History can be vague, but general consensus regarding the beginning of what would become Apple’s Chapel can be traced to stories of a brush arbor under which members of the community surrounding the church would gather to share the gospel of Christ. Nearly all of these stories maintain that first gathering to have taken place in the early 1800’s, with one specific date recurring as 1803. Services and Sermons were held and spoken in German during the earliest meetings under the arbor.
The first gathering at Apple’s Meeting House took place when Pastor James O’Kelly preached and administered the Lord’s Supper on June 4, 1809.
Early church operations as Apple’s Chapel:
- First quarterly meeting minutes – December 6, 1834 (original charter of “Apple’s Chapel”)
- First recorded offering – $2.00 (also on December 6, 1834)
- First recorded appropriation – $7.25 to Mr. Daniel W. Kerr (June 6, 1835)
In 1871 records state that Apple’s agrees to be governed by five principles of the Christian denomination, they are:
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the only head of the church
- Christian is a sufficient name for the church
- The Holy Bible is a sufficient rule of faith and practice
- Christian character is a sufficient test of fellowship and of church membership
- The right of private judgment and the liberty of conscience is a right and privilege that should be accorded to and exercised by all
Other significant dates since the late 1800s through today:
- April 22, 1875 – Building committee organized for White Plank church building to replace meeting house (White Plank church was used from 1875 until 1921)
- April 22, 1875 – First organized Sunday school
- January 24, 1914 – Bell Tower and Vestibule added to White Plank church
- November 26, 1921 – The first sermon was preached by Dr. G.O. Lankford of Burlington, NC in the brick church which replaced the White Plank church. (Plans drawn in 1917 for a Brick church building were complete.)
- April 22, 1939 – Electric lighting was added to the brick church
- 1950 – Educational building completed housing Sunday school class rooms, used until 2005
- 1955 – Parsonage completed beside brick church (removed 2004 for construction of additional parking)
- 1961 – Apple’s Chapel church becomes a member of the United Church of Christ denomination (left membership by church vote 1982 for doctrinal reasons)
- 1964 – Brick church replaced with Apple’s Chapel Christian Church building (still in use as main church, first service conducted by Rev. Collie Seymour on February 23, 1964)
- 1991 – Fellowship Hall/Day Care completed
- 2005 – Major renovations to church sanctuary and addition of new attached classroom structure completed replacing 1950 educational building. Renovations were completed at a cost of $2.4M and created the current structure in use today. The first service was held in the current building on February 13, 2005.
As you can imagine Apple’s Chapel has seen tremendous change for more than 150 years. God has truly been at work in the ministry of the church and continues to this very day. We are excited about the new history that is already being created and the ministry that is affecting change in our community as you read this.