Black & White Church Photo
Mount Zion United Methodist Church

Church History

Historical MarkerMount Zion United Methodist Church was organized in 1850. The building is believed to be the oldest brick church structure in the county and “was...referred to as “The Brick Church” for many decades. Early 1881 was evidently the beginning date of the brick-making, for it took a long time to make enough brick by hand to construct walls three and four brick deep.

“The brickyard was near the main road which passed in front of the church. There the men of the church toiled with others of the community for months – digging, mixing, shaping, fixing – growing closer in friendship and understanding.” (pg 13) Because of its rich history the members of the congregation compiled the necessary information to be listed on the Registry of Historical Places in 1986.

“Mount Zion was first a church on the Waynesville Circuit of the Asheville District of the Holston Conference. The Circuit was moved to the Franklin District in 1866. When the Western North Carolina Conference was erected from the North Carolina and the Holston Conferences in 1890, Mount Zion was included in the new conference. In 1899, the Waynesville District was formed and Mount Zion has been a part of it ever since.

Group PictureIn 1939, the church became “Mount Zion Methodist Church,” dropping the “Episcopal” and “South” when the three independent branches of the Methodist Church in the United States joined together. The Evangelical United Brethren merged with the Methodist Church in 1986, and “United” was added to the name .The current name is Mount Zion United Methodist Church.”

Mount Zion United Methodist Church is presently part of a two-point charge with Fincher’s Chapel United Methodist Church located at 2883 Hyder Mountain Road.

A paragraph in the Mount Zion History, introduces one of the most beautiful aspects of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church sanctuary:

“Once the war (World War II) was over and the economy revived, changes were made to improve Mount Zion. In the period around 1952, the most dramatic change was in the windows.

“Simple, yet beautiful, stained glass windows replaced the clear ones, and two were added to the front of the building where there had previously been no windows. They were given in memory of J. Taylor, Sarah, and Ben Kirkpatrick; Milas, Laura Ann, and Dr. Willie Kirkpatrick; John and Nora Kirkpatrick; John B. Best; Columbus and Emeline Rogers; Asbury, Lorena, and Mary E. Rogers; James Marion, Elizabeth and William Lafayette McCracken; Winfield, Mary Jane, Lula Anne, and Ina Ferguson; Imogene, David, Sara, and Joel B. James; Henry and Matilda Smith; and Ellen McCracken.”

Mount Zion United Methodist Church A History: 1850-1982; Frances Rogers, pg. 29.

Ellen Davis served as chair of the committee to design and purchase the windows.

“Our members, new and old, are extremely proud of our church, and the fact that it has endured these 155 years – a thriving example of the important role a small community church can play in the life of its community. We are most grateful for the priceless heritage that is ours!”

Christian people value tradition: “Do this in remembrance....” Yet we follow the one who said, “Behold, I make all things new!” As we gather each Sunday for worship surrounded by the stained glass windows, we are reminded of those who came before us in the faith and we look to the future to those who will continue to share the faith for generations to come.

Mount Zion was recently designated as a Nazareth Project Church by the Waynesville District of the Western North Carolina Conference for its vital ministry and potential.


Read more about Mt. Zion's history: Mount Zion United Methodist Church A History: 1850-1982