The History of the Rural Hall Congregation
On July 27, 1923, nine women met in the home of Mr. & Mrs. W. E. Stauber to form the Rural Hall Moravian Ladies Aid Society. The charter members of the Society were: Mrs. Stauber, President; Mrs. S. S. Flynt, Vice-President; Mrs. A. T. Cox, Miss Lily Lash, Mrs. E. S. Felts, Miss Eunice Flynt (Mrs. Ancus Payne), Miss Helen Flynt (Mrs. Sandy Wall), Miss Maude Felts (Mrs. Ed Sweetman), and Miss Edith Shore (Mrs. Edith H. Sharp). The ladies drew up a constitution and declared that the objective of the Society would be to promote fellowship and be united for service.
From this organization grew the Rural Hall Moravian Sunday School and Church, a member of the body of churches forming the oldest of Protestant denominations. The church was formally organized as a congregation of the Moravian Church in America , Southern Province, on Sunday, May 3, 1931. This date is officially recognized as the anniversary of our congregation.
In her early years the church was served by the following pastors on a part-time basis: The Revs. Ralph C. Bassett, E. C. Helmich, Charles B. Adams, Edward T. Mickey, Edwin Fussel, C. Truett Chadwick, William A. Cranford, Jr., and Howard G. Foltz. In 1964 the church called her first full-time pastor, The Rev. C. Truett Chadwick. Since then she has been served on a full-time basis by The Revs. E. Keith Hutcherson, Alan H. Barnes, Jon C. Peterson, Truman L. Dunn, Tracy A. Pryor, James C. Newsome, Jr., the Rev. Dr. Steve Craver, and the Rev. Aaron Linville.
A three year capital stewardship program, the Building in Faith Campaign, began in the fall of 1997 to raise funds for a new fellowship hall. The campaign concluded at the end of 2000 with total gifts of over $675,000. The beautiful new facility was completed at a cost of nearly $1 million and dedicated to the service and glory of God on January 7, 2001. On November 16, 2003 the congregation celebrated the retiring of the debt with a lovefeast and mortgage burning ceremony.
But of far greater importance than expanding facilities and paying off debt is the congregation’s desire to keep growing in faith, love, and hope, the essentials of Christianity, and allowing that growth to manifest itself in greater service and discipleship.