648 W. Park Avenue, Mooresville
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Our History

Park Avenue United Methodist Church
648 W. Park Ave
Mooresville, North Carolina 28115
(704) 663-3683
Eighty-nine years ago, in October 1919, the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, established near Mooresville, in the Dixie Mill community (now called Cascade), a congregation offically named the "Dixie Methodist Episcopal Church" under the leadership of John Wesley Jones, a retired Methodist preacher. By the spring of 1920, a building situated at what is now the corner of Brookwood and Selma in Mooresville's Cascade Community was underway. Rev. Jones was called to his reward in September 1920 before the church building was finished; and by March 1921, the church had been renamed "Jones Memorial" in his honor. In 2008, during a major expansion project of the church, it was discussed that the church be renamed to better represent the community in which it is situated. In October of 2008, the church was officially renamed "Park Avenue United Methodist Church - Mooresville". The church bell was rang for the first time on July 26, 1923 by John A. Cook. This same bell, after eight-five years, still summons the Park Avenue congregation to worship.
The life of this church actually began in February 1912 when a cooperative Sunday school called the "Dixie Mission" was established by the Central Methodist, First Baptist, and First Presbyterian churches of Mooresville. By 1918, two worship services were being held each Sunday. By the fall of 1919, the Methodist group had grown strong enough to establish a permanent Methodist congregation independent of the sponsoring churches downtown and consisted of 30 charter members. Of these, the last surviving, Delphia Galliher Wilkinson, died in October 1995 at the age of 92, having been a member of Jones Memorial for 76 years.
Other major events in the life of Park Avenue United Methodist Church include the building of a parsonage (1948), a fellowship hall (1957), and then the purchase of the land on West Park Avenue and construction of the present church on that site (1968). The first worship service in the new (present) building was on May 26, 1968.
Park Avenue United Methodist Church reached its peak membership of 244 in 1958. By 1980, the membership had declined to 101 but by the 1990's had grown again to a high of 206. In it's 89-year history, Park Avenue United Methodist Church has been served by 44 different pastors, almost all of whom served part-time. This pattern has changed and the church currently supports a full-time pastor, a full program of activities, and mission opportunities for all ages.
On June 1, 2008, the congregation was officially introduced to our new purpose statement and voted to change the church name from Jones Memorial UMC to Park Avenue UMC. Following a church conference on June 22, 2008 with the District Superintendent, Dr. James Graves, the move to change the church's name was approved and the process moved forward. In October of that same year, Park Avenue United Methodist Church - Mooresville officially came into existence following the annual charge conference presided over by District Superintendent, Dr. Lillie Madison Jones.
Despite many changes through the years, the spirit of Park Avenue is unchanged. The love within the church family, the spirit of warm welcome to all who come, and the care for the spiritual and physical needs of people in the community - in these characteristics, Park Avenue continues to be a place where God's people gather for joyful worship, warm fellowship, and loving service.