150.00, Church Debt $17.00, total budget $567.00. In the third quarterly conference W. F. Redding was elected delegate to Annual Conference.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. W. E. SWAIN
The Annual Conference of 1903, held in Winston Salem, granted the request of Rev. W. A. Bunch that he be left without work on account of his health and sent to Asheboro the Rev. W. E. Swain. This pastorate in Asheboro lasted for four years. The Rev. Mr. Swain was a fluent speaker and had, perhaps, a greater use of the English language than did any other member of the conference of his day. The first quarterly conference, meeting December 15, 1903 increased the pastor's salary from $400.00 to $500.00. Also at this conference a committee was appointed consisting of G. G. Hendricks, R. R. Ross and D. M. Holiday to ascertain where a site could be obtained on which to build a parsonage. This committee was to report back to a called meeting a week later. So far as the records show no further action was taken at the time to secure a parsonage. In the third quarterly conference, held September 6, 1904 G. G. Hendricks was elected delegate to the annual conference with Mrs. W. C. Hammer the alternate delegate. In the fourth quarterly conference, held November 18. W. C. Hammer Jr. was elected church trustee in place of John H. Pritchard who had moved away. The pastor's salary was fixed at $500.00 for the ensuing year. The conference year beginning with December 1904 and ending December 1905 had the following officers for the Asheboro church: Pastor W. E. Swain, local preacher W. A. Bunch, Supt. of Sunday School W. J. Teague, Class Leader Charles F. Smith, Trustees, R. R. Ross, O. R. Fox, W. F. Redding, G. G. Hendricks, and W. C. Hammer. The Stewards were: Florence Hendricks, Rosa Spencer,Lizzie Ferree, M. C. Spoon, and Wiley Ward. In the first quarterly conference, held January 11, 1905, a committee was appointed consisting of J. D. Ross, D. M. Holiday and G. G. Hendricks to ascertain the cost of lighting the church by electricity. This committee was asked to report to an adjourned meeting January 13, 1905. There seems to be no further reference to this committee in the minutes of the quarterly conferences.
The quarterly conference minutes for the remainder of Rev. W. E. Swain's pastorate are very brief and do not give many facts, however, the annual conference journal shows that at the beginning of his pastorate the membership of the church was 93 and and at the close of his four years the membership had grown to 140. The salary had been increased from $450.00 to $625.00.
THE PASTORATE OF DR. T. M. JOHNSON
At the close of Dr. W. E. Swaim's pastorate in Asheboro which was November 1907 he was elected president of the annual conference and Dr. T. M. Johnson who had served as president of the conference for five years was assigned to the Asheboro church where he served from November 1907 to November 1912. At the beginning of this new pastorate the quarterly conference records show the following officers: Trustees, W. C. Hammer, Jr., O. R. Fox.. and W. J. Teague. Sunday school superintendent, R. R. Ross. Stewards, M. C. Spoon, W. L. Ward and Colon Spencer. W. J. Teague was elected secretary of the quarterly conference. Rev. W. C. Hammer, Sr., who was a retired minister was a member of the quarterly conference. In the fourth quarterly conference of this year it was announced that G. G. Hendricks had been elected delegate to the annual conference and that R. R. Ross was the alternate delegate. The fourth quarterly conference requested the annual conference to return Dr. Johnson to this charge for another year. The outstanding thing, perhaps, in Dr. Johnson's pastorate was the building of a new parsonage. References to the need of a parsonage are found in the minutes of the quarterly conference almost from the beginning of Dr. Johnson's pastorate. In the first quarterly conference which met January 3, 1910, W. J. Teague, O. R. Fox, J. D. Ross and Dr. Johnson were appointed a committee to ascertain what lots were for sale and at what price, suitable as a location for a parsonage. In a meeting of the second quarterly conference on May 16, 1910 we find this reference: "J. S. Lewis, W. L. Ward, .J. D. Ross, O. R. Fox and W. J. Teague, Trustees for parsonage, are hereby authorized to make such repairs on the parsonage as they may deem best or expedient." In the meeting of the third quarterly conference, held Oct. 3, 1910 this entry is made: "Since the meeting of the quarterly conference a new parsonage has been built on the lot purchased from W. W. Jones." This lot was at the southwest intersection of South Fayetteville and West Kivett streets. The minutes show that at a meeting of the membership of the church the trustees had been authorized to sell the old house that stood on the lot and to sell a part of the lot - the part sold was that part running along Kivett street. The trustees were also authorized to mortgage the parsonage property to the People's Building and Loan in the sum of $1000.00 to pay for the property. At this same third quarterly conference the minutes say that W. L. Ward had been elected delegate to the next annual conference and that W. J. Teague was the alternate delegate. For the Conference year ending with November 1911, R. R. Ross was Superintendent of Sunday school, L. F. Ross was President of the Christian Endeavor Society, W. J. Teague was secretary of the Quarterly Conference. Church Trustees were: O. R. Fox. O. R. Cox, W. C. Hammer, Jr., W. F. Redding, A. A. Spencer, S. L. Hayworth. The Stewards were: M. C. Spoon, Charles F. Smith, J. A. Holder, O. W. Rich, O. R. Fox, Garland Pritchard and J. D. Ross. This year and the next, as well as all the years of Dr. Johnson's pastorate were fruitful of great good. At the end of the year 1912 which was the end of Dr. Johnson's pastorate the records show that the membership of the church had increased during this pastorate from 143 to 184, and that during the year 1912 there had been 24 professions and 25 accessions. The Sunday school enrollment had reached 160. The annual conference which met in Burlington in 1912 marked the end of the pastorate of Dr. T. M. Johnston at Asheboro and he was sent to Tabernacle charge in Guilford County. This conference also marked the end of the administration of Dr. W. E. Swain who had served five years as president of the annual conference. Dr. Swain was sent to Mebane. This conference of 1912 also marked the beginning of the administration as president of Rev. C. A. Cecil who had piloted the Asheboro church through its first five years.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. T. J. OGBURN
The annual conference of 1912 assigned Rev. T. J. Ogburn to the pastorate of the Asheboro church. The Rev. Mr. Ogburn had served as annual conference president in 1885, 1886 and 1887 and for a number of years had been the executive secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions. His last assignment before coming to Asheboro was a five year's pastorate at Grace church in Greensboro. He was an able preacher and had exercised a great influence over the entire denomination. At the end of his first year at Asheboro he transferred his membership to the Western N. C. Conference of the M. E. Church South where he served only a few years and was retired.
