AME O'Zion Church

The Steele Creek Historical and Genealogical Society
Of the Old Steele Creek Township
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Churches of Steele Creek:
Zoar United Methodist Church


Church History  |  Zoar UMC Website  |  


(Located on Zoar Church Road off of Youngblood Road in Steele Creek)
History prepared by church members.

Prayer meeting and preaching were first held at the home of Mr. Hamilton Smith, about the beginning of the Civil War (1861). Mr. Smith then lived where Mr. J. R. Currence now lives. This was the birthplace of Zoar Protestant Methodist Church. These prayer meetings were first started by Mr. J. P. Blackwelder, father of Mrs. Nan Adkins (also great grandfather of Robert Blackwelder). A brush arbor was used for a while for these services.

Some of the people who attended these services were families of Mr. Sam McCrumb, Dave Anderson, Sam Wilson, J. P. Blackwelder, Archie Graham, John Latham, Bob Graham and Billy Thomason.

The first church building was a log cabin. It was built about one half mile below Mr. Hamilton Smith’s home and about a mile from the present building. Rev. Dunn was one of the first pastors to serve this church.

The second building was erected sometime later on the grounds where the present buildings now stand. Mr. Billy Smith donated the ground where the church now stands and Mr. Sam Wilson gave one half acre for the cemetery and later, his son, Lewis Wilson, gave another one half acre. Then, sometime in 1950, Mr. Thomas J. Adkins gave a strip of land to the cemetery. At that time, the church also received a strip of land from Mr. Olin Krimminger making it possible to extend the cemetery to the road. This church was later torn down and rebuilt in 1901. Rev. P. C. Battle was the first pastor to serve this church.

Below are names of some of the pastors who have served Zoar Methodist in its early years.

Rev. Martin Stowe; Rev. Pickens (1882); Rev. Reid; Rev. Garrett (1884); Rev. Archie Plyler; Rev. T. A. Plyler; Rev. Atlas Ridge; Rev. Short Joyner; Rev. Carson; Rev. Totten; Rev. Self, Rev. Dozier; Rev. Hall; Rev. Waldrop; Rev. Stacy; Rev. Sisk; Rev. Harrison; Rev. Hanna; Rev. Henderson; Rev. Henry and Rev. Bigham.

All of the above men served as pastors through the year 1939. Rev. Akers served in 1940 and Rev. T. A. Plyer served during 1941-1943.

In 1943 the church was taken off the North Carolina Conference and in 1944, the South Carolina Conference took the church into their conference. Mr. A. W. Baker was the first pastor. He served from 1944 to 1946. Rev. L. C. Turberville served from 1946 to 1950. This church was on a three church circuit (one pastor served three churches).

A fourth building was built in 1956. Since that time, further buildings have been added. Rev. Jimmy C. Howard was pastor when Zoar United Methodist held its Homecoming on Sept 21, 1997.

(Note: This was the first Methodist church in the Steele Creek area. The cemetery is not large but there are several old graves. Many graves are unmarked or marked with uncarved stones. Plans are being made to catalogue this cemetery in the near future.)

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