Onslow's oldest church

Onslow's Oldest Church


Carolina Discipliana Library, Wilson, N. C.

December 2, 1956.

Onslow County, North Carolina was established in 1731-1734. The first settlers, Brown, Warren, and Worsley, were English, coming up the wide New River, to an ocean-fronting wilderness. A lone Frenchman, John Nasague followed in 1711, locating farther up-stream on its northwest branch at the “Rich Lands of New River”, or Avirett, as later known for its chief plantation owner. Immigrants at first came slowly but by 1729 there were 36 families in the new settlement, which rapidly increased to 100 families by 1734. It was an enlarging neighborhood indicated to-day as the “seven-mile stretch of land” from Richlands to Catherine Lake.

Aborigines were vanishing, and agrarian pioneers encouraged by Governor Burrington, were lured to this region of great forests and fertile soil. Here also the elevation was pleasing, at 65 feet, whereas down the river where Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune now are, it was but 23. Nathaniel Averitt's first land grant in these Carolina woods was in 1736. Within the next seven years he had preempted 1983 acres, all in Onslow County, through five separate land grants. Dying on December 4, 1755, he left four sons: John, Arthur, Benjamin Nathaniel, Ephaly; and one daughter, Nancy. To New River came President George Washington on his Southern tour. After a morning's jaunt of twelve miles, on Saturday, April 23, 1791, he “breakfasted at one, Everett's.” The federal records of 1833, show John A. Avirett (the name is spelled variously) as postmaster at Richlands, annual “compensation,” $29.70; and still officiating there in 1835, at $41.01.

A Protestant religious service has been maintained in this locality for two centuries and a quarter. Agreeable to the times there was, in practice, much of it syndicated and staggered but always it locally centered in the one community church variously known as St. John's, 1730, onward; New River, 1743-1807; Chapel Run, 1808-1842; Richland Chapel, 1843-1850; and Union Chapel, 1851-1956. Also at colloquial level, it was named “Everitt's Meetinghouse,” just once, and in the Minues of 1813. I purpose to make clearly authentic, by congruous references to source materials as herewith listed, the historical continuity of this evolving local congregation, 1730-1956. Such briefing may have basic value in unfolding the story of “Onslow's Oldest Church.”

Three oldest local churches now associated in the Southeastern District, North Carolina Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), having their local foundational media integrated, are: Union Chapel, Chinquapin Chapel, (Trent), Jones County, and Southwest in Lenoir County. In the 1750s these were sister Separate Baptist Churches holding some distinctive beliefs vigorously championed by Disciples a century later. The like documented story, of Disciple relevance, remains to be written for Chinquapin Chapel and Southwest. Both of these began as missions from the earlier Onslow Church, now called Union Chapel.

Extant records give a sprinkling of names of heads of families, as “delegates” from the Onslow congregation in the respective yearly assemblies. Such patronimics appearing through the first 147 years, as Barfield, Bryan, Cox, Jarman, Mashburn, Pollock, Rhodes, and Wooten, are reminiscent of Disciples active throughout the past eighty years in the Onslow area.

The original chapel site is now a wasteland on the north shore of Chapel Run, a small stream, and the spot is near its confluence with New River. It is about a hundred yards west of Federal Highway 258, and marked naturally by a large walnut tree. The present church is a half-mile south. Richard Marsden, second itinerant minister here said it was forty miles from his home near Wilmington. Another missionary, itinerating, Alexander Stewart, said it was eighty miles from his home at Bath, by a way even yet devious because of the Pamlico and the Neuse. Also Bishop Francis Asbury contemporaneously confirmed this geography. He said it was forty miles from Wilmington, sixteen from Trent (Chinquapin Chapel) and forty-two miles from New Bern.

I am not informed in detail about the initial Chapel building. It must have been quite ordinary. By colonial custom, some friendly landlord would erect a primitive structure on his plantation for “free” worship, preferably it seems to be conducted by the Established Church, but from the 1770's these were taken over generally by others. Each of the 41 provincial counties in North Carolina are said to have had one or more Chapels by the time of the Revolution, when Angelican missionaries were dispersed. The original part of the plant now used by Union Chapel was removed to its present site by Mr. Everett in the 1870s.

As of extant records the community's mail has come through post offices at Richlands, Catherine Lake, Gum Branch, Tar Landing, and Jacksonville.

