Wallace Memorial United Methodist Church History

 

In 1844, the First Methodist Church in Fox Hill was built on the corner of Hall and Beach Road on a parcel of land given by Mr Henry Guy and his mother, Elizabeth. In 1862, during the Civil War, the church was torn or burned down. It was rebuilt in 1866. The original building served the community until 1878 when it was demolished to make room for a larger building. In 1875, the Reverend Baugham, recommended the purchase of an organ for the church. Many church members disagreed on bringing a musical instrument into the church, so in 1895, a group of Fox Hillians living further toward the bay started worshipping in the Knights Templars building located in the 400 block of Beach Road.

          In 1895, Mr William P. Wallace gave a parcel of land 60 x 80 feet for the purpose of erecting a church building. The corner stone to the church was laid in 1896.  The original church organizers were:  J. H. Clark,Sr., Mary E. Clark, J. H. Clark, Jr., Diana Clark, B. F. Rowe, Susan A. Rowe, John Lewis, Sr., G. T. Elliott, Sr., Emmaline Elliott, G. T. Elliott, Jr., Bell Elliott, J. W. Johnson, Sr., Sadie Johnson, J. F. Johnson, Mary J. Johnson, George Johnson, Sr., T. J. Johsnon, Sr., Betty Johnson, D. S. Johnson, Sr., M. R. Johnson, M. V. Johnson, M. P. Wallace, and Martha V. Wallace

In 1898, a Reverend Goodrich, who was then serving a charge in Surry and Prince George Counties, consented to hold preaching services occasionally. Though there is no record of his means of transportation, assumption is made that he must have crossed the James River by ferry and completed the remainder of the journey on horseback. We were very fortunate to have many faithful members who taught and carried on our church business even though, at first, we didn't have a full time minister.

The Maryland Conference of 1897 accepted the church as a member and the Reverend George H. Stockdale became the minister. He was followed by the Reverend Charles M. Zepp during whose pastorate the Christian Endeavor Society was organized.

In 1901, the first parsonage was built. It was also this year when some members broke away and founded what was known as the Middle Church, todays Central United Methodist Church. In 1906, the church was renamed to Wallace Memorial Methodist Protestant Church in honor of William Wallace. His picture hangs today in the Ladies' Sunday School room which is also the Social Hall of the church next to the scantuary.

In 1939, our church became known as Wallace Memorial Methodist Church after affiliation with the Virginia Annual Conference.

During the years, the church building has undergone numerous changes. The original structure, which is the present sanctuary, once had a lofty steeple with belfry. The large bell pealed out its joyful notes at meeting time, calling all to worship. It was also used to toll the sorrowful last rites of departed members. In 1945, the spire was declared unsafe for the heavy bell and it was removed. In 1971, Rondall Spencer, a faithful follower, had a metal tower erected on the side of the church for the bell and once again it could be heard. The tower and bell were removed and another faithful follower, Captain Marshall Smith had the bell sandblasted in preparation for remounting. The mounting never took place for one reason or another. Today, however, we will toll the bell once more. Our original beloved church bell stands proud on our newly bricked foundation that two other faithful follows, John Mason and Chet Wishon, diligently worked on so hard to make happen for this anniversary.

A new narthex was added to the existing structure in 1945 and the social hall/Ladies Sunday School room followed. In 1950, 9 church school rooms were built onto the back of the building.

In 1962, a parcel of land adjacent to the church was purchased for a parking lot two lots on the west side of Johnson Road for erection of a new parsonage. The parsonage was dedicated in October of 1962 during the ministry of Reverend George Henley.

     By 1972, the Sunday school rooms needed upgrading so the rooms were paneled painted.

     In recent years, we have had the electricity upgraded, added the chandeliers in the sanctuary and social hall and had the kitchen redone. Through the efforts of the entire church and the leadership of Vickie Gage, we have started having the "suppers" that Fox Hillians are so noted for to raise money to help with church expenses.

