A Brief History
By J.M. Duncan
BYNUM PRINTING CO.
Standard A-Grade Institution
81 YEARS OLD
81 YEARS STRONG
81 YEARS THE SERVANT OF NORTH CAROLINA BAPTISTS
This grand Old Institution has stood loyally by the Baptist cause.
MEHERRIN CHURCH has fostered, patronized, and stood loyally by Chowan College throughout the years.
Patronize your own institution, which strives at all times to do the work that the denomination wants done.
For Catalogue Write
W. B. EDWARDS, President
MURFREESBORO, N. C.
A Brief History
By J. M. DUNCAN
BYNUM PRINTING CO.
RALEIGH, N. C.
THE MEHERRIN CHURCH
Searching the minutes of the Meherrin Church has been very interesting. Many of the older minutes have turned brown and grown dim with age. It has taken much time and some patience to study out what the Clerk of the Church recorded, not because of the poor penmanship, but because the writing had grown dim. In writing the history of this interesting old church, we have gained many ideas pertaining to Church government.
In getting together the material for the following pages, I desire to thank Mrs. J. G. Liverman of Murfreesboro, N. C., for the use of her copy of the “History of Meherrin Church” by Dr. S. J. Wheeler. Mr. S. W. Worthington, of Wilson, North Carolina, a relative of Dr. S. J. Wheeler, allowed me the use of the Church minutes recorded by Dr. Wheeler covering the history of the church from 1834-1874. Miss Eunice McDowel of Murfreesboro, N. C., was kind enough to let me have her copy of the “History of the Kehukee Baptist Association” written by Elder Joseph Biggs. Rev. R. B. Lineberry of Harrellsville, N. C., furnished me a copy of “A History of the Baptists in North Carolina,” written by Rev. Chas. B. Williams. Brother J. J. Parker, the present Church Clerk, placed into my hands the minutes of the Church from 1895-1929.
J. M. DUNCAN.
MEHERRIN BAPTIST CHURCH
Morgan Edwards who traveled much in North Carolina in order to pick up bits of Baptist History, says “There were Baptists in North Carolina as early as 1695.” Another Baptist historian is of the opinion that there were Baptists in North Carolina as early as 1690. Still others think that there were Baptists from the time of the first permanent settlement in 1655 and that Baptist history in North Carolina is as old as its civil and political history. This may be speculation though Morgan Edwards says that Baptists were known to be in North Carolina as early as 1695. But there were no Baptist Church buildings for some thirty years after this in North Carolina.
These were days of darkness and struggle for our Baptist pioneers. They were trying to get a foothold and establish themselves as citizens of the new colony. They were busy turning the wilderness into farm lands and trees into rude huts in which to live.
These Baptist pioneers used Nature's lovely groves along the rivers and beside the hills instead of meeting houses, when hundreds of these noble-hearted Saints of old were gathered to worship “under their own vine and fig tree.” Here beneath the smiling face of a friendly sky they read the Bible, offered prayer, preached, and sang the songs of redeeming grace.
But these open air meetings were disagreeable to the Establishment, and so it sought to prevent such religious gatherings in the groves and by the river banks. In the law of 1715 a clause was directed against these meetings of the Baptists. It was required that meetings of “dissenters” should be public. But the authorities could not inforce such a law against these
meetings. Only once was a Baptist preacher stopped in his discourse. The Establishment was too weak to stop the preaching of the truth by those heroic men of God. So on rolled the blessed river of Baptist History.
Here in North Carolina, as elsewhere, it has been the heaven-given prerogative of Baptists to show the world that the Gospel, when standing on its own merits, is the power of God, but when bolstered by civil government, is the weakness of men. Let us now glance at the first organized Baptist Church in North Carolina, then at the Meherrin Baptist Church.
The location of the first Baptist Church in North Carolina has been a question. Some historians say it was located in Pasquotank, some say on the Chowan, others say in Perquimans, while others say it was in Camden.
In 1727, the year in which Sir Richard Everhard came over from England to become Governor of the Colony, Paul Palmer came from Welch Tract, Delaware, and organized the first Baptist Church in North Carolina. Palmer, a native of Maryland, was baptized at Welch Tract, Delaware, by Thomas Owen, pastor at that place, and was ordained in Connecticut. He preached over a great part of the latter State, in New Jersey, and in Maryland. He turned his face southward and met the struggling, scattered Baptists of the Albemarle Colony. He was a man of intelligence and was so attractive that he drew hundreds to his side. His power could not be checked by the Establishment. Governor Everhard in 1729 wrote to the Bishop in London that it was “impossible to stop him.” He was a landowner and a slaveholder and stood high among the people. Having come in touch with the persecuted Baptists of New England and there having his spirit quickened and his methods formed for a large work, he settled in Perquimans County and organized the first Baptist Church in North Carolina.
Though this church was organized in Perquimans, its local habitation soon came to be in Camden. In other words, this church had an “arm” in Perquimans and an “arm” in Camden. These “arms” in the early history of Baptist Churches consisted of groups of members in any given county, or community,
as in the present instance. The groups at Perquimans did not flourish, because the Quakers were dominant in Perquimans, the home of the noted George Durant. Even to this day many Quakers are there.
The other branch, located in Camden, not far from the Pasquotank River, was more favorably situated. It was along the line of the old stage route from Edenton to Norfolk. This brought the people of Camden in touch with Virginia and the northern colonies. At any rate, we know that the “arm” in Camden continued to grow in numbers and power and soon became the center of influence for the early Baptists of the Albemarle region. Hence the church came to be known as the Church in Camden. It held this name until 1790, when it was styled the Church at Shiloh. In this year Sawyers Creek Baptist Church was organized. This caused the change of name.
Paul Palmer was the first pastor at Shiloh and was a man of the Apostle Paul's type. He was constantly traveling from place to place organizing churches as the apostles did. Morgan Edwards tells us that Palmer extended his labors as far south as South Carolina and on the north up to the Virginia line. He was not only pastor of Shiloh but was also the missionary of Eastern North Carolina.
After Palmer, Joseph and William Parker became, in succession, pastors of Shiloh Church. They were succeeded by William Burgess. He was a man of fervent piety and of wide influence, being beloved by the people. He gave to the world two Baptist preachers, his sons John and William, the former of whom was a man of superior ability. A third son, Dempsy, was a Lieutenant Colonel during the Revolution, a member of the Congress of the United States.
Henry Abbot was the successor of William Burgess, Sr. His father, John Abbot, was Canon of St. Pauls, in London. In 1765, Henry Abbot, while quite young, came over to Carolina and took employment as a teacher. On coming in contact with Baptists, he embraced their views, in fact, he was the most popular man in the colony in those days. He was a member of the Halifax Convention of 1776, and was on the committee
to prepare the draught of the Constitution, and is said to have played the chief part in the shaping that clause that guarantees religious liberty in North Carolina. He was a member of the convention of 1788 to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
John Burgess, the younger son of William Burgess, Jr., next became pastor of Shiloh. Evan Forbes was one of the early pastors. He was a man strong in character and doctrine, and his memory is still cherished at Shiloh. Henry Speight, the father of J. A. and T. T. Speight, was also pastor at Shiloh several years.
About the middle of the nineteenth century, Shiloh experienced one of the greatest revivals ever known in North Carolina. The meeting was conducted by John D. Elwell. The power of the Spirit was in the Church as on the day of Pentecost. Elwell was a spiritual power, and many living at Shiloh today have heard their mothers and fathers speak of that revival.
In later years Dr. R. R. Overby became the pastor. For a third of a century this reverend father in Israel has been the spiritual counselor at Shiloh. He has not been pastor all these years but all the other pastors during this period were young men who learned their theology from Dr. Overby and who looked upon him as their spiritual father. Among these we mention A. C. Horton, who baptized Rev. C. B. Williams, the author of “A History of Baptists in North Carolina.”
Great has been the influence of Shiloh Church. Many, many churches can date their ancestry back to the old mother church. In 1729 Joseph and William Parker moved westward from Camden and settled in the “wilds of the wilderness,” as the lands were then called, which subsequently were surveyed and became Hertford County. Joseph Parker was a minister of the Gospel. He settled on the land that adjoins the church lands, on which the Meherrin Baptist meeting-house stands at this time. He set up public worship at once; and later with the aid of his neighbors and friends he erected about the year 1735, the first house of worship on this spot, which was dedicated to the worship of God. This house was built of hewn logs, and
was 20 by 25 feet in size. His labors were confined principally to the people in this immediate vicinity until 1773 when he moved, according to traditions, “South of Tar River,” and there ended his earthly pilgrimage. Of his history of the church during the services of this, his first pastorate, but little is known; nor is it probable that we shall ever know more of that interesting period than we have already learned. Elder Parker was a consistent Christian, a zealous and successful minister. While pastor of the church he lived on the farm on which he first settled on his removal from Camden. This farm afterwards came into the possession of the late Rev. Daniel Southall and is now the property of his heirs. The land on which the church stands was given to the church by Elder Parker; and but for the unfortunate destruction of the county records by fire in August, 1831, we might have the pleasure of inspecting an autograph of our ancient bishop. As the population increased Rev. Parker again removed. His course was southward, and he finally settled about forty miles above New Bern, in a region of country embraced in the present limits of Lenoir County. Here he and his wife lived in limited circumstances, supported by a few members of the Freewill Baptist Church. He preached occasionally on Conetoe Creek, and also on Pungo River. His labors were not so greatly blessed as they had been in former times. In Dobbs County (since divided into Wayne, Lenoir, and Greene counties) Rev. Parker was highly esteemed. It was to this county his labors were most confined; rarely preaching at any other place but at Wheat Swamp, near which church he settled. His services at Pungo and Conetoe were not rendered more than once or twice a year. In the great transformation which took place among Baptists of North Carolina, Revs. Joseph and William Parker, and Winfield refused to unite. As the reformed Baptists were styled separately, the Parkers and their adherents assumed the name of Freewill Baptists. Joseph Parker died about 1791 or 1792, and was buried in Robert Wyrington's burial ground, on Wheat Swamp. The late Rev. Lewis Whitfield, a Baptist minister in Carteret County, says that “Joseph Parker was a square
built man,” with broad face, about five feet eight inches high, and in his latter years wore on his head a cap continually. His manner in preaching was full of animation. Rev. Whitfield does not know whether he left any children and says that no monument marks the spot where his ashes repose.
After Joseph Parker resigned the care of the church, Elder William Parker was called in 1773. The call was accepted. William Parker was an uncle of deacon Silas Parker, Esq. William Parker was a practical preacher seeking every opportunity to do good, and was very devoted to the spiritual interest of his flock. The earliest printed record of the church appeared in the time of his ministry. John Asphund, a Swedish merchant, having settled in this country, made a profession of religion and became a Baptist minister. Feeling a deep solicitude to become extensively acquainted with his brethren, to know their condition and statistics, he traveled through the United States on foot, and published a Register in 1791. In 1790 he passed through the eastern part of North Carolina, and noticed this church as being the only Baptist Church in Hertford County and at that time it was under the care of William Parker, a “General Baptist minister.” The church at this time contained one hundred members. It seems that the only spiritual instruction received by the people of Hertford County was through Elder Parker's instrumentality, with the exception of an occasional service by an Episcopal clergyman, in whom the people lost confidence as a leader of the flock of Christ. The destitution of religious teaching was not confined to the people of this county alone, for many persons from Gates, Bertie, and Northampton were among the regular auditory. During the term of ministerial services of her first two pastors, the church had services on every Lord's Day. For a long time the members came to the dedicated spot, and on each Lord's Day listened to the sweet invitations of the Gospel from the lips of their venerated pastor. But, finally dissensions and evil conditions crept into the church, and as a result the church became weak and did not meet so often to worship.