Affiliation of the local church, Union Chapel, is traced as follows:

1. 1730, onward, Church of England Chapel (St. Johns Parish), in the “Rich Lands of New River” served initially by Cape Fear Missionaries, (itinerants) located at Wilmington, (St. James) and Brunswick (St. Phillips).

2. 1743-1758, General Baptist, local congregation, “gathered” by Paul Palmer.

3. 1758-1788, Separate Baptist, in Sandy Creek Association.

4. 1788-1793, United Baptist, in Kehukee Association.

5. 1794-1805, United Baptist, in Neuse Association.

6. 1806-1826, Regular Baptist, in Cape Fear Association.

7. 1827-1843, Primitive Baptist, in Goshen Association. (Parham Puckett Anti-Missions Leader).

8. 1844-1864, Missionary Baptist, in Union Association. (Cooperation of the Missionary Baptist Churchmen of the Neuse and Goshen Associations under the new name of Union Association).

9. 1865-1877, Missionary Baptist, in the Eastern Association, (new name for the Union Association).

10. 1877-1956, Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), in The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention.

The initial church project at New River Chapel, was first named St. John's Parish by Governor Gabriel Johnston in 1741. The first Onslow missionary, John LaPierre, had arrived in 1728 at the lower Cape Fear settlements, beginning to officiate at New River about 1730. Before revolutionary disestablishment

three other clergymen served itinerantly here, namely Richard Marsden, James Moir, and John MacDowell, all from Wilmington and Brunswick. Their lot was extremely hard. LaPierre said that Marsden, “a man whose whole study always was to undermine me”, had tricked him by serving the people “Gratis”, (as Governor Burrington phrased it). LaPierre lamented that he, himself, had to “work as a Slave in the field for my living, after gratifying them with 8 months of my time.” As a French Hughenot-Anglican he had previously preached a quarter-century in South Carolina, “in abject poverty”. When he came North to Cape Fear, he had “five small children”. Holding academic degrees, A.B. and A.M., he had been ordained in England in 1708. He rejoiced that it was his privilege at the Cape Fear, as well as in Onslow, to “settle the Divine Service where it had never been”.

Second to come to Onslow, Richard Marsden, coveted this post for a full-time Parish. Down Wilmington way, as a “trafficant”, he was dabbling sometimes illegally, in merchandise, and in the import trade. Only one other of his fellow-clergy was then reported to be in the Province. Marsden repented of his “Gratis” service “to an unappreciative people”, after reporting 1300 baptisms for which “he had never received a farthing.”

The third preacher, James Moir, declared that half of his vestry at Wilmington, (St. James) were dissenters. He was paid with rice, for which there was no sale, “even at a shilling a hundred weight.” Of necessity he lived in a garret. The climate frightened him. Traveling to Onslow, the wayside accommodations were “most wretched”, at charges “most extravagant.” He left in 1747 for the Edgecombe Parish, where incidentally he became “a great politician.”

Succeeding Moir, after a long vacancy, was John MacDowell, serving 1754-1763. He was “a zealous young minister of an evangelical turn.” He married a resourceful slave-owning girl, but by grim necessity, one by one of the servants had to be sold for sheer maintenance of the couple's simple life. In the midst of such down-treading she died in 1760; he in 1763. Lonely Governor Arthur Dobbs died at Brunswick in 1765, the obsequies led by a justice of the peace, because no preacher of the Established faith was within a hundred miles.

The English Colonial Church was frustrated, stymied, in America, for obvious reasons. Characters of some of the missionaries were a sore reproach, but extenuated now in view of the tensions and temptations of the times. The Lord Bishop of London, titular head, remote and preoccupied, could be no effective supervisor. Heterogeneous vestries snarled the works. Provincial governors too often vacillated and blundered. Recruitment of an indigenous ministry, so vital to a securely developing church, seems never to have been of practical import, or concern to the responsible leaders. Implementing the rubric was an exotic pageant to Carolina's populating provincials amid pineland pocosins.

