About eight miles southeast of Salem, beyond Friedland on the road to High Point is the long-standing community of Union Cross. The plank road from Fayetteville came through Union Cross in the 1850’s. It appears on an 1863 map of Forsyth County. Edward Rondthaler journeyed there on November 12, 1878, to marry Wesley Foltz to Carrie Johnson. “At that time there was no Sunday school in Abbotts Creek Township, and no preaching place nearer than Friedland,” recalled Br. Foltz almost a half-century later.
But all that changed when on August 6, 1893, after morning service at Friedland Br. Samuel Woosley went to Union Cross and preached in the afternoon. Response was so positive that a Sunday school was formed, and the next Sunday, August 13, James T. Lineback formally organized it, Wesley Foltz recalled, “in a small brick store house which stood on the corner opposite the old blacksmith shop.” By Christmas Union Cross had 58 scholars, and had a real Christmas celebration with music provided by the Kernersville band.
Dr. J.L. Johnson, Wesley Foltz’s father-in-law, offered land for a church. Construction work “was pushed as fast as means and material could be collected,” Br. Foltz recalled, “and the church was finished and occupied by June 1, 1895.” That December 1 Edward Rondthaler again journeyed to Union Cross and dedicated the new church.
Sunday school and monthly preaching continued with more or less regularity over the next three decades with those attending Union Cross still considered members of Friedland. Then in 1924 the highway to High Point was paved, and the Union Cross people saw brighter prospects. With Friedland’s full permission, on July 18, 1926, Union Cross was formally organized as a congregation and 40 communicants transferred their membership.
Throughout its history Union Cross has had a “can do” spirit. In the late 1940’s when a large Sunday school building was constructed, the congregation pitched in with volunteer labor and imaginative fund raising with soup, cake, and pie sales and a “buy a seat” campaign. Again in the 1980’s Union Cross had the “can do” spirit for the building of its new 300-seat sanctuary, completing the project without a formal pledge campaign and with its budget always in the black. The new sanctuary was dedicated on January 24, 1982.
Still with the “can do” spirit, Union Cross helps the World Mission Shop by staffing a satellite store.