Highlights of our History

  • 1880–1889

    • 1881     

      • The Valle Crucis, NC, church, originally called the Bethel church, was organized by Hodges in the home of Larkin Townsend on May 15, 1881, with 11 charter members (including some from Banner Elk in an adjoining county, where a separate church was organized in 1912).

    • 1882     

      • The Bethel members walked as far as 10 miles (16 kilometers) to help build their church on Dutch Creek in 1882, on land donated by Larkin Townsend. This is believed to be the first church building erected by SDAs in the South.

    • 1889     

      • W. L. Killen and another colporteur sold the book Bible Readings for the Home Circle to several families in Stokes County, NC. The Toab Young, Will Young, and F. A. Slate families soon became convicted of the Bible truths. The Slate family moved to Kernersville in 1904. A few Sabbath-keepers met faithfully in the homes of the Slates, the H. R. Hahns, or often in rooms above the Slate’s print shop. Joe Crews, former speaker of the Amazing Facts radio program, was a grandson of Arch McDowell, one of the first members of the Kernersville church.

  • 1890–1899

    • 1894-1897       

      •  E. W. Webster, from Wisconsin, was sent to Spartanburg, and soon afterward J. O. Johnston (not yet ordained) arrived at Greenville from North Carolina. In the spring of 1894, Webster and Johnston held a series of SDA tent meetings—the first in South Carolina—at Brushy Creek, a rural community near Greenville. The first church was organized at Spartanburg in August 1894. The Brushy Creek church (organized 1895) had the first church building (1897).

  • 1900–1909

    • 1901     

      • Soon after the General Conference District no. 2 became the Southern Union Conference (spring 1901), the North and South Carolina missions were combined and organized Sept. 1, 1901, as the Carolina Conference, with J. O. Johnston as president. There were three ministers, four licentiates (all in North Carolina), 10 churches, seven companies, and a total membership of 300.    

    • 1904     

      • In February 1904 North Carolina was made a conference, and South Carolina, with two churches and 76 members, became a mission under the Southern Union Conference.        

    • 1907     

      • South Carolina became a conference in 1907, with R. T. Nash as president, with four churches and 100 members.

  • 1910–1919

    • 1910     

      • Fletcher Academy and Mountain Sanitarium were founded near Hendersonville, NC. 

    • 1914    

      •  Mt. Pisgah Academy was founded near Asheville, NC. as a private academy by E.C. Waller, William Steinman, and C.A. Graves with their families, and was originally called the Pisgah Industrial Institute.​

    • 1918     

      • During the time the Southern Union was divided (1909—1932) the Carolinas belonged to the Southeastern Union Conference. The two conferences were reunited in 1918 as the Carolina Conference, comprising all of South Carolina and that part of North Carolina lying east of Ashe, Watauga, Avery, McDowell, and Henderson counties (from 1933, all of North Carolina except Cherokee County). The conference headquarters were established at Charlotte, North Carolina, and a church was organized there the next year.

  • 1920–1929

    • 1921     

      • The Carolina Conference had seven schools, 10 teachers and 222 students.

    • 1923     

      • Conference membership was at 625. Tithe was $17,670.10. 

    • 1924     

      • There were 42 churches with a membership of 1,242.

  • 1930–1939

    • 1936     

      • Eight evangelistic efforts were held in tents or halls. The number of new members was 181. The total membership of the conference was 2,256. The tithe received was $43,351.78.

  • 1940–1949

    • 1941     

      • The colporteurs delivered $26,145 worth of books and literature. This was the highest record by any group of colporteurs in the Southern Union.

    • 1942     

      • After working in crowded conditions at 213 McDowell St. for nearly 25 years, Carolina Conference workers moved to 1936 East 7th St. in Charlotte, NC. 

  • 1950–1959

    • 1952     

      • Ownership of “Pisgah Industrial Institute” was transferred to the Carolina Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, and was given the name Mount Pisgah Academy.

  • 1960–1969

    • 1961     

      • W. R. Winslow Memorial Home in Elizabeth City, NC, opened in December with 40 beds. W. R. Winslow, a Washington, D.C., businessman, friend of Seventh-day Adventists, and native of Elizabeth City, provided funds for construction and established a “trust” for its continuous operation. Several years after opening the home, Winslow deeded complete ownership to the Carolina Conference.

  • 1970–1979

    • 1971     

      • Nosoca Pines Ranch, a youth camp and convention center for the Carolina Conference, was purchased in 1971 and the first camp held there in 1974. The 170-acre (70-hectare) camp is located on the shores of Lake Wateree at Liberty Hill, South Carolina, approximately 23 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Camden, South Carolina. 