THE PASTORATE OF DR. C. L. WHITAKER
The annual conference, meeting in First Methodist Protestant Church in High Point, N. C., November 1913, assigned Dr. C. L. Whitaker to the Asheboro church. Dr. Whitaker was another former president of the annual conference, he having served in that capacity in 1900 and again in 1901. This pastorate proved to be the longest of any in the history of the church, extending over a period of six years. Dr. Whitaker was a man of striking personality. He was from Halifax county and was a descendent of the founders of the Methodist Protestant Church in N. C. He was an able preacher and was popular wherever he served. In the first quarterly conference, held December 22, 1913 the following officers were reported: Class Leader C. F. Smith. Church Trustees: O. R. Fox, W. C. Hammer, A. A. Spencer, Arthur Ross, W. F. Redding, S. L. Hayworth, and R. R. Ross. L. F. Ross Sup. of the Sunday school reported that the school was doing fairly well but was badly in need of some more regular teachers. Entry is made in the record that there was no report from the pastor. Dr. C. L. Whitaker since he had recently entered upon the work. The pastor's salary was fixed at $750.00 with more if it could be collected. In the third quarterly conference held Sept. 21, 1914 the pastor called attention to the need for running water in the parsonage. He also recommended that an every member canvas be made to determine the amount of the pastor's salary for the next year. In this same quarterly conference it was announced that Mrs. S. L. Hayworth had been elected delegate to the annual conference with J. D. Ross as the alternate. The minutes of the first quarterly conference, held March 8, 1916 seems to list some new names on the board of stewards: This board consisted of Arthur Ross, Dr. John Swaim, C. E. Bulla, L. F. Ross, Henry Jones, W. A. Bunch, O. R. Fox, W. L. Ward, O. W. Rich and Garland Pritchard. The minutes of the third quarterly conference, held August 30th 1916 show that Mrs. J. S. Lewis was elected delegate to the annual conference of that year and Dr. John Swaim was the alternate. The minutes of the fourth quarterly conference of 1916 show that the pastor's salary of $750.00 had been paid in full and $129.00 had been paid on conference claims. The records of the second quarterly conference of 1917 show that the pastor, Dr. C. L. Whitaker spoke to the meeting on the importance of building a new church, however the building was not erected until 1921. The fourth quarterly conference for the year 1917 increased the pastor's salary to $900.00 and the delegate to Conference, Mrs. S. L. Hayworth was instructed to ask for the return of Dr. Whitaker for another year. In membership meeting, held September 11th, 1918, W. L. Ward made a motion which was seconded by Mrs. W. C. Hammer, authorizing the trustees to purchase from R. R. Ross a parcel of land adjoining the church property measuring forty feet on Fayetteville street and running back 200 feet. Also a plot 60 feet wide and 110 feet deep on the west side of the present church property for the sum of $591.43. This last piece of property evidently was at the rear of the original lot, so as to make the church lot the same depth on each side. In this same meeting the pastor urged that a decision be reached early in the matter of building a new church. In the fourth quarterly conference of 1918 the pastor's salary for the next year was fixed at $1000.00. The year 1918 also marks the beginning of a very progressive step in that from that time on the minutes of the quarterly conference were typed and put in a loose-leaf book, making it much easier to read them.
