Our History

  

Our church is a direct result of the Mission interest that brought the Moravians from Pennsylvania to Bethabara, North Carolina in 1753.   The Bethania congregation was started in 1759 and is the Mother Church of King Moravian. The first Moravian service held in King was at the school building on July 6, 1924.  Rev. Douglas L. Rights and Rev. Edgar A. Holton conducted the service.

Our congregation was organized on October 5, 1924 at the home (our present church office) of Simeon W. and Lula Grabs Pulliam, with fifteen charter members.

 

Rev. Holton was the first Pastor and Rev. F. Walter Grabs, the second. Land for the church and graveyard was donated by Mr. and Mrs. S.W. Pulliam. The first brick for the church was laid on April 27, 1925 and the total cost of the building was less than $6,000. The cost of the bell in the belfry was $34.23.  The service held in the new church was on October 4, 1925.  Over 250 attended the first Christmas Lovefeast and Candle Service that year and the coffee mugs were borrowed from Bethania Moravian Church. Christmas Eve Service in 2000 had 655 in attendance.

 

The first burial in our Graveyard, located on Old highway 52, near the old King Times Building was Benjamin F. Pulliam, father of Mrs. Lennis Stone on July 14, 1929.  In 1941 Rev. David Weinland held the first annual Moravian Easter Dawn Sunrise Service in our God's Acre and we have continued the tradition each Easter morning since.

 

The church office (formally the parsonage) was built in 1909 and willed to our church at the death of Mrs. Lula Pulliam in 1942.  The pastors lived out of town and served from two to three other congregations.   The Rev. J. Calvin Barnes family were the first occupants of the parsonage.   Our first full-time pastor was the Rev. Jimmie L. Newsom, Sr. in 1964.

 

Our first organ was purchased in 1949 and Mrs. Sally Hartgrove was organist for 25 years, until 1974 and Mrs. Jennifer Dunn has served faithfully to this date. The Christian Education Building was constructed in 1951 and the third floor was completed in 1969.  The Picnic Pavilion was built in 1966 and the Sanctuary was air conditioned the same year. A building fund was established in 1983 for a new sanctuary and fellowship hall, $300,000 was raised before construction began.  July 12, 1992 a ground breaking service was held and construction began.  Laying of the new cornerstone by Bishop George C. Higgins was held April 18, 1993.   The dedication of the new sanctuary and fellowship hall took place June 27, 1993 with 286 in attendance.  The cost of our new sanctuary and fellowship hall is estimated $878,000.

 

September 1, 1993, a new ministry began, "King Moravian Preschool," with Jonie Moser as Director. Presently, Tina Pratt is our Director staffed with 13 teachers and 100 children enrolled. The preschool is open to children 6 months to 5 years with a special readiness class for kindergarten age. In keeping with the Moravian belief in strong, early education, the preschool's program emphasizes music, social skills and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

 

A prayer garden located between the old sanctuary and the new sanctuary is used for time of prayer and meditation.

We have had 14 pastors during our 9 decades with Dr. Neil Routh as our current pastor with over 367 members.

 

Pastors:


Rev. Edgar A. Holton
1924-1936


Rev. Walter F. Grabs
1924-1936


Rev. Edward Helmich
1936-1940


Rev. David Weinland
1943-1944


Rev. Charles Adams
1944-1945


Rev. E.T. Mickey

1945-1951

 

Rev. J. Calvin Barnes
1952-1954


Rev. William A. Kaltrieder
1955-1959


Rev. George A. Chiddie
1960-1963


Rev. Jimmie Newsom, Sr.

1964-1969


Rev. Thomas F. Presley
1969-1974


Rev. John H. Giesler
1975-1980


Rev. Jimmie Newsom, Jr.

1980-2010


Rev. Dr. Neil Routh

2011-2015

 

Rev. Kevin Conley

2016-2017

 

Rev. Douglas C. Rights

2017-current