In consequence of the peculiar opinions entertained by Elder Parker on the subject of the qualifications necessary for admission
into the church many persons were admitted into its fold who were not properly apprised of the obligations of the church relationship, and there sprang up, consequently, grievous disorders. He thought that all serious persons, professing a belief in the general truths of the Scriptures, were entitled to receive the ordinance of baptism or application by a regularly authorized minister. As a result, many were baptized in an unregenerated state by Elder Parker, and became members of the church. The way they lived proved the pastor's error, and rent the church asunder. The church languished under said circumstances, and was soon brought to a low ebb. Unsanctified feeling, impiety, and irreligion followed. A portion of the pastor's flock thought they perceived the cause of their troubles in the pastor's sentiments and course, and that the only remedy was in the adoption of the reformation advocated by missionaries from the Philadelphia Association, namely, John Gano in 1754 and Messrs. Miller and Van Horn in 1775. Calvinistic sentiments were first promoted by Rev. Robert Williams, of South Carolina, in 1751; but his labors were of short duration, and we are not informed that much was effected. Those churches that embraced the reformation adopted the orthodox Calvinistic plan, renounced Arminianism, and those notions previously entertained on the subject of the requisites to church membership, and thus reformed abuses and greatly promoted the course of peace and harmony in their midst. But some ministers persisted in their opinions and practices and among them, as above remarked, was Elder William Parker. As proof of the sad conditions of many of the churches at this time, and previous to the reformation, it may not be inappropriate to introduce the remarks of Rev. Morgan Edwards, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Mr. Edwards was a scholar, and highly esteemed as a divine and useful citizen. He made a tour among the Southern churches, and aided in throwing off the obloquy which endeavored to cast upon the Baptists of North Carolina, in consequence of the regulation which happened during the administration of Governor Tryon. He kept a journal during his
travels, which has been preserved; and in that journal, speaking of the Baptists of North Carolina, he says: “They were the least spiritually minded of all the Baptists of America. For so careless and indefinite were they in their requisitions, that many of the communicants were baptized and admitted into the churches, and even some of their ministers were introduced into their sacred functions without an experimental acquaintance with the gospel, or without being required to possess it; so loose and indefinite were their terms that all who professed a general belief in the truths of the gospel, submitted to baptism and religiously demeaned themselves, were admitted to it.”
This handful of members, desirous of seeing a stop put to the disorders which were afflicting their church, approached their pastor and endeavored to persuade him to pursue the better way. But it was in vain, he remained steadfast in his opinions. Finding their remonstrances unheeded, these brethren seceded from the church and joined themselves to a small band of Christians, who worshipped in a house built in 1775 near Potecasi. This band was recognized as a branch of the church of Bertie (afterwards called Sandy Run) and had the occasional services of Jas. Vincent, Esq., a licentiate of the Bertie Church. This gentleman was highly esteemed in church and State. Ever active to the interests of the church, he was equally faithful to those of his country. He had held several public offices, having been high sheriff of the county of Northampton, a justice of the peace, and a member of the State Convention that adopted the Federal Constitution. He departed this life December, 1798, greatly regretted. From the time of the secession of these members the church declined rapidly. This declension continued until the decease of Elder William Parker. In the second year of Elder Parker's pastorate, namely, 1775, it was found necessary to rebuild the meeting house, which had then stood forty years. The Parker family, aided by Peter Deberry (grandfather of Deacon H. Deberry Jenkins) and a few other families, constructed a new framed house with their own hands, which was afterwards enlarged by the addition of sheds on the western and northern sides. This house stood
until 1802, when it was again rebuilt under contract by King Parker, for $142. The committee appointed by the church to superintend the letting of the building, were: Elder Jno. Wall, Brethren William Parker, William B. Cheatham, together with Lewis Meredith and Jno. Pipkin, Esqrs. In May, 1818, this house was underpinned with brick. In 1826 the house was again rebuilt. The contract for the building was taken by Isaac Langston, under the supervision of Brethren Jno. Wheeler, Thomas Deans and Silas Parker, and Messrs. P. Brown and Wm. B. Wise, committee. Another house was built in 1842, by B. Overton, contractor; committee, Rev. G. M. Thompson, Brethren Silas Parker, H. D. Jenkins, and Messrs. J. G. Rea and J. M. Cowper.
Elder Wm. Parker ceased from his labors in January, 1794. A large concourse of his neighbors testified their regard for his memory in their attendance upon his obsequies, and the occasion was improved by a sermon from that eminent man of God, Rev. David Barrow, of Isle of Wight, Va. It is said of Elder William Parker that he was a man of irreproachable morals; and, as before remarked, “deeply devoted to the spiritual interest of his flock.” The want of success in the latter part of his ministry and the decline of the church are attributed rather to error in his theological sentiments, than to a want of personal piety.
The history of the church at this time assumes a very interesting character. Vessels had, for many years prior, steadily visited the vicinity for the purpose of exchanging merchandise of various kinds, for the products of the country. This system was pursued until adventurers found it to their advantage to build store-houses, and establish permanent depots for the sale of their goods. A settlement was thus commenced, which was rapidly augmented by immigrants from other places. Business increased and representations were made to the Legislature that “it was a very proper situation for a town—healthy and convenient to a country which produces large supplies of tobacco, naval stores, corn, pork, and lumber.” It was therefore,
enacted by the Legislature, that “Wm. Murfree, Patrick Brown, Redmond Hockell, Wm. Baughan, and Jno. Parker be constituted commissioners for designing and building a town,” and to be called Murfreesboro, on 97 acres of land, adjoining Murfree's Landing. This act was passed in 1785.
Thus the town of Murfreesboro was originated, and as will be seen in the sequel, was destined to exert considerable influence upon the church. For many years the only place of worship to which the citizens resorted was at Parker's meeting-house (Meherrin Church). A few of the citizens, and some ladies who were heads of families, were numbered amongst the communicants of the church. Evening services were held at private houses in town, while the ordinary exercises were observed on Sunday at the meeting-house. This venerable church and her ministry constituted the only medium through which religious instruction was imported to our fathers for many years. In the course of time, ministers of other denominations visited the place, and afterwards established churches.
The first Methodist preacher that visited this vicinity was Rev. Jesse Lee, who was at this time living in Prince George County, Va. He visited this section in 1792, while on his way to Edenton. His fervent zeal and lively exortations endeared him to the hearts of the people of this section and he found a heartfelt welcome in every family circle, as there were professors of no other name, besides the Baptists, in this vicinity. Mr. Lee was received and esteemed without reference to peculiarity of religious opinion. Their hearts were warm, and they could know no difference. The parlors were his chapels, and their houses his home. Rev. Lee and other Methodist ministers, such as Lorenzo Dow, Samuel Wells, and Daniel Southall frequently visited this vicinity, and set up public worship in 1805, and later built a house of worship. In a few years their influence predominated over that of all others. Other circumstances rendered this portion of the history of Meherrin Church deeply interesting. The church was left destitute by the death of her second pastor, William Parker, and knew not where to procure ministerial help. Her situation was critical, reduced
to a handful of members, who were nearly disheartened by the gloomy aspect of affairs. The church then called Rev. Lemuel Burkitt. In accordance with their invitation, Elder Burkitt visited the church and consented to serve them occasionally in the week (as his Sundays were occupied) on condition that the church would adopt the principles of the Reformation and come under the Calvinistic organization. To this the church assented, and Elder Burkitt, aided by a few of his own members, and some from Potecasi, met a portion of the members at a private house in the neighborhood and organized a church on the principles set forth by the Kehukee Association.
Thus constituted, the church determined to apply for admission into the Kehukee Association. Delegates were sent from the body to the association, which sat in September, 1794, with the church at Sandy Run. The association, having satisfied herself of the orthodoxy of the church, admitted her into the union, and she was enrolled on the list as “the church at Meherrin.” Rev. Burkitt preached for the church for nearly six years, and succeeded in establishing it firmly on a solid foundation. He was eminently fitted for the times in which he lived. Of untiring industry his labors often exceeded his strength. He was born in Chowan County in February, 1750, and was baptized in July, 1771; and began to preach two months thereafter. At first he was in the habit of reading Whitfield's and Williston's sermons to the people, but later wrote his own sermons. His labors were greatly blessed. He was held in honorable esteem by his fellow citizens in Hertford County, who elected him to a seat, unsolicited in the State Convention which met to consider the adoption of the Federal Constitution. He fell asleep in Christ in November, 1807, universally lamented.
At this late period it is impossible to ascertain the names of the delegates who represented the church in the Association in 1794-95. The records of the church are silent on the subject, and the oldest minutes of the Kehukee Association, now to be found, are those of 1796. That copy was preserved by the late lamented Luther Rice, and obtained from the archives of the
American Baptist Publication Society in Philadelphia, for reference in this work. In that year (1796) our church was represented by Nathan Garner and Silas Parker (uncle of deacon Silas Parker). The Association met in 1796 with the Meherrin Church. Report: three baptized, forty-seven in communion. The contribution was $1.56. In 1797 the number in communion was 58, delegates were Silas Parker and Christopher Cook; four baptized; contribution was $1.25. In 1798 the delegates were John Pender and Christopher Cook. Statistics: one baptized; 58 in number; contribution was $1.25. In 1799 the delegates were same as in 1798. Statistics: two baptized; sixteen whole number; contribution $1.03. In 1804 the Association again met with the Meherrin Church. It was about this time that Rev. Burkitt returned from a visit in the State of Kentucky and Tennessee and gave a glowing account of the great revivals in those states. The churches in Kehukee Association seemed to revive. Meherrin delegates to the association of 1804 were: Elder John Ware and William B. Cheatham; 62 were baptized: 240 in number; contribution was $1.90. In 1805 the church was represented by Elder Wall and C. Cook; 66 were baptized; 280 in number; contribution was $4.86.
In 1799, as was seen in the church statistics, her numbers were reduced to 16. As Rev. Burkitt's labors were irregular, on account of the numerous calls upon him. Sometimes several months would intervene between services, and then would be held during the week, when only a few could attend. The state of affairs became alarming, and as a last resort, application was made to the Association for relief: or, in the language of their petition, “for ministerial helps to administer the ordinances.” In answer to their petition, the Association appointed the following ministers to visit the church once in three months, namely: Amos Harrell from the church at Conoho, Martin County. Lemuel Burkitt from the church at Bertie; William Lanchaster from Maple Springs Church, Franklin County, and Jesse Read from Rocky Swamp Church, Halifax County, and by them the church was kept alive. An inspection
of the localities alluded to will enable us properly to estimate the sacrifices made by these ministers in attending to the request of the Association. In it we see an exemplification of the missionary spirit that well deserves our emulation. To every sincere Christian in that ancient Association, with which our churches were once all connected, it presents a green oasis in the dreary desert of Kehukee history, on which the eye delights to dwell.
Through many discouragements the church was enabled to maintain its visibility until 1802. At that time they were visited by Rev. Jno. Wall, a native of Sussex County, Va., and a member of the church in that county. At the invitation of the church he assumed the pastorate, and moved to Hertford, from Southampton, where he then resided. He became a member of the church by letter.