THE PASTORATE OF DR. L. W. GERRINGER
Even though the quarterly conference had requested the annual conference to return Dr. C. L. Whitaker for another year, Dr. L. W. Gerringer was appointed pastor of the Asheboro church. Dr. Gerringer was a native of Alamance County and had graduated from Western Maryland College with the class of 1910 and from the Westminister Theological Seminary in 1913. One of the outstanding achievements of Dr. Gerringer's pastorate in Asheboro was the building of the new church, the one which is being used at the present time. However, the new church was not built during the first year. One of the things that held up the building of the church was the difficulty of agreeing on a location. Some wanted to build on the original site while others were in favor of building on the southwest corner of Sunset and Church streets. In the meeting of the membership of the church to decide on a location the pastor stated that according to the interpretation of the law of the Church as handed down by Dr. T. H. Lewis who at that time was president of the General Conference of the church, a two thirds majority would be necessary to remove to a new location. When the vote was taken the result was a tie, so the motion to remove to a new location was lost. At a later date a membership meeting was held and another vote was taken. When the ballots were counted there lacked one vote of being a two--thirds majority. A second vote was taken and still there was one vote short of the required two-thirds majority. Still another vote was agreed upon and this time the two-thirds majority was obtained. However, very little was done about the building of a new church and on July 3, 1921 a meeting of the membership of the church was held for the purpose of reconsidering the previous motion to remove to a new location. The motion to reconsider the matter was put and 31 voted for the motion and none voted against it.
Previously the pastor and the board of stewards had been asked to appoint a Building Committee and a Finance committee. At a meeting held on November 10, 1920 the members of these committees were announced as Building Committee: Arthur Ross, chairman; W. F. Redding, J. A. Way, W. A. Bunch, Virgil Presnell. The Finance Committee consisted of the following persons: Dr. John Swaim, chairman; J. S. Lewis, J. D. Ross, O. R. Fox and W. L. Ward. There seems to be nothing in the records to indicate just when the new church was started, however, in the second quarterly conference, held March 29, 1922 the Finance Committee reported that they had spent $9.500.00 on the new building and that it would be necessary to raise $1600.00 or $1700.00 in order to make a start toward completing the brick and granite work. In the meeting of the third quarterly conference, held July 26, 1922 the pastor, Rev. L. W. Gerringer recommended that the work on the new church be pushed to completion and that the Finance committee make an effort to collect all unpaid pledges. In this same quarterly conference the Church Trustees reported that the old building had been sold and moved and that work had been resumed on the new building. In a meeting of the Fourth Quarterly Conference, held October 26, 1922, the Trustees reported that the new building was enclosed and practically all of the masonry work had been completed. While the quarterly conference records do not give any information about where the services were being held, yet from other sources we learn that the large room on the ground floor, usually referred to as The Social Room of the church was finished first and that services were held in that room.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. H.F. FOGLEMAN
The Annual Conference, meeting in Henderson in November 1922 sent Dr. L. W. Gerriger to Asheville and sent the Rev. H. F. Fogleman to Asheboro. The quarterly conference roll for the conference year of 1922-23 is as follows: Sunday school Superintendent, C. E. Bulla. Class Leader, R. T. Lloyd; Treasurer, S. F. Phillips; Secretary quarterly conference; L. F. Ross; Church Trustees, R. R. Ross Chairman, Dr. John Swaim, W. F. Redding, W. C. Hammer, Arthur Ross, J. S. Lewis and W. R. Hamlin Stewards: T. F. Bulla Chairman, J. A. Way, S. F. Phillips, Miss Ruth Cox, Wm. M. Ridge, G. S. Brown, Mrs. Jesse Councilman, A. R. Winningham, W. P. Royster, H. C. Jones, G. P. Pritchard, C. F. Smith, Lacy S. Lewis, Mrs. M. H. Allred, Mrs. Ara Ridge, O. W. Rich, Miss Bertha Presnell, O. M. Henry, C. E. Davis and W. C. Hendricks. Parsonage Trustees: J. D. Ross Chairman, O. R. Fox, S. F. Lowdermilk, O. E. Rich and W A. Bunch. President of Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Mrs. J. S. Lewis; President Woman's Home Missionary Society, Mrs. W. F. Redding; President Ladies Aid Society, Mrs. H. W. Walker; President Christian Endeavor Society, Lacy Lewis.
In the meeting of the second quarterly conference, held May 2, 1923 the pastor, Rev. H. F. Fogleman thanked the membership of the church for the fine spirit of cooperation which existed in the church. At a meeting of the membership of the church, held May 2, 1923, the Parsonage trustees were given authority to assist in the matter of financing the church building even as to mortgaging or selling the parsonage. The pastor was authorized to appoint a committee of three to take out Building and Loan stock as a means of financing the church. The committee appointed consisted of A. R. Winningham, Mrs. M. H. Allred, Ethel Lovett, Clara Presnell, Lacy Lewis and Earl Bulla.
In a meeting of the third quarterly conference held September 19, the pastor referred to a series of services held in the church with Dr. J. C. Broomfield of Fairmount, West Virginia doing the preaching. Twenty-seven people united with the church at the close of the meeting. This was the same Dr. Broomfield who was one of the two Methodist Protestant ministers who were elected bishops of the Methodist Church at the Uniting Conference in 1939. In this same quarterly conference the pastor reported that Mr. F. R. Stout of Greensboro had solicited some of the members of the Asheboro church and had secured more than $1,000.00 for High Point College. C. E. Bulla was declared elected delegate to the approaching annual conference.
