A Brief History of Snow Hill United Methodist Church

For over 122 years, people of the “Snow Hill Community” have been worshiping and praising God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in a church named Snow Hill.

Church historical records indicate that on July 31, 1894, Emeline Smith Hill, born Laura Emmaline Smith (1846 – 1925) and known later in life as “Granny Hill” deeded one acre of land, containing a spring, to the Presbyterians. The trustees: I.B. Holt, J.H. Dillard, and J.M. Rodgers paid her a total sum of $1.00 for the deed. The original deed to the church states that when it fails to be used as a church, the property reverts to the heirs of Emeline Hill.

Emeline was born to Joseph I. Smith and Elizabeth Miles Burge.  She married James M. Hill (1818 – 1878) on December 30, 1865. Emmeline was 35 years old when her husband died, leaving her with a young family of eight children between the ages of 11 and infancy. Her brother, Palestine Smith, lived with the family and helped work the farm. Although alone, she was an astute business woman, not only providing land for the church, but leaving each of her children a farm. The “old home place” still stands at 2243 Snow Hill Church Road across from Doris Wall’s home.

Snow Hill United Methodist Church is located approximately 3 miles east of Lawsonville at 2030 Snow Hill Church Road, in Stokes County, NC.  The land where the church stands in located between Big Snow Creek and Little Snow Creek.  Taking “Snow” from the creeks and “Hill” from Granny Hill, the church was named “Snow Hill” (sorry, not a commentary on the local weather). A frame building was built by the Presbyterians in 1894 – 95 and used by them for several years. On September 3, 1912 the Presbyterians sold the church to the Methodists for $250.00. The first trustees of the Methodist Church were J.M. Lovings, P.J. Leake, and Frank Lawson. Two chairs were furnished for the pulpit in the original church by Bruce Spencer in 1912.  These chairs are currently located in the narthex.

In 1918, a circuit charge of five churches was formed: Delta, Mt. Zion, Sandy Ridge, Smith Chapel, and Snow Hill (currently the only surviving churches from the original circuit are Delta, Mt. Zion, and Snow Hill.)  The charge was called the Sandy Ridge Charge and each church had one service per month.  The parsonage for the charge was located across the street from the Sandy Ridge Church.  Four preachers and a missionary went into the ministry from Snow Hill: Earnest Stephens, Ivan Stephens, Ray Stephens (all brothers) and their uncle Nick Stephens became preachers.  Tommie Robertson went out to spread the gospel as a missionary.

Before anyone thought of a new building, a dream was forming in the mind of Charlie Wall.  He started saving and formed a mental picture of the church he would like to have built at Snow Hill. God called him home before his dream became a reality.  He requested that his worldly goods be used toward building a new church.Snow Hill UMC Early 1 001

Snow Hill UMC Early 2 001

In 1953 work was begun on the new church under direction of A.J. Wall (Charlie’s son). With donations and labor from members and friends of the church and the estate of Charlie Wall the church was completed and the first service was held in October.  The old church was sold and moved off the property.  The church was officially dedicated in a special 11 o’clock a.m. service on Sunday June 3, 1956.  In the early 1960’s the members remodeled and updated the building.  The walls of the Sunday School rooms were paneled, restrooms installed, carpet was installed on both floors, an organ was purchased in memory of Annie Martin, the exterior sign was given in memory of Ray Wall by his wife Charlotte. Other memorials made were: a Baptismal Bowl in memory of William Tilley, an Altar set by Mr. And Mrs. Cyrl Davis, Collection plates by the youth fellowship, and an Altar Parament set by the young people’s class. In 1971 a steeple was added.

The Cemetery located adjacent to the church was established at the same time as the church.  Several Members of the Wall family are buried in the first row because they wished to be close to the church they worked so hard to establish.

