The Eden Methodist Church, in Enfield, N.C., was established in 1760 as an Anglican Chapel. The church formed ties with the Methodist reform movement around 1776 and was an active Methodist church by 1789. In 1828, the church left the Methodist Episcopal Church and joined the Methodist Protestant Church. Later, in 1939, the Methodist Protestant Church merged with the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to create "the Methodist Church." In 1966, the church was designated the oldest Methodist church in continuous operation within the Rocky Mount District and one of the oldest Methodist churches in the United States.
The collection contains brief histories of the church and its ministers, a copy of the 1803 deed for the church, and photographs of portraits of Reverend Henry B. Bradford, an early church minister who the church was deeded to in 1803, and his wife. In addition, the collection contains photographs of Dr. William Henry Wills (1869), a minister at Eden Methodist-Protestant Church, photographs of the church, and also a photograph of an 1860 report card and an 1860 party invitation from Elba Female Seminary in Brinkleyville, N.C. (Halifax Co.).
A large portion of the correspondence pertains to "Homecoming" plans during the 1960s and 1970s, the church's designation for a North Carolina historic marker (1965), the visit of a British minister in observance of the 1966 Bi-Centennial of American Methodism, the work of women's organizations in the church, a church addition (1966) and possiblerestoration, and attempts (1967) to obtain a full-time pastor for West Halifax Circuit to which Eden Methodist Church belonged.
Other items pertaining to the Eden Methodist Church and its members include church bulletins (1943-1988), pamphlets, reports, minutes, newspaper clippings, newsletters (including The Circuit Rider), Sunday School records (1919, 1965-1968), membershp rolls (1944-1972, incomplete), the 1987 church directory, copies of listings for West Halifax Circuit officials (1970-1974), and limited financial records.
Miscellaneous items include a copy of a resolution opposing an effort to racially integrate jurisdictions within the North Carolina Annual Conference (1966), a Homecoming address (1977), and programs for Historic Halifax County tours that include Eden Methodist Church.
Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives
Processed by L. Turner, February 1993
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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