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Home North Carolina Currituck County City of Currituck Historical Markers Joseph Pilmoor

Joseph Pilmoor

NC-168, Currituck, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 27' 25.1244", -76° 5' 28.1112"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Preached first Methodist sermon in colony, 1772, at Currituck Courthouse. Pilmoor Memorial Methodist Church is near the site. About 300 ft. north."
     The Currituck County Courthouse was the site on September 28, 1772, of the first Methodist sermon preached in North Carolina. The preacher was Joseph Pilmoor, sent to America in 1769 by John Wesley and the Methodist conference held in Leeds, England to spread the Gospel. Richard Boardman was authorized to preach in America by the same conference. Pilmoor landed near Philadelphia and headed southward, serving initially in Maryland. For his message at Currituck he chose a verse from the Gospel of Matthew: “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Matt. 3:11). That night he recorded in his diary that he dined with Colonel Hollowell Williams.

     Two hundred yards south of the preaching point (the courthouse) stands Pilmoor Memorial Methodist Church completed in October 1928. Methodists in the county had worshipped in private homes and at Baxter Grove Methodist Church (est. 1860) three miles north of the village of Currituck up until that time. Methodists in Currituck also had worshipped at the former Asbury Methodist Church founded in 1846 two miles north of Coinjock. Construction of the new church came about largely through the beneficence of Albert M. Simmons, who donated $2000 for the purpose.

     The first minister at Pilmoor and the inspiration for the building was the Reverend Charles T. Thrift. With a seating capacity of 200, it was the first brick church built in Currituck County. The initial membership was sixty-four; it had doubled by 1933. The congregation purchased a bus that covered a sixteen-mile route every Sunday morning. At a dedication program in 1935 church members presented Bishop Paul B. Kern with a gavel made of willow grown on the site of Pilmoor’s sermon.

W. L. Grissom, History of Methodism in North Carolina from 1772 to the Present Time (1905)
Margaret C. Pritchard, comp., History of Pilmoor Memorial Methodist Church, Currituck, N.C. (1965)
Christian Advocate, August 2, 1935
Trinity College Historical Papers, October 17, 1912
Church website: http://nccumc.org/pilmoor/

Joseph Pilmoor Historical Marker Location Map, Currituck, North Carolina