February 20, 1981; Records (1844-1926) of Winterville Baptist Church and its antecedent churches, Hancocks Church (1844-1867) and Antioch Baptist Church (1881-1907). Loaned for copying by Winterville Baptist Church, Winterville, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Winterville Baptist Church Records (#MF0035), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Winterville Baptist Church
The Hancocks Church records (1844-1867) consist of conference minutes which record the changes in moderator/pastor and church clerk; membership in the Neuse, Union, and later the Pamlico associations; the number of members received and/or baptized; and members lost through dismission or exclusion. In 1854, a smallpox epidemic was the cause of lack of attendance at meetings. In that same year, one member forged notes held by other church members. Statistics for the years 1852 and 1867 give members names. Separate lists were kept for men and women, white and colored.
In 1881, the Antioch Church, a missionary church, was formed three miles south of the eventual location of Winterville, N.C., after a split in the Hancocks Church. Antioch joined the Atlantic Association (later the Neuse-Atlantic Association) in Morehead City, N. C., and subscribed to the various mission funds and to ministerial education.
Statistics are often noted prior to the association meeting after 1885. Delegates and alternates were named each year to attend the association meeting and in 1894, they petitioned the railroad to stop in Antioch to pick up members on their way to the meeting. In 1897, the church constitution was revised and copies of the Baptist church manual were purchased for members. As the membership increased, these basic statistics became financial reports making note of church expenses, salaries, property value, pledges to various funds including donations to orphans in Farmville (1889-1906) and students at Wake Forest (1891), and charity to church members in need (1918) as well as donations to the new Winterville High School to help reduce their debt (1906). A new church building was completed in 1893. The church moved to a new building in Winterville in 1907 and changed its name to the Winterville Baptist Church. A new roof was needed in 1921 and by 1923, the membership had begun to look for a house for the pastor.
Members occasionally strayed, returned, were forgiven, and accepted back into the church. In 1892, however, one woman was excluded for having an illegitimate child and in 1893, a man was excluded for intemperance and profanity.