Elk Park United Methodist Church
Elk Park United Methodist Church is a congregation that follows the teachings of Jesus and seeks to spread God’s love and transform our community. We enjoy fellowship through worship, Sunday School, open conversations, bible studies, meditative/prayer services, fellowship activities and community outreach programs. We open our doors to everyone. All are welcome here.
Elk Park United Methodist Church was established in 1884 as Elk Park Methodist Episcopal Church South. In the early days, a coal burning stove was used to heat the sanctuary during the winter weather. The church building burned twice and was rebuilt (1911 and 1950). Many renovations have occurred in the church over the years including adding a steeple, updating the fellowship hall, replacing entrance way with cement steps and walkway, adding new front doors, adding stained glass windows, a new furnace, air conditioning and a lift from the lower level to the sanctuary.
The church has always been a central part of the Elk Park community providing youth groups and strong leadership for the young people of Elk Park. Vacation Bible Schools and revivals were a part of the early summers and Women’s Group met for Bible study and to plan and prepare food for church events. EPUMC collaborated with other churches in Elk Park to have community Easter Sunrise Services and Thanksgiving Services. In the early 1970s and 1980s, the church operated a daycare program and the children and director were very involved in the church.
The congregation has always been focused on community outreach providing gifts to local nursing homes; sometimes caroling in the community at Christmas, supporting the Reaching Avery Ministries, providing lunches to Habitat for Humanity workers and delivering food from local farms to Grandfather Home for Children. Currently, the church participates in the annual trick or treating in the park, monthly support to Habitat for Humanity, supporting Feeding Avery and Reaching Avery Ministries, and providing gifts to Cranberry House at Christmas. We have opened our doors to house two non-profits supporting children/youth in Avery County: THRIVE! And Play and Learn.
In 2022, EPUMC was selected to participate in NC Connect Program. Through this program we received a $15,000 grant and developed the Avery Connect Program that helps high school juniors and seniors find meaningful summer employment. Our vision is to empower young people in Avery County to thrive as community members by building relationships to support vocation exploration through tools connections and mentors.
While the size of the congregation has waned over the years, it is currently growing and the mission of the church remains steady and strong.
At Elk Park United Methodist Church, our mission is to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of worship, fostering deep fellowship among our members. Committed to making disciples, we strive to impact our community positively, reaching beyond our walls to contribute to the well-being of society. Rooted in the belief that we are called to be agents of change, we aim to make disciples for the transformation of the world, embodying love, compassion, and service in all that we do.