History of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church

THE FOURTH DECADE (1914 – 1924)

Rev. George H. Spooner provided pastoral leadership for the first four years of the fourth decade. It was during this time that Mount Vernon became involved in a baseball league. This was met with objections by the local 1914 Baseball team from Mount Vernon Methodist Church, Danvillenewspaper and by Methodists at the state level, because of concerns that games led to gambling. The church held firm and sponsored the baseball team.

It was also during this time that Mr. Fitzgerald (from Dan River Mills) offered to provide a motion-picture projector to the church. This also received criticism from the local newspaper, but the equipment was installed and movies were shown on Sunday evenings.

During this time, the Board decided that participation at Wednesday evening services needed to improve and divided the church into groups of seven or eight, with women appointed to contact each member of the group and urge them to come to church on Wednesday evenings and to bring their husbands and families with them.

Like others before him, Dr. Spooner found his health to suffer under the workload of pastoring Mount Vernon and had to take an extended summer off.

By 1919, Mount Vernon had paid off the church debt and had raised subscriptions for the Methodist Centenary mission fund. Rev. J. Callaway Robertson became the pastor, and he began the custom of displaying pictures of all the pastors of the church. (This custom continues to the present. The old pastor photos from the Fellowship Hall were restored and reframed in July 2011, thanks to the leadership of member Fred Evans. These photos now grace the hallway outside the Winn Chapel.) Reverend Calloway also began a church “newspaper.” He was interested in finding new church members and in religious education, and it was under his leadership that a kindergarten program was established.

By 1921, Sunday school attendance was over 400 and church membership was 703. Women were added to the Board as voting members. Because the Sunday school had run out of space, the basement was excavated and new rooms were ready by October 1923. By the end of his pastorate in 1923, church membership had grown to 760.

To the fifth decade


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June 2009