Construction of the First United Methodist Church Parsonage

Construction of the First United Methodist Church Parsonage

In 1977 M. G. Crouch Lumber Company signed a contract with the First United Methodist Church in Hickory to construct a new parsonage at 935 1st Street NE. Photographs were taken during the construction, from groundbreaking to the open house, making a unique record of the construction of a Crouch Home.


The First United Methodist Church sponsored a groundbreaking ceremony in late summer 1977 to mark the beginning of construction.

empty lot covered in grass
The empty lot at 935 1st Street NE in Hickory
two men in the field locating position of the building
The exact location of the house on
the lot must be determined.
people standing in field behind a wooden marker
People gathering for the groundbreaking
ceremony behind a wooden frame placed
where one corner of the home will be.
one man begins to dig with a shovel while three others watch
Conrad Crouch participates in the groundbreaking
ceremony. Additional wood frames locating the home are
in the background.

Basement and Foundation

According to the plans and specifications, a full basement would be underneath the house. The first stage of construction was to dig the hole for the basement and supporting foundation.

bulldozer beginning to dig the foundation
A bulldozer and operator were hired to dig the hole,
staying within the boundaries marked by the wooden frames.
three men construction a basement wall using concrete blocks
Once the hole for the basement was dug, and the
foundation for the house was poured in concrete,
retaining walls were constructed using concrete blocks.
two men constructing a wall with overhead guides made from string
During construction guides, such as overhead
strings, were used to make sure walls were
properly positioned, level and plumb.
basement walls. In background a pickup truck and oak tree in brillian fall colors
Fall was approaching as the basement neared
completion. Brick supporting piers were also
constructed where needed.
overview of basement shoing competed walls
Basement walls completed and ready for construction to
begin above ground.
three men having a break from work
The crew takes a break during construction of the basement walls.
Dirt from the excavation is stored in the background
for later backfill around the exterior basement walls.


With the basement finished, construction could begin on the house. The first step is to build the basic structure of floors, walls and roof, all framed in wood.

men laying wooden beams on top of the basement walls
Girders and floor joists are placed on top of the basement walls
to form the base of the house.
men lay floor joists at regular intervals
Floor joists are laid at regular intervals. Brick columns in the
basement support longer spans where walls are not present.
three carpenters with framed walls in the background
With the floor in place, the walls could now be framed
using vertical wood studs.
crew unloading plywood from a truck
Plywood is unloaded for use on the job as subflooring,
wall sheathing, and roof covering.
exterior showing framing for walls and roof nearly completed
Framing for the wall studs and roof rafters is nearly completed by November.
Opening for doors and windows have been framed where required.

Walls and Roof

Now that the framing is completed, work on the exterior walls and roof can begin, with the goal of temporarily sealing the home for winter.

exterior wall covered in black paper sheathing
Sheathing is fastened to the framing studs and rafters, forming
the structure of the house, then covered by black construction
paper to form a barrier against air leakage.
window frames set in place in the wall fo the house
Prefabricated windows are installed into the walls. Bay
windows require special framing to secure and seal them.
exterior view of partially completed home during a snowstorm
Bad weather is always a factor during building construction.
exterior view of partially completed home with snow on roof and ground outside
Winter snow slows down exterior construction work.
man in winter clothes inspecting the exterior of the building which is sealed for the winter
Conrad Crouch checks that the building exterior is sealed for
the coming winter. Sheathing paper covers the walls and
a temporary roof is in place.
man walking across a finished roof
Shingles are installed to form the finished roof.

Interior Construction

With the house sealed from the weather, construction can continue on the interior during the winter months.

two men installing gypsum board in a confined space
Gypsum board is installed over all interior
studs to form the interior walls.
carpenter installing interior framing around a door
Each opening in a wall must be individually framed,
such as this doorway. A light switch has been installed
to the right of the opening.
interior wooden framing
Interior showing vertical studs for walls and joists
supporting the second floor .
interior vertical studs with horizontal spacers
Interior vertical wall studs with horizontal fire stops
installed between them.
man inspecting a built-in shower fixture
Interior electrical, plumbing and fixtures are added
at this time. Conrad Crouch inspects a built-in tub
and shower fixture. Interior electrical wiring is visible
in the studs in the foreground.

Exterior Walls

As the weather improves, work can begin again outside. The exterior walls give a neat, trim appearance to the home as well as protecting it from the weather.

stacks of bricks arfe staged in front of the parsonage for installation
Bricks are delivered to be installed as a veneer covering
the outside of the house. Note the small step in the roof
to avoid a long, unbroken profile across the entire home.
three people standing in front of the home with several pallets of bricks
Conrad Crouch visits the construction site with Virginia
(Crouch) and Charlie Slack. Bricks have been delivered to begin
the exterior wall covering.
crew adding brick veneer to an outside wall
Brick veneer is a common exterior finish in the
area. The bricks are periodically attached to the
vertical wall by metal clips embedded in the mortar.
crew adding brick veneer around a bay window
The brick veneer must be fitted around every
exterior opening such as this bay window.
carpenters working on wood trim on the eves of the parsonage
Fitting the brick veneer to the wood trim to form
a tight bond and neat appearance.
end view showing brick veneer and unfinished trim work around eaves
Details of the wooden trim work required for the
eaves, roof return, brick veneer and bay window.
finished end of house including eaves, trim, brick veneer and roof return.
The finished end of the house showing the extensive wooden trim
work required for the eaves, roof returns and framing
around the bay window.
finished exterior wall
Finished exterior wall including gutters and downspout. Final
backfill and landscaping along the wall is yet to be done.
front exterior showing windows with shutters
Front exterior showing wooden shutters and the partially
completed front entrance.

Interior Finish Work

While work proceeded outside, different crews of painters, plasterers and carpenters worked on the interior. Finishes had to be applied correctly, wood trim had to be fitted, and cabinets had to be constructed and installed.

painter standing in front of wood paneling and brick fireplace
Wood paneling on the walls and a wooden
surround for the brick fireplace are added.
painter painting a white interior wall
Painter applying a base white coat to an interior wall.

Completed Home

After the parsonage was completed the First United Methodist Church held an open house.

exterior view of completed parsonage
Exterior view of the completed parsonage from the southeast.
front view of completed parsonage
Exterior view showing main entrance.
people gathering in front of the parsonage for the open house
An open house was held to show the new parsonage to church members.
two couples standing at the interior of the main entrance to the home
Visitors at the open house. Note the curved
wooden trim work around the main door.
ladies enjoying coffee in the kitchen with cabinets in background
Ladies enjoying coffee in the kitchen where all
cabinets were custom made by Crouch Lumber.
Bobbie Landis and Conrad Crouch at the lpen house
Bobbie Landis and Conrad Crouch of M. G. Crouch
Lumber Company at the open house.