After 1743, five Baptist communions, having various prefixes worshipped consecutively in the one church at New River, continuing thus for approximately 134 years. The General Baptists (English Arminians) coming first were so called to distinguish them from Particular Baptists, (English Calvinists). For a long time in America there was theological war between the “General Provision” (free gospel), and the “Special Provision”, (free grace), sectors of the transplanted Baptist front. The Arminians were first on Tarheel ground but were destined to a proselyted union with the Calvinists, effected

by leaders in Associations flanking them on the north and the south, namely the Philadelphia and the Charleston. Paul Palmer, of the church at Chowan, (Edenton) “gathered” a congregation of the “General” faith, at New River, prior to the coming of the Separate Baptists. He is regarded as the father of the North Carolina Free Will Baptists. Sharing also in projecting this “Free Will” heritage were: William Parker of Meherrin; Joseph Parker of Wheat Swamp; Josiah Hart of Reedy Creek, and John Winfield of Pungo. These never aligned with Calvinists, but their history has ever been obscure, nor has it been lifted from shadows cast by alien historians. This mischance also holds for the next entry, the Separate Baptists.

Shubal Stearns, (1706-1771), and a new convert, Philip Mulkey, of Sandy Creek, N. C., came before 1758, to reorganize the New River church to accord with their “New Light” plans, and it was forthwith admitted and listed with that Association. Moreover Trent Church, in Jones, and Southwest in Lenoir, were likewise enlisted. The Baptist historian, George W. Paschal has declared: “I make bold to say that these Separate Baptists have proved to be the most remarkable body of Christians America has known”. This thesis he sustains through many carefully written pages. Stearns, a George Whitefield convert, and fiery evangelist, came from New England to settle as a full-time self-employed missionary at Sandy Creek in Guilford (now Randolph) County. It was his gift to feed the spiritual hunger of increasing multitudes by a fervent gospel preaching hitherto unknown on this frontier. Their growth was unprecedented. First stationed preachers at New River inspired by Stearns and Mulkey were Ezekiel Hunter and Robert Nixon. These were fired with missionary zeal to plant neighboring “branches” of New River, and also to inspire new recruits to the pulpit.

Churches of the Separates observed the Lord's Supper on alternate Sundays, “except when they could not get wine.” They were not bound by any “creed”, save the Bible alone. They immersed believers upon their simple confession of Christ. A tenet of the Separates was belatedly affirmed by Francis Oliver, whose name was associated with New River. As moderator of the Neuse Association in 1805, he objected to extra-biblical creeds as follows:

“They cast contempt upon the Scriptures, and their authors, assuming the prerogative of Christ, they presuppose that the Scriptures are imperfect, and short of being in themselves a sufficient rule for a Church; forasmuch as they add traditions that are not to be found in the word of God and bind them upon their adherents by which they are led to read and consider those writings more than the Scriptures, thereby lay a greater stress upon them, and so to be like those that seem somewhat in the Church and less regard Christ and his word. This is contempt indeed.”

A definitive comparison of the eighteenth century Separate Baptists of the South Atlantic States with the later Disciples of Christ is long overdue.

Anglican authorities regarded New River as the Provincial Baptist capital, albeit they gave it a less flattering name. Baptists were a persecuted people. Some, including James Brinson in Tryon's day, as reported, were publicly whipped and jailed when trying to erect their own New Bern church plant. The Separates not having due facilities for consolidation and permanence merged at length with the stronger Calvinists as “United Baptists”.

While Presbyterian groups were in adjacent counties, none are of record at this time as having been in Onslow. First Methodist preacher on Tarheel soil, Joseph Pilmoor, is reputed to have reached New River in 1773. The

New River Circuit was set up in 1785, and by 1813 had their own separate Richland Chapel at New River. The episcopal Arminians were vying with the congregational Calvinists in the taking of a Protestant land. In controversy, Bishop Asbury, Onslow traveler, said: “If plunging baptism is the only true ordinance, and there can be no true church without it, it is not quite clear that Christ ever had a church until the Baptists plunged for it.” Facing Baptist barriers Asbury further said: “I conclude I shall have no more appointments between Wilmington and New Bern—people of Onslow seem to resemble the ancient Jews—they please not God and they are contrary to all men—Farewell! O unhappy people of Jones, and Trent, and Onslow.” Charles Woodmason, of the English Carolina Clergy frankly confessed in 1766, “the Baptists have great prevalence and footing in North Carolina and have taken such deep root there that it will require long time and pains to grub up their layers.”

Luther Rice before 1827 visited Tarheel Baptists to gather foreign missionary funds. This was a cleaving sword. The so-called Primitives formed an anti-missions half of the area's constituents. Among these was Parham Puckett, an Onslow lay preacher, whose influence for 16 years alienated Chapel Run, as New River was then called, from its normal associated activities. The blight really extended 24 years for not until 1851, did the local church return to a consistent missionary status when it assumed the new and final name of Union Chapel.

