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.
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