At this time, and for a few years before, a spiritual drought prevailed extensively. The church throughout the whole Kehukee Association, which extended from the Virginia line on the north, to Wayne and Beaufort counties on the south, and from the Atlantic on the east, to Warren and Franklin on the west, suffered in this distressing state of affairs. In all this region, composing twenty-nine churches, there were only seventy-two persons who put on Christ by baptism in 1799. No church suffered more than did the Bertie Church, at that time under the care of Lemuel Burkitt. Their number was greatly reduced, and the few who remained were in a cold and helpless state. Their pastor, deeply distressed at their sad situation, left them for a while and made a tour through Kentucky and Tennessee (this already referred to), in which he was absent four months. While in the West he witnessed a great revival which prevailed extensively among the churches in that region. With feelings greatly encouraged and joyous heart, he hastened home to his desponding flock, with glowing fervor he related the blessed scenes he had witnessed, and urged them to hope. The church was called together, their faults faithfully held up to their view, their lukewarmness reproved, and the only remedy was a return to their first love. Their hearts were moved to contrition, and
with sighs and tears they acknowledged their remissness. A day of humiliation, of fasting and prayer was appointed and faithfully attended. A reformation was effected, members of the church were active and prayerful; a better state of things very soon ensued. The congregation was eager to hear the preaching of the word; evening meetings were held, and “more persons attended them than formerly attended the house of God on the Lord's Days.” As might have been expected, a powerful revival broke forth. Great numbers professed religion, and the church was strengthened. This work extended to other churches. It reached the church at Meherrin in the summer of 1802. In less than two years about 160 were baptized. It is specially mentioned, as a remarkable circumstance, that our pastor “baptized as many as twenty-three in one day,” and in the words of the ancient chronicle, “Some very respectable characters in and about Murfreesboro were added to this church.” The influence of this work was felt for some years after its more powerful effects had subsided. In August, 1803, there was a prodigious excitement among the people. It occurred at a session of the Bertie Union meeting, held with this church. “It was supposed that there were four thousand people present. The weather proved very rainy on Sunday. There was a stage erected in the grove, and at 11 a.m. Rev. Burkitt ascended to preach. It was expected from the appearance of the clouds, that it would rain every moment, and before he was done preaching it did so. Notwithstanding this, the numerous congregation still kept together, and one thousand people were exposed to the rain without any shelter; some crying, some begging the ministers to pray for them, and some convulsed to the ground, and the greater part composedly stood and received the falling shower.” Rev. Burkitt's text, on this occasion was: “Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.” Ezekiel 47:5. While he was engaged in preaching in the grove, Rev. Robert Murrell was holding forth in the meeting-house, and a scene similarly exciting was being enacted. After concluding
his services in the grove, Rev. Burkitt proceeded to the church (Mr. Murrell still preaching) and exclaimed, as he passed through the dense throng, now intensely excited. “The Lord is here, too.”
How long this state of things continued is not known, but Mr. Wall's effective manner of preaching and fervent piety were wall calculated to foster a work of the kind. Although his constitution was not vigorous, yet he labored in his sacred calling with great industry. In addition to regular ministrations on the Lord's Day, Bishop Wall visited his flock from house to house for the purpose of engaging in prayer and devotional exercises. He appointed evening meetings in the different neighborhoods of his congregation which effected a great deal of good. It was pleasing to attend the church meetings, to hear the good that had been done at these social meetings. Many more were brought to acknowledge the truth at them than at the regular ministerial services at church on the Lord's day. Religion was then brought to every man's house; to the infirm and decrepit, who could not—as well as to the churlish and indolent who would not—attend the house of God. Often numbers were made to rejoice aloud in hope of sins forgiven.
The church was now greatly strengthened and continued to progress favorably under the auspices of Rev. Wall for many years afterwards. Indeed, she never declined to the low state from which she had risen.
As a faithful compiler of our history, we must now revert to circumstances, a recurrence to which causes deep sorrow and mortification of feelings.
The latter days of our highly favored Bishop Wall were mournfully obscured. The occasional indulgence of drinking ardent spirits led to the formation of a habit which unfortunately brought him to a sinful excess. His faithful flock stood it a while in silence and deep regret. The larger portion, baptized by his own hands, felt determined to sustain him as long as they could do so consistently with the obligations of our most solemn church covenant. They loved him with the ardor of a young convert's warm affection, they rejoiced in his joys, and
grieved in his sorrows, happy if they could only contribute to his gratifications. They withheld no earthly good in their power which they thought would minister to his comfort. They had purchased a tract of land and presented to him, and filled his domicile with many a token of affectionate regard. Evidence thickened upon them that their under shepherd was pursuing a downward road—they could no longer doubt. How sad! How mournful was the spectacle! How were their fond hopes to be blighted, their expectations to be disappointed, and their pleasant sunshine to be overcast by gloomy clouds. That sun which had risen and progressed so gloriously, in whose cheering beams they had so much delighted, was, to all human appearance, now to set in dim obscurity. And yet they knew not how to approach their pastor in the language of rebuke. How could the lambs of the flock adventure to discipline their leader? A sense of duty led them to adopt a decided course. Faithfulness to the cause they had espoused and to their convenant vows prevailed over their timed partiality. The March meeting of 1810 was a meeting that, to the elder brethren, was long to be remembered with sorrow and grief. It was on that occasion that the church resolved to clear her skirts of the sin of connivance, at sin in her pastor. Tears, bitter tears and deep drawn sighs marked the whole procedure. In great tenderness and affection he was arraigned before the church, and “it was ordered that the grievances of the church on account of Elder Wall's conduct be entered on the records.” The sentence of disapprobation was pronounced amidst the audible sobbing and down-cast looks of the people of God. It was a melting scene. There stood their venerable bishop, with locks blanched by the frosts of time, denounced by his own flock. His soul heaved within him, for he knew it was done in faithfulness—it was deserved. As the tears streamed down his furrowed cheeks, he seemed to awake to a keener sense of his lapsed condition. He meditated on it, and resolved that thenceforth “he would touch not, taste not, handle not the accursed thing.” Upon evidence afforded of his reformation, the church passed an order “restoring Brother Wall to fellowship.” Notwithstanding his reformation and
restoration to the church Rev. Wall never regained his former standing. In about two years afterwards he left the State and went to the west. He settled near Dover, small town on Cumberland River, about forty miles west of Nashville. Here he was bereaved of his wife, and intermarried with a Mrs. Denton, relict of John Denton, formerly of this county. He was happy in his new connections, and lived, honored, and respected by all. His course in Tennessee was such as become his profession. A personal acquaintance of his in the West wrote this of Rev. Wall: “Stood high in the estimation of the public as a Christian, a preacher and a citizen.” The precise date of his demise is not known, but about the year 1818. During the time that Rev. Wall was pastor of Meherrin Church, 176 persons were added to the church by baptism.
In 1804 (mentioned above) the Kehukee Association met with the Meherrin Church. At this time the name of Rev. J. Wright appears. He represented the Virginia Portsmouth Association. It was on this occasion, and in the Meherrin Church, that that eminent servant of God, Rev. Martin Ross, called up that famous resolution which led to the first general organization of the Baptists of North Carolina. On the 6th day of October, 1804, the query which had been presented to the Association of 1803, touching the duty of the Kehukee Association in regard to Missions, and referred to the session of 1804 for decision, was called up. After a most interesting and solemn discussion “it was declared to be the duty of the Association to engage in the work of sending the gospel to the heathen.” And this venerated spot has the honor of being the birthplace of the North Carolina General Meeting of Correspondence which was consequently merged into the Baptist State Convention. In March, 1808, the general meeting sat in this church, and again in May, 1813. In October, 1842, its offspring, the North Carolina Baptist State Convention held a memorial meeting with this church. The Chowan Association assembled here in 1812, 1821, and 1835. The last two sessions were signified as being the occasion when the subject of Freemasonry was introduced, and on both occasions provoked discussions of a most painful character.
Meherrin Church had been the mother of several churches. In 1804 the branch of this church worshipping at Ahoskie meeting-house, feeling itself strong enough to act independently, petitioned to be set off as a separate church. Their request was granted, and in October, 1805, they were received into the Kehukee Association, reporting sixty-seven in fellowship, represented by Rev. Hillory Morris and Nathan Saunders. The church at Ahoskie now has 627 (1929). In 1806 the branch at Middle Swamp, Gates County, presented a petition by the hands of N. Pruder, signed by twenty-five members, praying to be constituted into an independent church. Letters were granted. The Middle Swamp Church has, and is accomplishing great good. She has raised up several ministers; and is the mother of nearly all the churches in Gates County. In November, 1835, a flourishing branch was set off at Buckhorn Chapel, an independent baby. On the 22nd of November, 1839, twenty-one members were dismissed to constitute a church about four miles west from Winton. The church is now known as the “Church of Mt. Tabor.”
For the convenience of members residing in the town of Murfreesboro, another branch was constituted on the second day of July, 1843. This branch took immediate steps to build a place of worship in the village. The undertaking was commenced under circumstances extremely inauspicious. Besides the weakness of the body in a pecuniary point of view, the church was still burdened with a portion of the debt incurred by the erection of the meeting-house of the Mother Church in 1842. The project was denounced by some as absurd. It was however undertaken, relying upon a good Providence. Committees were Rev. G. M. Thompson, Brethren S. J. Wheeler, S. Palkinhorn, and Messrs. L. M. Cowper and Perry Carter. Bryan Bishop an architect of some taste, was appointed to superintend the erection of the house. A handsome lot (being a part of a beautiful grove in the center of the village) was purchased of Dr. Isaac Pipkin for one hundred dollars; and first of May, 1842, the carpenters commenced work. On the first Lord's Day in November following the house was dedicated to the service of
the Lord. The bishop (Meherrin Pastor) was assisted on the occasion by Rev. E. L. Morgan, of Richmond, Va., and Rev. J. V. Crosby, of the Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Wall's successor, Rev. James Wright, was called to the pastorate in April, 1812. The call was accepted, and for nearly twenty years she went in and out before the people. He moved from Virginia to Northampton, and there continued to reside until the time of his decease, which occurred suddenly on January 11, 1831. Rev. Wright was esteemed as a man of talents above mediocrity, and possessed some natural powers, which occasionally burst forth to the astonishment of his auditors. He was standing clerk of the Chowan Association from 1812 to 1828, and for some time afterwards he acted as moderator of the same body. His stern integrity and incorruptible honesty secured to him the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. While he was pastor he baptized 130 persons into the fellowship of this church. In 1824 a revival was conducted by Rev. James Douglas, a Presbyterian, aided by Revs. Graham and Hatch. Douglas was emphatically a man of God.
In the latter part of the year 1824, Andrew V. Edwards, a Canadian by birth, became a member of the Meherrin Church by letter from Potecasi. Mr. Edwards was a man of ardent zeal and ever disposed to be engaged in doing good. He set up prayer meetings in different neighborhoods, and although his language was very broken, his meetings were so numerously attended, that at the earnest request of the people, he held meetings on those Sundays which were not occupied by the pastor, in addition to his evening meetings in the week. His fervent appeals deeply affected the people, and soon a powerful work was manifested, which continued so long as Edwards lived. As a result of this work, pastor Wright baptized forty-six persons.
In May, 1830, Rev. James Delk moved into this vicinity and settled near the late Thomas Dean, Esq., at that time one of Meherrin's most efficient deacons. He was dismissed by the church at Sawyer's Creek and joined here by letter. During the year he preached occasionally in the Meherrin Church. Sometimes at Robert's Chapel and sometimes at private homes.
The next year he accepted a call to the pastorate of Meherrin Church.