Association minutes in 1864 lists Union Chapel with 54 members. Mission funds aided support of the pastor since it was “a point of great importance”. The Confederate States’ imports at the Cape Fear were “high stakes”, and some “hair triggers” were daredevil Baptists of this area, standing in need of a stewardship hint. So an adopted resolution recommended “to blockade runners to give to the Lord a liberal portion of their stock to be applied in disseminating His word to the heathen.” Further the minutes recall that except for Union Chapel, Onslow was “one vast scene of destitution.”

About 1875, a neighboring Disciple, Cyrus Brown, underwrote the expenses of Virgil A. Wilson, to evangelize at Union Chapel, later to be helped by Joseph H. Foy, and John J. Harper. Wherefore some 16 persons were constituted as a Disciple “mission”. On December 2, 1877, J. L. Burns, evangelist, organized Union Chapel as a Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), with 43 charter members. First elders were: Simon B. Taylor, and William Cox; first deacons: George Simmons and ____________________ Padrick. I therefore date this brochure on the 79th Anniversary of the event.

An active and distinguished layman of North Carolina Disciples for more than fifty years was Colonel Simon B. Taylor, of Union Chapel. A native Tarheel, he was born near Kinston, March 16, 1834, and died at his Catherine Lake home, January 27, 1929. In 1861-’65 he commanded the 35th North Carolina Regiment, in General Matt. Ransom's brigade, and was said to have been the last surviving regimental commander of that War. Four times he was wounded, the last time very seriously, in the right arm just before the “stillness at Appomattox”. He married Sallie A. Murrell, March 8, 1866. Their two daughters, Mrs. Rodolph Duffy and Mrs. William T. Cox, yet survive their parents. After death of his first wife, Colonel Taylor married Mrs. Nannie J. Murrell Hoye. A remarkable nonegenarian, he was in his ninety-fifth year when he died.

At his passing he was one of six surviving charter members of The North

Carolina Christian Missionary Society, founded in Kinston in 1877, as preliminary to The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention established for administrative permanence at the Farmville State Convention in 1883. His patriarchal home at the community's famous Lake was long known for its unfailing hospitality. In its tranquil abode countless souls found warm comradeship and meditated growth. Loyal in the best sense to his family, to his community, and to his growing church in a changing world, he left a worthy heritage for the new day.

I can only give an incomplete list of the local ministry for this Onslow Church, 1730-1956. For these two and a quarter centuries, accessible records leave but a ministerial blank for many specific years. The following is submitted from sources both available and credible. The ministers, 1877-1956, are of the Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ).

1730-1734, John LaPierre, Richard Marsden, Church of England.

1743, Paul Palmer, General Baptist.

1756, Philip Mulkey, Separate Baptist.

1758, Ezekiel Hunter, Separate Baptist.

1790, Robert Nixon, United Baptist.

1795, Moses Barfield, United Baptist.

1808, Silas Carter, Regular Baptist.

1817, Benjamin Johnston, Regular Baptist.

1827-1843, Parham Puckett, Primitive Baptist.

1851, Nathan Askew, Missionary Baptist.

1864, J. P. Faison, Missionary Baptist.

1865, J. E. King, Missionary Baptist.

1866, J. N. Stallings, Missionary Baptist.

1870, G. S. Best, Missionary Baptist.

1875, 1876, E. A. Best, Missionary Baptist.

1877, J. L. Burns.

1882-1883, Henry C. Bowen.

1884, A. O. Warren.

1888, 1889, J. R. Tingle.

1890-1908, S. W. Sumrell, C. W. Howard, John W. Tyndall, I. W. Rogers. John T. Saunders.

1909, Hayes Farish.

1910-1912, C. B. Mashburn.

