Gifts (something voluntarily transferred from one person to another person without compensation)
Legacies (gift by will especially money or personal property)
Memorials (given in remembrance of someone)
Sharon United Methodist Church (Old Church – Circa 1905; Old Church – Circa 1950; Current Church) – June 2, 1904, Nathan Poyner and his wife Lula deeded an acre of land at the present site of Sharon Church to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the church building site. We are not sure when the first church, known as The Chapel, was ready for services; however, around 1907 when The Chapel was reported free of all debt except $58.00 owed to Kramer Lumber Company in Elizabeth City. The first recorded wedding (Pearl O’Neal and Henry Porter Hampton) was in 1910. On October 3, 1926, Sharon Methodist Church was taken into the North Carolina Conference. On September 14, 1944, the Great Atlantic Hurricane damaged the Chapel beyond use. Repairs and reconstruction to a small cement block structure with a sanctuary and four classrooms began in January 1947 and was completed and dedicated in 1950. The 1950’s were years of expansion: the church sanctuary was enlarged, classrooms added, central heating, two bathrooms, a furnace room and the entire building brick veneered. Most of the work was done by volunteer Sharon members including the steeple at its front peak. One of the helpers was Jerry Bunch who lost one arm to his elbow in the sawmill accident was part of the crew who set the steeple. Since the 1950’s we have added other additions that we will see on our journey. On June 2, 1904, Josephus Baum deeded two and one-half acres of land to be used as a parsonage for the minister who served the charge that included The Chapel and served the churches until 1939 when Sharon became a part of the Moyock Charge. The minister lived in the Moyock parsonage; the parsonage that served Sharon was sold. However, the parsonage has also been owned and occupied by owners who have been and are members of Sharon Church (Van and Eva Caroon and currently Teddy and Nancy Driggs). Later we shared a parsonage with Sharon and Hebron until Bishop Blackburn approved Sharon Church going station effective at the Annual Conference of 1978. From The Chapel to the building we have today many needs of the church have been the gift, legacies, and memorials of the people.
Pews and Name Plates – The padded pews you enjoy today were phased in over time starting with the wooden pews of The Chapel; the pews under the cushions upon which you sit, and finally the cushions upon which you are sitting. The name plates on the ends of the pews are the names of those who gave gifts of pews to the church at that time.
Windows and Name Plates – (In fact, the windows were dedicated more than once.) The stained glass windows on the left and right of the sanctuary were given in memory of loved ones in their families. They replaced the glass windows that were given in the earlier churches.
Stained Glass Windows in Choir Area – Glen Bunch, who was living in Baltimore, found out that the city of Baltimore was taking down an old church so that they could modernize businesses in the area. Glen purchased the windows and gave them as a gift to Sharon Church. Placing the windows behind the choir became a Bunch/Owens family project. Glen provided the windows; Janice Bunch’s husband Dean and their family constructed the framing and support. They also installed lights behind the windows so the colors of the glass and the stories they tell would be visible to the congregation and enhanced the sanctuary.
Technology Equipment – For some time, many people in the congregation have talked about the need to move into the twenty-first century! This time, the council drew together and approved a group of people who had expert knowledge of modern technology, electricians, movers and shakers, researched what would work best for our congregation, and gave generously of their time so today we share with you the first phase of Sharon UMC in the Twenty-First Century! This project was funded by a gift from Paul Brumsey.
Library – What was at one time a small Sunday school classroom has been turned into a library, funded by Milford J. Baum’s legacy he left to Sharon Church. The library houses a variety of books, a special section of United Methodist Women’s books, children’s books and other material. It has, unfortunately been a little used corner of the church. The system for checking out material is simple. Once you see something you would like to read or peruse, pick it up, take it home, and return it when you have finished. I challenge each of you to visit the library and make it your library of choice.