     Wallace Memorial, while not the largest of churches and certainly not the one with the most members, is a church which has always had the most dedicated and faithful members any church could have. We have accomplished more with so little and have I blessing upon blessing bestowed on our church family. Our history is one rich with people who believed and accomplished things and influenced the community greatly. All people are welcomed to our doors and whenever there is a need in the community, Wallace Memorial is always there to help.

          We are a church dedicated to the Lord and thankful for all he has given.

 

 

Church Organizers 1895

J. H. Clark, Sr.

Mary E. Clark

J. H. Clark, Jr.

Diana Clark

B. F. Rowe

Susan A. Rowe

John Lewis, Sr.

G. T. Elliott, Sr.

Emmaline Elliott

G. T. Elliott, Jr.

Bell Elliott

J. W. Johnson, Sr.

Sadie Johnson

J. F. Johnson

Mary J. Johnson

George Johnson, Sr.

T. J. Johsnon, Sr.

Betty Johnson

D. S. Johnson, Sr.

M. R. Johnson

M. V. Johnson

M. P. Wallace

Martha V. Wallace


Important Dates in Church History

1844  -  First Methodist Church of Fox Hill, corner of Hall and Beach Roads deeded  to 7 Trustees on a parcel of land given by Mr. Henry Guy and his mother, Elizabeth

1862  -  Civil War - First Church burned down

1866   -  Church Rebuilt

1875  -  Minister, Reverend Baughman, recommended purchase of organ; many members disagreed about having a musical instrument in the Church

1875  -  Made separate charge from First Methodist of Hampton

1878  -  First Church demolished to make room for larger church

1895  -  Some members moved toward the bay and used the Knights Templars Meeting Hall to start our church

1896   -  Present church corner stone was laid on land donated by William Wallace

1897   -  Church accepted into Maryland Conference

1901   -  1st Parsonage was built

1906   -  Church was named after G. W. Wallace who donated the land the church was built on

1939   -    Church became part of the Virginia Methodist Church Conferenc

1945   -  Bell removed from the steeple 

1950   -   Nine church school rooms added

1962   -  Two lots purchased for parking and parsonage

1971   -   Metal tower built to house church bell

1996   -   Bell remounted on brick foundation

 

PASTORS SERVING OUR CHURCH

 

Reverend Goodrich      1896 -1897

George H. Stocksdale   1897 -1899

M. Charlie Zepp           1899 -1901

F. L. Stevens 1901 -1903

George F. Norris 1903 -1905

N. V. Cosaboon 1905 -1906

F. J. Phillips 1906 -1908

E. W. Simms 1908 - 1909

M. E. Hungerford 1909 - 1912

J. F. Wooden 1912 -1915

J. E. Massey  1915 - 1917

A. F. Raines 1917 - 1918

F. K. McCorkle 1918 -1921

W. F. Bauscher 1921-1923

George W. Ports 1923 - 1926

F. B. Bailey 1926 - 1928

C. H. Dobson 1928 - 1929

F. W. Siffrin 1929 - 1930

H. E. Hudgins 1931 - 1933

A. A. Pierce 1933 - 1937

Elmer N. Hassell 1937 -1940

W. O. Brittingham 1940 - 1941

B E. Hudson 1941 -1943

Warren H. Ashby  1943 -1944

John L. Kibler, Jr   1944 -1947

Harry Broom   1947 -1948

M. T. Hartsoe  1948 -1949

E. B. Cook 1949 -1952

R. E. Shaw 1952 -1954

George Henley 1954 -1960

James L. Blankenship 1960 - 1961

Calvin B. Johnson 1961 - 1963

K. M. King 1963 - 1965

William Kelly 1965 -1966

W. P. Hall, Jr 1966 - 1968

Richard McNutt 1968 - 1970

Issac Bare 1970 - 1973

Charles Cooper 1973 - 1975

Ralph Richardson 1975 - 1978

Laurie Harris 1978 - 1981

Donald A. Baird 1981 - 1986

Billy Edmonson 1986 - 1990

Penny D. Pugh 1990 - 1993

Karen Adams 1993 1997

Ruth Burgess 1997-2001

Norman Tippens 2001-