A combination of causes at this time brought the church into a most lamented condition. A spirit of antinomianism had been growing in the church, which came into active collision with the sentiments of a portion of the members, now aided by the influence of an energetic pastor. But a more potent cause of trouble was the spirit of opposition to the pastor. This spirit was manifested with great caution, and its very concealment rendered the flame more violent when it did finally and fully appear. An opportunity was offered on the presentation of certain amended rules, by a committee that had acted in concert with the pastor. The rules (which were only a more expressive and better digested system of by-laws for the government of the church when engaged in secular business, than their former code) were adopted without a dissenting voice. Very soon it was rumored that the new by-laws were the work of the pastor, rather than of the committee. The pent up flame now burst forth, and produced a most unhappy state of affairs. Gathering up their strength, the disaffected party moved a reconsideration of the vote by which the rules were adopted, and rejected every article. Perceiving the deep excitement under which his brethren labored, and unwilling to be the means of irritating them, Rev. Delk withdrew from the church forthwith, and together with several valuable members, asked letters of dismission.
While the difficulties harassed the church, a pleasing work was progressing in the congregation residing around him, and by Dr. S. J. Wheeler in that part lying South of Murfreesboro. Many persons professed religion at these meetings, and had the church been in a harmonious state a much greater amount of good might have been effected. While strife and angry debate marked the proceedings of church councils, the Holy Spirit of peace and love reigned over these social meetings. They seemed to be almost the only means by which the church was kept together. As the result of them, forty-seven persons were added to the church by baptism.
In order to bring about a better state of things, and to restore peace among the members, it was resolved to call a council of
ministers to their assistance. Accordingly, a committee was appointed to invite the following preachers to it with them. Revs. R. F. Daniel, S. Murfree, George Williams, R. Lawrence, M. Piland, and John Harrell. A council, consisting of Messrs. Daniel, Murfree, Doughtry, and Harrell assembled in June, 1832, and after deliberation upon the situation of the church, they recommended a course which happily composed their agitations, restored the church to harmony, and their former pastor back to his pulpit. During the time of Rev. Delk's withdrawal from the church as its pastor, they called Rev. Mills Piland as a supply who served them until November, 1833, when Rev. Delk resumed the entire charge of the church at her request. His situation, however, was rendered so unpleasant, by reason of old jealousies in the minds of some of the members, that he resigned the pastorate, and preferred to operate for the good of the church as opportunity was offered. In August, 1834, Rev. John Harrell was invited to fill the pulpit, which invitation he accepted, and labored regularly for the church third Lord's Days and the Saturdays before. Mr. Delk continued in the vicinity and was ever ready to aid the church which were highly blessed and thirty-seven persons professed to have passed from death unto life, all of whom were baptized by him. In 1836, two licentiates (Goodman and Hill) engaged in a meeting of days, which resulted, it was thought, in the conversion of thirty-eight persons, the most of whom were immersed by Rev. Delk. Thus it will be seen that this minister baptized about 150 persons into the church, notwithstanding the difficulties under which he labored. If such success attended his labors while so unfortunately situated, what results might not have been experienced had the church coöperated with him in Holy things?
Rev. Delk left this part of the State afterwards and moved to Warrington, where he lost his wife in 1837, and afterwards to Franklin County, and from thence to Virginia. He then supplied as pastor at Meherrin Church. Then Rev. John Harrell supplied as pastor for a while.
In November, 1837, Rev. George M. Thompson was requested to preach once a month, on first Sundays, which had been the
time for regular meetings for more than fifty years. The quarterly meetings of this church always have been and are still held in February, May, August, and November, and after the church was deprived of ministerial services every Sunday, the services were held on the first Lord's Day, and Saturday before, in each month. While operating as a missionary for the Chowan Home Missionary Society, Mr. Thompson held a meeting of days with the church, during which thirty-eight persons professed to have found peace and were baptized by him. Owing to the distance at which Rev. Harrell lived from the church, and for other causes, he was induced to retire from the Meherrin pulpit in November, 1838. He terminated his mortal career on the 6th of November, 1844, greatly regretted. John Harrell had his faults, but a kinder heart and nobler feelings have seldom animated our fallen nature. He was an acting magistrate in Nansemond County, and truly he was a terror to evil action. No man acted with more promptness in restraining evil by the exercise of his official duty, than did Mr. Harrell. He was an excellent judge of human nature, a sound doctrinal preacher, and probably the best disciplinarian among all the pastors of Meherrin Church.
After Rev. Harrell resigned, the church called Rev. G. M. Thompson. In 1839, the church enjoyed a time of refreshing under the labors of the pastor, aided by two young men, Barkley and Harrell. Between thirty and forty put on Christ in baptism—most of them wives of the brethren, or other members of their families—rendering this movement a singular blessing to the church.
In 1840, Rev. Thompson moved his family into the village and commenced services in the week at candle-lighting, and from thence a new era dawned upon our prospects. At this time religion was at a low ebb in town. Members of the church were in a cold lifeless state. Scarcely were the outward forms of Christianity attended to. The house of God was too often exchanged for the tavern, and the distinction between professors and nonprofessors was lost. Efforts had been made from time to time, by the most acceptable ministers in the Methodist and
Presbyterian church to no purpose. The place seemed to be given over to coldness and obdurency of heart. Such a painful condition of religious declension deeply affected the little band of praying people, which met with the pastor, and their fervent prayers ascended to the throne of God that heaven might favor our citizens. In June, 1842, work broke forth which effected a great change, and perhaps, we cannot do better than to transcribe an account given of it in the Southern Church Repository, from the August number of that work: “On Sunday, 5th of June, 1842, the pastor preached to a large audience at the meeting-house in the suburbs. At candle-lighting Rev. Robert McNabb preached by invitation for us in the Presbyterian Church. Up to this time, Christians had been very lukewarm, although ministers of different denominations had labored faithfully. Among our own ministers were Rev. Hume and the president of Wake Forest College, who had been with us on two occasions, and other ministers of note among the Methodist and Presbyterians had labored in this place. Prospects in the commencement of the meeting were gloomy. On Monday (the next day) a prayer meeting was appointed to be held at 4:00 p.m. at which only six persons were present, and four of them were non-professors. The meetings were kept up until the 11th when one person was enabled to make a profession. Meetings now became more interesting; people came out, and services were held at sunrise, at 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m., and at 8:00 p.m. Indeed the house of God was scarcely without worshippers at any hour of the day. Religion became a matter of universal concern—merchants closed their doors, mechanics quit their shops, and notwithstanding the rain descended in torrents during the meeting, the church was thronged, and many in the throng were the most feeble and delicate ladies in the village.
The meetings were kept up for several weeks, and about 70 persons professed to have been converted, 48 of whom were baptized. The work extended to churches in the vicinity, and proved a blessing to many. The members in town were set off as a branch, and afterwards built them a house of worship.
A season of indifference followed this revival. This often takes place. It is to be regretted that all churches do not live up to their privileges, and thus enjoy a constant revival. For some years after the revival of 1842 the church relapsed into a cold and sluggish state; during the Associational year, from 1845, to May, 1846, not a single person was baptized, a circumstance almost without a parallel in the annals of the church. We are not to imagine that the real prosperity of a church is always indicated by its increase in numbers—this is a small advantage compared with growth in conformity to the character of the man, Christ Jesus. In these respects it is believed that the church had made constant progress. It cannot be denied, however, that those churches which are most faithful are generally blessed with the greatest ingathering of immortal souls. In this way the light of the church is best made manifest in the world. She reclaims the vile, reforms the wicked and leads the wayward to peace and heaven. Alarmed at her condition, the church determined at her meeting in July, 1846, that Friday before the first Lord's Day in August following should be set apart as a day of humiliation before God, and that a series of meetings should be held afterwards, during which the church would wait before the Lord, praying for an outpouring of His Spirits. The day was observed as designed, and the pastor (aided by Rev. Delk) commenced a meeting, which was continued at the mother church during the day and in the town with the branch at night, until the 7th of August when it closed. Several persons professed to have found peace during the week, and on the third Lord's Day in September following (being the 20th of the month) twenty-six persons were baptized by the pastor in the Meherrin, at the usual place of baptism.
At the beginning of Rev. Thompson's labors with the Meherrin Church there was a spice of that feeling pervading the church which had rendered some of his predecessors so unhappy. That feeling, to a great extent, was soon eradicated. Intimately allied to anti-missionism, it prevented the church from engaging in the missionary enterprise, as was her duty. This delusion soon passed away, and the church as a baby, became a fast friend of
missions. For the most part, the church has enjoyed great harmony and peace since 1838. On all important matters there is a perfect unanimity among the members: all are disposed to coöperate harmoniously in advancing the interest of the church, and in promoting the eternal interest of their neighbors. Whenever a difference of opinion obtains in any matter, no strife is engendered, a willingness to yield in love is manifested. Our people are becoming a reading people: nearly thirty numbers of our religious State organ, the Biblical Recorder, besides a number of other religious periodicals are circulated among them and a few brethren have taken fifty copies of the Macedonian (an exclusively missionary paper) for gratuitous distribution. Our meeting-house, once a contracted and badly-constructed edifice, has been rebuilt on an enlarged and corrected scale, with accommodations sufficient for the comfort of the large body of colored people who flock to our convocations at this time-honored spot.
The closing years of Brother Thompson's pastorate were clouded by misunderstandings that came between the pastor and Dr. S. J. Wheeler, and between Rev. Thompson and Rev. Battle. These troubles were settled before Rev. Thompson died. The troubles seemed to be settled August 4th, 1850, and on that very Lord's Day the church observed the Lord's Supper for the first time since May, 1848.
On Thursday, the third day of October, 1850, the following brethren were ordained as deacons: Elisha Vaughan, Elijah Vaughan and Wm. Vaughan.
Brother Wm. P. Britton followed Rev. Thompson as pastor of Meherrin Church. He served only two years, then death called him into the next life. These are some of the things that took place while he was pastor: In April, 1851, a committee was appointed to write a Church Covenant, a decorum and to consider the church's duty toward supporting the Gospel in the destitute sections of the Association. Also to consider a Sabbath School. In June of the same year it was decided to make two boxes, one for the male members of the church and their friends, and one for the women to place into these boxes for the support
of the Gospel as the Lord had prospered them. Rev. Moffett visited the church July, 1851, and placed before it the need of Indian Missions.
Rev. Britton died November, 1852, and the church draped in mourning the pulpit and each door for thirty days.
The church then called Rev. R. H. Land. He served one year. During this year the house was painted and the Association met with Meherrin Church. The Committee on Hospitality: Dr. S. J. Wheeler, Rochelle and Elisha Parker, collections during the year: pastor's salary $100.00, charity $19.95, Home Missions $4.11, and Association $3.00.
Rev. Jno. N. Hoggard was the next pastor. I shall not take time or space to mention all that took place during his pastorate of forty-five years. September, 1854, “Resolved that no member of church shall be requested to sit in conference longer than one and one-half hours unless special request be made to do so. July 6th, 1862, the church asked that Bro. John L. Lee be ordained to preach the Gospel. There was a great revival in the church in October, 1863, resulting in fifty-three additions to the church. In March, 1864, Rev. Jno. L. Lee, a member of the church, was invited to preach each third Sunday, Rev. Hoggard to continue his services each first Sunday. We do not know how long Rev. Lee preached for the church. In May and June of the year 1864, collections of money and vegetables were taken for R. E. Lee's Army. August, 1869, the church voted to put the church on a financial basis, each male member of twenty-one years should pay one cent per week, and each male member under 21 years of age and each woman should pay one-half cent per week, and that the church should say what the collections should go for. On Sunday, May 4th, 1872, collections for Home and Foreign Missions were taken amounting to $27.03.
