The religious history of the greater Fayetteville area is deeply intertwined with the history of its immigrant settlers. Over 40 churches here claim a heritage dating back 100 years or more. The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB) chronicles our churches’ history and provides a navigable route with the Religious Freedom Trail. Here, we are highlighting four churches on that trail—inviting locals and visitors to venture out and learn more about the diverse, rich history of “America’s Hometown.”
Saint Patrick Catholic Church, Fayetteville
Visit the first Roman Catholic Church to be dedicated in North Carolina. Though the current structure is a contemporary one, the history of this church dates to 1829. Fayetteville’s “Great Fire of 1831” destroyed the original site, and the church has relocated twice; however, its place in our history is a point of pride to parishioners.
Old Bluff Church and Cemetery, Wade
Make a special trip to this small town to see one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Cumberland County. The current Greek revival structure was built in 1858, but Scottish settlers began calling this historic church “home” in 1758. The adjacent cemetery is where many of those same settlers’ families are laid to rest.
Main Post Chapel, Fort Bragg
Tour this historic chapel to take in its ornate stained-glass windows and Classical Revival style architecture. The non-denominational chapel was finished in 1934, and members of the Fort Bragg military community continue to worship there today. From the arched windows to the towering steeple to the stucco walls, this place of worship is thought to be one of the finest military chapels still standing.
Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, Spring Lake
Take a step back in time to a church that started out in 1873 as a mission serving two local plantations. The congregation’s denomination evolved from Presbyterian to Methodist, finally affiliating itself with the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church movement. Services are still being held in the contemporary structure.
For more details on these churches, or any of the other historic ones in the area, refer to the FACVB’s Religious Freedom Trail. Additionally, the FACVB provides an extensive online directory of Houses of Worship in the communities of Cumberland County. To discover a variety of things to do in the area, be sure to check out the FACVB’s Calendar of Events, as well.