The original Soapstone Church site (now 10301 Old Creedmoor Road) served as the setting for camp meetings held prior to the church’s chartering in 1837. People from miles around made their way on foot or by horse and wagon to enjoy fellowship and gather inspiration from the circuit riders who preached at regular intervals.
Early church structures were crafted of wooden logs, and served as a meeting place for those who worshiped together. But as the years passed, membership declined and the church was closed around the time of World War II.
In 1950, efforts began to reopen Soapstone church. Electricity, gas heating, and two Sunday School rooms were added, and the church officially reopened in 1951. Students from Duke Divinity School would serve as student pastors.
The congregation grew to 62 members by 1960, but in the early 1970’s a waning membership struggled to keep Soapstone alive. A handful of families and individuals, small but mighty in their efforts to keep the doors open, banded together and organized a community-wide home visitation in the area. Seeds were planted and prayers were answered when, by 1978, membership was again growing.
By 1986, thirty-five years after reopening its doors, Soapstone was a thriving church family and grants were given for a full-time pastor to be appointed. Soon membership swelled and the church was quickly outgrowing its facilities.
In 1988 Soapstone voted to purchase 8.77 acres of land on the northwest corner of Norwood and Old Creedmoor Road. Just one year later, initial plans for Soapstone’s existing church home were considered.
Only God could imagine all that was, and continues to be, in store for this committed fellowship of Christians. With only 102 members, ground-breaking for the new site was held in 1990. An education wing with eight classrooms was added in 1995, and a parsonage was purchased in 1997. With new facilities, a booming community and a committed ministry support team, Soapstone has soared to more than 1,000 members.
But God isn’t finished with our family yet. New brothers and sisters in Christ join with us each week. The next chapter in Soapstone history has yet to be written.