The minutes of the church from 1875 to 1895, I have not been able to find, but the same pastor and the same clerk served in the church during this period. So by giving the resolutions of each of these men, drawn up by the church, we can get a connecting link that will somewhat close the gap. These resolutions will be given a little later, at their proper time and
place. Remembering the misplaced minutes, the first thing that meets our eyes of interest is: The house was reseated in 1896 at a cost of $30.00, and repainted in 1898. On the first Lord's Day in April the pastor and Rev. C. W. Scarborough met for the purpose of ordaining brethren J. T. Chitty, L. E. Griffith and W. S. Parker to the office of deacons. The West Chowan Association met with this church October 25th-27th, 1898. Committee on Hospitality, Brethren J. T. Chitty, J. B. Parker and J. E. Vaughan, Committee on Arrangements, Brethren W. S. Nelson, L. E. Griffith, W. R. Chitty, P. C. Parker, S. D. Cooke, P. E. Porter, A. R. Warren and Willie Joyner. C. H. Chitty and L. L. Parker were appointed ushers. L. M. Parker, W. F. Stephenson and H. T. Vaughan were chosen delegates. Minute Fund $2.50. Pastor Hoggard made the speech of welcome.RESOLUTIONS IN BEHALF OF REV. JOHN N. HOGGARD
In January, 1854, Rev. John N. Hoggard became pastor of the Meherrin Baptist Church. For forty-five consecutive years he has gone in and out before us as our under Shepherd. During this time he has baptized five hundred and forty-one souls into the fellowship of the church, ninety-four of whom were colored who joined the church before the Civil War.
During this long period the greatest harmony has existed between pastor and people. His Godly life has impressed and emphasized the Gospel that he has so faithfully preached, and now as he is prevented by the infirmities of age from continuing longer in the active pastorate, Resolved: that we assure him of our continued affection and unbounded confidence; that he has our prayers for sustaining grace during his declining years; that we shall cherish the memory of his labors of love among us and that we shall pray the comforts of the religion of Jesus Christ, of which he has been a faithful herald for half a century, may be his in an abundant measure; that a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the church minutes, a copy given to Brother Hoggard, a copy sent to the “Biblical
Recorder” “Patron and Gleaner,” and a copy to the “Murfreesboro Index” for publication.
W. S. NELSON,
J. B. PARKER, Committee.
The above resolutions were submitted December 3rd, 1898. Brother Hoggard died May 10th, 1899, at 7:30 p.m.
Reverend Hoggard served the church at a salary of $100.00 per year. His salary was never increased during his forty-five years as pastor.
As pastor Hoggard had resigned in the spring of 1898 (yet served the church till the close of the year), the church asked Rev. J. T. Riddick to follow Rev. Hoggard as pastor, but Brother Riddick had made arrangements to go to another Association, so he declined the call.
The church then called as its pastor [illegible text] [illegible text] A. Speight. He took charge as pastor January, 1899, at a salary of $150.00 per year.
On Sunday morning, March 4th, 1900, just before Sunday School, the house caught on fire. Not many had gathered at this time, a few white and a few colored men extinguished the fire, but not until much damage had been done. The church met in conference the next morning (Monday) and the following brethren were appointed a committee to repair the damage done by fire: J. T. Chitty, W. S. Nelson and J. E. Vaughan, L. M. Parker and J. B. Parker. The work was soon done at a cost of $61.00. The church paid to all mission boards the sum of $45.00 in the year 1900.
In January, 1903, the church bought an acre of land of William Reid west of the church building at the amount of $25.00 for cemetery. May 7th, 1905, the following brethren, J. K. Parker, H. N. Griffith, L. A. Vinson and A. K. Warren were ordained deacons by the Presbytery, J. A. Speight, C. W. Scarborough and E. J. Harrell. There were 206 additions to
the church while Rev. Speight was pastor, 48 by letter, 25 by restoration and 131 by baptism.
Rev. Jesse McCarter followed Rev. Speight as pastor. He came as a young man full of energy, just out of Wake Forest College, he was here only nine months, from January, 1906, to October, 1906, but the church was stirred and moved and quickened. Salary was increased from $150.00 to $200.00. Local objects and missions amounted to $529.22 that year. There were 23 additions to the church.
Rev. A. T. Howell supplied the pulpit October, November and December, 1906.
Rev. W. B. Waff became pastor January, 1907. He served two years. Church decided to have twice a month preaching, salary $350.00. The church decided to extend indefinite calls to pastors and no more yearly calls. Brother J. J. Parker, the present Church Clerk, was made clerk April 5th, 1907. Brother J. C. Chitty and wife presented to the church a communion set, which was much needed and much appreciated. There were 26 additions to the church during Brother Waff's pastorate. Brother H. B. Hines was also licensed to preach under Brother Waff, as noticed elsewhere.
The church realized a great loss at this time in the death of Brother Oris Parker, Church Clerk. It is very fitting that the resolutions of respect of this good man, adopted by the church, be placed just here:RESOLUTIONS OF RESPECT TO BROTHER ORIS PARKER
Brother Oris Parker, the son of Silas Parker and grandson of Peter Parker, was born November 10th, 1829, and died May 25th, 1907, being 77 years, six months and fifteen days old. He was twice married, first to Miss Mary Gatling and after her death to Miss India Joyner, with whom he lived happily for 42 years, and who, with one son, Ola S. Parker, survives him.
In early life he made a profession of religion and was baptized into the fellowship of Meherrin Baptist Church of which
he remained a consistent and faithful member until removed by death. He was elected Assistant Clerk of Meherrin Church in 1851, and elected Clerk in 1852, which office he filled acceptably until called to his reward, a period of 55 years. He was seldom absent and discharged his duties with rare faithfulness. He was straightforward, honorable and upright in all his business transactions, while his home life was sweetened and brightened by his kindness. But he is gone and we miss him much as we gather and see him not at his accustomed place, and in as much as it has pleased our Heavenly Father to take from us by death our beloved brother, therefore, be it resolved:
First—That we bow in submission to His will with hearts full of gratitude for Brother Parker's long and exemplary life and for his long and faithful service.
Second—That Meherrin Church has lost a faithful member and a valuable officer.
Third—That we extend to the bereaved ones our heartfelt sympathy, commending them to the care of the loving Father and the guidance and comforting influence of the Holy Spirit.
Fourth—That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon Meherrin Baptist Church Minutes, a copy be sent to the bereaved family and a copy sent to the “Biblical Recorder” and a copy to the “Murfreesboro Index” for publication.
Submitted by your Committee:
W. B. WAFF,
W. S. NELSON,
H. B. HINES,
J. J. PARKER.
Rev. J. A. Speight now takes charge as pastor of the Church for the second time. His second pastorate was during the years 1909 and 1910, and while located at such a great distance it was impossible to render the very best pastoral service, yet his second pastorate was rewarded with a number of souls for the Master, and his pastorate as a whole during his last year was successful and helpful from a Spiritual standpoint as he was a real Gospel preacher.
Rev. C. P. Scott began serving the church January, 1911. For two years and two months he walked as a Prince in and out before the people of Meherrin Church. He was a great preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was not a great pastor, but a preacher. It was discussed and a committee appointed to raise $1,500.00 for the improvement of the church building. On April 5th, 1911, the committee consisting of the following brethren: J. W. Underwood, J. K. Parker, J. C. Chitty, L. T. Garris, J. W. Warren and J. J. Parker, but on August 4th, 1911, on motion of Brother J. T. Chitty the above motion was done away with. Surely this is the beginning of the agitation and discussions among the members that led to the erection of the present nice building, erected in 1914 and 1915.
Rev. Scott resigned as pastor the 1st day of February, 1913, resignation accepted.
Rev. C. W. Scarborough was asked to supply the pulpit, which he did until the church secured a pastor.
The church then turned to Rev. J. L. Jenkins of Albemarle, N. C., the call was extended to him May 1st, 1913, but he declined the call as he had just accepted a call elsewhere.
Rev. E. F. Sullivan was called May 31st, 1913, the call was accepted and he began his work June, 1913, and for six years he led the church to dream dreams, see visions and do things. He cannot preach as does Dr. Geo. W. Truitt, but he is full of energy and works with the determination of a “Nehemiah.” His first great work as pastor was erecting the present beautiful cement house of worship.
January 31st, 1914, the following committee was appointed to get plans and specifications for new church building: J. C. Chitty, J. W. Warren, J. K. Parker, C. C. Parker, L. T. Garriss and J. J. Parker; committee for securing funds: C. H. Chitty, J. E. Vaughan and L. B. Jenkins.
A called Conference of the Church on 1st Saturday in May, 1914, to appoint a Board of Trustees consisting of five brethren to proceed with the construction of the new building, which
Board of Trustees were as follows: J. E. Vaughan, J. T. Chitty, John C. Chitty and J. J. Parker.
Later the following committee was appointed: Jim Davis, J. E. Brittle, C. C. Parker, Dallas Warren and J. K. Parker, which committee appointed the 31st day of October, 1914, for the purpose of arranging the time to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone. Hence the work progressed till on the 8th day of March, 1915, on motion it was ordered that news be spread on our records that the new church building at Meherrin, begun March 1st, 1914, was completed and paid for on the 6th day of March, 1915. It is a great credit to the pastor in charge and the Church to build and pay for such a house of worship as we now have in such a short while. Probably it is fitting just here to mention dates when each house of worship was erected during the great history of Meherrin Church.
No. 1—Built of hewn logs 20 × 25 feet, year 1735.
No. 2—Rebuilt 1775.
No. 3—Rebuilt 1802, cost $142.00.
No. 4—Rebuilt 1826.
No. 5—Rebuilt 1842.
No. 6—Rebuilt March, 1914-March, 1915, cost $7,000.00.
We also find that under this man of God, Rev. E. F. Sullivan, the church went to every-Sunday preaching January, 1917. Brother L. B. Jenkins, our efficient Church Treasurer, was elected Church Treasurer March 3rd, 1917, upon resignation of Brother J. E. Vaughan. The church paid to all mission objects in the year 1917, $517.23, baptisms this year twelve, total membership 356. Brother Sullivan was a great Sunday School worker, to which attention is called under the subject of Sunday Schools on another page.
Rev. H. G. Bryant followed Brother Sullivan as pastor. He began his work January, 1918. For one year and nine months Brother Bryant served well the Meherrin Church as pastor, his greatest work probably being with the young people in the B. Y. P. U's. Attention is called to this subject on another page. He also did a great work in the Sunday School. Another
great step taken under Brother Bryant was the agitation of a parsonage, and on September 4th, 1919, a committee consisting of brethren J. K. Parker, W. J. Gatling, W. J. Brown, J. G. Liverman and J. J. Parker were appointed to locate site and draw plans for a parsonage. Brother Bryant on account of bad health resigned and went into the Piedmont section of North Carolina in September, 1919, so the building of the parsonage was left to the next pastor.
Rev. J. P. Bennett came to Meherrin in January, 1920, and served as pastor until the spring 1921. Brother Bennett was a great preacher of the Gospel. He has but little to say outside of the pulpit. The building of the parsonage was his great work while pastor of Meherrin Church, it was completed about the time Brother Bennett closed his pastorate here, the cost of the building, lot, etc., was around $4,000.00.
Brother H. G. Bryant came back in April, 1921, as pastor for the second time. He served more than four years during this pastorate. The church grew in every way under his pastorate, especially the B. Y. P. U's. There was a great increase in gifts to local objects and denominational contributions. Gifts to all objects in 1923, amounted to $3,067.05.
