Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church

The early residents of the Fisher’s Hill often gathered to hold religious meetings when traveling ministers, including those of the United Brethren denomination visited. In 1846 the number of Brethren members of the community had grown and they felt called to build a new church. They named their congregation Mt. Hebron after the geographic location in Palestine. Their building would be dedicated the following year with a sermon in German and another in English. This reflects the strong German heritage of the area which continues to this day.

This church was a very simple affair which was in line with the Brethren doctrine that highlighted modest living. The frame building had no ornate windows or bell tower. It did have separate entrances for men and women, whitewashed wood boards, and a single stove for heat.

The community around the church grew quickly during the following decades. A Sunday School and Missionary Society, for men only, were established during the antebellum period. These groups, the church, and the Women’s Missionary Society which was founded after the war, were the center of the community. Social activities, yard parties, educational programs, and regular meetings were held in the church building. Over time the congregation became known for its food, both in quality and quantity. Several annual United Brethren Conferences were also hosted by the church. This event brought ministers and lay persons from around the country to the area for several days of meetings, worship, and socializing.

During the Civil War the church continued to meet the needs of their community which included visiting soldiers. Local records indicate Confederates often camped on the church grounds and attended services. Whether Union forces were offered the same opportunity is unknown.

Mt. Hebron would remain almost unchanged until the early 20th century when the congregation renovated and modernized the building. This project, completed in 1915, resulted in an addition in the rear of the church, instillation of stained glass windows, and construction of a bell tower. These changes are a marked difference from the original, humble appearance of the church.

Other changes came in the later part of the century. Electricity arrived in 1941 and plumbing in 2000. The church’s denomination was altered in 1966 when the Evangelical United Brethren Church, with which the congregation had been aligned, joined with the Methodist Church to become the United Methodist Church in America. After which Mt. Hebron Brethren Church became Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church.

Today the church, like many small congregations in the county, suffers from a declining congregation and support.
However, they remain active in the community and regularly host social and spiritual events.