Bible box – In Memory of Lillian Reed Morris, her sons Mitchell and Philip, gave Lillian’s study Bible to the M. Bryan Morris Fellowship Class of Sharon UMC. To protect the Bible and to make it always available to be used, I asked Ernest Brickhouse if he would build a box for protecting the Bible. So Ernest crafted the Bible Box from a cedar board donated by Ricky and Sandra Hill, planed smooth by Carl Ross, to house the Bible of Lillian Reed Morris in October 2009.
Wooden Plaques (by Claude Rollins) – Claude Rollins shared many of his talents with Sharon Church. One of those was his wood working skills. In addition to the Library sign, he made signs for the Nursery Class, the Pastor’s Study.
All Saints Day Banner and stand – The banner was designed and sewn by Sue Collie with help from Rosalie Jones. Claude and Norma Rollins made the stand in Claude’s wood workshop. When it was first displayed, the streamers had no bells; soon bells were attached as members of the church made donations to have bells attached. Funds raised from the bell donations were used for the programs and missions of the church.
Pulpit – The lectern and chairs were part of the changes made in the 1950’s. The communion table in the front center of the pulpit was, I believe, a part of the pulpit furnishings from The Chapel or perhaps the church building that was built after the 1944 Great Hurricane and dedicated in 1950. The lectern and chairs were part of the changes made in the 1950’s. The pieces on the communion table keep us focused of why we are here.
Candle Holders, Cross and Bible Stand – The candle holders with oil cartridges were given in honor of Jo Stepp and Dorothy Guard Tomlin for their dedication to keeping the brass collection plates and silver communion bowl and pitcher polished and removing wax from the table glass and the carpet for many years. Jean Williams gave the Bible stand in memory of her husband Daily Williams and her daughter Sue keeps the Bible center focus on the table.
The Communion Chalices and Plates – They are hand thrown pottery made by Nancy Driggs’ cousin and were purchased with funds from the memorial fund. The little round table to the right of the communion table is fondly called Mr. Seybolt’s table.
Baptismal Pitcher and Bowl on Mr. Seybolt’s Table – The little round table was carefully designed and built by Mr. Seybolt, a member of Sharon and a Griggs teacher. It tells a big and important lesson of faith and our relationship with God. The round top and bottom represent the unending love of God. The three support posts represent the trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The silver pitcher, a gift from Mrs. Patty Mathews who was a member of Ebenezer Church, and silver bowl is engraved with “Ebenezer” to tell us this bowl survived the fire that destroyed Ebenezer church in Aydlett.
Choir Robes and Chairs – The chairs for the choir were gifts from some who purchased a single chair; Ernest and Laverne Brickhouse purchased additional chairs as the choir members grew in number. In memory of Mrs. Edna Doxey (Rosalie Jones’ mother), her children and grandchildren, gave the blue choir robes and stoles to Sharon’s choir.
Book Shelves and Storage Cabinet (choir room) – The music is stored in a book shelved cabinet given in memory of Bill Cook, a choir member. A storage cabinet, given in memory of Edgar Troutman, Peggy Cook’s father, houses paraments for the communion table and pulpit lectern and other choir materials.
Piano and Organ – The Grand Piano and the organ keep us on key and loving with the tempo. The organ is always special. It was purchased with some individual gifts but mostly with gifts from the Memorial Funds. The Grand Piano was just meant to be. Margie Green, former choir director, just happened to be at the right place at the right time to learn that an Elizabeth City church wanted to sell their piano and organize a praise band. Another person wanted to buy it until she discovered the piano would not fit in her house! As soon as Margie played the piano, she knew it was a perfect piano for Sharon. We need funds for the piano so a group of church members dug in their pockets and funded the piano that now blesses us every worship service.
Community Choir Scholarship – Sharon Church’s choir director, Margie Green, had a dream of having a community choir to perform a Christmas cantata, first at Griggs School and then in three of the churches whose members were part of the community choir. A love offering was collected at the cantata to support a music scholarship. Sharon UMC administers the scholarship.
Nursery – The nursery was recently redecorated to be more child-friendly with Memorial Fund from the Milford J. Baum Memorial.
Lectern in Fellowship Hall – This Lectern was a sanctuary lantern perhaps in The Chapel. It is now dedicated to M. Bryan Morris and used each Sunday for the teacher.