In the meeting of the fourth quarterly conference, held. October 17, 1923 pastor Fogleman reported having received forty-three members during the year. In this. quarterly conference C. E. Bulla announced that it would not be possible for him to attend the annual conference and R T. Lloyd was elected to represent the church. In an adjourned session of the fourth quarterly conference the treasurer of the Board of Stewards submitted his report showing all claims paid in full as follows: Pastor's salary $1,500.00; Janitor $120.00; Sundry bills $67.07; General Conference budget $700.00; Annual Conference budget $260.00, making; a total of $2,649.07. Of this amount $270.77 had been raised by the Foreign Missionary Society and $90.04 by the Home Missionary Society.
For the conference year the officers of the church were practically the same as for the previous year except that Mrs. S. L. Hayworth succeeded Mrs. J. S. Lewis as president of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society and Miss Esther Ross succeeded Mrs. W. F. Redding as president of The Woman's Home Missionary Society. In the second quarterly conference held May 7, 1924 the Sunday school Superintendent, C. E. Bulla reported that the church had raised $150.00 with which to furnish a room at High Point College. In an adjourned session of the third quarterly conference, held September 21, the secretary was asked to write a letter of thanks to Mr. J. A. York for building a cement sidewalk in front of the church. In an adjourned meeting of the fourth quarterly conference, held October 20th, 1924 the pastor's salary was increased from $1,500.00 to $1,800.00. W. F. Redding, Jr. was elected delegate to the annual conference. For the conference year 1924-25 Mr. W. L. Ward became the Superintendent of the Sunday school. Other officers were about the same as the previous year. In the meeting of the second quarterly conference, held May 20th, 1925 the church trustees reported that they had taken the matter up with Mr. D. B. McCrary in regard to the services being disturbed on Sunday by the Norfolk Southern trains doing shifting and that Mr. McCrary was working on the matter.
Dr. A. G. Dixon who was president of the annual conference, in his annual report to the conference says that on July 15, 1925, he released Rev. H. F. Fogleman from the pastorate of the Asheboro church and that on August 15 he appointed Rev. Paul Kennett to serve the remainder of the year at Asheboro. In the fourth quarterly conference the announcement was made that O. E. Rich had been unanimously elected delegate to the annual conference.
THE PASTORATE OF DR. PAUL KENNETT
In a preceding paragraph it has been stated that the President of the annual conference had appointed Dr. Paul Kennett to finish out the year following the resignation of Rev. H. F. Fogleman. Dr. Kennett served only from August 15 to November 1. He was Professor of History at High Point College and gave only Sunday mornings to the work in Asheboro. But the church carried on the work during the week. R. T. Lloyd who at that time was a licensed preacher assisted greatly in the work until such time as the annual conference appointed a regular pastor.
In the meeting of the fourth quarterly conference, held October 7, 1925 the Parsonage Trustees reported the sale of the parsonage lot for $4,000.00, the parsonage having burned earlier in the year.
THE PASTORATE OF J. E. PRITCHARD
The annual conference which met in High Point, November 4-9, 1925, assigned J. E. Pritchard to the Asheboro church. He was the second native of Randolph County to become pastor of the church, having been brought up near Asheboro. This pastorate lasted for five years. During the first year of this pastorate W. L. Ward, Superintendent of the Sunday school announced that a Junior department had been organized in the Sunday school. During this year also the carpet and pews were bought for the main auditorium, the pews replacing temporary chairs which had been used since the new church was built. The pastor also announced that 38 new members had been received into the church during the year.
One of the outstanding accomplishments of the second year of his pastorate was a daily vacation Bible school.
Preparation had been made for a school of 75 but 146 were enrolled. So far as the records show this was the first Vacation school held in this church. In the fourth quarterly conference, held October 25, 1927, Mrs. Harriet Hammer Walker, president of the Ladies Aid made an unusually good report in which she stated that her organization had paid for tables for the primary Department of the Sunday school, had bought a lot of silver ware and had fitted up the church kitchen with tables and cabinets in addition to having tables made for the dining room, all at a cost of $442.00. In this same quarterly conference the pastor's salary was increased from $1,800.00 to $2,000. There was considerable activity in this church in preparation for entertaining the annual conference which met in this church November 2-7, 1927. At this annual conference Dr. S. W. Taylor who later became pastor of the church was elected President. In a meeting of the quarterly conference for the conference year of 1927-28, held Nov. 22, 1927 the Sunday school Superintendent, Mr. W. L. Ward, reported that the Sunday school had a pledge of $35.00 a month for the Children's Home at High Point. In this same quarterly conference Henry Jones was elected a member of the Board of Stewards, filling the vacancy caused by the death of W. A. Lovett. Also the quarterly conference approved the idea of organizing a Boy Scout Troop and asked the pastor to confer with C. J. Lovett in regard to his becoming the scoutmaster. In the third quarterly conference, held June 27, 1928 reference is made that Mr. J. S. Lewis in his will had bequeathed $1000.00 to apply on the church debt on condition that the remainder be raised within one year.
