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Clemmons Moravian Church






Clemmons Moravian Church was born of a legacy.

In the 19th century Edwin T. Clemmons, ran a stagecoach line that stretched from Raleigh and Fayetteville to Asheville and Wytheville in Virginia. His stages regularly stopped in Salem, where he lived for a time in the 1850’s and ’60’s. On his death in 1896 he willed a sizable bequest to the Moravian Church to establish a church and school in Clemmonsville, the village his great grandfather founded a mile to the west of Wachovia.

Even before buildings could be erected, the congregation was organized on August 13, 1900, and the school opened that October 9. James E. Hall served as pastor, and the congregation met in the Methodist church. J. Kenneth Pfohl was principal, and the school met in the old Douthit store. A combination school and church building was completed by the fall of 1901.

A school, in one form or another, continued in the building until 1925, and when it moved to a new schoolhouse, the congregation took the opportunity in 1927 to remodel the auditorium to look more like a church sanctuary.

The building was remodeled again in the 1960’s and a fine new sanctuary was completed in 1968. A fellowship hall with kitchen and more classrooms was added in 1983, with dedication of the new facility on February 26, 1984.

In 1986 Clemmons became the first Moravian church in America to participate in the Stephen Ministry program of training lay members for pastoral care of other members in times of personal crisis.

On October 31, 1996, Clemmons bid farewell to Burton J. Rights, its minister who had guided the church for 36 years. Before retiring, Br. Rights was consecrated a bishop of the Moravian Church on June 7, 1992. The service was held in the Clemmons church.

Celebrating its first century with the turn of the millennium, Clemmons Moravian Church, built on a legacy of the 19th century, looks forward to another century of service and worship.

Moravian Archives, 2002