1913, 1914, John T. Saunders

1915-1917, S. Lee Sadler

1918, G. Henry Sullivan

1919-1922, John T. Saunders

1923-1925, W. T. Mattox

1926, 1927, Paul T. Ricks

1928, F. W. Wiegmann

1929, 1930, John J. Langston

1931-1939, W. J. B. Burrus

1940, 1941, R. Curtis Brisson

1942, Preston D. Parsons

1943-1945, A. C. Young

1946, G. A. Hamlin

1947, Jack R. Daniell

1948-1956, W. J. B. Burrus


Tracing four generations:

1. PHILLIP MULKEY, 1732-1801, father of

2. JONATHAN MULKEY, 1752-1826, father of

3. JOHN MULKEY, 1773-1845, father of

4. JOHN NEWTON MULKEY, 1806-1882.

1. PHILLIP MULKEY, was born in Halifax County, N. C., May 14, 1732, and died in eastern Tennessee about 1801. He was converted in Halifax County, N. C., by John Newton, and was baptized, Dec. 25, 1756, by Shubal Stearns at the Sandy Creek Separate Baptist Church, near the present Liberty, N. C. He was ordained to the ministry there in 1757. He married Ann Ellis; children: David, Jonathan, Sarah, Philip, and Parry, (or Patty). He evangelized for Separate Baptists in Eastern North Carolina, 1757 to 1760, specially assisting at New River Church, in Onslow County (now Union Chapel), which was enrolled by Sandy Creek Association, parent Convention of Separate Baptists, in 1758. From New River the cause spread to Southwest Church in Lenoir County, four miles southeast of Kinston, this church being established in 1762. Mulkey baptized John Dillahunty (Dillahunt), in Jones County, who in 1761 became a leader at Trent church, and ministered there, 1781 to 1796, before removal to Tennessee. This Trent Church is today identified as Chinquapin Chapel Christian Church, worshipping near the site of the old Trent Church, in Jones County.

Philip Mulkey removed to South Carolina in 1760, taking with him almost wholly the personnel of the Deep River, N. C. Separate Baptist Church of the Sandy Creek connection. He planted Fairforest, earliest Baptist Church in upper South Carolina; the site being in the present Union County, where Fairforest Creek flows into Tyger River, about midway between the present cities of Clinton and Union. In 1775, he and most of this community became Tories. This domestic tragedy was due to their natural revolt against the tyrrany of American officials in leagued association at Charleston, S. C. This they felt from bitter experience to be more cruel and unjust than that of the remote King George III, himself. Hence contemporary Whig Baptist writers wrote with unresolved contempt concerning the life and character of Philip Mulkey, and some later historians to a degree likewise. Mulkey and other Tories, at the mounting crisis fled to Natchez, Mississippi, then a British-protected Tory citadel. Similar vicissitudes made Tories of about one-third of the American colonials. No definitive report, fair and impartial, on Philip Mulkey, after 1776, is extant.

2. JONATHAN MULKEY, son of Philip Mulkey, was born in Virginia. Oct. 16, 1752, and died near Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church, Washington County, Tenn., Sept. 5, 1826, and is buried in the Cemetery there. He was the first preacher to appear on Tennessee soil. It was in Carter's Valley, near the present Rogersville, in the fall of 1775. Having survived battles with savages, he founded Kendrick's Creek Baptist Church in the Holston Association,

and represented it at their annual meeting in 1786. For seven years he was Holston's moderator. First settlement made in Tennessee was in 1768, near the present Elizabethton, Carter County. It included ten families from Wake County, N. C. Governmental chaos on the eve of the American Revolution accelerated trans-mountain migration from southern seaboard areas. Two Tennessee Baptist churches are said to have been started prior to 1770 but disappeared in the wars of the period.

A son of Jonathan Mulkey was Isaac Mulkey, who became affiliated with Barton W. Stone's Christians. In 1883, according to his own report he reorganized Post Oak Springs Christian Church, in Roane County, Tennessee, two miles east of the present city of Rockwood, on Federal Highway 70. This church dating from about 1812 is said to be the oldest church of that faith now functioning in Tennessee, the founder, Ephriam D. Moore. (1782-1859) being an early associate of Barton W. Stone.

