Sandy Ridge United Methodist Church has a long, rich, and varied history. It was originally called Harmony Hill and was located about a mile from the present location. The first church building now sits on the property which was the residence of the late Ira (Buck) Idol.
The beginning of Sandy Ridge Methodist Protestant Church dates back to 1820 when religious services were first held at the Reynolds' place, the Lindsays' place and the Gambols' place in the Sandy Ridge Community. In 1830, Alson Gray, a newly ordained member, organized the church with only three women as charter members. They were Ann Chipman, Harriet Chipman, and a Mrs. Lindsay. However, by 1844 the membership increased to 170 members under the leadership of Rev. Gray. In March 1836, the annual Protestant Conference was held at Sandy Ridge Church. Between 1840 and 1875 Brush Arbor Camp Meetings were held with people living in tents, according to the historical reports. These meetings were very successful spiritually and brought many to the saving Word of God and revived the Christians who came from far and near. One early record of Sunday School is recorded in the original record book of Nathan R. Frazier and reads as follows: August 15, 1869, "The Sunday School opened about 4:00 by reading the 103 Psalms, 4 officers present, 5 teachers, 23 scholars, and 1 visitor."
The first preacher to go out from Sandy Ridge was Rev. Jesse Gray who was ordained October 30, 1885 and became pastor of Colfax Wesleyan Methodist Church. Another preacher to go out from this church was Rev. Jabey Paul Pegg whose first work was Flat Rock Methodist Church on Highway 158. He later joined the NC Conference and was pastor at other Methodist churches until his retirement. As the years progressed, four Methodist churches became a circuit - Sandy Ridge, Bunker Hill, Piney Grove, and Cherry Street. In 1952 the charge was divided and Sandy Ridge and Bunker Hill became separate charges. The parsonage was built in 1952 on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Joe W. Frazier, Sr.
The second church building was built in 1880 and remodeled in 1944 under Rev. W.T. Albright at a cost of $6000.00 and was paid for when completed. The building was dedicated in September around 1948 or 1949, had a seating capacity of 240, and contained four Sunday School rooms. Fred Wood was superintendent, enrollment was 112, and church membership was 126. The congregation worshiped in this building until 1963 when land was secured from Mr. and Mrs. Joe Frazier, Sr. for the present and third church building. A groundbreaking service was held November 29, 1964. Rev. Billy Van Hunter was pastor at that time. In November 1969, the debt for the building was paid off and dedication service was held February 15, 1970. Rev. W.C. Crummett was pastor.
The names of ministers serving from about 1948 to the present are: B.C. Winn, Clyde Faulkner, W.T. Forbis, Edward O. Temple, Jr., Billy Van Hunter, James Hewett, W.C. Crummett, Benny Killian, Jim Singleton, Lynn Ogburn, Vance Lowe, Carl Lindquist, Rodney Fulcher, Sarah C. Underwood, Jimmy Jordan, Wes Craven, Jr., Elise B. Brown, Otis G. Durham, Dr. Mary Miller and the present minister is Rev. Drew Hellams.
Sandy Ridge United Methodist Church is a member of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. All Methodist churches had the name United added in 1968 when the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined the Methodist denomination.
The warm and friendly atmosphere of this small country church is due to the individual families, which make up one big church family. We welcome you to come and join our church family.