Another matter of far reaching importance is mentioned· in the pastor's report, namely that the clear glass windows which had been put in the church when it was built had been replaced by the present semi-art glass at a cost of two hundred dollars and that the same had been paid for by the Ladies Aid. The pastor in his report to· the fourth quarterly conference October 28, 1928 reported that church indebtedness which amounted to $1400.00 had been raised and that the church had been formally dedicated on Sunday September 30 with Dr. R. M. Andrews, the president of High Point College preaching the sermon with Dr. N. M. Harrison and the pastor assisting Dr. Andrews in the dedicatory service.
In the fourth quarterly conference held October 21, 1929 the pastor reported that he had received 42 new members during the year and that a monthly letter had gone out to the out of town members acquainting them of the work of the church with some good results. W. L. Ward, Supt. of the Sunday school reported that the school had reached an all time high with the attendance of 225 for the month of May and 215 for June. The remaining year of this five years pastorate was about normal and at the conclusion of 1930 this pastor was moved to Winston Salem and Rev. R: C. Stubbins came to Asheboro.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. R. C. STUBBINS
Rev. Roland C. Stubbins who came to Asheboro in November 1930, was a native of Orange County. He had served several important pastorates including Grace church in Greensboro although he came to Asheboro from the Forsyth circuit. He was always popular wherever he served. His pastorate in Asheboro covered a period of four years and was productive of great good. From the time the parsonage burned in 1925 until the first year of the pastorate of Mr. Stubbins the church had been without a parsonage, the pastor having to live in rented houses. But with a church debt to contend with it was not thought wise to try to buy or build a parsonage. But now that the church debt had been paid the church was ready for action under Mr. Stubbins' leadership and almost from the first the pastor began a campaign for a new parsonage. A lot was purchased on South Elm street and a parsonage was started. There seems to be no record of the date when work started on the parsonage but it was some time during the year of 1931 for in the third quarterly conference held July 20th the pastor reported that the people had responded well to the call for B. and L. and cash to purchase a lot and build a parsonage. The pastor reported to the first quarterly conference held February' 16, 1932 that the parsonage was nearing completion.
In the list of officers of the church for the conference year 1931-1932 we find these names: Superintendent of Sunday school, J. D. Ross; Church Treasurer, Exie Calicut; President of the Woman's Auxiliary, Esther Ross. In the list of officers for the year 1932-1933 we find that Miss Lollie Jones has become the president of the Woman's Auxiliary and John R. Brown is the church treasurer. Miss Esther Ross had become custodian of the Church Register and Miss Iola Lowdermilk had become Secretary for Out of Town members. For the year 1933-34 C. E. Bulla is listed as Sunday school Superintendent and Miss Ethel Lovett is the church Treasurer. In the minutes of the fourth quarterly conference for the conference year 1933-34 the delegate to the annual conference, John R. Brown was instructed to ask for the return of Rev. R. C. Stubbins but in case a change was made then to ask for S. W. Taylor to be assigned to this church.
THE PASTORATE OF DR. S. W. TAYLOR
The. annual conference of 1934, meeting in Grace Church, Greensboro assigned Rev. R. C. Stubbins to Gibsonville and Fountain Place in Burlington and assigned S. W. Taylor to Asheboro. Dr. Taylor was born in Davie County but was largely brought up at Yadkin College in Davidson County. He had served as president of the annual conference from 1927 to 1932 and then had served two years at Lebanon church in High Point. Dr. Taylor served for five years in Asheboro and was the last pastor before Methodist Union came in 1939. In the list of church officials for the conference year of 1934-35 W. L. Ward is listed as chairman of the Board of Trustees, W. F. Redding, Jr., is the chairman of the Board of Stewards, C. E. Bulla is listed as Superintendent of the Sunday school and Mrs. J. T. Pugh is President of the Woman's Auxiliary. C. F. Smith 1s listed as class leader. A few items in the budget are: Pastor's salary $1,800.00; interest on parsonage debt $240.00. World Service and annual conference budget $805.00. Among those listed as officers 1935-36 we find the name of D. D. Almond as Church Treasurer. We find also that Dr. John Swaim was elected delegate to the annual conference of 1936. In the third quarterly conference, held June 18, 1936 it was voted to employ Rev. Sulon Ferree as a worker with the young people for the summer months. In this same quarterly conference, J. D. Ross suggested that a local name be given the church. A committee of three was appointed, consisting of .J. D. Ross, W. L. Ward and Mrs. W. C. Hammer to present this matter to the congregation the first Sunday in July. In a meeting of the third quarterly conference, held June 17, 1937 the pastor stated that in a congregational meeting held May 16 it had been voted to name the church The Central Methodist Church. In a meeting of the second quarterly conference, held March 31, 1938, W. L. Ward, chairman of the Board of Trustees reported that the parsonage debt had been paid in full. He also recommended that steps be taken to improve and enlarge the educational building to meet the needs of the Sunday school. In the quarterly conference records during 1938 and 1939 the name of James Lowdermilk appears as church treasurer. In a called meeting of the quarterly conference September 3, 1939 it was agreed to employ Tom Houts as director of Young People's Work at a salary of $50.00 per month. In the fourth quarterly conference, held October 5, 1939 Dr. Taylor reported that he had received 162 members into the church during his five years as pastor. Announcement was made in the fourth quarterly conference in 1939 that W. L. Ward had been elected delegate to the annual conference of the Methodist Protestant church and would also represent the local church in the new conference following the merger of the annual conferences. This ends the activities of the Central church as a Methodist Protestant church. Henceforth it is simply a Methodist Church.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. J. W. BRAXTON
