United Methodist Historic Landmark Sites in North Carolina

There are two United Methodist Historic Landmark Sites in North Carolina: Whitaker’s Chapel near Enfield and Green Hill House in Louisburg.

Whitaker’s Chapel is north of Rocky Mount and east of I-95, about 1.5 hours from Raleigh.

Richard Whitaker built the chapel on his property in 1740. Francis Asbury preached at Whitaker’s Chapel at least three times, in 1786, 1789, and 1804.

On December 19, 1828, 14 preachers and 12 laymen met at Whitaker’s Chapel and organized what became the North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church.

The original chapel was built of logs; at some point it was torn down and replaced with a frame building. In 1850 that structure was moved 500 yards from the site and a new church was erected in its place. The 1850 building was moved across the road to its current location in 1880.

Green Hill House is in Louisburg, just off U.S. 401 and NC 39, about 45 minutes from Raleigh.

Major Green Hill enlisted in the Continental Army as a chaplain in 1781. Major Hill became a Methodist around the age of thirty. He became a local preacher, probably the first native of North Carolina to serve in that capacity.

The Hill home in Louisburg was familiar to Methodist preachers traveling the circuit, including Francis Asbury. It was a large house, built for a family of eight children. Following the Christmas Conference in December 1784, the Green Hill House was chosen to host the first meeting of an annual conference of the brand-new Methodist Episcopal Church.

From April 20 to 24, 1785, twenty preachers from 31 circuits in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina met in the attic, a large room covering the whole upper floor of the house. Mrs. Hill and her family fed the preachers, who slept on the attic floor and in tents on the lawn.

Bishops Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke guided the proceedings. Asbury recorded in his diary that the conference met “in great peace,” and Coke wrote that “we had a comfortable time together.”

The house is the original structure and is a private home. It was renovated in 1988, and the second floor has deliberately been kept much like it was at the time of the 1785 conference.

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