New Hope United Methodist Church

New Hope UMC Selected For The Living Waters Historical Trail

New Hope United Methodist Church is one of two churches in Perquimans County that has been selected to represent The Living Waters Historical Trail. The Living Waters Trail is a trail of historic religious structures, 100 years old and older, in the 16 counties of Northeastern North Carolina. The counties are Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrell, and Washington. The church has been working on the Living Waters Historical Trail since 2009.

The Living Waters Trail was develped through North Carolina's Northeast Commission and the NET (NorthEast Tourism) group. You can find New Hope UMC on the NorthEast Tourism group web site.

New Hope UMC History

New Hope UMC
New Hope Methodist Episcopal Church South – between 1875 & 1915

On one of the most historic spots in America stands New Hope United Methodist Church, the oldest Methodist Church in Perquimans County. The church site is included in the tract of land deeded to George Durant by Native American, Kiskitano King of the Yeopim nation. There are three deeds on record in Deed Book A. Deed No. 374 dated 1 March 1661; Deed No. 375 dated 4 August 1661; and Deed No. 376 dated 13 March 1662; they included most of the land between Albemarle Sound and Katotine (Little River) east of Awosoake (Muddy Creek). These deeds are the oldest recorded deeds in America, showing a transfer of land from Native American Indians to white settlers.

Durant, as the deed shows, took up all the land between Perquimans and the Little River and immediately began to build, when one George Catchmaid arose and claimed the said land by a prior grant from Sir William Berkeley, thereupon Durant after starting his home in the new land desisted and quit building.

The two acres of land where New Hope Church is located was granted on 23 July 1694 to John Tomlin. John Tomlin died about 1715, leaving the property to his son William. William Tomlin sold the site to Albert Albertson on 23 February 1739–40. The deed mentions a beech tree “at the Nagshead”. Albertson willed the land to Peter Cartright, who sold it to Jarvis Jones on 12 November 1760. Jones sold the land to Joseph Sutton, 20 July 1762. Sutton died in 1771 leaving the property to his son Benjamin, who in 1772 willed it to his son Greenbury. Dying in 1794, Greenbury Sutton left the land to his daughter Martha. Martha Sutton married John Sutton and with her husband sold two acres of property to the Methodist trustees.

The first Methodist congregation to be organized in Perquimans County was at New Hope. On 2 June 1809 John Sutton and his wife Martha H. Sutton conveyed to John Russell, George Sutton, Joseph Sutton, Henry Raper, and Lamuel Whedbee, trustees, a parcel of land containing two acres for $10. The deed is on record in Deed Book T. Deed No. 160 recorded 15 June 1814.

This land was described as beginning at a sycamore tree near the main road, running nearly south to a sycamore near the swamp back of the Meeting House, then down to the swamp and to the center of the swamp, then along it to a small branch, running along the branch to the road, and along the road to the beginning. The deed instructed the trustees to: Erect and build or cause to be erected and built thereon a House or place of Worship for the use of the Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America…and…they shall at all times for ever hereafter permit such ministers and preachers belonging to the said church and shall from time to time be authorized by the general conferences…of the said Methodist Episcopal Church…and none others to preach and Expound God’s Holy Word therein.

New Hope Church was built on the two acres, being completed probably in the fall or winter of 1809. New Hope Church was cited as a landmark in a road petition in 1810. It still stands as the sanctuary of the present church.

New Hope’s Church grounds were enlarged on 13 October 1834, when James and Elizabeth Miller sold a parcel of land containing six and two tenths acres for $30 to Nathan Tucker, Frederic Fletcher, Charles N. Ford, John Stanton, William Stanton, Ira Stanton, and William Tow, trustees of New Hope Episcopal Church. This land was immediately west of the church building and the western most part of the church cemetery. It seems to have been used originally as a campground.

New Hope Church was probably first included in the Camden or Edenton Circuits. When the Methodist Episcopal Church split in 1844 New Hope came under the jurisdiction of the new body of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. After the Civil War , it is definitely known to have been on the Hertford Circuit. In 1891, Perquimans Circuit was formed and included New Hope. Previously in the Virginia Conference, New Hope was included in the territory transferred to the North Carolina Conference in 1894. In 1939 the Methodist Episcopal Church, South became the Methodist Church. With Woodland Church, New Hope became a separate charge in 1957. On 23 April 1968, The Evangelical United Brethren Church united with The Methodist Church to become the United Methodist Church.

What is surprising is that the church survived its first rugged years in existence at all. If indeed, as the saying goes, God only gives you as much as you can handle, then He certainly had a lot of confidence in those original 5 souls who came together on 2 June 1809, to organize New Hope Methodist Episcopal Church. But the first 12 months could not have been easy. For one, there was no building. For that matter, there were no committees, or money, or a budget. No one had any great ties to the place. Through the grace of God, however, the fledgling body of believers survived, reorganized, and eventually thrived. As those charter members could not have imagined the future that lay in store for their congregation, neither can our present generation foresee what God has planned for this body of believers in the future.


New Hope UMC

In 2009 New Hope United Methodist Church celebrated 200 years of building on Jesus Christ, our solid foundation. The entire year was dedicated to the bi–centennial celebration as can be seen from the program.

The bi–centennial celebration began on 3 January 2009 with a short sermon from Pastor Bill Masciangelo. The Pastor spoke of the beginning of New Hope Church and what the country was like in 1809.

Imagine a 200 year old historic religious structure that is the oldest Methodist Church in Perquimans County. Imagine that this sacred place is still used for a sacred purpose and prayer still ascends to the very rafters as it did in 1809. New Hope United Methodist Church (UMC) is that structure. We are an active church devoted to serving the spiritual needs of the congregation and reaching out to the hurting around the corner and around the world.

The unpretentious white frame Federal–style church looks serene and beautiful as it sits amid green lawns. Old trees shade well–tended flower beds. Other features of the property include rows of trees along the west and south property lines, and a parking lot situated under lovely trees. To the east and west of the church is the tranquil park–like setting of the New Hope UMC Burial Garden. Burials have been made in New Hope UMC’s cemetery since the 1840s. The New Hope United Methodist Church Cemetery preserves the county’s few surviving grave houses.

The interior of the church like the exterior retains many of the original elements of the original design. Rather than an overwhelming space the church is warm, personal, and retains a human scale. A small narthex (vestibule) is entered from the main entrance doors. From the narthex the sanctuary is entered through two sets of paired solid wood interior doors.

The old church bell still rings each Sunday at New Hope. The old bell has been around for many historical events at the church and many ministers have listened to the bell tolling.

Come along with us and see how we spent 2009.


Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
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New Hope United Methodist Church     2098 New Hope Road | Hertford, NC 27944
This page was last updated Thursday, December 17, 2015.