The first annual conference of the Methodist Church, meeting in Greensboro, N. C., October 20-23, 1939 appointed Dr. S. W. Taylor Superintendent of the New High Point District and appointed Rev. J. W. Braxton to the Asheboro church. Mr. Braxton had finished a successful pastorate on the Mount Pleasant circuit in the Greensboro District. He had previously graduated at High Point College and from the Duke Divinity School of Duke University. Perhaps the outstanding feature of his first year in Asheboro was the purchasing of the York property on the north side of the present church building. In the quarterly conference, held September 19, 1940 Mr. W. L. Ward, chairman of the Board of Trustees reported that they had an architect to make estimates on enlarging and rearranging the auditorium of the church but that the Board had decided that it would be the path of wisdom to purchase the York property at the price of $8,000.00 with a donation of $250.00 by Mr. James York and use this property for educational purposes until such time as the church was ready to build a new sanctuary. The quarterly conference approved this suggestion and submitted the matter to a vote of the membership of the church for the following Sunday. In the congregational meeting the vote was unanimous for the purchasing of the property and the trustees were authorized to secure a loan from the Bank of Randolph for $5,000.00 with an interest rate of five percent. This property had a frontage of 100 feet and runs back to the Norfolk Southern right-of-way.
At the close of this first year Mr. Braxton reported that he had received 39 members during the year. In the records of the third quarterly conference, held June 25, 1942 the statement is made that Miss Margaret Brannon who had just arrived in Asheboro to become Director of Music and Director of Religious Education was introduced to the quarterly conference. In this same quarterly conference this statement is made, "Pipe Organ paid in full." The pastor's salary for the year 1941-1942 was $2300.00. In the fourth quarterly, conference, held October 13, 1943, R. T. Lloyd, church treasurer reported that he had paid to the pastor, Rev. J. W. Braxton on Salary $2500.00. The Finance committee recommended that the pastor's salary for the next year be $3,000.00. This recommendation was adopted. In this same quarterly conference Earl Henley, Superintendent of the Sunday school reported that the total enrollment of the school was 449 with an average attendance of 230. The Pastor, Rev. J. W. Braxton, in reviewing the four years that he had served here made the statement that the Woman's Society of Christian Service had installed a Hammond Organ at a cost of $2500.00 and that it had been paid for in full. The Rev. Mr. Braxton served still another year thus completing five successful years and was then sent to Forest City.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. MARK Q. TUTTLE
The annual Conference, meeting in Myers Park Church in Charlotte,, October 17-20, 1944, assigned Rev. Mark Q. Tuttle to the pastorate of the Central Methodist Church in Asheboro, succeeding Rev. J. W. Braxton who was sent to Forest City. Mr. Tuttle's pastorate in Asheboro lasted for four years.
Some items in the budget for the conference year 1945- 46 are: Pastor's salary $3,600.00; salary of Director of music and religious education $1,500.00; World Service and Benevolence $1,050.00. Total budget $11.004.00. Dr. C. E. Rozzelle was District Superintendent of the Thomasville District for that year. In the first quarterly conference of that year a Building Fund Committee was appointed consisting of J. D. Ross, Earl Henley, W. L. Ward, A. B. Cox, and W. F. Redding, Jr. In the second quarterly conference of that year the pastor reported that about $12,000.00 had been pledged to the Building Fund and that about $4,000.00 had been paid in.
For the conference year 1946-47 the pastor's salary is listed at $4,000.00. E. F. Pritchard, Superintendent of Sunday school reported an enrollment for the year of 487.
THE PASTORATE OF REV. J. G. WINKLER
The annual conference of 1948 sent the Rev. Mark Q. Tuttle to Burkhead church in Winston Salem and sent Rev. J. G. Winkler who had been serving at Kings Mountain to Asheboro. This pastorate lasted for only one year. In his report to the fourth quarterly conference the Rev. Mr. Winkler stated that he had received fifty members into the church during the year. Soon after Mr. Winkler came to Asheboro the church decided to change locations. An option was obtained on the Mrs. O. R. Cox property on the corner of east Academy and South Main streets for the price of $30,000.00. Mr. C. C. Cranford, a member of the First Methodist Church made a proposition to the Central church that if the church would raise $29,000.00 by December 31, 1948 he would give $1000.00. The church accepted the challenge and raised the amount required and Mr. Cranford made good his promise.