    • 1975     

      • MPA Corporation developed a beautiful retirement community comprised of Pisgah Manor, a 118-bed skilled and intermediate care nursing facility and Pisgah Estates, 72 modern condominiums designed for independent living. The purpose was to provide employment for Mount Pisgah Academy students and retirement living for former church employees 55 and older. 

  • 1980–1989

    • 1985     

      • Plans were realized for 150 evangelistic campaigns to be held throughout the Conference.

  • 1990–1999

    • 1992    

      •  Using the book The Great Controversy, the conference conducted radio campaigns in major cities of the Carolinas. When encouraged to call a toll-free number to receive a free book, more than 10,000 listeners responded. Members of the participating churches hand-delivered most of these 10,000 copies to individual homes. Evangelistic meetings followed in several cities. The combined efforts of this program resulted in a record-breaking year for soul-winning and a renewed commitment to evangelism by the constituency.

    • 1995     

      • The Carolina Conference headquarters moved to their current facility at 2701 East WT Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC.

  • 2000–2009      

    • 2001

      • A Centennial Celebration was held during Lake Junaluska Camp Meeting in NC. Conference membership topped 15,000 members, and officially became a “large conference.”

    • 2003

      • Evangelist E. Lonnie Melashenko held a month-long series called “The Voice of Prophecy Speaks” in Columbia, South Carolina, that was uplinked, to reach the greater audience of North America and the Caribbean.

    • 2007

      • Pisgah Manor, Inc. and Carolina Living, Inc. were merged into Carolina Adventist Retirement Systems, Inc.

  • 2010–2019

    • 2014

      • Ron Halverson senior of It Is Written in a joint effort with the South Atlantic Conference held city-wide meetings in Ovens Auditorium, in Charlotte, N.C. The attendance was between 1,100 and 1,800 people and 112 people committed their lives to Christ through baptism between both conferences.

    • 2016

      • Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts held a seven-day series in Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, North Carolina as a follow-up on his book about the benefits of Sabbath rest, How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy.

    • 2018     

      • Pisgah Valley Retirement Community facilities were sold by CARS (Carolina Adventist Retirement System, Inc.) to Liberty Healthcare Corporation and an endowment was created to assist students of Mount Pisgah Academy.

    • 2019

      • Shawn Boonstra, of the Voice of Prophecy, held a Revelation evangelistic series in Raleigh N.C., the series produced about 60 baptisms. 

  • 2020–current

    • 2020

      • The Carolina Conference oversees 132 churches and 34 companies in North and South Carolina, which include a variety of ethnicities, including American, Hispanic, Cambodian, Haitian, Karen, Korean and African congregations. The Conference has 18 elementary schools; one K-9, one K-10 and one K-12 school; two academies; one Adventist hospital; and numerous community centers within its territory.  Membership in the Conference is over 24,000, and there are around 180 ministry workers employed as pastors, teachers, office staff and administration.

 

  • Presidents—

    • Carolina Conference:

      • J. O. Johnston, 1901—1904. ​

    • North Carolina Conference:

      • T. H. Jeys, 1904—1909; G. W. Wells, 1909—1910; G. M. Brown, 1910—1913; Stewart Kime, 1913—1914; J. H. Behrens, 1914—1915; J. B. Locken, 1915—1917; A. H. Evers, 1917—1918; W. H. Branson (acting president), 1918; J. W. MacNeil, 1918. 

    • South Carolina Conference: 

      • R. T. Nash, 1907—1909; T. H. Jeys, 1909—1911; W. H. Branson, 1911—1912; C. V. Achenbach, 1912—1914; J. L. Shuler, 1914—1917; A. N. Allen,1917; E. W. Wolfe, 1917—1918. 

    • Carolina Conference: 

      • J. W. MacNeil, 1918—1920; L. T. Crisler, 1920—1921; R.I. Keate, 1921—1926; C. L. Butterfield, 1926—1932; E. T. Wilson, 1932—1933; A. S. Booth, 1933—1934; J. L. Shuler, 1934—1937; H. E. Lysinger, 1937—1943; R. S. Blackburn (acting president), 1943; F. O. Sanders, 1943—1948; C. H. Lauda, 1948—1956; G. R. Nash, 1956—1958; H. V. Reed, 1958—1963; Willard B. Johnson, 1963—1968; E. S. Reile, 1968—1977; Malcolm Gordon, 1977 —1985; Robert Folkenberg, 1985—1990; Kenneth Coonley, 1990—2004; Jim Davidson 2004-2011; Leslie Louis 2012- current. 

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