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History of Gibson Memorial United Methodist Church

2010 marked the 120th year of Methodism in Spring Hope. The seed was sown for a Methodist Church here in 1890 by A.D. “Uncle” Betts, a Stanhope minister. The Rev. J. W. Gibson was the first full-time pastor. This early church, the Spring Hope Methodist Episcopal Church, was located on the corner of Nash and Ash streets.

The church suffered a tragic loss when Rev. Gibson died in 189, and another great loss when the church and parsonage both burned on a windy night in December, 1909. Church services were held in the upstairs of the Finch Store Building on the corner of Main and Ash, and theĀ  Ladies Aid Society staged bazaars and suppers to raise money for a new church building. The congregation purchased land for a new church from Mr. Smith Brantley. The cornerstone was laid in 1910 and the members decided, 22 years after his death, to name their new church for Rev. Gibson. The N. B. Finch house, present on the corner at the time of sale, was moved over and served as the church parsonage until 1970.

It was in the mid 50′s, when Rev. Steward Brodie was pastor, that the Education Building was begun. During the early 70′s, under the leadership of Rev. Brian Gentile, the church raised enough to build a $30,000 parsonage. In 2010, with the help of the Duke Endowment, the church Handicap/Renovation Project was completed under Rev. Elizabeth Polk.

The Ladies Aid Society, later called The Women’s Missionary Society and now, United Methodist Women, has always been active in Spring Hope. With three circles, named for Mary J. Earle, Sallie May Wood, and Maggie Dixon Baker, we are especially known for our annual Salad Luncheon. The first meeting of the Methodist Men was in 195. Our UMM is now very active in the district. They are well know for their annual Brunswick Stew.

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