Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ocracoke Methodist Episcopal Church, South

From 1883 until 1937 Ocracoke was served by two Methodist Churches. The Methodist Episcopal Church (Ocracokers refer to this body as the "Northern Methodist Church") met on the Back Road (where Zillie's is located today). The Methodist Episcopal Church, South (the "Southern Methodist Church") met on East Howard Street.

It is sometimes difficult to imagine a beautiful wood frame church with stained glass windows on Howard Street (the church sat where "Dicie's Cottage" is today). This photo might help:

You can read a complete history of the two churches here:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article written by my Uncle Marvin in 1954. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:43 AM

    Once again, your post sparks a question. Any insight as to distinction between the two churches, as indicated by their Northern/Southern names?

    At first I thought perhaps it may indicate Union/Confederate sympathies, but the 1883 date would suggest that's unlikely, so it probably had more to do with geography--to distinguish the northernmost church from the southernmost. But it's hard to imagine that the tiny population of Orcacoke 1883 (surely FAR smaller than the population of tiny Ocracoke 2011) would have such an overwhelming congregation as to require TWO churches.

    Surely there's more to it than that, and I suspect you may know the score, Philip.

    (And why do I have a nagging feeling I just took the bait of a master storyteller, serving up one tale with just enough relish to leave the crowd wanting more?) ;-)

  2. Anonymous8:14 AM

    I'm guessing the name indicated their geographical location more than political sympathies.

    And Phillip, thank you for publishing this ... it couldn't have come at a better time for me!

  3. Anonymous9:11 AM

    You can get the full story by reading Philip's post. You'd probably never guess why the two churchs were in conflict.

  4. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Perhaps the two churches were built because someone felt the need to provide restrooms to the general public. It's a pretty long distance between the two spots you know!

    Come worship with us, and enjoy our public outhouse. Now we know why!

  5. As Anon 9:11 says, I have provided the "full story." Just click on the link provided in the post. There you can read my comprehensive history of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church.

  6. Anonymous12:50 PM

    As I take time from my preparations for World Toilet Day this Nov. 19 ,I decided to read about the churches from the link provided. I suppose a popularity of a preacher is related to his handsomeness and his wife's pulchritude. I do believe older members attend a service for the fun factor not the fear factor as they hope to gain wisdom from the words out of the mouth's of Babes.

  7. Anonymous1:02 PM

    here is an award winning community in the panhandle of Florida . Designed as a walkable town the Urban(e) Planners recognized the need for providing public restrooms and incorporated a great building to provide the service. It was not an after thought it was a public service and sent the message as a guest to the events and those visitors --that the City Fathers recognized that this issue needed to be dealt with dignity. Porti-potty(s) are not children friendly and well they are Temporary and tacky it says We care really or we are cheap.

  8. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Just pray on the bathroom issue. It'll all work out.