At the resignation of Brother Bryant, the church turned its eyes to Rev. B. Townsend, the call was accepted and Brother Townsend began his work as pastor in January, 1926. His labors continued with this church through March, 1929. He was what we may designate as a general worker. He placed emphasis upon the church and all its organizations, he wanted to see the church and all of its machinery going together. If he has any hobby we might say it could be found along these two lines, viz.: Evangelism and W. M. S. He led the church to see the necessity of building a bath room at the parsonage and to place new pews in the church building, the work was started for them both and left for the following pastor to see that the work was continued. There was a gradual increase in church contributions along all lines, the contributions in 1928 amounted to $3,838.61. Brother Townsend was called to the Salem Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, N. C., during the
first days of the year 1929. The call was so strong and commanding, and the opportunity so great till he could not see how it could well be turned down, yet the tie was so strong and binding on the Meherrin Field till it made it hard to give an affirmative answer to the Salem call, he hardly knew what to do, he loved the people of this field, the people loved him as much or more than he did them. He finally decided that God wanted him to go, so to sad hearts he said “I shall go,” so he closed his labors and bid adieu to the sad folk the last of March, 1929. The prayers and good wishes of these sad, good people follow him.
The present pastor, the writer of these lines, was called by the Meherrin Church the third Sunday in March, 1929, and he took up his work with the Church the first of May following the call. This is the 13th day of September, 1929. I have been here four and one-half months, the bath room is finished and paid for, the new pews for the Church Building are being built, the first quarter payment was made when the order was given for the pews and we are expecting the pews to be here and installed by the 15th of October. There have been 29 additions to the church under the new pastor. The present membership of the church is 420.DISCIPLINE
One is impressed very much at the rigid discipline of the church as he reads the minutes all through the history of the church from its first days till the closing days of the Nineteenth Century. The church seems to become a little lax in discipline in the early days of the Twentieth Century.
Throughout its history, the church would discipline the strongest members (even its pastors) when they broke the covenant and decorum of the church, they would have to come before the church in conference when guilty of drinking liquor, dancing, card playing, for even attending a shooting match, they would have to confess their sin, ask God and the church to forgive them, or the church would ex-communicate them. The Church would withdraw fellowship for non-attendance and for failing to pay church dues.
The church has been very prompt in looking after its members through committees, visiting the non-paying members, the careless, the poor, at times helping to purchase a horse, a cow; helping to pay bills in case of sickness. Our churches throughout the land would be in much better condition than they are should they discipline and care for those in need as this church did in those days.SUNDAY SCHOOL
We do not know just when the church organized its first Sunday School, we find the following question was discussed in Church Conference May, 1835: “Resolved, that we should establish a Sabbath School at this place.” In July, 1856, the church urged the pastor to preach on the great need of the church members attending the Sunday School, which had much declined at that time. In June, 1864, the church advised that a Sunday School be started for the colored children.
There was held a Sunday School Institute with the church in 1872. The Sunday School Convention met with the church in 1912, Brother J. J. Parker was instructed to purchase three thousand plates to use during the Convention.
The Sunday School did not do any great thing till Rev. E. F. Sullivan became pastor in 1913, he soon stirred the people to see the need of a real Sunday School. It was not long before the school became a well organized, standard Sunday School. It is now a graded, Standard A-1 Sunday School, with 40 teachers and officers, having 340 scholars enrolled. Brother J. K. Parker is the efficient Superintendent and has been for 23 years.WOMAN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY
We do not know just when the women were organized, but we do know the women have been active throughout the history of the church. Women have been appointed on different committees in the Church for more than a hundred years, they are now very active. Mrs. J. K. Parker is now President, there are 80 members on roll. There is an active Y. W. A. and also an active Sunbeam Band. These societies raise hundreds of dollars yearly.
B. Y. P. U's
The B. Y. P. U. was first organized in 1914. These organizations grew and were more active while Brother H. G. Bryant was pastor than at any other time. There are three active B. Y. P. U's in the church; a Senior, Intermediate and a Junior. These B. Y. P. U's have won five State Banners; the Seniors two, the Intermediates two and the Juniors one.
I shall now give in chronological order the names and length of service of each pastor in the history of Meherrin Church:
|Rev. Joseph Parker||1729-1773|
|Rev. William Parker||1773-1794|
|Rev. Lemuel Burkett||1794-1800|
|Revs. Amos Harrell, Lemuel Burkett, William Lancaster and Jesse Read were appointed by the Association to visit Meherrin Church for two years.|
|Rev. John Wall||1802-1811|
|Rev. James Wright called April||1812-1830|
|Rev. James Delk||1830-1832|
|Rev. Mills Piland supplied||April, 1832-November, 1833|
|Rev. James Delk||November, 1833-July, 1834|
|Rev. John Harrell||August, 1834-November, 1838|
|Rev. G. M. Thompson||November, 1838-1850|
|Rev. Wm. P. Britton||January, 1851-November, 1852|
|He was greatly loved, the church draped in mourning the pulpit and each door for thirty days when he died.|
|Rev. R. H. Land||January, 1853-December, 1853|
|Jno. N. Hoggard||January, 1854-December, 1898|
|Rev. J. A. Speight||January, 1899-December, 1905|
|Rev. Jesse McCarter||January, 1906-October, 1906|
|Rev. W. B. Waff||January, 1907-December, 1908|
|Rev. J. A. Speight||January, 1909-December, 1910|
|Rev. C. P. Scott||January, 1911-March, 1913|
|Rev. E. F. Sullivan||June, 1913-September, 1917|
|Rev. J. F. Colston supplied||October-December, 1917|
|Rev. H. G. Bryant||January, 1918-September, 1919|
|Rev. J. P. Bennett||January, 1920-March, 1921|
|Rev. H. G. Bryant||April, 1921-December, 1925|
|Rev. B. Townsend||December, 1925-April, 1929|
|Rev. J. M. Duncan||May, 1929|
In these lines we see when the Associations and Conventions met with Meherrin Church:
The Kehukee Baptist Association met here September 24th, 1796, Elder Lancaster preached the introductory sermon, using Psalms 4:12 as his text.
It met here again Friday before the first Sunday in October, 1804, and continued four days. Introductory sermon preached by Elder Philemon Bennett, text Zechariah 4:9. “Letters from 31 churches were read, from which it appeared there had been baptized since the last Association 554, and that there were now in fellowship 3,255.”
“The North Carolina General Meeting of Correspondence” met in this Church March, 1808—then again May, 1813, October, 1842.
The Chowan Association met here 1813, 1821, 1835 and 1853.
The West Chowan Association met here in 1898. The West Chowan Association is to meet here again the 29th and 30th of October, 1929, and this time it is to celebrate the “Two Hundredth Anniversary” of the Old Church.HER MINISTERIAL SONS
In 1804 she called one of her members, Hilary Morriss, to ordination as a traveling evangelist. When the branch of Ahoskie was erected into an independent church, he was dismissed and was afterwards installed as its pastor, and continued to serve them until the time of his decease in August, 1825.
Jacob Archer was licensed to preach in November, 1804, but of his history nothing is known of interest.
Rev. Snipes was a member of this church. His labors in Northampton County were greatly blessed, especially in the vicinity of Robert's Chapel, where he will long be remembered. Arthur Byrd and a man by the name of Brasington were also licentiates of this church. The former was an eccentric man and often brought himself into needless difficulties, which caused him to fall into disrepute. The latter was but an ordinary speaker, and but little is now known of him. Samuel
(a blind man of color) better known by the sobriquet of “Blind Sam,” was a member of this church. He was licensed to preach in October, 1816. His ready wit and natural abilities drew crowds of both white and colored people wherever he went. From Virginia to the South Carolina line he was well known. Oftentimes he was a welcome guest in the mansions of the gentry, many of whom were not even professors of religion, but even to these his natural good sense and unaffected piety rendered him a welcome visitor. His labors were blessed to the spiritual good of many persons. There were several other colored members who were accounted as preachers, and who were instruments of good, especially among people of their own color, but the church did not see fit to grant them a formal license. Among them may be mentioned Joseph of Deberry, an exemplary Christian, and believed to be a sincere lover of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother J. I. Rochelle was ordained as minister in 1853.
July 6, 1862, the church asked that Brother John L. Lee be ordained to preach the Gospel.
Brother H. B. Hines was ordained to preach July 4, 1908. Brother Hines is the son of brother and sister G. W. Hines. His mother is dead, his father is still living and has reached the ripe age of 87. Rev. H. B. Hines has held successful pastorates at the following places, as missionary in Hyde County, was pastor at Elm City, N. C., and Spring Hope, N. C. He is now at Manteo, N. C., and is pastor of two churches: Manteo and Roanoke Island. He has been there for nine years.
Great is the history of this old church, it has done well in the past. With such a great history in the past, and such a wonderful Holy Spirit to lead, may we, pastor and flock, follow the guidance of the Spirit and do greater things in the days to come than our forefathers did in days gone by.
The first building in which the church worshipped was built of hewn logs 20 × 25 feet. Our present place of worship is a large, well arranged building constructed of cement blocks that would do credit to many of our towns.
In closing may we have a word to say about Dr. S. J. Wheeler. We do not know just when he was made Clerk of the Meherrin Church as many of the minutes are destroyed up to 1834, but we do know that he was the efficient Clerk from 1834-1856. The minutes show that he was very prompt, hardly missing a conference during the years 1834-1851. He wrote a history of Meherrin Church from its beginning up to the year 1848. I have used this history very freely, in fact most all of it in the compilation of the history that is now being placed before you. Dr. Wheeler and wife received letters of dismission from this church May, 1867.
“Our task is performed, our history recorded. We cannot close this sketch without recording our humble gratitude to Him who hath blessed us thus far. In publishing this little book the church erects her Ebenezer. Here will we raise our glad hands and exclaim “Hitherto hath the Lord been with us.”
“Since the organization of this church nearly two thousand (as we believe and hope) have been trained in the ways of righteousness and taught the way to Heaven. The greater part of them have ceased from their labors, our ancient pastors sleep with their flocks and we, their descendants, are thus privileged to review their lives and actions. Let us learn wisdom from these lessons, for soon we shall be called to that unseen world to give an account of the manner in which we have improved our present opportunities. Let us be useful while we can, conscious that our work on earth will soon be done.”
J. M. DUNCAN.
September 16th, 1929, Murfreesboro, N. C.