Burial Plots at Laurel Memorial Gardens – Around 2000, Dick and Myra Markvart lived in Aydlett and were members of Sharon Church. Planning to live out their years here, they purchased four burial plots at Laurel Garden. Then they decided to move to Florida. At that time they donated the four burial plots to Sharon UMC. They are on the market. If anyone is interested in these plots, please contact the Trustees chairperson at Sharon church.
Paul Brumsey Plaque – Paul Brumsey, who grew up in the home where Linda Kimble lives, attended Sharon Church until he graduated from high school and spent his later years in California. He willed to us $126,000; we have invested $70,000 in the United Methodist Foundation. The balance has been used for many much needed maintenance projects at the church and at the parsonage. We also have gifts of scholarships and endowments.
Bateman Scholarship – After the deaths of Lloyd and Olive Bateman, their sons Douglas and Mitchell, established two scholarships (the Lloyd Bateman Scholarship and The Nurse Lucy Scholarship (the name the nurses at Albemarle Hospital called Olive during her tenure as a nurse.)
Haines Endowment and Memorial Savings – Mrs. Vennie Haines gave a $5,000 endowment to Sharon UMC. We cannot use the principle; however, we can use the interest for church repairs or improvements. Sharon UMC also has a Memorial Savings accounts for Kenita and Toby Sohn after the death of their father Kenny Sohn. This is an open savings that anyone can contribute to. This account will be maintained for the children until they are 18 years old.
Ark – The Ark in the fenced in playground is a Memorial to Grace Austin given by her children and grandchildren.
Marquee – Rosalie Jones, her children, and family gave the marquee sign near the road so that you can read the posted information to Sharon Church in memory of Howard Jones, Rosalie’s husband.
Learning Lab/Youth Center – Between 2005-2006 the minister planted a seed to purchase a mobile unit that would serve as a community resource, Sunday School class, and youth activities. After much discussion, the Trustees recommended and the Council voted to purchase the building. By the time the building was on the site but no plumbing, electrical connections, and a ton of county permits had not been secured. In February 2007, the minister left for another appointment. Bill Cook, then chair of the Trustees, surged ahead with other members of the church to complete the building so that it could become a hub for the community. For a while a GED class met regularly and made good use of the computer lab. Amy and Andy Blankenship with their daughter Maggie started working with the youth. To draw youth to the program, they started a Sunday night Sunday School. This program has grown from a handful of youth to 30 and up between the ages of 5 to 18 – kindergarten to high school graduation. We were also blessed to have two families from the church to pay off the mortgage at the bank and allow the church to repay them on an interest free loan. The youth program is one of the strengths of Sharon Church.
Parsonage – On June 2, 1904, Josephus Baum deeded two and one-half acres of land to be used as a parsonage for the minister who served the charge that included The Chapel and served the churches until 1939 when Sharon became part of the Moyock Charge. The minister lived in the Moyock parsonage; the parsonage that served Sharon was sold. However, the parsonage has also been owned and occupied by owners who have been and are members of Sharon Church (Van and Eva Caroon and currently Teddy and Nancy Driggs). Later we shared a parsonage with Sharon and Hebron until Bishop Blackburn approved Sharon Church going station effective at the Annual Conference of 1978. Carlton Hampton gave us the opportunity to use his “home place” for a parsonage. In exchange for rent, we made needed maintenance that needed to be done before the minister moved in. In 1983 or 1984, Mark and Edna Doxey deeded land at the site of the current parsonage in Aydlett. The parsonage was built under the supervision of the chairman of the Trustees, the members of the Parsonage Committee, and The Rev. Susan Lindblade. To pay off the mortgage, we held chicken dinners, yard sales, and bazaars until the mortgage was paid. The first minister to occupy the parsonage was The Rev. Susan Moore.
This is the story from our beginnings to who we are today and the role that gifts, legacies, and memorials and honorariums have enabled us to dream dreams and realize realities.
Submitted by Susie G. Spruill
November 12, 2017