610 Dudley Road
City Directories and History: Established in 1835, this great piece
of rural church architecture was constructed in 1856 by William Dillon.
(Ebenezer Methodist Church) Old Ebenezer Church is basically the simple, pragmatic meeting house style church with two entrances on the main façade, corresponding doors on the rear façade, and a gable roof. However, the builder chose to add refinements to the basic plan: cornices and pilasters indicate the influence of the classical revival idiom. Built in 1856, this one story rectangular church has a surface of white clapboard. Old Ebenezer rests on low pillars of handmade brick which provide an open basement of about three or four feet. Between the three pillars of the main façade are two wooden stairways, each with six risers. The matching side facades are the width of five bays with windows identical to those of the front façade. The heritage of Old Ebenezer Church is found in the history of Methodism. In opposition to the Anglican practice of identifying a clergyman with a certain church, Methodists advocated itinerant preaching, known as “riding circuit.” This practice, particularly successful in late 18th century rural America, was led by Francis Asbury.
Church members accept Asbury’s journal entry of March 15, 1787, which referred to a meeting held in the immediate vicinity, as referring to the origins of their church. The present church was built in 1856 and supervised by William Dillon, a local businessman and builder, while the manual craftsmanship was the work of slave artisans. A slave gallery, which was later removed, corroborates the pre-Civil War construction date. Listed in the National Register March 10, 1973.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.
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