“The brethren of Rural Hall,” declared The Wachovia Moravian on page one of its May 1893 issue, “are earnestly advocating the erection of a chapel at the Railroad Junction of the Richmond & Danville and Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railroads. We commend their enterprise to the sympathy and help of all our brethren.”
Why Flavius H. Lash, Bethania’s energetic Sunday school superintendent, didn’t leap at this opportunity is a mystery. Maybe he was busy getting Alpha and Mizpah off to a good start. As for the brethren and sisters of Rural Hall, they had to wait another 30 years before their earnest advocating was answered.
Actually, they didn’t wait. They did it themselves, and it was the women who took the lead.
On July 27, 1923, nine ladies gathered in the home of Br. and Sr. William Edwin Stauber and formed the Rural Hall Moravian Ladies Aid Society. Almost immediately they began raising money to purchase a lot and build a church. They did it little by little. In September 1924 they organized a “bucket brigade” of volunteers who combed the community collecting change in small pails. They elected F. Walter Grabs, Bethania’s pastor, as their “captain.”
Their efforts paid off, for by December 1924 they were able to purchase a building lot. Ground was broken for a church on July 25, 1926. Work progressed slowly, but on July 22, 1928, the first service, a lovefeast, was held in the still unfinished building. “The beautiful and spacious Rural Hall Church,” The Wachovia Moravian proclaimed, “will stand as a lasting monument of women’s endeavor in our Province.”
Paying the debt on the church took longer in the Great Depression; not until July 25, 1937, had all bills been paid and the church was consecrated. Meanwhile, Rural Hall was formally organized on May 3, 1931, as a congregation of the Southern Province.
For its 50th anniversary year, Rural Hall dedicated a new Christian education building on November 29, 1981. And now in the new century Rural Hall has crowned its “Building in Faith” campaign with the dedication on January 7, 2001, of a spacious new fellowship hall.