Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Southern Pines NC
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Church History


1887 - Southern Pines was incorporated.    The Rev. Robert T. Thorne, a semi retired Episcopal priest began offering  non-denominational services on a regular basis.


1893, June - The first service in the new non-denominational church on the corner of New Hampshire and Page Streets was held. It was a service in memory of the Rev. Thorne who had died in December, 1892, without seeing the completion of his church.


1897 - The Rev. Henry T. Gregory was assigned as resident priest. During his  tenure land uphill on the “outskirts” of town (the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Ridge St.) was purchased as a permanent site for Emmanuel Church.


1899, December 25 - Emmanuel was named and became an Episcopal Mission.


1900, Lent - The church building was officially consecrated by Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire.


1912 - 1926 - The church fell on hard times and languished.


1926 - Services began to be held year round and attendance grew. Thoughts    about a new church building were revived.


1926, September 21 - Ground for the new “parish hall” was broken. On December 11, 1926, Bishop Edwin A. Penick officiated at the laying of the cornerstone.


1927, March 20 - The first sermon and celebration of communion was held in the    Sandhills Parish House, as it was then called.


1930 - The Emmanuel Mission was elevated to parish status.


1930 - The Thrift Shop was created to raise funds for use by Emmanuel and for local charities.


1936 - The Rectory was constructed.


1941 - 1947 - The “parish house” was made into a suitable sanctuary, a new    parish hall was added to the back of the church along with a room still    know as the “Guild Room.” A new pipe organ was donated and installed in    the church to the east of the chancel area.


1945 - Emmanuel was formally consecrated as a church by Bishop Penick.


1946 - The church began to sponsor a kindergarten/nursery school in the Sunday School rooms downstairs.


1958 - A new “education building” was constructed behind the parish hall and attached to it by a short cloister.


1959 - The Episcopal Day School opened.


1960-61 - The Bell Tower was constructed.


1962-63 - The library, rector’s office and staff offices were added to the side of  the parish hall and guild room.


1962 - Ground was broken for a new Episcopal retirement home on land given to the Diocese of North Carolina by Mrs. James Boyd.


1964, April 15 - Penick Village opened its doors to the first residents.


1980, August 31 - The Memorial Garden was consecrated.   


1982- The balcony was renovated to house a new Wicks organ.  The altar was moved away from the back wall so the priest could face the congregation while celebrating the Eucharist.


1983 - The area where the previous organ had been housed was transformed into the Chapel of the Resurrection.


1988 - The present parish hall was completed as were new facilities downstairs  for the Episcopal Day School. The old parish hall was renovated into a new sacristy, hallway and restrooms. The old sacristy was transformed into the transept.


1999 - Emmanuel enjoyed a yearlong Centennial celebration.


2009 - By this time church had purchased the last piece of property on the block and now owned it all for church and school use.  


2013 - Plans are going forward to place a new Fisk pipe organ in our sanctuary and at the same time increase the seating capacity in the sanctuary. It is anticipated that this project will be completed sometime in 2014.


2015 - Church services were held in the Parish Hall while the Altar and surrounding space was studied and transformed to accommodate the new Fisk pipe organ. On December 6th, all of the parts for the organ were delivered and the congregation assisted in moving it all into the sanctuary. By Christmas the organ was installed and the crew from CBFisk went home for the holidays. 


2016 - January: Another crew from CBFisk will be arriving soon to make adjustments and "voice" the organ, which will take a couple of months.


For those who are interested there is a complete history of Emmanuel available in the church office.


350 E. Massachusetts Ave, Southern Pines, NC     eec@emmanuel-parish.org      (910) 692-3171            

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