Grace Lower Stone Church

It is one of the oldest churches standing in the Piedmont and the Carolinas as a whole.  Rowan County's Grace Lower Stone Church has stood stoically within the countryside since 1795.

The congregation was formed approximately 50 years earlier by German settlers who migrated southwards from Eastern Pennsylvania.  Many of these settlers found their way to the Piedmont - then considered the backcountry.  The church would follow the traditions of the Reformed church.

The irregular field stone chapel replaced an earlier logged structure previously on site.  The walls are 27 inches thick, and the building's dimensions are 51 feet long by 41 feet wide.  Construction began in 1792 and was completed three years later.  A bell tower was added in 1901.  Services are still held today inside the nearly 230-year-old building.

Surrounding the church is the congregation's cemetery.  Walking through the church's grounds, you will find the gravestones bearing the last names of many early Rowan County families, often dating well into the 1800s.

An example of the stone tablets in German found on the outer walls of the church.

On the church's outer walls are stone tablets written in German original to the building's construction.  While the church was completed in 1795, it wasn't formally dedicated until 1811, sixteen years later.  The church became a member of the United Church of Christ in 1957.  It became independent in 2005, and in 2015, the church returned to the Reformed traditions, renaming itself the Grace Lower Stone Reformed Church.

Grace Lower Stone Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

All photos taken by post author - June 17, 2024

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