3. JOHN MULKEY, son of Jonathan Mulkey, was born in South Carolina, Jan. 14, 1773; removed to Monroe County, Kentucky, 1798, and died there at Mulkey's Meeting House, in 1845. This community is two miles southeast of Tompkinsville, Ky., on the present Park Road. After leaving South Carolina he had evangelized in Holston Valley, Tenn. He founded Mill Creek Baptist Church, Ky., (first name of Mulkey's M. H.), in 1798, and eleven years later affiliated with Barton W. Stone. He made Mill Creek a “Bible Only” Church, and the log house, 157 years old, first such structure in southern Kentucky, is enshrined to-day as Mulkey's Meetinghouse. It is the only State Park in Kentucky to perpetuate the name and to commemorate the history of a church. The congregation long ago passed but with redolence there yet appears the original twelve-cornered building, the cemetery, and the surrounding grove. Its antiquity has significance for Disciples. Preserved is their old church record book with entries penned with pokeberry ink. Sustained by a diverse but effectual community sentiment it has been taken over institutionally by the State but incidentally it is a landmark in the genesis of southern Kentucky Christians. However in literature and in life there is all but total neglect for it by the whole of the present-day heirs of the Stone and Campbell movements.

4. JOHN NEWTON MULKEY, son of John Mulkey, was born Feb. 11, 1806, at Mulkey's M. H., and died at Glasgow, Ky., Sept. 26, 1882. His tomb is in the cemetery alongside Mulkey's M. H. On October 6, 1824, he married Nancy Laugh. After an initial ministry in eastern Tennessee, and at Liberty church in Clay County of that State, he gave fifty years to Kentucky evangelization in the Christian Church. Much of this time was given as a missionary of the Kentucky Christian Missionary Society. It is of record that he preached “nearly ten thousand sermons and immersed about as many believers.” For awhile he lived in Perry County, Ill., where his first wife died in 1880. He then returned to southern Ky. and married Nancy Evans. He and his father for three quarters of a century were notable leaders of the “plain Christians” in pivotal areas.


Allen, I. M., Baptist Annual Register, 1832, 1836.

Asbury, Francis, Journal, Vols., 2, 3, N. Y., 1852.

Asplund, John, Annual Register 1790.

Baptist Association Minutes, tracing New River (Onslow) Church record through various Associations; Neuse, (1794), to Eastern, (1877), in the N. C. Baptist Collection. Wake Forest College, Winston-Salem, N. C.

Benedict, David, General History, Baptist Denomination, Vols. 1, 2, Boston, 1813.

Biggs, Elder Joseph, A Concise History of Kehukee Association, Tarborough, N. C., 1834.

Brown, J. Parsons, Onslow County, N. C., Historian, MS. letters and notes.

Burkitt, Elders Lemuel, and Read, Jesse, A Concise History of Kehukee Baptist Association, Halifax, N. C., 1803.

Burnett, J. J., Sketches of Tennessee Pioneer Baptist Preachers, Nashville, Tenn., 1919.

Campbell, Alexander, Millenial Harbinger (Periodical), 1832, pages 100-102, 1860, page 118.

Carraway, Gertrude S., History Christ Church [Episcopal], New Eern, N. C. 1715-1740.

Crosby, Thomas, The History of The English Baptists, London, Eng., 1738.

Grimes, J. Bryan, Abstract of North Carolina Wills, Raleigh, N. C., 1910.

———North Carolina Wills and Inventories, Raleigh, N. C., 1912.

Hassell, Elders Cushing Biggs, and Sylvester, History Church of God, Middleton, N. Y., 1886.

Hirsch, Arthur Henry, The Huguenots of Colonial South Carolina, Durham, N. C., 1928.

Hoskins, Joseph A., President Washington's Diaries, Summerfield, N. C., 1921.

Kentucky—A Guide to the Bluegrass State, Federal Writers, N. Y., 1939.

Merritt, Frank, Early History Carter County, Tennessee, 1760-1861, Knoxville, Tenn., 1950.

Mulkey, Floyd, Rev. Phillip Mulkey, Pioneer Baptist Preacher in Upper South Carolina, S. C. Historical Association, Columbia, 1945, Proceedings, pages 3-13.

N. C. Baptist Historical Papers, J. D. Hufham, Henderson, N. C., October, 1897.

N. C. Colonial Records, W. L. Saunders, Vols. 1-10.

N. C. Disciples of Christ Minutes Annual Conventions, 1834; 1841-1956.

N. C. State Records, Walter Clark, Vols. 11-25.

Paschall, George W., History North Carolina Baptists, Vol. 1, 1663-1805, Raleigh, N. C., 1930.

Purefoy, George W., A History of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association, N. Y., 1859.

Ramsey, J. G. M., Annals of Tennessee, edition, Kingsport, Tenn., 1926.

Register, Officers, Agents, U. S., Civil, Military and Naval, Washington, D. C., 1833, 1835.

