As the early members met in a barn attempting to form a church, the clouds of this nation’s most turbulent period were quickly gathering. The outbreak of a civil war that would divide this nation was only a few months away. According to earlier information contained in the church archives, “regular sessions” were held each summer from May through August, but Sunday School was still held on a regular basis even though our nation, state, and community became engulfed in this struggle. The effects of this national struggle would be felt for many years. Wesley Chapel became a Methodist Episcopal South and others in the area were Methodist Episcopal North.
Wesley Chapel has endured several congregational changes over the last 150 years. Several local churches sprang from the Wesley Chapel congregation and have become equally important places of worship still serving the community. In 1942, the members of Misenheimer Methodist Episcopal Church merged with the congregation of Wesley Chapel. These changes were surely very difficult for all involved at the time, but they have ultimately helped to build a stronger local church community to serve the growing needs of the area.
Wesley Chapel has grown from being served by a circuit preacher who would visit and preach a few times a year, then to a congregation on a charge that shared a minister with other congregations, to finally having the ability to support and enjoy a full-time pastor in a parsonage. Currently, the congregation is enjoying for the first time in its 150-year history our first female pastor. The Rev. Cathy Davis is a welcome change for Wesley Chapel that is providing influence in another positive direction.
The congregation of Wesley Chapel has always dealt with the circumstances that it has faced in a positive, constructive, and most Christian way. As history has shown us, the only way for a church to not only survive, but also to flourish, is to provide for the needs of its church family, the immediate community, and the greater community beyond by doing so in the most Christ-like way possible. We at Wesley Chapel have always approached change using Christ as our example. As long as we keep Him as our example and our guide, we will have a wonderful Wesley Chapel Church to provide for the needs of future generations in this community.