MEMBERSHIP MEHERRIN BAPTISIT CHURCH
|M. W. Davis||Ernest Nelson|
|Mrs. S. C. Vann||A. W. Liverman|
|W. J. Brown||Irvin Joyner|
|R. C. Vaughan||Ocie Carter|
|Elisha Lawrence||Mrs. W. J. Davis|
|J. [illegible text] Davis||W. J. Vaughan|
|Bailey Warren||Mrs. George Rountree|
|J. C. Chitty||J. M. Duncan|
|K. E. Futrell||Godwin Jenkins|
|Dock Vinson||Mrs. M. W. Davis|
|Miss Mary Liverman||Mrs. Bailey Warren|
|C. A. Warren||Harvey Joyner|
|Russel Vinson||Mrs. J. B. Johnson|
|Cola Davis||S. T. Liverman|
|T. W. Vinson||Miss Virginia Davis|
|Mrs. Ralph Blow||Miss Alla Vaughan|
|Miss Alta Chitty||Mrs. R. L. Vinson|
|Miss Clonnie Vinson||Mrs. W. M. Vinson|
|Mr. J. D. Warren||Miss Essie Mae Vinson|
|Miss Virgie Davis||Miss Ansia Vinson|
|Miss Janie Brown||Miss Grace Vinson|
|Miss Julia Vinson||Fannie Blanche Vinson|
|N. B. Britt||Clayton Vinson|
|Rupert Davis||S. C. Vann|
|L. T. Garris||J. H. Warren|
|Miss Eva Vinson||Mrs. C. T. Warren|
|Luther Vinson, Jr.||Harold Vinson|
|Tommie Vinson||Mrs. Eley Warren|
|Richard Vann||Bernice Warren|
|John Norfleet Warren||Mrs. Collin Parker|
|Mrs. John Underwood||Miss Frances Brown|
|Mrs. W. R. Garris||Mrs. Charlie Joyner|
|Mrs. N. P. Britt||Mrs. B. F. Carter|
|Johnnie Britt||Reginald Chitty|
|Mrs. Lloyd Vinson||Mrs. E. L. Chitty|
|Miss Dorothy Liverman||Mrs. Carlie Warren|
|Mrs. King Parker||Mrs. K. E. Futrell|
|Miss Bettie Sue Joyner||Mrs. W. J. Brown|
|Miss Bettie Walter Jenkins||Thelma Brown|
|Shirley Liverman||A. M. Joyner|
|Mrs. B. S. Liverman||Alice Carter|
|L. L. Parker||L. T. Johnson|
|Miss Carrie Parker||Velma Chitty|
|Marie Parker||Arthur Nelson|
|J. J. Parker||Mrs. C. T. Griffith|
|Paul Parker||L. B. Jenkins|
|Louise Underwood||J. G. Liverman|
|Mrs. G. L. Vann||A. T. Liverman|
|Mrs. Dallas Warren||P. C. Parker|
|Virgie Askew||Mrs. Russel Vinson|
|K. E. Futrell||Miss Stella Parker|
|Mrs. J. M. Duncan||Mrs. Fred Parker|
|Irma Davis||Mrs. J. J. Parker|
|Bailey Garris||Walter Raleigh Parker|
|Mrs. N. E. Carter||Mrs. R. H. Underwood|
|Mrs. Harvey Joyner||O. W. Vinson|
|C. H. Chitty||Maggie Warren|
|C. T. Liverman||Mrs. Charlie Revelle|
|Mrs. Elisha Lawrence||M. J. Wise|
|Olivia Harrell||William Brown|
|Mike Vinson||W. R. Garris|
|Minnie Vinson||Mrs. A. M. Joyner|
|Ola Gray Vinson||Margianna Carter|
|Mrs. Ausia Vinson||Mrs. L. F. Johnson|
|Miss Myra Parker||Bertha Chitty|
|Lloyd Vinson||Emmet Davis|
|Mrs. Clayton Vinson||Albert Parker|
|E. E. Vann||Mrs. Mike Vinson|
|Gwyndolin Vann||Mrs. J. G. Liverman|
|Emmett Warren||Zelma Liverman|
|Sudie Warren||Charlie Vinson|
|Bennie Liverman||Mrs. C. C. Parker|
|Mrs. T. W. Vinson||Ada Outland|
|G. W. Vinson||Asa Parker|
|Mrs. E. E. Vann||Luther Vinson|
|Earl Vann||Jessie Vinson|
|Gilbert Warren||Mrs. Charlie Vinson|
|Mary Vann||Mrs. Collin Parker|
|Rubin Warren||Mrs. Clarence Parker|
|Mrs. Bailey Warren||Mrs. G. W. Vinson|
|Virgie Davis||T. B. Vann|
|Myrtle Brown||Mrs. J. D. Warren|
|H. M. Carter||Brownie Warren|
|Irvin Joyner||Viola Warren|
|Mrs. C. H. Chitty||Vernice Warren|
|Hartwell Liverman||T. K. Warren|
|Mollie Nelson||Alice Wise|
|W. J. Gatling||Clarine Davis|
|Mrs. L. B. Jenkins||Mrs. William Brown|
|George Vinson||N. E. Carter|
|Mrs. W. J. Vinson||Cecil I. Joyner|
|Mrs. P. C. Parker||H. L. Chitty|
|Douglis Vinson||J. W. Underwood|
|Clarence Parker||Mrs. W. J. Davis|
|J. K. Parker||Irene Vaughan|
|J. J. Parker, Jr.||Mrs. W. J. Gatling|
|Mrs. B. A. Porter||Miss Rosa Lee Liverman|
|G. T. Underwood||Miss Lucy Liverman|
|Mrs. O. W. Vinson||Miss Lara Ruth Parker|
|Ralph Blow||Mrs. Douglas Vinson|
|J. T. Warren||T. H. Vinson|
|Julia Futrell||Mrs. J. K. Parker|
|Earl Brown||J. T. Parker|
|Adel Davis||Edna Porter|
|Billie Garriss||J. E. Vaughan|
|Mrs. H. M. Carter||J. H. Vinson|
|Mrs. Irvin Joyner||Cola Askew|
|Mrs. J. C. Chitty||George Parker|
|Thomas Liverman||Everett Butler|
|Mattie Davis||Mrs. J. T. Parker|
|Grady Garris||Mrs. J. W. Underwood|
|Mrs. Cecil Joyner||G. L. Vann|
|Mrs. H. L. Chitty||Dallas Warren|
|Mrs. J. W. Underwood||Mrs. Cola Askew|
|Hazel Liverman||W. P. Futrell|
|Mrs. R. C. Vaughan||Johnnie Vann|
|R. L. Vinson||Lyda O'Neal|
|Mrs. Godwin Jenkins||Tallie Lassiter|
|Mrs. Luther Vinson||H. G. Lassiter|
|Mrs. Jessie Vinson||J. W. Graham|
|Leone Vinson||Melvin Vinson|
|Mary Elizabeth Parker||Julia Britt|
|Sallie Vinson||Philip Vinson|
|Mrs. T. B. Vann||Edward Butler|
|Archie Warren||Richard Lee Lassiter|
|C. T. Warren||Retha Outland|
|Charlie H. Warren||Retha Lane|
|Eley Warren||Lizzie O'Neal|
|Mrs. T. K. Warren||Reba Lane|
|Mrs. Everett Butler||M. J. Wise, Jr.|
|Lillie Mae Garriss||Lenwood Wise|
|Charlie Joyner||Julia Vaughan|
|B. F. Carter||Richard T. Vann|
|J. B. Johnson||Clinton Outland|
|E. L. Chitty||George Wise|
|Donia Davis||Milton Vinson|
|C. T. Griffith||Helen Vann|
|Norfleet Gatling||Mildred Davis|
|W. M. Vinson||Rosa Vaughan|
|Cecil Liverman||Stanly Askew|
|Mildred Liverman||J. H. Outland|
|Beatrice Vinson||Dorothy Irene Tillery|
|Joseph Parker||George Rountree|
|J. D. Parker||Maude Vann|
A PARTIAL LIST OF THE OLD MEMBERSHIP OF
MEHERRIN BAPTIST CHURCH
|Jno. Joiner||David Watson|
|W. M. Joiner||Mrs. Vann Warren|
|O'Conwell Davis||Mrs. Fannie Parker|
|Nathan Warren||A. W. Darden|
|F. M. Capehart||Thomas Barnes|
|Benjamin Reynolds||King L. Jones|
|J. J. Rochelle||Wm. Vaughan|
|W. M. Liverman||Elisha Vaughan|
|Elisha Brett||Robert Rogers|
|Mrs. Anthony Bottom||John Jones|
|W. P. Britton||Isaac Carter|
|Nancy Smith||John Harrell|
|Corine Jane Joyner||Henry Hedgpeth|
|Nancy Lassiter||C. H. Wall|
|Rebecca Boone||J. T. Brett|
|James Grantham||J. E. Brett|
|Bennett Strickland||W. E. Brett|
|Elijah Strickland||J. N. Beasley|
|B. J. Wall||R. C. Benthall|
|Conwell Farmer||S. R. Benthall|
|Nelson McJoiner||Fleetwood Butler|
|Henry Lassiter||Robert Brett|
|S. C. Woodard||John L. Beasley|
|Ora Parker||J. T. Boyette|
|Silas Parker||J. P. Brittle|
|Henry D. Jenkins||J. T. Brickle|
|William Darden||Edward Butler|
|S. J. Wheeler and Wife||A. R. Brett|
|Elisha Parker||J. T. Butler|
|E. Woodard||H. G. Bryant|
|Sam Darden||Mrs. H. G. Bryant|
|Jethro Darden||T. C. Carter|
|B. Rogers||J. W. Carter|
|W. A. Chitty||Nat Griffith|
|J. T. Chitty||W. M. Griffith|
|W. R. Chitty||H. B. Hines|
|O. P. Chitty||H. T. Hunter|
|W. E. Carter||B. L. Ivey|
|Claud Carter||Mills Joyner|
|Walter Carter||Mat Joyner|
|S. D. Cooke||Henry Johnson|
|J. O. Carter||Andrew Joyner|
|James Chitty||L. C. Johnson|
|Nash Carter||T. M. Joyner|
|Charlie S. Cooke||Fred Johnson|
|W. J. Davis||W. J. Joyner|
|Luther Davis||Norfleet Joyner|
|W. P. Davis||D. C. Joyner|
|Walter Edwards||C. C. Jenkins|
|A. R. Futrell||Walter Johnson|
|Walter Francis||Leroy Joyner|
|Bartel Francis||P. A. Johnson|
|J. H. Griffith||Sidney Johnson|
|L. E. Griffith||William Joyner|
|W. P. Garris||M. J. Liverman|
|A. W. Griffith||M. G. Liverman|
|J. E. Griffith||Jas. A. Liverman|
|J. D. Gardner||B. F. Liverman|
|Chas. T. Griffith||C. E. Liverman|
|James Gardner||Henry F. Liverman|
|W. P. Griffith||W. H. Liverman|
|Wallace Garriss||W. C. Liverman|
|Lewis Griffith||J. L. Liverman|
|Jack Garris||R. S. Maddrey|
|W. H. Griffith||Woodard Nelson|
|J. J. Garriss||W. S. Nelson|
|Bruce Gatling||J. G. Nelson|
|Rodney Gatling||William Nurney|
|John Gatling||Abram Nelson|
|Claud Gatling||J. A. Outland|
|O. Parker||W. P. Stephenson|
|W. T. Parker||W. P. Stephenson|
|F. W. Parker||W. T. Snipes|
|J. B. Parker||W. C. Taylor|
|H. T. Parker||J. W. Underwood|
|W. T. Parker||A. J. Vaughan|
|P. E. Porter||W. J. Vinson|
|N. H. Pope||J. E. Vinson|
|Jos. F. Parker||H. T. Vann|
|Jesse Parker||John Vinson|
|L. M. Parker||Thomas Vinson|
|E. L. Parker||Wayland Vinson|
|Alpheus Parker||Gamma Vinson|
|Elmer Parker||Beta Vinson|
|Wilmer T. Parker||Harvey Vinson|
|Dillard Parker||W. J. Vaughan|
|B. E. Parker||Leroy Vaughan|
|C. C. Parker||Kindred Vann|
|Berry Pope||Alphonso Vaughan|
|Isaac Parker||J. M. C. Vann|
|Daniel Parker||William Vann|
|James W. Parker||J. M. Vick|
|J. D. Parker||Lewis Warren|
|Clayton Parker||J. M. Wise|
|Della Pope||J. P. Wilson|
|R. J. Ricks||W. J. Wilson|
|W. M. Ricks||A. K. Warren|
|W. F. Stephenson||W. J. Warren|
|Eugene Stephenson||James A. Warren|
|Soloman Smith||J. L. Warren|
|J. H. Stephenson||Walter Warren|
|B. Townsend||Joseph Wall|
