Church History

The first people to arrive in the Hardin’s Chapel community came and settled the bottomlands thousands of years ago. They camped near the creeks and springs, made paths to their other settlements throughout the region, cleared fields to grow corn and pumpkins, and left their arrowheads and other artifacts for the next generations of settlers to plow up and find.

The current community started being settled in the years after the Revolutionary War, as North Carolina paid its veterans in land instead of scarce money and these veterans traded and sold the land among themselves and others. These men and women continued the land clearing that the Indians had begun, and they too built houses and established homes, and sometime in the 1790's they built a cabin to serve as a school and a church.

This building was called Kidwell's Meetinghouse after early war veteran landowner Joshua Kidwell, and it served as the community church until the early 1860's, when a new brick church was built on a hill next to a new road; the site of the current church and its front driveway.

This building was made of soft-burned bricks made by slaves on the farm of Abigail Hardin in a field that came to be known as the brick field. Construction was interrupted and hastened by the Civil War, although the partially completed building was used during the War for worship services. This church was originally known as New Kidwell’s, but gradually the church became known as Hardin's Chapel. The original Kidwell's Meetinghouse was used as a school and community center until it burned in 1890 and was itself replaced by the Kidwell’s School that was used until the mid-1950’s.

The original brick building served until the late 1950's, when it was torn down and the present church was built on the same site. The church building has undergone many changes and updates since then, especially after a fire in January of 1979 gutted the basement and heavily damaged the sanctuary. To the structure of the 1950’s have been added a steeple; front and back porches; a library; new windows; interior redesigns; and most recently a new sign, roof, pastor’s study, and a handicapped restroom. It has always been the intention for the church building to change and improve its ability to serve its congregation and community.

The congregation too has changed in the past two hundred years. Many of the family names and connections of those early pioneers remain in the church and community, although the individual members of course come and go and new families join the church family. Many fine and good people have made up this church. Many fine and good people still make up this church, and they continue the tradition of combining old and new ways to best serve their God, each other, and their community.