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home : religion : religion October 18, 2019

8/23/2019 7:01:00 AM
Antioch Methodist Homecoming August 25
Antioch Methodist Church
(Contributed Photo)

Antioch Methodist Church

(Contributed Photo)

An early view of Antioch Methodist Church from the cemetery.
(Photo from the Libby Carpenter Collection - Courtesy of the Crouse Community History & Photo Project)

An early view of Antioch Methodist
Church from the cemetery.

(Photo from the Libby Carpenter Collection - Courtesy of
the Crouse Community History & Photo Project)

Freda Elmore Reynolds
Guest Columnist

CROUSE, N.C. - Former members, friends and relatives of Antioch Methodist Church, Crouse, N.C. are invited to the annual homecoming on Sunday, August 25.

The church is located off of Hwy. 150 in Crouse. The last regular service was held in 1964 and this will be the 55th year that many will gather at this small country church to worship, renew friendships and make new friends. Guest speaker at the 11 a.m. worship service will be Rev. Jan Heermans.

A covered dish meal will follow in the arbor (In case of inclement weather the meal will be held in the Crouse United Methodist Church fellowship hall). A business session will be held at 2 p.m. following lunch. A special love offering for the Building and Cemetery Fund will be taken during the worship service or you can mail your contributions to Antioch UMC Fund, PO Box 4, Crouse, NC 28033.

A Brief History Of Antioch Methodist Church

The tract of land on which the church and cemetery is now situated was designated as a cemetery and church site by Valentine Mauney and his relatives around 1805. Valentine Mauney is the first person who was buried in the Antioch Cemetery. The property around Antioch was purchased later by Ambrose Costner and C.P. Quickel and they made a clear title to the land that Antioch Church and Cemetery now stand on. The deed was placed on the records in Gaston County in 1883.

Antioch’s first church was built of logs, had a slave balcony and was located near a stage coach road. Mr. Wetmore from Lincolnton traveled to various churches and came to Antioch to lead worship services and teach Sunday School.

From 1851 until 1856 there were about 15 to 20 churches in the area that were served by the same pastor. He would make his home in Lincolnton and would stay with various families in designated “preacher rooms”. The pastor would also in some circumstances serve as a doctor and as an undertaker.

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After the first log church, a simple frame church was erected. It was demolished later and in 1915 when D.P. Waters was pastor the third church building was started. It was completed in 1921 when J.E.B. Houser was pastor. This third church was lost in a fire in 1938. Services were then held in a nearby school while the present church was being built. Work on the church began in the spring of 1939 and was completed in 1940.

The first service conducted in the present building was on Sunday, June 16, 1940 at 10 a.m. The building was dedicated in the Fall of 1940 by Rev. E.M. Jones, District Superintendent and Rev. W.F. Eaker, pastor.

By 1963 attendance was low at Antioch and Sunday School ceased to exist. On February 6, 1964 a Charge Quarterly Conference of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church was held and on March 8, 1964 it was decided that Antioch be discontinued as a regular preaching appointment but would be used for occasional services (homecomings, weddings, etc.) The last regular service was held the fourth Sunday in May, 1964.

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