Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church has served God and the community for more than a century.
One of the most significant developments in Christianity during the past century was the appearance of many Pentecostal fellowships throughout the world. Beginning in the United States and spreading rapidly to most nations of the world, these groups now compose a major "third-force" in Christendom whose phenomenal growth has commanded the attention of the world.
The character of the church is seen in its name, which places it astride two major revival streams: the Holiness revival of the late nineteenth century, and the Pentecostal revival of the twentieth century. The church's fundamental faith is that God's power to redeem man and society is resident in Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, who sent the Holy Spirit into the world as the Agent of salvation. It is this faith - that God's power is directly available to everyone to save, cleanse, empower, and heal - that gave the Pentecostal Holiness Church its birth.
Around 1912, two brothers, Oscar R. Stowe and Will T. Stowe received a vision from the Lord to have a Pentecostal Holiness Church in Dry Fork, Virginia. This vision began to become reality when they erected the first brush arbor to hold services near their home on Johnson Road. From that time to this, the vision for Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church has progressively grown from vision to reality. We have grown from brush arbor services to an organized church in 1915, under the leadership of Rev. George Gray.
Prior to the 1915 Annual Conference (known as the Annual Convention in the early days of the denomination) at Durham, North Carolina, there was only one conference in the Pentecostal Holiness denomination. Rev. J.H. King, the presiding Bishop, offered a plan to divide the North Carolina Conference into two conferences, the North Carolina and the Western North Carolina Conferences. This plan was adopted. Rev. Frank A. Dail was assigned as pastor of the Spray and Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Churches.
The first annual session of the Western North Carolina conference met at Spray, North Carolina on November 28, 1916. Edgar Green represented the church as its first delegate. At this conference, Reverend George W. Stanley was assigned as the pastor of the Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church and Reverend Frank A. Dail as the assistant pastor. Reverend Stanley moved to the community and began his work among the people for five years.
Statistics of the Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church during the conference fiscal year 1915-1916 were reported as follows:
After meeting in homes to worship for a number of years, it was determined by the members that a location should be decided upon to build a place of worship. With much debate going on as to the new location, God was dealing with Mr. and Mrs. Charlie and Ellen Jones Price to make some land available to the church. The offer was made, accepted by the church, and work was begun. Logs were donated and men handed them to the sawmill to be cut for this project.
The church was located at the corner of the White Oak Circle and Dry Fork Road. When it was completed, the small group of believers had a thirty foot wide by forty-five foot long building, heated by a pot-bellied stove in the center of the room, in which to worship. The church was occupied in 1918 in a convenient area for the people of the Dry Fork community. For six years, the congregation did not have a permanent place to worship, but now they had a home-church that was valued at $900.00 with a growing membership of more than sixty people in Sunday School, an elected Board of Deacons, and a pastor, the Reverend George W. Stanley.
In the mid-thirties, the congregation had outgrown the building. The church was completely renovated under the leadership of Reverend G. Dewey Yeatts, who came to pastor in 1935. A foyer and four Sunday School rooms were added. The building was lengthened so as to include a larger choir loft, and an oil-fired furnace. This enlarged building served the people for about fifteen years. In 1939, during the pastorate of Reverend G. Dewey Yeatts, the church experienced the biggest growth and greatest revival, shaking the entire community. The membership increased to about 89.
On March 14, 1950, excavation began for a $70,000 expansion to the existing church building. It was finished and dedicated on February 4, 1951, under the leadership of Reverend F. Vernon Ellenberg.
During the pastorate of Reverend K.A. Carlisle, 1964-1972, further expansion was done to meet the growing needs of the church. A Fellowship Building, educational units, porch designed with huge columns, and the installation of an elevator are visible signs of God’s Grace as these Holy Grounds encompass our present day worship center.
Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church has continued to be faithful in its ministry to the Dry Fork community for more than 100 years. During this time many Christian men and women have obeyed God’s call from Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church to serve in His Kingdom as pastors and/or missionaries. We pause to “Honor Our Past” and prepare to “Enter Our Future”. Let’s celebrate what God has done, is doing, and shall do through Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, FOREVER,
Adapted from the work of Betty Parrish.
A copy of her original work from 2005 is preserved for download below.Download PDF