Memorial United Methodist Church
is located six miles west of Franklin, NC on the left side of Old
Highway 64 at the intersection of Wayah Road.
It was formed by the merging of
United Methodist Churches in 1967.
The building site was donated and
deeded to the church by Mr. A.B. Slagle, a former member of
Mt. Zion. It consists of
about 18 acres and lies almost exactly halfway between the two churches.
Rev. Donald Noblitt was pastor of
Mt. Zion and Rev. P.F. Snyder was pastor of Carson Chapel when plans for
the merger were started. The
congregations met in the summer at Carson Chapel and at Mt. Zion during
the cold months, while plans were being finalized and the new church
The new church was named by the
members (unanimously) “Memorial United Methodist Church” in memory
of departed loved ones.
Construction of the church began
in 1970 while
Rev. William Haselden as pastor (1968-1973).
Members of the building committee consisted of: Nelson Waldroop,
Chairman; Earl Cabe, Treasurer; Siler Slagle, Fred Slagle, Cecil Parker,
Homer Greene, Florence Sherill, Charles Nolen and Earl Harrison.
Members of the Board of Trustees
were Jeff Enloe, Nelson Waldroop, Harold Moore, Wayne Harrison, Wayne
Pendergrass, Siler Slagle, Cecil Parker, Jim Cunningham, Sr. and Fred S.
Construction was by Haywood
Contractors, of Lake Junaluska. James
D. Padgett of Asheville was the architect.
He received a Certificate of Recognition for Fural Churches
Design from the Randolph E. Dumont Design Co., which is sponsored by the
Committee on Church Architecture of NC conference and the W.N.C.
conference of the United Methodist Church.
The church is a functional church.
It was one of the first churches in the county not built in the
traditional idea of a church and received quite a bit of interest during
the building process. One
person remarked to Mrs. Harriet Setser, an older member, that it looked
like a barn. She replied,
“Well, after all, wasn’t Jesus born in a stable?”.
After completion of the church, everyone was pleased with the
The landscaping of the church
grounds was done by the men of the church.
The first service was held in
Memorial on February 28, 1971. The
officiating minister was Rev. Paul Barker, as Rev. William Haselden, the
regular minister, was ill.
The Formal Opening Service and The
Service for “Laying of the Cornerstone” were held on April 18, 1971,
with Bishop Earl G. Hunt officiating.
Other participants were Rev. Harley Dickson, District
Superintendent; Rev. William Haselden, Rev. C. E. Murray, Rev. Donald
Noblitt, Rev. Paul Barker and Soloist, Conrad Hefner, who sang
“How Great Thou Art”.
Acknowledgment of appreciation was
made to the many persons who made this building project a success by
their prayers, Talents, Efforts, Time, finance and interest.
A box containing records of
written church related facts, pictures, etc. was placed in a cornerstone
of the church. The stone was then replaced and sealed by the minister
and the builder of the church.
On June 26, 1977, Memorial Church
was dedicated to the “Glory of God and Service to Mankind”.
The minister in charge was Rev. Joel Carter (1973-1981).
Participants in the service were Bishop L. Scott Allen of
Charlotte, Dr. James Coleman, District Superintendent and Rev. William
Haselden. The mortgage was
burned by Earl Cabe, Gilmer Setser and Eugene Crawford.
The members of the Planning Committee for Dedication Day were
Steve Roylston, Chairman; Florence Sherrill, Co-coordinator; Harriet
Setser, Historian; Jim Cunningham, Sr., Chairman of Administrative
Board; and Charles Nolen, Chairman of Trustees.
The first officers of the church
were Bob Bryson, Sunday School Superintendent; Myra Waldroop, assistant
Superintendent; Katherine Pendergrass, Secretary of Sunday School; Mae
Belle Cabe, Financial Secretary; Clara Harrison, Treasurer; and Sara
Bryson, who has served as Recording Secretary since 1967.
The first person to join Memorial
Church was Michael Gregory Enloe on April 11, 1971.
The first baby to be christened was Stephen Frederick Enloe on
august 27, 1972. The first
funeral was for Mrs. Leona Waldroop Moore on March 11, 1972.
The first wedding was for Miss Carolyn Juanita Setser to Warren
Larry Waters on February 15, 1975.
The bell in the tower is from the
Carson Chapel Church. The
cross in the front of the church was made by Fred Slagle from material
of the altar rail at Carson Chapel.
The brass cross on the piano was made and donated by Charles
Nolen. The Christian flag
was given by the Friendship Class; the Communion Element Cover and Table
Cover were given by the Adult Class.
The following memorials have been
given; the United States Flag by the family of Max Greene; the candle
holders and the small cross in the Narthex were given by the family of
J.C. Weaver; the altar rail by the family and friends of Charles Ronald
Waldroop; the organ by the family and friends of Lida A. Slagle; the
folding doors in the Narthex by the United Methodist Women in memory of
Leona W. Moore; Cokesbury Hymnals by Gladys Barrett in memory of Floyd
Barrett and Cecil Parker; the Communion Service by Betty Slagle Kemper
in memory of her grand parents, J. Henry and Margaret Gillespie Slagle;
the poem “Abou Ben Adem”, in the Narthex was given in memory of Nina
Rae Waldroop Slagle by the Macon County Extension Office and the FHA
Office; the Psalm in the Friendship Class was place there in memory of
Nina Rae Slagle; the Psalm in the Narthex by Mrs. Eleanora McNish in
honor of her son, Tommy during the time he was a Prisoner of War in
Vietnam; the brass flower urn and the Paraments by Steve and Mary Slagle
Roylston in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Slagle; the Chalice and Advent
Wreath in memory of Gladys Barrett Bearce by friends; the stained glass
window by Bill and Shirley Hunter in memory of Shirley’s father, Dr.
Russell J. Jones; and the Organ Lamp in memory of Mrs. Jake Mathews by
her husband and family.
of Memorial United Methodist Church