Cokesbury United Methodist Church is a mission-oriented church with many opportunities for you to participate in a variety of worship services, Bible study and outreach to the community. If you are looking for a home church, visit us and see for yourself what a welcoming place we are.
To be a transformed and transforming community in Christ.
Changed lives, ours, and others'.
Cokesbury has a diverse membership in age, gender, and nationality. Right in the heart of East Charlotte, Cokesbury has been a mission oriented church for over 50 years. Come worship with us in a traditional setting and experience the many opportunities to participate in the life of this vibrant congregation.
Reverend Dr. In-Yong Lee
Mrs. Louise Ward
Ms. Marty Gregory
Ms. Joan Gillis
On a Saturday morning in June 1958, at the Annual Conference meeting at Lake Junaluska, the Rev. George Winecoff was appointed to a new church in the Amity Gardens residential area of Charlotte. There was no church building, no parsonage, no congregation — just a lot, purchased by the Charlotte District Mission Society for $13,000 at the corner of Holbrook and Sharon Amity Road.
The Rev. Glenn Lackey, Executive Secretary of the District Mission Society, secured permission for a group of families interested in starting a church to meet at the Methodist Home. On September 14, thirty-five members met. They elected church officers and approved a budget of $241 for the rest of the year. Two weeks later on Sept. 28, 1958, a ground-breaking ceremony was held and construction began on the first unit. When the building was turned over to the congregation, there was no tile on the floor, no blinds, no chairs, no pews, no pulpit, and no paint on the walls. Despite these rather primitive conditions, the first service was held in the church December 14, 1958 with several inches of snow on the ground. Three members were received into the church that day, bringing the membership to 40.
That same month, the church bought a parsonage on Amity Place for $18,500 with a $6,000 down payment. Monthly mortgage payments were $85. By 1962, the Conference considered Cokesbury self-supporting and the church raised $25,000 in pledges during a three-year building fund crusade. The original sanctuary was renovated and an education building completed. With an eye to the future, church officials appointed a Long Range Planning Committee to recommend ways of dealing with Cokesbury’s growth.
By 1972, Cokesbury was becoming a full-service church. Choirs, Scouting and the Kindergarten programs all needed space. On September 3, 1972, the Charge and Church Conferences approved buying 8.47 acres on Idlewild Road and borrowing $25,000 to finance construction of the new building. A week later, on September 10, a ground-breaking ceremony was held. The land and buildings at Holbrook and Sharon Amity were sold for $120,000 on March 4, 1973, and a consecration service was held in the new church on Nov. 18, 1973.
In the five years between 1973 and its 20th anniversary in 1987, Cokesbury grew rapidly. A new parsonage was purchased on Shady Bluff Drive for $52,000. Other improvements were made to the church facility: a storage building, play area, additional parking space, and speaker system. The purchase of a bus and the completion of a 2,000 square foot multi-purpose building costing approximately $50,000 were also major advances. More importantly, a music coordinator and an educational assistant were added to the staff as Cokesbury expanded its program activities.
Between 1978-1983, improvements were made on the parsonage; a van purchased; a pictorial directory published and a financial secretary, director of Christian Education, and associate pastor added to the staff. Four members were certified as lay speakers and seven young men received the Eagle Scout award. In the next couple of years a Shepherd program was initiated, and revivals were led by such distinguished preachers as Richard Crowder, Floyd Barrier, and Bishop Bevel Jones.
Additional adult Sunday School classes were formed to take care of a diverse membership and a $13,000 modular unit was added to provide some temporary space relief. The parsonage debt was retired in 1987 after a vigorous campaign of selling square foot plots at $10 each.
After two years of planning, on Aug. 26, 1990, the Charge and Church Conferences approved a new educational wing, sanctuary renovations, and office and kitchen renovations at a cost of $1,175,087. Groundbreaking took place September 30 and construction began on the new facilities and renovations in November 1990.
While building plans were in progress, Cokesbury dedicated a new Allen Digital Computer Organ and a new Yamaha Grand Piano, started a “Pennies for Pews” campaign, and began the Music from Cokesbury Series. The fellowship hall was completed during the summer of 1991 and on July 14 Cokesbury held its worship service in the new facility. As soon as the additional space became available, a new ministry, Cokesbury on Wednesday (C.O.W.) was launched, providing food, fellowship and study time. On September 29, 1991, the first worship service was held in the renovated sanctuary.
Other changes to the physical campus included leasing a parcel at the rear of the church property for the construction of a wireless signal relay tower, the renovation of the Scout building for an Adult Care and Share facility, and the renovation of the Library and the Wesley Room.
In the ‘90s and into the new century, Cokesbury opened its doors to support and prayer groups including HIV, Red Cross, Hispanic ministries and substance abuse ministries, among others. We paid off a 20-year mortgage in 11 years and revised our mission.
As the church has matured, it has become a mission-oriented church. It has helped build Habitat for Humanity houses, supported Adult Care and Share, participated in Carolina Cross Connection, sent work teams to assist in rebuilding after hurricanes Andrew and Floyd, participated in the Heifer Project International, supported a UMAR residents, sent supplies to Armenia, began an tape ministry, established a Stephen Ministry, established a Carelinks program, participated in Room in the Inn, supported Wings of Home and St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Haiti, and supported Yao-lepula UMC in Liberia.
We thank God for giving us the time and the talents to be of service in this part of the county and we pledge to be faithful followers of Jesus, the Christ.
1958-1963 George H. Winecoff
1963-1967 Ralph E. “Jack” Kayler
1967-1971 Bill E. Bass
1971-1976 Henry R. Justice
1976-1979 John H. Christy, Jr.
1979-1983 James S. Gibbs, Jr
1983-1987 F. Donald Beatty
1983-1987 Jesses Johnson, associate
1987-1992 Ronald A. Overcash
1992-2001 Kenneth G. Roth, Jr.
2001-2003 Dale Sneed, associate
2001-2004 Jacob B. Golden
2004-2009 John A. Moore
2009-2015 Sarah Kalish
- 2015-present In-Yong Lee
Cokesbury's campus includes:
- Beautiful and inviting sanctuary
- Fellowship Hall and full kitchen
- Nursery for toddlers and infants
- Classrooms for all ages
- Choir and Music rooms
- Prayer Room
- Church Library
Safe Sanctuaries Policy
The congregation of Cokesbury United Methodist Church, Inc. adopts the following policy to maintain a safe environment within the church and any event that is connected with its ministries. Our goal is to protect children, youth, and at-risk individuals as well as those who work with them.
As a Christian community of faith, we pledge to conduct the ministry of the gospel in ways that assure the safe and spiritual growth of all children, youth, and at-risk individuals, as well as those who work with them. We will follow reasonable safety measures in the selection and recruitment of staff. We will implement prudent operational procedures in all programs, events, and camps. We will educate all workers with children, youth, and at-risk individuals regarding the use of all appropriate policies and methods. We will have a clearly defined procedure for reporting a suspected incident of abuse that conforms to the requirements of state law, and we will be prepared to respond to media inquiries if an incident occurs.
This policy applies to any organization using the facilities of Cokesbury United Methodist Church, Inc. It will be reviewed by the Safe Sanctuary Committee on an annual basis and a report will be given to the Administrative Council.