History of Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church

History of Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church

The Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church came into being on Sunday, August 27, 1961, when the Winston-Salem Presbytery, present in its commission, merged three of Ashe County's Presbyterian churches. They were Jefferson Presbyterian Church, Obids Presbyterian Church, and West Jefferson Presbyterian Church.

The final entry in the minutes of each of these churches, together with the record of the organizational meeting, were given as the first record of the new church.

Rev. Thomas I. Smith was installed by Rev. John R. Smith as its first pastor. Rev. Smith served as pastor from 1961 to 1975, followed by Rev. John E. Gass (1975-1977), Rev. Wayne Dixon (1977), Rev. A.V. Ray (1978-1983), Rev. Gaston Boyle, Jr. (1983), Rev. Kermit W. Dancy (1983-2004), Rev. O. Leighton Culler (interim 2004-2005), and Rev. William Blount (Billy) Robinson (2005 -2010), Rev. Thom Burleson (interim 2010-2012) and Rev. Will Heyward, 2012 to the present.

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Jefferson Presbyterian Church

The Jefferson Presbyterian Church building was dedicated on July 15, 1900 at services conducted by Rev. Robert E. Caldwell of Winston-Salem. The church was organized and held its first Session meeting on July 22, 1900.

Rev. Allen Jones, Jr. served as the pastor from its organization until June 1902. E.A. McNeill was elected as one of its first Ruling Elders and Clerk of the Session and was responsible for having the Sunday School rooms built. Mr. McNeill was Robert McNeill's grandfather and Bob McNeill's granduncle.

Other pastors were Sle Smith (1902), E.W. Thompson, R.H. Stone (1921-1941), D.R. Freeman, student (1923), B.A. Meeks (1942-1945), W.P. Boyle (1946), Cecil Callis (1947-1949), R.F. Brown (1951-1953), J.R. Jackson (1954-1956), and H.H. Culber (1956-1961).

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Obids Presbyterian Church

The organizational meeting for Obids Presbyterian Church was held on December 3, 1904. Rev. M.C. Arrowood officiated and Rev. S.C. Smith was elected secretary. At this meeting the church was given its name.

Tent meetings were held next to the early structures. The white wooden church building was constructed in 1904 and stood until 1936. At that time the present structure was built with the help of Geraldine Gentry's father, Allen McNeill, and grandfather, R.S. McNeill.

Obids shared many of the West Jefferson Presbyterian Church ministers: C.G. Smith (1929), J.W. Luke (1929), W.C. Cooper (1940), R.H. Stone (1941), B.A. Meeks (1944), J.C. Crawford (1944), Jesse Baker (1944), and Russell Burns, student (1953).

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West Jefferson Presbyterian Church

West Jefferson Presbyterian Church held its organizational meeting in the Carolina Theatre in July, 1925. The five charter members of the church were Mrs. R.C. (Sallie) Barr, Mrs. T.C. Bowie, Mrs. W.J. (Martha) Price, Mrs. T.P. Tudor, and Miss Elizabeth Bowie. Rev. C.W. Robinson and Rev. R.H. Stone presided over the meeting.

A temporary church was built of wood on the lot where the Mount Jefferson sanctuary now stands, a lot bought for $1,900 from Ben Miller and daughter Ida Miller. This sanctuary was begun in 1927 after the temporary church was moved. Rev. R.H. Stone was responsible for getting people to donate lumber, other materials, and time to make it possible to construct the church. The first service was held on Thanksgiving Day of that year in the unfinished building.

Pastors of this church not mentioned above under Obids were: E.N. Caldwell, D.F. Helm, J.H. Carter, O.V. Caudill, W.P. Boyle, C.M. Voyles, and Thomas I. Smith. The sanctuary was remodeled and the educational building built in about the late 1950s--early 1960s.

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Peak Creek Presbyterian Church

Salem Presbytery approved the consolidation of Peak Creek Presbyterian Church with Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church in 2003.

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