No historical account of Mt Moriah would be correct if it didn't first mention and respect what we know today as Lutheran Chapel Lutheran Church. Oral tradition holds Lutheran Chapel as one of the first churches in the area, having formed in 1780-1789, according to their account of the church's history contained on their website.
This early church is where a group of those members, who had a difference of opinion over what form of worship was correct, departed and formed what was to become Mt. Moriah. However, it would appear they still shared a place/building of worship for some time at, or in, what has been called Savitz Church. The location of this church is still viewable in the old cemetery behind the present Mt Zion Church of Christ where it's marked with a ring of stone and a stone marker.
The Early Years
It's essential, in my opinion, to put the milestones of the formation and growth of Mount Moriah into a historical perspective.
The Middle Years
In doing so, it may serve to give some insight to the sentiments of the time and a greater understanding of why certain actions were taken.
When Mt Moriah was formed in 1824, keep in mind:
Then came the 1770s:
- North Carolina had only been formed as a Royal Colony just under a hundred years before in 1729.
- The Industrial Revolution had begun 74 years before Mt. Moriah was formed.
- Rowan County had just been formed from Anson County in 1753.
- 1773 - The Boston Tea Party occurred.
- 1775 - The sentiment brewing in Boston roughly two years prior grew, boiled over, and the American Revolution began.
- 1776 - Leaders of this new and fledgling country met at the 2nd Continental Congress, wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence, which served to set into motion sentiment and events that influenced affairs continuing into the present.
- 1787 – The United States Constitution was composed at the Constitutional Convention
- 1789 – North Carolina becomes a state.
Consider everything that had happened in, and to, this young country, the area that was to become the State of North Carolina, and the County of Rowan in the roughly 100 years prior to the formation of our church.
- 1800 - Washington DC becomes the Capital of the United States
- 1801 - Thomas Jefferson Becomes the 3rd President of the US
- 1804 – Lewis & Clark begin their expedition
- 1812 – War of 1812 starts
- 1824 – Mount Moriah is formed.
Is it any great wonder our ancestors and predecessors came to a place that was, one can only imagine, a largely unsettled place. Turmoil had been a constant in the last 100 years, and likely they had had their fill of being told what to do, how to do, when to do, and a myriad of other "to do" matters.
So, when this new effort at freedom, that resulted in the formation of what came to be called Lutheran Chapel, also began to take on a form of religious practice the founders of Mt Moriah could not go along with, they exercised their new liberty, and with like-minded friends and neighbors, formed yet another church where they could worship and practice their religious beliefs as they saw fit. And they called it Mount Moriah.
Mount Moriah, this new effort at our early founders' personal and religious freedoms, will continue with efforts of varying degrees, and success over many succeeding years, which we will continue to look into.
The Later Years