Eden Methodist Church Collection

1909-2010, undated
Church Collection #CR0002
Eden Methodist Church (Enfield, N.C.)
Physical description
0.508 Cubic Feet, 174 items, consisting of correspondence, attendance records, programs, photographs, clippings, church history, minutes, reports, pamphlets, financial records, deeds and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
Eden Methodist Church Collection (#CR0002), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Scope and arrangement

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.

Administrative information
Custodial History

February 17, 1970, 83 items; Collection of Eden Methodist Church, consisting of correspondence, programs, membership lists, church history, clippings, and miscellaneous.

March 10, 1976, (addition 1), 8 items; Correspondence, minutes, reports.

April 30, 1986, (addition 2), 77 items; Programs, bulletins, and clippings.

December 29, 1987, (addition 3), 35 items; Correspondence, S.S. records (1919), programs, photographs, clippings and pamphlets. Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives

August 26, 2012, (unprocessed addition 4), 6 items; Papers (1963-2010, undated) include an undated excerpt from an 1828 deed allotting tracts from the estate of Jesse Hillman, a 1966 typed copy of an 1803 deed concerning Eaden [sic] meeting house, a photocopy of a 1963 deed and a 1963 deed related to the West Halifax Charge parsonage, an undated letter related to the Eden church closing and a 2010 homecoming announcement for Eden United Methodist Church. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives

Source of acquisition

Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives

Processing information

Processed by L. Turner, February 1993

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

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

Key terms
Corporate Names
Eden Methodist Church (Enfield, N.C.)
Church controversies--North Carolina--Halifax County
Clergy--North Carolina--Halifax County
Methodists--North Carolina--Enfield
Race relations--Religious aspects--Christianity
Enfield (N.C.)--Church history--19th century
Enfield (N.C.)--Church history--20th century
Enfield (N.C.)--Race relations

Container list
Box 1 History, Correspondence (1948-1987), Financial Information (1966-1974), Church Bulletins (1943-1988), Newsletters (1935, 1974-1983)
Box 2 Membership Record (1944), Sunday School Record (1919, 1965-1968), Photographs, Membership Lists, Pamphlets, Clippings (1910-1988), Miscellaneous