In the summer, visitors to Waxhaw may consider taking a stroll along the Waxhaw Historic Walking Tour. Warmer weather and relaxed schedules give people the motivation and the time to get outside and take in the sights, map in one hand, iced coffee in the other. Following the suggested path will have them beginning their journey at 200 Mc Donald Street, the site of Waxhaw United Methodist Church.
Waxhaw United Methodist Church was established in 1888, one year before the town was chartered. It was the first church within the town limits. The original wood-framed building sat behind the current location of the church. It was built in 1889 on the corner of West Price and North Church Streets.
Being the first church in town, they opened up their Sunday School program to form an interdenominational class with the Baptist and Presbyterian churches. The original frame church sat in the same spot from 1889 until 1906, when it moved one block south and across Church Street to the northwest corner of Church and McDonald Streets.
On November 23rd, 1923, groundbreaking for the new brick building began. The cornerstone reads, “Waxhaw M.E.; Church South; Nov. 26 1923, E. N. Crowder P. C.” Church records show that “Bishop Edwin Mouzon dedicated it on October 14th, 1928. Benjamin F. Price, ‘Uncle Ben’, and his sister Sara Elizabeth Price, ‘Aunt Lizzie’, gave a sum equal to the total raised by the rest of the congregation.” The Prices also donated the lot behind the church for future use and expansion.
The brick church was built using Gothic Revival style architecture. According to church records, “The estimated cost of the new building was about $17, 000 dollars.” At today’s value, that would be around $232,340.
The first wedding performed in the new church building was that of Miss Helen Niven and Mr. Henry Gamble. Their daughter, Ms. Patsy McGee is still a member of Waxhaw United Methodist. Patsy is a lively, friendly woman who is involved in the music program and plays the church organ. “If you don’t go to church, I’d like to invite you here,” Ms. Patsy said.
In 1949, the church installed a Hammond Organ. In 1950 an oil furnace was installed. On January 12, 1957, the church experienced a sudden fire, which caused $10,000 worth of damage to the structure. In the process of repairing the sanctuary, the interior underwent another revision. It was changed from the pulpit-centered style, which had been the dominant Protestant tradition for the past 300 years, to the more modern alter-centered style, also known as a divided-chancel sanctuary.
Waxhaw United Methodist Church has continued to add on and expand over the years. They now run a Weekday Children’s Ministry Child Development Center in addition to their traditional church services. Sunday mornings see a Celebration Service at 9:00 am, which incorporates more modern worship music. There are 10:00 am Small Group meetings, and then the Traditional Service is held at 11:00 am. Anyone interested in visiting can call 704-843-3931 to find out more about their programs. They can also email email@example.com, or even visit the church’s Facebook page, listed under Waxhaw UMC.