Methodist Episcopal Church

Shortly before the start of the Revolutionary War, Francis Asbury came to North America to do missionary work for John Wesley, founder of modern Methodism. A layman, Asbury nonetheless travelled the English colonies on horseback preaching the Word of God. His travels brought him to Robeson County in 1787 where he preached in Lumberton. Methodism began to spread to the South Robeson as Bethesda Church near Barnesville was organized in the early to mid-1700's.

In 1845 several Methodists in the Leesville formed their own church, Hopewell Methodist Church, which was built on property owned by John Wells Powell called Leesville Plantation. There a small church was built and was pastored by the area circuit rider, Sampson D. Laney. The congregation grew to 56 people.

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Photo credit: One of Three -- A History of Trinity United Methodist Church

Powell sold 1,000 acres of the plantation to Henry Flowers Pitman in 1856. In 1864 Pitman and his wife gifted the land where the church sat to the trustees of the church and in 1878, did the same thing with the manse property.

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Rosa and Henry Flowers Pitman. Photo credit: Pam Patterson Roberts.

In 1870 Corinth Methodist Episcopal Church was formed for the members on the north side of Ashpole Swamp. Located on the farm of Francis Fulton Floyd four miles southwest of Fairmont, most of its members were transfers from Hopewell.

Unique to this church was the reversion clause in the deed to the property; i.e., should the church ever cease to be a church, the property would revert to the original owner or his heirs. When Corinth merged with Hopewell to form Trinity in 1898, the property reverted to Fulton Floyd's heirs. During its existence as a church and afterwards it was also used as a school for children in the area. When Baltimore school was built in the early 1900's, those attending here transferred to the Baltimore school and the school was closed.


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