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(Manuscript Collection #1078)

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

Title: St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Collection
Creator: St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (Snow Hill, N.C.)
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Collection of church records, including a ledger (1926-1938, undated) and loose reports, notes, financial accounts, lists of church officers and members, minutes of church meetings and committees, and printed materials, etc.
Extent: 0.255 Cubic feet, 1 box, a ledger, loose reports, notes, financial accounts, lists of church officers and members, minutes of church meetings and committees and printed materials

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

Accessions Information

August 24, 2006 0.255 cubic feet; Collection (ca. 1926-1930, 1932-34, undated) of Snow Hill, North Carolina African American Zion Church records, including a ledger, 1926-1930, and loose reports, notes, financial accounts, lists of church officers and members, minutes of church meetings and committees, and printed materials, etc. Donor: William E. "Mickey" Elmore

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

St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Collection (#1078), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of William E. "Mickey" Elmore

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Lindsay Flood, April 1, 2008

  • Processed by Brittany Mitchell April 2010


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

The first name of St. James A.M.E. Zion Church was Snow Hill Zion Church, named in 1867. There is no other history pertaining to the founders. Miss Rachael A. Wright of New Bern, N.C., organized the first Sunday school in Snow Hill in 1873. She was a teacher in the public schools. The first Superintendent was Mr. Luke Shepard of Snow Hill. Sunday school and bible class teachers were Rachael Wright, Violet Coward, Martha Blount and Allen Taylor. The first librarian was Martha Blount. The library contained 15 bibles, 26 testaments, 24 songbooks and a large Catechism.

With many youth and no other church in this little town, a place was secured and called Keys Temple Zion Church. This occurred around 1875. It is assumed the Key Temple started from a prayer meeting with Richard Edwards and his wife Rosa, Jacob Best, Jacob Edwards, R.B. Ellison, Fayette Wade and his wife, Bob Coward and his wife Adline, Tome Best, Sr. and Ella Wood. Upon growth of this work, Reverend Simmons, the pastor and his wife helped to organize the church.

In 1880 R.D. Beamon, Register of Deeds of Greene County, made a deed to Jacob Best, Chairman, with Richard McKinney and Jacob Edwards serving as Trustees. This deed was recorded as A.M.E. Zion Church. Sidney Busbee and family were paid $40.00 for the land. On May 3, 1882, the land was paid in full. D.W. Patrick was Clerk of Court and John Dixon was Register of Deeds. This information can be found in Book 8, page 186.

On January 19, 1900, the following were elected: Superintendent: Johnnie McKinney Harper, Treasurer: A.C. Coward, and Sick Committee: J.E. Blount, A.D. Murphy and Pearl Britt. Some time later, the small sized church was built about midway toward the cemetery. The pulpit was large enough for about six ministers, the choir was on the left, and Amen corner was on the right.

On March 16, 1902, the name was changed from Keys Temple to St. James A.M.E. Zion Church and was dedicated in 1908. Sister Ross St. James A.M.E. Zion Church (Present) McKinney chose this name. The church was renovated in 1979 under the leadership of Rev. C.E. Council. The chairman of Trustees was Henry Elliot, and Richard McKinney Edwards assisted with securing the loan. The next renovation project began in 1994 under the leadership of Rev. Nathaniel Mitchell. The chairman of Trustees was Arlander Paige, Jr. More renovations are planned and some underway. The present Pastor is Rev. Jerome Fraiser.

Source: Greene County Heritage, North Carolina, Submitted by St. James A.M.E. Zion Church. F262.G86 G73 2009 (Joyner NC Stacks Oversize and Joyner NC Reference Oversize)

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

This collection contains a ledger, loose reports, notes, financial accounts, list of church officers and members, minutes of church meetings and committees, and printed materials. For further details, see container list below.

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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