Ardmore Moravian Church

The Great War was over, and as America “returned to normalcy” Winston-Salem was growing by leaps and bounds. It’s newest suburb at the dawn of the 1920’s was Ardmore to the west, and it was drawing a number of Moravians who of course needed a church in their neighborhood.

Calvary Moravian Church and its pastor, Edmund Schwarze, answered the call. On December 1, 1921, Br. Schwarze held the first Moravian service in Ardmore at the home of Br. and Sr. L. M. Hahn on Beach Street off Hawthorne Road.

A series of regularly scheduled meetings followed, and then a lovefeast was held in the Hahns’ home on April 20, 1922. A Ladies Aid Society was organized on May 30 to begin raising funds, and by summer the Provincial Elders Conference saw Ardmore as “an important enterprise.” A lot was purchased, and a “bungalow church” was erected and formally opened with a lovefeast on March 15, 1923. Formal organization as a church of the Southern Province came on June 29, 1924, and Br. William R. Steininger was installed as Ardmore’s pastor.

Charming as a bungalow may be, it is no substitute for a real church, especially if the congregation is growing. So in the midst of the Great Depression, Ardmore set about building a church, a distinctly “Moravian” design from the architectural firm of Northup and O’Brien. Work had to stop at times while more money was raised, but the first service in the new sanctuary was on March 20, 1932. The debt took the rest of the decade to erase, but finally on August 18, 1940, the church was dedicated by Bishop J. Kenneth Pfohl.

Following World War II, Ardmore set about building again, this time adding a Sunday school, fellowship hall, and offices to the rear of the sanctuary. In 1956 Ardmore became perhaps the first church of the Southern Province to air-condition its sanctuary. In 1990 Ardmore added an elevator, and in 1993 it converted a rental house into guest quarters for families of patients at nearby Baptist Hospital.

Today worshipping at Ardmore has been called “fun, high energy, spontaneous,” all aiming “to enjoy God and glorify him forever!”

Moravian Archives, 2002