Robinson, B. P., The N. C. Guide, Chapel Hill, 1955.

Rogers, W. C., Recollections of Men of Faith, St. Louis, Mo., 1889.

Semple, Robert B., A History of the Rise and Progress of Baptists in Virginia, Richmond, Va., 1810.

Spencer, J. H., History of Kentucky Baptists, Vols. 1, 2, Cincinnati, O., 1885.

Townsend Leah, South Carolina Baptists, 1670-1805, Florence, S. C., 1935.

Wagner, Harry C., The Beginnings of the Christian Church in East Tennessee, in East Tennessee Historical Publications, Number 20, 1948.

Walsh, John T., Watch Tower, (periodical), Kinston, N. C., March, 1878.

Ware Charles C., A History, North Carolina Disciples of Christ, St. Louis, Mo., 1927.

Woodmason, Charles, The Carolina Back Country on the Eve of the Revolution, edited by Richard J. Hooker, Chapel Hill, 1953.


The Southeastern District, North Carolina Christian Churches, (Disciples of Christ), is composed of the following 13 churches presently cooperating in the Counties of Jones, Lenoir, (south of Neuse River), New Hanover, and Onslow. This subdivision was first known as District No. 3, 1872, (“Churches south of Neuse River”); then from 1885-1923, as Jones-Onslow; and since 1924 as Southeastern District. Below is given respectively the dates of organization, insofar as known, and of enrollment in The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, with membership as then recorded. Some antecedent affiliations of local churches are indicated.

Armenia, September 3, 1887; enrolled, 1889; 61 members.

Chinquapin Chapel, originally Trent, (Separate Baptist, 1757), charter member, Bethel Conference and Union Meeting of Disciples of Christ, May 2, 1845; 46 members.

Comfort, enrolled, 1915, 30 members.

Haskins Chapel, originally Shady Grove; enrolled, 1859; 48 members.

Jacksonville, February 24, 1952, enrolled, 1952, 41 members.

Pleasant Hill, 1837; charter member of Bethel Conference and Union Meeting of Disciples of Christ, May 2, 1845; 81 members.

Richlands, February 28, 1882; enrolled, 1884; 48 members.

Southwest, originally Separate Baptist, 1762, onward; later Regular and Free Will Baptist; enrolled, by Disciples, 1871; 15 members.

Southwood Memorial, December 12, 1945; enrolled 1949; 47 members.

Trenton, enrolled 1899; 42 members.

Tuckahoe, enrolled 1849; 28 members.

Union Chapel, originally Anglican-Baptist, 1730-1877; December 2, 1877, (Disciples); enrolled, 1878; 57 members.

Wilmington, April 14, 1907; enrolled, 1907; 72 members.


1864—J. M. Wooten

1866, 1870—M. D. Thomas

1874, 1875—John Mashburn

1878—L. E. Duffy

1885-1888—E. W. Murrell

1889—G. H. Simmons

1890-1893—J. E. Taylor

1894-1899—J. W. Bryan

1900-1902—W. P. Thomas

1903-1905—H. D. Murrell

1906-1908—George Bryan

1909-1914—W. P. Thomas

1915-1921—Col. S. B. Taylor

1922, 1923—L. D. Boggs

1924-1930—W. T. Cox

1931-1936—Mrs. W. T. Cox

1937-1939—J. C. Collins

1940-1943—Mrs. K. G. Richardson

1944-1953—Mrs. Rodolph Duffy

1954-1956—Hilton Joiner


In 1890, superintended by G. H. Simmons, whose address is given as Catherine Lake, N. C. Number of “pupils” enrolled, 25, with 4 teachers. A few years prior to 1890, Marshal Taylor superintended a Sunday School at nearby Gum Branch, largely made up of Union Chapel personnel.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Copies of this pamphlet can be procured from C. C. Ware, Curator, Carolina Discipliana Library, Box 1164, Wilson, N. C., at 50 cents each, or 3 copies for $1.00.

Carolina Discipliana Library















Onslow's oldest church
Onslow's oldest church / by Charles Crossfield Ware. Wilson, N.C. : Carolina Disciplinana Library [of the Historical Commission, North Carolina Disciples of Christ], 1956. 12 p. ; 23 cm. Caption title.
Original Format
Local Identifier
BX7331.O5 U5X 1956
Location of Original
Joyner NC Stacks
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