Mill Grove United Methodist Church is a vibrant, growing church in Indian Trail with a deeply-rooted history in the community. Founded in 1846, the original chapel is made of hand-dressed planks held together by wooden pegs. Church records speculate that it was named Mill Grove because it was located across the road from Stewart’s Mill. Prior to Mill Grove Road’s construction, the church was located on Stewart Mill Road, which ran between Stevens Mill Road and what we know today as Fairview-Indian Trail Road. Stewart Mill Road ran in front of Ritch Cemetery, where many of the earlier church members were buried. As the town changed and constructed new roads, Mill Grove Road ended up dividing the church property, leaving the original sanctuary facing away from the road for many years.
Our congregation experienced many changes over the years. Records show that slaves used to attend services with their masters, and for a time the pews were marked with a divider running from the front of the church to the back to separate the men from the women. And in the 1970s, some of the elders of the community recalled attending Mill Grove school on the church property.
As the years passed, our congregation continued to grow, and so did the need for more space to worship. By the mid 1950s the church had grown so much that five classes were meeting in the sanctuary for Sunday School. As a result, in August of 1956, church members decided to build four rooms onto the church to provide space to separate the classes and to accommodate the progress of the church. Then in 1969, an educational building with a kitchen was constructed to provide even more space for Sunday School classes. Other structural changes included a remodel of the sanctuary in 1980 with new pews and carpet (the pulpit was left to show the original décor) and a new parsonage built beside the church to replace the original in Unionville.