Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion Church History
Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion Church was organized in 1879 with approximately 25 members. The founding families included the Crowe family, the Massey family, and the Norwood family.
On February 20, 1880, the church purchased 2.4 acres of land from F.D. Gay for $16.87. The 1st Trustee of Ebenezer, Bro. Alex Norwood served as Trustee at that time. The first church, a brush arbor facing Davis Road, was constructed on the land. Between 1880 and 1920, the church membership increased and the brush arbor was replaced by a sturdier facility.
Benjamin Crowe served as the first Sunday School Superintendent. He was succeeded by Will Stinson who remained in the position until 1955. From 1955-1961, Harrison Massey, Jr. was Superintendent. Following were Carl Cureton, Opry Massey, Jerry Laney and Robert Stinson.
Ebenezer and its members remained strong pillars within the community. An example of this involvement was the formation of the Community Chorus in 1948 that was made up of members of Ebenezer and various other churches in the community. The group was led by Ervin Massey. Around 1956, to further promote unity within the community, the Rev. J.E. Hill, Pastor of Ebenezer and Rev. J.A. Little of Piney Grove originated an idea of having a one-hour church service on Christmas Day--that Annual Christmas Day Service continues.
As the church evolved, the physical structure, which was heated by burning coal, was torn down in 1961 and re-erected in 1962, under the leadership of Rev. Walls. The heat for the new building was supplied by an oil furnace. Other improvements include air conditioning in the sanctuary in the early 70’s, the addition of the restroom in 1977, the addition of the fellowship hall in 1981-- which was air conditioned in March 2000 and the Pastor’s Study was added in 1989.
Some of the first Pastors of Ebenezer were Rev. McNeely, Rev. Alsbrooks, Rev. Williams, who was the grandfather of Rev. Haywood Redfern and Rev. Nix. In the early 40’s Rev. J.P. Mumford (remembered by some as the most outstanding Pastor of Ebenezer) was assigned to Ebenezer and Thompson Chapel. He was at Ebenezer for five years and was moved in the middle of the conference year to a new church. Later, he pastored Mt. Calvary in Monroe. Other pastors were: Rev. Kendell, Rev, Blackmon, Rev. Nixon (whose children are members), Rev. Hill, Rev. W.P. Walls-- who was at Ebenezer for eight years & was pastor when Ebenezer and Thompson Chapel rebuilt in the 60’s. Rev. John Wesley, Rev. Houston Johnson-- who was pastor for more than five years, Rev. Hicklin, Rev. S.J. Henry, Rev. Homer Williams and Rev. Hubert McClendon who served from 1976-1989; these thirteen years were the longest any pastor had ever stayed in Ebenezer’s history. Rev. McClendon’s last church was Kesler Chapel in Wadesboro when he died. Rev. Ingram 1989-1990, Rev. Fleming Byrd 1990-1993, Rev. Bankhead 1993-1994, Rev. Pete Alexander 1994-1994, about six months. Rev. Michael Baker 1995-1998, the 1st female pastor, Rev. Dr. Charlotte Brown 1998-1999, Rev. Haywood Redfern 1999-2004, Rev. Michael Buffalo 2004-2012. Rev. Cecil Alsobrooks from 2012 to 2017. On the 1st Sunday in June of 2017, Rev. Tajuan Kyles, M.Div. became the new proud pastor of Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion Church.
Ebenezer has made great strides from its humble brush arbor beginning and remains an integral part of the Waxhaw community.