In 1979-80 the church began a capital campaign to build to build a two story education building behind the chancel are of the sanctuary in memory of Nannie Joyce. The project added additional Sunday School Rooms, a nursery, a handicapped ramp, kitchen, and fellowship hall. As part of this project, completed in 1983, the pulpit area and altar were remodeled. The cross behind the pulpit was donated by the United Methodist Women in honor of John Underwood.  In 1987 a new organ, sound system, and choir robes were purchased. In 1998 the kitchen in the fellowship hall was remodeled.

In October 1984 a building and land on Doss Road was given to Show Hill UMC by Samuel Avery Dick to grantor John R. Hughes. And in service to the community, the church opened a Family Life Center in that building and began S.H.A.P.E. (Snow Hill Area Pupil Enrichment) which serves by providing after school and summer educational activities for local children.

A Noah’s Ark themed playground, located behind the church, was added around 1987.

In the late 1990’s, members of Snow Hill UMC asked for the church to became a station church, rather than part of a multiple church charge. As part of this process land was purchased  and a parsonage built on the other side of Snow Hill Church Road from the church. Snow Hill UMC became a Station Church in 1999 and the parsonage was completed in 2000; again, with members providing materials and labor for the project. At the same time a walkway was poured around the west side of the building to provide easy access to the fellowship hall.

A two octave set of hand bells was purchased and given to the church by the Wagoner family in memory of Fred and Stella Kirby in 1998.

In 2005 members again went to work gutting and remodeling the basement Sunday School classrooms and restrooms.  Land was also donated which allowed expansion of the church’s parking lot. In 2007, members of the UMM paved the parsonage driveway.

The Snow Hill community is reminded of the time and hymns throughout the day played on the church’s carillon purchased in 2012.

The church continues moving forward to serve the Snow Hill and Lawsonville communities, the state, and the world for the next 120 years.  Land across from the church has been purchased for future growth and expansion of programs and missions and members of the church are currently working on the plan for the church to serve all families and individuals in the area.

Snow Hill UMC Pastors

Rev. Charlie Wall                              1912-1915

Rev. Orion Pedellar Rough           1915-1919

1918 -Five Point Charge – Snow Hill, Smith Chapel, Sandy Ridge, Mt. Zion, Delta

Rev. Joseph Joshua Eads              1919-1921

Rev. Marcus Edward Leftwich    1921-1923

Rev. Orell Lineberger                     1923-1926

Rev. T.G. Williams                            1926-1931

Rev. George Franklin Hood          1931-1933

Rev. Joseph Marshall Green       1933-1934

Rev. Roach Hazel Kennington     1934-1935

Rev. Joseph Alexander Fry          1935-1936

Rev. John Wesley Bennett           1936-1937

Rev. T.G. Williams                            1937-1947

Rev. Joe Cephus Gentry               1947-1950

Rev. Joster Rae Loflin                     1950-1957

Rev. Levi Eugene Paschal              1957-1958

Rev. Joseph Ray Petree                1958-1960

Rev. Lloyd Arthur Hunsley, Jr.     1960-1961

Rev. Evan Scott Bancroft               1961

Rev. Archie Dean Shelton             1961-1965

Rev. William Clay Belcher              1965-1969

Rev. Cleatus Owens                        1969-1973

Rev. Leo T. Coppedge, Jr.             1970-1974

Rev. Oscar Eugene Merritt           1974-1975

Rev. John R. Gordy                          1975-1979

Rev. Donald Hubert Noblitt         1979-1983

Rev. Richard Clark Clough, Jr.      1983-1986

Rev. Francis Ronald Smith            1986-1989

Rev. James Thomas Martin          1989-1993

Rev. Brenda Newman (Assoc.)  1989-1993

Rev. Diean J Campbell (Assoc.)  1992-1996

Rev. Richard Harold Campbell     1993-1997

Snow Hill Station Church

Rev. Evelyn McAdams Browning               1997-2002

Rev. David Childers                         2002-2006

Rev. Doug Prior                                 2006-2014

Rev. Dr. Patricia Black Spicer        2014


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