The name “Fairmont” was selected because the North Carolina State Fair was located in this neighborhood, 1873-1922. The fair’s second location, it was well away from town – just like State College!
As the college grew, so did a desire for a Methodist presence. December 5, 1937, the first service was held in Pullen Hall (later burned) on the college campus. Within two months, there were 135 “charter” members. WWII broke out the very day the church had gathered to launch its building campaign, December 7, 1941. The 1945 Fellowship Center (now The Hut) served as a focal point on the new Clark Avenue property, and was joined in 1950 by today’s sanctuary. The education wing was built in 1958. Stained glass windows were installed in 1963, with that over the altar added in 1976.
In the mid-1980s, a major renovation began, adding a Rodgers pipe organ, beautiful woodwork, and a number of infrastructural improvements. The Fellowship Hall was overhauled in 2004, a second parking lot in 2005. Next was the main kitchen, stage, small kitchen, parlor, bride’s room, hallways and all “the ways in,” most notably the narthex.
The church was established because of students, who continue to be integral to our life. The Raleigh Wesley Foundation began in 1942, and is among the state’s longest standing campus ministries.
Parents’ Morning Out (now Fairmont Early Learning Center), a second partner ministry, began in 1998. In a desire to be supportive of young children and their families, this co-op offers flexible care and a learning, fun and faith filled environment.
Stop Hunger Now, our third partner, founded in 1998, moved here in 2000. Known as our “upstairs neighbor,” SHN has generated tens of millions of dollars of relief for the world’s hungriest people, working in over 50 countries. (In 2011 SHN, having outgrown the space here, moved to a new location near downtown Raleigh.)
We have embraced ministries addressing Cerebral Palsy, homelessness, hunger, mental illness, and more. Work teams have been to Bolivia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and across the southern US. Since 1993, Sunday Night LIVE! has opened the way to a broad cross section of the community, through lively music, transportation and welcome of men from The Healing Place, and being “recovery friendly.”
We give thanks for all those who have come before us, from whom we have inherited a double measure of their spirit. We stand on their shoulders, so to speak, as they have made it possible for us to be in ministry in our time and place. The God of all grace and mercy is ever with us. Amen!