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Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Records, 1884-1980

Manuscript Collection #857

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Records
Creator: Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church, Pitt County, North Carolina.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Record volumes (1877-1987, undated) including Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Record, 1884-1980; Record of Primitive Baptist Church at Great Swamp, 1877-1915; [Great Swamp Church] Members / Conferences, 1916-1930; and loose material removed from Garner Family Bible including letters, clippings, emphemera, and Garner family genealogical information, ca. 1878-1987, undated
Extent: 0.5 Cubic feet, 30 items .

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 17, 2002, 1 container, 21 items, 0.28 cubic feet, 3 volumes; Record volumes (1877-1987, undated) including Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Record, 1884-1980; Record of Primitive Baptist Church at Great Swamp, 1877-1915; [Great Swamp Church] Members / Conferences, 1916-1930; and loose material removed from Garner Family Bible including letters, clippings, emphemera, and Garner family genealogical information, ca. 1878-1987, undated Donor: Ms. Grace T. Garner.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Records (#857), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Ms. Grace T. Garner

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

  • Processed by Darcy Guill April 2010


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church began about 1776 as the Tar River branch of the Flat Swamp Primitive Baptist Church of Pitt County, North Carolina. In 1795, they petitioned to be dismissed from the Flat Swamp church and constituted as the Great Swamp Church. The original church was located four miles north of Greenville, North Carolina. In 1922, the church sold their original church and built a new church on property they already owned on Cotanche and East 10th Street in Greenville. Two blocks of Cotanche was renamed Forbes Street , and the church still stands at 913 Forbes Street. By 1980, the fellowship of the Great Swamp Church had dwindled, and the church dissolved that year.

Marvin Elias Garner (1918-1981) was the last pastor for the Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church. Marvin Garner joined the Great Swamp church in July 1956, became a church deacon in March 1957, and was ordained as a minister for the church in January 1959. He served as pastor until the church dissolved in 1980.

Sources below.

1 Copeland, Elizabeth H. Chronicles of Pitt County, North Carolina, 1982. Greenville, N.C.: The Society, 1982, p. 117

2 Biggs, Joseph. A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association, From Its Original Rise to the Present Time. [Tarborough (N. C.)]: Printed and published by George Howard, office of the Tarborough Free Press, 1834, p.281.

3 Hunsucker, Sandra E., Patricia M. Moore, and Elizabeth H. Sparrow. Chronicles of Pitt County, North Carolina. Volume II. Winston-Salem, N.C.: Published by Pitt County Historical Society in cooperation with Jostens Pub. Co, 2005, p. 208.

5 Cotter, Michael, Kate Ohno, and Mary Hollis Barnes. The Architectural Heritage of Greenville, North Carolina. Greenville, N.C.: Greenville Area Preservation Association, 1988, p.112.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This collection consists of the three ledgers containing the records of the Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church and items removed from the Garner Family Bible.

The first ledger contains the minutes of the conferences from January 1884 through March 1980. Initially, the Church held the conference monthly on Saturday before the fourth Sunday of the month. Beginning in 1939, they held the conferences quarterly on the Saturday before the first Sunday of March, June, September, and December. Entries include the date of the conference, the moderator, and the proceedings. Proceedings always began with prayer followed by the reading of the minutes of the previous conference. The fellowship received new members at the conferences. Conferences heard letters from the Association or sister churches. Members volunteered to visit sister churches or reported on visits to sister churches at conference. The conferences also considered resolutions of respect. Beginning in 1916, conference reports included treasury records.

The second ledger is the treasury records from 1877-1916. Benjamin Fleming, a deacon and the treasurer for Great Swamp Church, created this record volume. The third ledger contains attendance and records of conferences from 1917-1930. Ella Briley, the church clerk, created this ledger. The first ledger, described above, includes copies of records of conferences but the record of attendance at conference is unique to this volume.

This collection also contains items removed from the Garner family bible. The contents include both church-related and family-related items. Church-related items include Rules of Conference, A Church Covenant, programs, one letter, a map of the Holy Land, and newspaper clippings. Family-related items include genealogical charts of the descendants of Eli Garner and the descendants William Gill. It also contains greetings and correspondence from the children of Marvin Garner.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Jump to a section?

Series 1:
Ledgers
  • Box 1#0857.1
    • Folder a#0857.1.a
      Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Records (1884-1980). Includes minutes of conference. Ledger. 1 item. 189 p. 167 p. used.
    • Folder b#0857.1.b
      Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Treasury Records (1877-1916). Created by Benjamin Fleming. Ledger. 1 item. 44p. 15 p. used.
    • Folder c#0857.1.c
      Great Swamp Primitive Baptist Church Records (1917-1930). Includes conference minutes and conference attendance. Created by Ella Briley. Ledger. 1 item. 68 p.
Series 2:
Garner Family Bible Materials
  • Box 1#0857.1
    • Folder d#0857.1.d
      Church-related items removed from Garner family Bible (1927, 1935, 1944, 1949, 1958, 1965, undated). Includes Rules of Conference, A Church Covenant, programs, notes, a letter, newspaper clippings, etc. Various. 16 items. 17 p.
    • Folder e#0857.1.e
      Family-related items removed from Garner Family Bible (1943, 1967, undated). Includes genealogical item, a letter, greetings, etc. Various. 11 items. 13 p.
Series 3:
Oversize Materials
  • Box os1#0857.os1
    • Maps of the Holy Land and Gentile Countries (1822). Map. 1 item. 1 p.
    • Family Records of the Eli Garner Family (undated). Manuscript. 1 item. 2 p.

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

What is this page? Click here to learn more abou this webpage
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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