Oak Grove Moravian Church

The Civil War was over, and Reconstruction had come to an end. The twin towns of Salem and Winston were beginning their remarkable decades-long burst of growth. Neighboring areas were growing including the region northeast of Winston. Providence Moravian Church was begun in 1880 to serve the neighborhood on the Hollow Road, but to the people on the road to Walkertown, it was a long four-mile walk or wagon ride to go to church.

So in the spring of 1887 Richard Westmoreland asked James T. Lineback, the Southern Province’s Sunday school superintendent, to begin a Sunday school for him and his neighbors. They met in a log cabin owned by Douglas Day. That summer a revival brought many to the Sunday school, and on September 25 Oak Grove was organized as a congregation of the Moravian Church. Christian Lewis Rights was its first pastor.

Soon work began on a church. Joshua Sell and George Hammock donated the land, and members volunteered labor and supplies to the effort. At Christmas 1887 the building was far enough along to hold the first services in it. On May 12, 1888, a Saturday, the church was consecrated, and the first communion was held the next day, Sunday.

Early on, Oak Grove began a tradition of service when every autumn members would bring a wagon laden with farm produce to the Salem Home as a gift for the homeless women and children there.

The wood frame church served the congregation well with remodeling in 1929 and again in 1934. But by the time of John Kapp, Oak Grove’s first resident pastor after World War II, there was need for a new church. Groundbreaking for the first phase, a Sunday school and fellowship hall, was in March 1951, and the second phase, the church itself, was begun in August 1956 under the pastorate of Christian D. Weber. The first service in the new sanctuary was on June 2, 1957, the Quincentennial year of the Moravian Church.

Centennial celebrations at Oak Grove were held throughout 1987 with an Old-Fashioned Sunday, a Descendants’ Day, a revival, a thanksgiving service, lovefeast, holy communion, and a festival program of music.