Grove African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church
Piney Grove African Methodist Episcopal Zion
organized in 1865. Originally, the church was named the African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church, South of the County. On April 21, 1894, an indenture or
sealed agreement was executed between members of the Fenner family and trustees
of Piney Grove AME Zion Church for the purchase of three acres of land to build
The original church was destroyed by fire on
a Sunday night
in 1911, 1912, or 1913. The second sanctuary was started under the pastoral
leadership of Rev. John Singleton on June 3, 1913. While construction was
underway, church services were held in the Society Hall, located a quarter mile
from the church site. On February 17, 1914, the trustees purchased, from the
Tolson Lumber/Manufacturing Co., certain properties totaling $444.21.
During the mid-1940s, construction of the second
was started under the pastorate of Rev. D. J, McDowell (1941-43) and was
completed under the administration of Rev. F. I. Lowe (1943-47). Reverend O. R.
Ellis, Sr., the pastoral leader from 1948 - 1957, initiated the Church’s first
renovation project. In addition, 2.5 acres of land were purchased for expansion
and a cemetery. The second church renovation program began under the pastoral
leadership of Rev. S. P. League within the years 1957-1968. Rev. C. L. Winslow,
pastor of Piney Grove from1968-1976, purchased 15.3 acres of land, adjacent to
the church property.
Rev. W. L. Wainwright
became Piney Grove’s pastoral leader
in August 1986. Under his guidance on April 14, 1988, the membership met and
approved a $100,000 loan from BB&T for church renovation and the building
of the Administration Building. Reverend
Avery C. Brown was appointed pastor in 1994 and guided the congregation as they
liquidated the mortgage on the church in 1997.
Reverend Joseph L. Walton
was appointed pastor of Piney
Grove in 1997 and was instrumental in the continual spiritual and economical
life of the church. Under his leadership, the church established an afterschool
tutorial program and installed a circular drive around the church.
Reverend Robert Little, Jr.
was appointed pastor of Piney
Grove in 2008 and is the current pastor. During his tenure, the church has
initiated and completed several capital projects totaling over $125,000.00.
Pastors of Piney
Grove AME Zion Church:
Only three pastors are known for the first
76 years of
existence for Piney Grove AME Zion Church. They were Reverends John Singleton
Shaw, Anderson R. Roberts, and T. S. Multsby
are listed as follows:
1941-43 – Rev. D. J, McDowell; 1943-48
– Rev. F. I. Lowe;
1948 - 1957 – Rev. Dr. Ossie Roosevelt
Ellis, Sr.; 1957-1968
– Rev. S. P. League;
1968 - 1976 – Rev. C. L. Winslow; 1976
– 1981 – Rev. Abraham
1981 – 1986 – Rev. Timothy Howard,
Sr.; 1986 – 1994 – Rev.
Dr. William L. Wainwright;
1994 – 1997 – Rev. Dr. Avery Brown;
1997 - 2008 – Rev. Dr.
Joseph L. Walton;
– Present –
Rev. Dr. Robert Little, Jr.