Church history

Mount Jackson United Methodist Church History

On March 30, 1786, Methodists purchased one acre of land for a church at Red Banks three miles north of Mount Jackson, at a much-used river crossing on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. The purchase price was five shillings. Its name was Bethel Ford Methodist Meeting House, and the minister was Rev. John James. Nearby structures included John Wyett’s dwelling house and a School House.

Bishop Francis Asbury, on a preaching trip through the Valley on his way to the Baltimore Conference, visited this place on Tuesday, August 17, 1790, noting in his journal: “We had a crowd of people at Bethel who appeared very insensible!” Worship was discontinued in this building for unknown reasons, but the congregation then moved to a small building on Orkney Grade in Mount Jackson.  The congregation numbered some of the very best citizens, both from the town and the rural districts.

After the abandonment of the Orkney Church, the Methodist congregation worshiped for some years in a schoolroom located on the ground now occupied by the Veterans Memorial. That property use to be the home of the old Mount Jackson Town Office. Sometime after leaving this location, the group worshipped in the vine-clad brick church now known as the Union Church. There the congregation grew and flourished, and it became evident that a new church would have to be acquired in which to hold worship services.

Under the guidance of Rev. Hopkins, the present structure was built on Orkney Drive (then called Doyle Street) in 1884. The land (one fourth acre) was purchased from L. Triplett, Jr. and Laura, his wife, for two hundred twenty-five dollars. In the 1930’s Rev. Lambert, helped by his members, remodeled the original structure and added the memorial windows. In the 1940’s Rev. Early led the members in constructing the basement.

In 1985, a new Education and Social Building was added. The new addition has two floors which include a kitchen, a social hall, church offices, church school rooms and rest rooms.

In 1988 a major restoration of the sanctuary was completed. It included a beautiful vaulted ceiling in the shape of a cross, accented by round leading glass windows. Also, the church nave was enlarged, insulated, air conditioned and carpeted.

People called “Methodists” have been present in this community for more than 200 years, and we continue to serve God and God’s people here as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Quicksburg United Methodist Church History

Over one hundred years ago, Cornelius Zirkle saw a need for his daughter to have a place to worship and to develop a deeper relationship with God. Therefore, in 1881, Mr. Zirkle donated the lumber for a church for his daughter, Polly Anne; and Mr. Sam Neff donated the land for the church. Mr. Sam Jones of Hawkinstown, Virginia, with the aid of some of the local people, built the church; and Mr. Frank Swartz and Mrs. Charlie Pence plastered the church.  This church became the Quicksburg Church, Methodist Episcopal, and South. Mrs. Rebecca Tisinger Fox solicited the Quicksburg people for money for the bell. The choir loft was built in 1924.

The Quicksburg Church was in the Winchester District in the Baltimore Conference until 1939 when the Methodist churches (north and south) united. The Virginia Conference then took over all Virginia churches; and in 1940, the Quicksburg Church was changed to the Winchester District in the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church (which became the United Methodist Church in 1968). In 1972, Quicksburg UMC became part of the new Harrisonburg District.  From the very beginning, Quicksburg UMC has been built and has grown through donations not only of time and talents, but also of gifts. Donations through the years include: the church deed by the Bill Zirkle family; a table and two cane-bottom chairs by Ms. Polly Zirkle; belfry by Mrs. Lewis Zirkle; cross flower stand by Mrs. Katheryn Holsinger; Bible case in the vestibule by Ms. Fern Lytton; flower stand and two vases by the United Methodist Women; lights in the vestibule by Mr. Larry McNeal and Mrs. Carolyn Lloyd; hymn board by Mr. Lawrence Lucas; candle snuffer by Mrs. Pearl McNeill; and the organ by Mr. Alvin Hobbs.

In 1968, the basement was dug out and the vestibule added. In keeping with the times, the church converted from oil stoves to a furnace in 1969. In 1977, the entire inside of the church was remodeled with the pews being donated by the members; and a public address system was later installed.

In 2006, Quicksburg was given central air-conditioning, which is a blessing for everyone during our hot and humid summer months. With grateful hearts, we give thanks to God and our generous benefactor for this new addition to the church.