A nominating committee was appointed to name a Building committee. The records show that this nominating committee met at the home of Mr. L. F. Ross on April 20th, 1949, and nominated the Building committee as follows; Earl Henley, G. P. Pritchard, Lacy Lewis, Jr., Mrs. Lester Rich, Leonard Ward, James Lowdermilk, R. L. Reese, H. R. Trollinger and Mrs. W. F. Redding, Jr. It was voted by this nominating committee that no member of the Finance Committee should serve on the Building Committee. The duties of the Building committee were defined. as, "That the duties of the Building committee shall be to draw up plans and have charge of the construction of our new church." The quarterly conference records of May 1, 1949, show that the appointment of the building committee was approved. The minutes of this same quarterly conference show that the pastor, the Rev. J. G. Winkler made a motion which was passed requesting J. E. Pritchard to write a history of the Central Methodist Church.
At the close of Mr. Winkler's first year the annual conference of 1949 appointed him to Trinity Church in Kannapolis.
THE PASTORATE OF THE REV. WALTER R. KELLY
The annual conference which met in Winston Salem in 1949 assigned to the Central church in Asheboro the Rev. Walter R. Kelly who had just finished four years at College Place church in Greensboro. One of the outstanding achievements of the first year of the Rev. Mr. Kelly's pastorate was the receiving of eighty-seven members into the church. In the very beginning of Mr. Kelly's second year, in the fall of 1950 the church put on a drive for $70,000.00 for the building fund for the new church. This campaign was directed by the Rev. Alton Lowe who is employed by the General Board of Missions and Church Extension. The local church chairman was R. W. Wood. This proved to be the most outstanding campaign ever put on by this church. The enthusiasm generated by the campaign reached the high water mark on the evening of the final day of the campaign when the auditorium of the church was almost completely filled with members and friends who had come to make final reports or to hear results of the campaign. When the returns were all in it was found that a little more than $84,000.00 had been subscribed either in cash or pledges toward the building of a new church. This money is being paid in according to schedule and it is hoped that ere long the work on the new building can begin.
A GENERAL SUMMARY
Now that some of the outstanding events of each man's pastorate have been recorded it seems wise to record here a few facts in general concerning this church. The first is that no other church in the Methodist Protestant Conference ever had so many pastors who had previously been president of the conference or who later became president of the conference. These are W. A. Bunch, C. A. Cecil, T. M. Johnson, W. E. Swain, T. J. Ogburn, C. L. Whitaker, S. W. Taylor and J. E. Pritchard. Another man, Rev. T. T. Ferree, M. D., after going out of office as President of the conference in 1895 lived in Asheboro where he practiced medicine and had his membership in the quarterly conference of this church until his death in 1904.
It can be said also that very few churches furnished more laymen to serve as delegates to the General Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. This writer would like to acknowledge his indebtedness to Rev. Elwood Carroll whose history of the N. C. Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church lists the delegates from N. C. to the General Conference from the time the denomination was organized until Methodist Union came in 1939. Laymen from the Central Church in Asheboro who were elected delegates to the General Conference are: 1892 W. C. Hammer, Jr.; 1896 A. M. Rankin; 1904 A. M. Rankin and Charles Ross; 1908 W. C. Hammer, Jr., and 0. R. Cox; 1912 J. D.Ross 1920 W. L. Ward; 1924 Arthur Ross; 1928 W. L. Ward and Mrs. W. C. Hammer; 1932 Mrs. W. C. Hammer, W. L. Ward and W. F. Redding, Jr.; 1936 Mrs. W. C. Hammer and L. F. Ross; and for the United Conference held in Kansas City, Missouri in 1939 Mrs. W. C. Hammer and W. F. Redding, Jr. Lay members of the Central Church who attended the Centennial Celebration in Baltimore in 1928 were, J. D. Ross, Jr., and Callie Way (Mrs. C. C. Chisholm).
In the Methodist Church Central Church is still playing its part. Mrs. W. F. Redding, Jr., was a delegate to the General Conference held in Boston in 1948. Mrs. Redding was also a delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference held in Atlanta in 1944 and to a similar conference held in Columbia, S. C. in 1948.
In the Woman's Work of the Church the Central Church has furnished many leaders. Mrs. W. C. Hammer was president of the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the North Carolina Conference for twenty-five years. She was also president of the Women's Convention of the General Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church from 1932 to 1936. Miss Esther Ross was Corresponding Secretary of the N. C. Branch for a good many years. Mrs. W. F. Redding, Jr., served as president of the Wesleyan Service Guild of the Western N. C. Conference of the Methodist Church for several years.
In the matter of representation on Conference and District Boards Central church has done its part. Mrs. W. C. Hammer served on the board of trustees of the Children's Home at High Point from the time the board was elected in 1913 until the Home was merged with the one at Winston Salem in 1940. R. R. Ross served on this same board from the beginning until his death in 1935. J. D. Ross succeeded his father on the board in 1935 and served until the merger in 1940.
