Acts 9:31 "  Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord."


HISTORY OF RANDALL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Known to be the oldest church in Stanly County, located in Center Township, Stanly County, North Carolina. In making a study of the records of Randall Church (the early writers spelled it "Randle"), one must take it for granted that John Randall is the man for whom the church is named, although, the deed for the church property given in 1813, mentions, Randall Meeting House, and at that time John Randall was only 29 years of age. Our guess is that the meeting place was perhaps first named for the father of John Randall but that the name was perpetuated by reason of the fine character of this unusual man. His tombstone which stands within a short distance of the church bears this inscription:


IN THE MEMORY OF JOHN RANDLE, ESQ., WHO DIED ON THE 13TH OF FEBRUARY, 1824, IN HIS 40TH YEAR. HE WAS A MAN OF GREAT WORTH, WHO DISCHARGED IN AN EXEMPLARY MANNER THE DUTIES OF HUSBAND, FATHER AND FRIEND, AND WITH ABILITY AND INTEGRITY EVERY TRUST CONFIDED TO HIM. HE WAS A POLITE GENTLEMAN, POSSESSED OF A DISPOSITION CHEERFUL, BENEVOLENT AND KIND AND OF A MIND STRONG, HIGHLY CULTIVATED, AND ADORNED BY LITERATURE. AND WITH ALL, HE WAS A PIOUS MAN; TRUSTING IN HIS REDEEMER. HIS SOUL AWAITED, THE REWARD OF HIS VIRTUES.


The first families known to settle in this area were the Randalls, Snuggs, Ledbetters, Marshalls, Tilmans, and others. It is only natural that this colony should build a church as quickly as possible, and that perhaps a log meeting house was erected at this spot even before 1780. Bishop Francis Asbury preached at Randall Church early in 1785. This sainted man established the Methodist Denomination on this continent. While in this section he visited in the home of Charles Ledbetter who married Mary Frances Randall. In 1857 Randall became a part of the Albemarle Circuit, and in 1890 it was put in the Norwood Circuit. It is believed that the first sanctuary was built about 1785, essentially just a brush arbor. By 1805, it had transformed into a log church with a side-gabled roof. A massive slate rock fireplace at one end of the rectangular sanctuary heated the church. Later, an old log building was erected, which took the place of the brush arbor. The log church burned in 1828, and slaves of church members replaced it with a heavy timber-framed structure, featuring a weather-boarded sanctuary containing a balcony. Slaves worshipped from the balcony and a section of the church cemetery was designated as their burial grounds. The slave graves are not identifiable now, only the location of the cemetery. John Snuggs deeded the church property to the first trustees of the church on July 1st, 1813. The trustees were Henry Ledbetter, John Christian, Sr., John Kendall, George Allen, and Wiatt Randle. There were 3 1/2 acres in the tract. The deed was recorded in Montgomery County in 1813, and in this county on January 18, 1871. During a storm in 1858, a large oak tree fell across the church and demolished it. It was rebuilt as a frame structure again, but with windows lining both sides of the sanctuary. The church featured a double-leaf entrance on the west end that permitted women and children to enter on one side and men on the other. In a major remodeling in 1935, the church was reoriented with its east-side liturgical wall moved to the west end. Three Sunday school rooms were added to the rear and a bell tower topped with a bellcast roof was placed on the ridge of the roof near the entrance. That 1935 remodeling was a community project reminiscent of the early congregation's many cooperative efforts. Each family in the congregation donated a tree; the timber was then dressed at a local mill. Labor on the building was donated by the members. With the building in dire need of much repair, in the late 1960's the leaders' minds were turning to the thoughts of a new church. With the help of the Duke Endowment, the District Mission Society, and the Builders Club of the United Methodist Church, funds raised from church suppers and numerous other projects under the planning of Betty Ann Snuggs, and the strong determination of all the members, ground was broken at the 11A.M. service on March 25, 1973 for the Sanctuary and the educational wing. These were first occupied on December 23, 1973 and completed early in 1974. The "Hut" was remodeled by the voluntary efforts of members under the guidance of Charles Parker. This completed the building project at a cost of $134,000. The new building was consecrated on Sunday, February 17, 1974 at 3PM by Bishop Earl G. Hunt of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. The burning of the mortgage was celebrated on Sunday, February 17, 1980, exactly six years from the day the building was consecrated.


(The information from this article came from The Stanly News & Press, Norwood News and Randall United Methodist Church Bicentennial Book.)



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