Who are we?

A movement to organize Zoar Church began in 1837.  At that time Elder James M. Thomas of the Moriah Association preached a series of sermons at a "preaching stand" built for public worship about three miles southwest of the present site of Shelby, North Carolina.  Inspired by the support for this endeavor and the large crowds it attracted,  the leaders of the community decided that a church was needed.  On March 15, 1838 William Weston gave slightly more than one acre of land on which the first Zoar Church was built.  The land was granted to E.M. Chaffin, the first pastor, and deacons James Love and Roberts Putnam.

Zoar Church was dedicated on September 7, 1838.  The name Zoar was chosen because it meant "place of rest and refuge" or "little" as found in Genesis 19:22.  There were 25 members when Zoar was organized.


The second church building was built around 1884, and completely remodeled from 1933 to 1938.  The third and current building was built in 1954 and dedicated on June 5, 1955.  Throughout the years there have been many changes due to growth.  The parsonage was made into office space due to the need of more classroom space.  A fellowship hall with kitchen facilities was built.

That building now houses our community clothes closet, food pantry, and youth room.


In the 1980's a softball field, playgrounds and concession stand were added to our church grounds,, Enabling us to host softball leagues, soccer leagues and outside recreation events, which includes our annual Trunk or Treat  and our annual community block party which are  attended by over a thousand members of our community.  


At the turn of the century we added a Family Life Center that consists of a gymnasium with  a stage,  a full kitchen and classrooms.  This facility has allowed us to host large community and church events,  church dramas, indoor sports, and church fellowships. 

Some significant events in Zoar's history are:  staff additions, addition of a ballfield and softball league, Puppet Ministry, Youth and Children's Ministry, Senior Citizen's Ministry, Homebound Ministry, Music Ministry.  


We have a community clothes closet where at least once a quarter the community is invited to shop "for free" and take all the clothes they may need!  We also have an emergency food pantry that reaches out to those in our community who may need emergency provisions.  Zoar also is heavily involved in the community shelters, providing regular meals to both the men's and women's shelters. We also assist the uptown food ministry by providing meals for that mission several times a year. 

Zoar has a heart for missions and throughout the year its members participate in both Home and Foreign Mission Work.

Since Zoar was established thirty-six pastors have served here.