W. L. Ward, J. D. Ross and L. F. Ross have served at different times on the Board of trustees of High Point College, L. F. Ross having been the efficient chairman of the board for the past two years. W. F. Redding, Jr., and W. L. Ward served on the board of Church Extension of the Methodist Protestant Conference for a number of years, Mr. Ward - having served as Sec.-Treas. up to the time of Methodist Union in 1939.
J. D. Ross, Jr., has been District Treasurer ever since 1939, having served as treasurer of the High Point district for the four years of its existence and has served as treasurer of the Thomasville district since it was created in 1943.
Mrs. W. C. Hammer is a member of the Board of Managers of the Home for the Aged. She is also a member of the Board of Temperance of the Conference. Mrs. W. F. Redding, Jr., is a member of the Board of Missions and Church Extension. T. Fletcher Bulla served for some years as a member of the Board of Education of the Western N. C. Conference. At the time of his death July 20, 1951, W. L. Ward was an Associate Lay Leader of the Thomasville District.
Early in this story it was stated that this church paid pastor $400.00 and that its total budget was listed as $467.00. Now the church has a membership of a little more than 800 and the pastor is paid $4,800.00. The total budget is now more than $19,000.00. The church has a very efficient Director of Religious Education in the person of Miss Clara Watkins. The church is well organized and it seems that great things are in store for this organization, especially when the new church is built on the more desirable location.
Any one who attempts to write a history of the Central Church in Asheboro is greatly indebted to L. F. Ross who has served as secretary of the quarterly conference practically all the time since he was first elected in 1919. His minutes are so well written that it makes it easy to interpret them.
Now that the conference year of 1950-51 is drawing to a close it seems wise to give the names of the church officials as found on the last page of the church bulletin. The name of W. L. Ward appears in this list as a member of the Board of Stewards and as Church Lay leader, however, Mr. Ward, one of the most influential members this church ever had passed to his reward on July 20.
OFFICIAL DIRECTORY CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH
Costen J. Harrell, D. D.
Charlotte, N. C.
George B. Clemmer
Thomasville, N. C.
WALTER R. KELLY
Director of Christian Education:
Miss Clara Watkins
Mrs. Ben Bulla
Dr. J. E. Pritchard
Dr. S. W. Taylor
Chairman Finance Committee:
J. D. Croom
Treasurer Building Fund:
H. R. Trollinger, Jr.
Max Lowdermilk - Duke
Financial Secretary Building Fund:
E. E. Henley
Lacy Lewis, Jr.
Miss Louise Swaim
Mrs. Garland Pritchard
Custodian Church Property:
Clarence O. Allen
BOARD OF STEWARDS
John C. Taylor, Chairman
E. F. Pritchard, Vice Chairman
Richard H. Moore, Secretary
R. A. Briles
J. R. Brown
Mrs. Ben Bulla
T. F. Bulla
S. J. Burrow, Jr.
J. D. Croom, Jr.
W. M. Dye
C. R. Garner
W. B. Lamb
Lacy Lewis, Jr.
J. L. Kennedy
C. E. Moore
Richard H. Moore
M. Wade Osborne
C. C. Parks
E. F. Pritchard
G. P. Pritchard
J. T. Pugh, Jr.
T. R. Pullen
J. D. Ross, Jr.
C. F. Smith
J. W. Steward
H. R. Trollinger
E. L. Warren
W. L. Ward
R. W. Wood
Church Lay Leader:
W. L. Ward
E. E. Henley
Mrs. L. D. Burkhead
W. F. Redding, Jr., Chairman
Mrs. W. C. Hammer
E. E. Henley
L. F. Ross
J. D. Ross
O. E. Rich
BOARD OF EDUCATION
L. F. Ross, Chairman
James Chrismon,Vice Chairman
Mrs. R. W. Wood, Secretary
Mrs. Otis Brower
Mrs. Jack Bulla
Miss Kate Bulla
Thomas F. Bulla, Jr.
Mrs. R. W. Wood
James I Chrismon
Mrs. James I. Chrismon
C. R. Garner
Walter R. Kelly
E. E. Henley
C. C. Parks
J. T. Pugh, Jr.
Mrs. W. F. Redding, Jr.
Mrs. Dal K. Rich
R. L. Reese
Miss Clara Watkins
R. L. Reese, General Superintendent
Mrs. W. F. Redding, Jr., Superintendent of Youth Division Lewis Wright, Gen. Secretary
T. F. Bulla, Jr., Superintendent Adult Division
Miss Lillian Akins, Supt. Children's Division
Sara Ann Steyart, Presiden M. Y. F.
Counselors Youth Fellowship: Senior Young People,
Mr. and Mrs. James I. Chrismon
Intermediates: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stutts and C. C. Parks
WOMAN'S SOCIETY OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE
Mrs. Robert Lloyd, President
Mrs. W. M. Dye, Vice President
Mrs. Earl Henley, Recording Sec.
Mrs. C. C. Parks, Treasurer
WESLEYAN SERVICE QUILD
Mrs. T. L. Lowdermilk, President