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The Methodist Society in the Oine Community, Warren County, was founded in 1772, according to a church banner made by the local Women’s Missionary Society. The banner states that Zion Church was on the Brunswick Circuit in 1772. The Petersburg Circuit in 1774, Ridgeway Charge (date unknown), Norlina Charge in 1920, Jerusalem-Zion Charge in 1950, and Zion Charge in 1990. This is the only written record on the early days.

We do know that from 1736-1774, Methodism in America was a lay-led movement. At that time, folks met in groups called classes and worshiped together in open air brush arbors. Whatever lay-pastors there were, traveled extensively to many churches in a specific region called a Circuit. We don’t know where the congregation in Oine met regularly or how often they met from 1772 until 1837. Sometime around 1837, the Methodist Society in Oine built a log meeting house for worship.  This building, and possibly a series of log buildings, was used until 1874. In 1784, after the Revolutionary War, the Methodist Societies in America broke ties with the Church of England and formed their own denomination, the Methodist Episcopal Church. After the Christmas Conference of 1784, the Methodist Society of Oine officially became Zion Methodist Episcopal Church.

Circuit Rider – Image from the General Commission on Archives and History for the United Methodist Church, Drew University.