History

Since our founding as a Methodist Episcopal Church in 1827, Ebenezer United Methodist Church (UMC) has continually sought to be a place where God’s help could be found. The biblical word “Ebenezer” literally means “Stone of Help.” Israel’s prophet, Samuel, dedicated an upright stone to commemorate Israel’s victory over the Philistines and their recapture of the Ark of the Covenant near Mizpah, where two previous battles and the Ark had been lost. He named the place “Ebenezer,” saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).

We celebrate a rich history at Ebenezer UMC. The church originally met in one or more log structures along what is now Beaver Creek Road (SR 1008), and served both black and white members. In 1867 after the Civil War, the church’s black members withdrew to form the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, cutting membership size virtually in half.  The white members constructed a new church building and gave the older structure to the A.M.E. church. The 1867 church building was replaced with a Gothic Revival style building in 1890, which received some additions over the years and was moved, along with the church cemetery, to its present location in the early 1970′s when Jordan Lake was flooded. Sadly, the displacing of members from their land during the formation of Jordan Lake caused Ebenezer’s membership size to again be halved.

Our sanctuary’s beautiful windows, altar rail, handmade pews, horizontal grooved paneling, wainscoting, chair railing, and heavy doors all date from the late 1800′s. The building was placed on The National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Today Ebenezer UMC has a relatively small membership of approximately 85, and is linked with Buckhorn UMC in a local parish organization under one minister, Reverend Benny Oakes. We are members of the Sanford District in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. As we seek to faithfully serve God in our second century, we see ourselves as small in number but large in spirit. Today we enjoy a recent major renovation of our Fellowship Hall, doubling its size and adding additional classrooms, restrooms and common space. We are blessed with picturesque grounds and landscaping, with a choir and a music program that even some larger churches cannot rival, and with an active, caring congregation that loves and gives through many groups and activities.

Ebenezer UMC intentionally pledges ten percent of our annual budget to mission giving, and has been continually recognized as one of the top churches in our District in per capita donations. The generosity of our members has aided various local to international causes – from donations of school supplies for local elementary schools, helping to fund and build Habitat for Humanity homes, and providing food to a local food bank and bottles of body wash to a local nursing home, to helping to fund the printing and distribution of Vietnamese language New Testaments in Vietnam, and donations for disaster relief through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. One half of profits from Barbeque Chicken Fundraisers held twice each year, and all of the profits from an annual United Methodist Men Golf Tournament, are consistently given to charitable causes or agencies.

We are proud of our church and the many ways that God’s Spirit moves within us and calls us to service beyond our walls. We hope to be a “Stone of Help” for many years to come, and invite you to grow with us as we touch lives for our Rock, Jesus Christ. May we be your Ebenezer?

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