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Crossnore Presbyterian Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2022 Cohort

Crossnore Presbyterian Church

Crossnore, North Carolina

Crossnore Presbyterian Church in Crossnore, North Carolina rose out of the Social Gospel and settlement house era as a congregation dedicated to service and education.

Crossnore Presbyterian Church by Ashlyn DeWitt

Crossnore Presbyterian Church by Ashlyn DeWitt

2022 Cohort

Crossnore Presbyterian Church

Crossnore, North Carolina

Crossnore Presbyterian Church in Crossnore, North Carolina rose out of the Social Gospel and settlement house era as a congregation dedicated to service and education.

Women have been leaders in the congregation since its founding. Dr. Mary Martin Sloop and her husband Dr. Eustace Sloop were the principal founders of the church, moving to the Southern Highlands in 1908 to help the rural mountain community combat poverty, illness, and illiteracy. By the early 1920s, the congregation had outgrown its original small chapel and asked well-known local stonemason and sawmill operator Will Franklin to build a new church. Franklin, then 70 years old, originally claimed to be too busy for this job but later changed his mind, using timbers from his own forest and other local materials to construct the playful Craftsman-style church. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Crossnore is the best-known example of Franklin’s work.

Located in one of the poorest rural counties in North Carolina, Crossnore remains committed to the Sloops’ mission of “providing for the welfare, education, and benefit of the local community.” In 2021, the congregation raised and distributed $60,000 to assist community members in need of heat, electricity, rent, groceries, medicine, daycare, school tutors, and school supplies. Crossnore also hosts an annual summer series of speakers and music that brings people from diverse perspectives together to discuss the history and contemporary application of controversial topics.

A National Fund grant of $100,000 with $100,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation will assist Crossnore with replacing and stabilizing the severely deteriorated roof. Partners for Sacred Places staff also have been working with Crossnore through a project to preserve and strengthen culturally significant sacred places in Central Appalachia.

Crossnore Presbyterian Church by Ashlyn DeWitt

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