About Ebenezer UMC
About Our Name
Ebenezer means "stone of the help." The word is found in the book of 1 Samuel in the story of how the Ark of the Covenant of the Israelites was captured by the Philistines and then returned to them (see Chapters 4-6). Some twenty years later, the Philistines again gathered to attack Israel. This time the attack came after the prophet and judge, Samuel, had convinced the people to put away their foreign gods and return to the One True LORD. With the LORD's help, the Israelites routed the Philistines and Samuel set up a stone at the battle site:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
--1 Samuel 7:12 NRSV
There are many churches that use the name Ebenezer. The name reminds us that we need the help of the Lord at all times. It also helps us to remember the "rock of our salvation," Jesus Christ.
Our Church and Community
Ebenezer United Methodist Church is located in the Dudley Shoals community of Caldwell County, North Carolina. Dudley Shoals is a farming community between Granite Falls and Hickory, North Carolina. It is a farming area that is slowly becoming a suburban area of individual homes, housing developments, and "trailer" parks that is still spotted here and there with small farms, small factories and businesses, plus estate-like homes with acreage. Basically, there is no zoning, so businesses, factories, the rich and the poor and middle class homes and families intermingle througout the area.
Ebenezer Church has been serving Dudley Shoals community since 1827. See our first History page for more information on the years from 1827-1974. Beginning around 2003, the church membership and attendance increased. Scheduling two worship services on Sundays, not only helped increase the worship attendance figures, but also boosted participation in Sunday school. We had so many classes on Sundays that we had to use the fellowship hall and sanctuary to accomodate them all. Because of this growth and our desire to help our community more, we began plans for an addition to the education building with a larger fellowship hall and kitchen. The land where the new building would sit was cleared of trees in 2010, and we began to build the Christian Life Center, with a much larger fellowship hall/gym combination and kitchen, plus a stage and more classrooms. This project was completed in 2012. We have slideshows of the construction process on our Photos page. The history of this project has been moved to the new Christian Life Center page.
Since that project was completed, we have had two changes of pastors. We had a rough time in the transitions, but are more determined than ever to continue serving our Lord and our community.
Our current pastor is Rev. Alan Gaylord. You can find more information on Pastor Alan and his family on our Staff page.
We praise God for all His wonderful and continuous blessings, and for the strength and desire to continue the work He has set before us. We thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, and support. May God bless you also.