Two hundred ten years of service to our Lord Jesus Christ, we’re just beginning!
Methodism in North Carolina migrated from Virginia as early as September 28, 1772. The Carolina Circuit was formed May 21, 1776. Methodists first met as “Class Meetings” in homes until a meeting house was built, usually on a class leader’s property.
There are no official records of the organization of Lowe’s Church, but regrettably that is true of most early churches. Isaac Lowe owned land on the site of this church. There was a log cabin nearby in which the people held their first meetings and they soon outgrew this building. Francis Asbury’s journal states that, as early as 1795, Isaac Lowe had built a meeting house on his land. On March 25, 1796, Isaac Lowe deeded one acre of land “for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church forever” for the price of ten shillings. This land was deeded to the trustees; Daniel Deans, John Lewis, George Dilworth, Thomas Thompson, William Jones Jr. and John Pearson.
Another deed was found dated October 14, 1948. W. E. Walker, James Walker, William Pearson and Thomas Thompson, trustees of Lowe’s Chapel, a religious society of the Methodist Episcopal Church-South, conveyed to George W. Garrett, John Walker, E. Cornwell, Dr. F. Mims, M. Clements and Reuben Jones; trustees of said Lowe’s Chapel, a certain parcel of land.
Another deed dated February 29, 1860, Ezekiel Walker deeded additional land for Lowe’s Church burying ground to Alfred Walker, James W. Walker, Martin Clemmons and Harry J. Wheeler; trustees. Additional land was given where the present church now stands. A portion of this land was given by Robert Stanfield on November 5, 1950.
It is believed that Lowe’s is probably the oldest continuous Methodist Church in Rockingham County; dating back as far as 1787. This is when Francis Asbury states in his journal that he received Isaac Lowe on trial in the church. In 1789, Lowe was ordained a deacon; ordained elder in 1790 and, in 1791, was ordained as presiding elder. In 1795, he was located; meaning he settled down.
In his journal, Asbury tells of riding to Isaac Lowe’s at least three times where he preached at Lowe’s Meeting House. Information says that often Asbury does not say where he stayed or preached, so he was probably at Lowe’s several times and does not mention it.
Lowe’s United Methodist Church is located three miles southeast of Reidsville, N. C. on Highway 87 and is in the third house of worship since the original meeting house. In 1880 a larger frame church was built. In 1936 five Sunday school rooms were added to the structure.
Lowe’s was on the Ruffin Circuit for a short time, but since 1914 was again on the Wentworth Circuit, now called the Reidsville Circuit. Lowe’s was on the Reidsville Circuit with Rev. C. G. Isley when the present church was built. He guided the building of a new church at Mount Carmel and Lowe’s. He also added an educational building to the Wentworth and Salem Churches. Bethlehem followed with an educational addition and a remodeled sanctuary. These were the five churches on the Reidsville Circuit. Mount Carmel became a station church first and Lowe’s became a station church in 1963 with Rev. Don Ashe, pastor. This left Bethlehem, Salem and Wentworth as the Reidsville Circuit.
An Epworth League was organized in 1928 and later changed to the Methodist Youth Fellowship. At the quarterly conference meeting at Lowe’s on June 8, 1935, the pastor, Rev. T. V. Crouse, reported that a regular Missionary Society had been organized. In the early 1940’s, the first summer Bible School was held with Mrs. L. E. “Fannie” Stadler helping the pastor, Rev. Curtis Swaim. The Methodist Men were organized in 1953 and sponsored a Boy Scout Troop.
In October 1949 a committee was appointed to work at the task of a new building forLowe’s. This committee was A. E. Combs, chairman, Robert Stanfield, Joe Perkins, Robert Walker, Bryant Chilton, W. T. Cook and D. T. Stadler. The first plan was to move the old church, remodel it and brick veneer the whole structure. However, this plan was changed, calling for a complete new building across the highway from the old church. Ground was broken on the new site in 1951. It was built at a cost of $66,000. This temple of worship to God would have been impossible without the untiring efforts and the devotion of all those who were members and friends at Lowe’s as well as the consecrated ministry and guidance of Rev. C. G. Isley. This building is a monument to the laborers of love. The auditorium seats 340 and has 10 Sunday school rooms with a fellowship hall and kitchen on the ground level.