|Mrs. Lenora Townsend||J. W. Warren|
|Ruth Townsend||Collin Warren|
|Joyce Lee Townsend||W. B. Waff|
|Carr Stephenson||W. C. Jones, Col.|
|Willie Suez||Hester Allen|
|Claud Adkinson||Cornelia Coman|
|Mary A. Adkinson||Mary O. Chitty|
|Georgiana Adkinson||Bessie M. Carter|
|Ruth Adkinson||Brownie Chitty|
|Martha Beasly||Mattie I. Chitty|
|Sarah Babb||Ella Cooke|
|Harriett M. Butler||Mary Cooke|
|Martha T. Boykin||Mary Carter|
|Mary E. Brett||Effa Cooke|
|Alfreida Blow||Nora Copeland|
|Temperance J. Benthall||Fannie M. Cooke|
|Mary Beasly||Louisa Carter|
|Chetta Bell||Lorena Chitty|
|Rosa Beasly||Ola Chitty|
|Annie Butler||Jessie M. Chitty|
|Georgianna Butler||Jessie O. Cooke|
|Sallie B. Brett||Ida E. Davis|
|Martha Beale||Mary A. Davis|
|E. P. W. Britton||Virginia F. Davis|
|Martha J. Boyette||Margaret Draper|
|Della Blow||Bessie E. Davis|
|Sallie Blow||Bettie R. Davis|
|Maggie Butler||Bula Davis|
|Lucy Brett||Martha A. Davis|
|Bettie T. Butler||Francis A. Futrell|
|Essie May Brown||Annie M. Futrell|
|Lucy Butler||R. A. Futrell|
|Estelle Brett||Adelia Futrell|
|Mamie G. Brett||Addie Futrell|
|Ida M. Brett||Bessie B. Futrell|
|Fannie Brett||Mamie Futrell|
|Lala Brett||Rozena Futrell|
|Bruce DeBerry||Annie C. Futrell|
|Nettie Butler||Sarah T. Garris|
|Martha Carter||Mary A. Glover|
|Harriet Chitty||Nellie G. Garris|
|Parthenia Chitty||May Griffith|
|Nettie Griffith||Emma Joyner|
|Margianna Griffith||Mattie Lee Joyner|
|Minnie Glover||Florence A. Joyner|
|Minnie Gardner||Alice Knight|
|Mattie F. Gardner||Alfreida Liverman|
|T. E. Gardner||Mary P. Liverman|
|Annie Griffith||Martha R. Liverman|
|Armitta Griffith||Mary A. Liverman|
|F. M. Gardner||Perla Liverman|
|Bula M. Garriss||Martha Liverman|
|Lula Gatling||Martha S. Liverman|
|Sarah Garriss||Annie C. Lawrence|
|Mary Gatling||Lorena Liverman|
|Ethel Griffith||Mamie Liverman|
|Louisa Holloman||Mary M. Liverman|
|Mary F. Holloman||Omega Langston|
|Fannie Holloman||Essie Liverman|
|Blannie Holloman||Martha C. Liverman|
|Julia W. Hunter||Norma Liverman|
|Geneva Hunter||Margaret Liverman|
|Gertrude Holloman||Mamie Liverman|
|Mary Holloman||Reva Liverman|
|Jessie Holloman||Ella Liverman|
|Martha Ireland||C. P. Liverman|
|Mahala Johnson||Shilomith Martin|
|Nancy Joyner||Zoe Maddrey|
|Eliza F. Joyner||Fannie Martin|
|Eliza M. Joyner||Emiline Nelson|
|Rebecca J. Jenkins||Laura Nelson|
|Susan Joyner||Sallie Nurney|
|Mary Johnson||Rebertha Nelson|
|Nannie B. Joyner||Maggie M. Nelson|
|Annie E. Joyner||Martha A. Nelson|
|Mariah E. Joyner||Elizabeth Nelson|
|Ella J. Johnson||Martha E. Nelson|
|Eva Joyner||Willie Nelson|
|Bettie Joyner||Sarah Nurney|
|Bettie L. Nelson||Georgianna Sumner|
|Eva Outland||Rosa Sewell|
|Captula Parker||Hesta Suez|
|Isabelle Porter||Ellen J. Sumner|
|Mary E. Parker||Mary Taylor|
|Margeanna Parker||Nettie B. Taylor|
|Francis A. Parker||Louisa Underwood|
|Laodicea Parker||Florence A. Underwood|
|India M. Parker||Ella May Underwood|
|Emma J. Porter||Hattie Bell Vaughan|
|Martha C. Parker||Cathrine Vinson|
|Henretta Parker||Christianna Vaughan|
|Sarah Parker||Mary Vaughan|
|Blannie Parker||Roxanna Vinson|
|Susan Parker||Sarah E. Vaughan|
|Daisy D. Parker||Carrie T. Vinson|
|Brownie G. Parker||Dora Vinson|
|Sarah E. Parker||Elizabeth Vinson|
|Ruby M. S. Parker||Bessie C. Vann|
|Emma M. Parker||Martha R. Vinson|
|Kittie G. Parker||Mary R. Vinson|
|Bettie D. Parker||Annie B. Vinson|
|Mary F. Pope||Georgia A. Vaughan|
|Pattie B. Parker||Beulah A. Vaughan|
|Callie Parker||Lilly Vinson|
|Effa T. Parker||Nettie Vick|
|Fannie Pope||Mertice Vinson|
|Martha F. Parker||Amy Wall|
|Grace Parker||Mary A. Wise|
|Sallie Parker||Susan S. Watson|
|Lala Parker||Martha Warren|
|Mamie B. Parker||Minnie Wall|
|Roxie Pully||Alfreida Worrock|
|Gladys Parker||Nannie D. Warren|
|Nannie Parker||Iva Warren|
|Ada M. Parker||Julia Warren|
|Uretta Riddick||Gertrude Warren|
NAMES OF COLORED FREE MALE MEMBERS
|Martha Woodard||Ida C. Warren|
|Ida Warren||Bettie Warren|
|Mary Warren||Mary E. Waff|
|Sarah Warren||Willie L. Waff|
|Nora Warren||Ruth P. Waff|
|R. Tancie Warren||Clair O. Waff|
|Ola May Warren||B. Townsend|
|Sallie Warren||Mrs. Lenora Townsend|
|Vernie Wise||Ruth Townsend|
|Rosa B. Woodard||Joice Lee Townsend|
NAMES OF FREE COLORED FEMALE MEMBERS
|Andrew Reynolds||Richard Shepherd|
|Willis Melton||Riddick Bowens|
|William C. Jones||Benjamin Reynolds|
|Asa Weaver||John Thomas Reynolds|
|Patsey Yeates||Edith Whitehead|
|Amanda Weaver||Hester Weaver|
|Acre Reynolds||Lucia Boone|
|Rebecca Boon||Francis Darden|
|Harriet Heathcok||Juliet Memton|
|Mary Reynolds||Elizabeth Weaver|
|Permelia Heathcok||Elizabeth Boon|
|Elizabeth Carey||Virginia Scott|
|Emma Bowzer||Sallie A. Weaver|
|Lucy Brett||Mary E. Reynolds|
|Roxanna Shepherd||Martha Ann Reynolds|
|Mary Eliza Shepherd||Elizabeth Bateman|
|Vaster Weaver||Martha Bowzer|
NAMES OF COLORED MEMBERS DRAWN
|Phillis Shepherd||Bob Lawrence|
|Sarah Wise||Lucinda Lassiter|
|Tom Scott||Matilda Lassiter|
|Rose Lawrence||Cherry Harrell|
|Matilda Magett||Dorcas Griffith|
|Nancy Boone||Charlotte Strickland|
|Phillis Jordan||Lucinda Moore|
|Hannah Barnes||Esther Parker|
|Cherry Thompson||Susan Wise|
|Fanny Wheeler||Frank Vaughan|
|Mary Parker||Clara Vaughan|
|Hannah Strickland||Lavina Adkins|
|Edith Jenkins||Ned Parker|
|Chana Liverman||Sam Porter|
|Essex Watson||Alfred Vinson|
|Judith Cowper||Bozi Parker|
|Philis Griffith||Susan Parker|
|Hannah Beale||Fanny Thompson|
|Celia Strickland||Jane Wheeler|
|Silvy Wise||Yansom Porter|
|Abram Barnes||Vina Wheeler|
|Mavis Darden||Henry Parker|
|Rebecca Parker||Acre Parker|
|Treasey Vaughan||Mary Parker|
|George Vaughan||Holland Parker|
|Treasey Gatling||Charity Vaughan|
|Jane Vinson||Ned Vaughan|
|Edith Vaughan||Jordan Vaughan|
|Miles Bryant||Wiatt Dunston|
|Betty Bishop||Lucy Capeheart|
NAMES OF FEMALE COLORED MEMBERS
|Sara Wise||Julia Vaughan|
|Rose Lawrence||Susan Parker|
|Matilda Maget||Jennie Benns|
|Fillis Jordan||Frances Trader|
|Hannah Barnes||Parthena Parker|
|Cherry Thompson||Anarchy Vaughan|
|Fannie Wheeler||Julia Watson|
|Mary Parker||Flora Watson|
|Hannah Strickland||Permelia Jones|
|Chana Liverman||Matilda Porter|
|Judith Cowper||Etta Vaughan|
|Maria Darden||Jane Revie|
|Lisa Vaughan||Parthena Shepherd|
|Matilda Lassiter||Margaret Vaughan|
|Cherry Harrell||Tisey Deanes|
|Dorcas Griffith||David Barnes|
|Charlotte Strickland||Malvi Vinson|
|Esther Parker||Mills Southall|
|Susan Wise||Peggy Trader|
|Clara Vaughan||Edith Wise|
|Lavina Adkins||Elizabeth Dunston|
|Susan Parker||Dennis Deanes|
|Jane Wheeler||Annis Picot|
|Viny Wheeler||Mary Parker|
|Acre Parker||Laura Wise|
|Holland Parker||Barbara Joiner|
|Charity Vaughan||Washington Parker|
|Margaret Vaughan||Henry Vaughan|
|Malva Vinson||Jack Vaughan|
|Laura Wise||Lewis Vaughan|
|Barbara Joyner||Eli Poole|
|Susan Vaughan||Susan Vaughan|
|Ann Vaughan||Cesar Vaughan|
|Partha Vaughan||Annis Vaughan|
|Harriet Vaughan||Partha Vaughan|
NAMES OF MALE COLORED MEMBERS
|Harriet Vaughan||Frances Trader|
|Julia Vaughan||Parthena Parker|
|Susan Parker||Anarchy Vaughan|
|George Anna Moore||Julie Watson|
|Hannah Moore||Flora Watson|
|Mary Moore||Rebecca Magett|
|Jennie Benns||Mary Moore|
|George Anna Cowper||Archer Vaughan|
|Essex Watson||Henry Parker|
|Abram Barnes||Ned Vaughan|
|Mills Bryant||Jordan Vaughan|
|Bob Lawrence||Mills Southall|
|Frank Vaughan||Washington Parker|
|Ned Parker||Henry Vaughan|
|Samuel Porter||Jack Vaughan|
|Alfred Vinson||Caesar Vaughan|
|Bosa Parker||George Vaughan|
I went in the MULE BUSINESS in 1912. I thank the public for their patronage. I still sell mules and appreciate your trade.
J. M. VICK,
Conway, N. C.
E. C. Vick
J. M. Vick
Vicks Service Station
We went in business in 1925—and still in business. We thank the public for their patronage.
E. C. VICK, Manager
Shop With Wynn Bros.
Murfreesboro's Greatest Store
If It's Furniture
We've got it—
Can get it—
Or it isn't made—
M. H. Mitchell & Co.
139 Railroad Street
AHOSKIE, N. C.
The Peoples Bank
An Old and Well Established Institution
MURFREESBORO, N. C.
We are pleased to have this opportunity to call the attention of the readers of this history to the Peoples Bank of Murfreesboro, which was founded in 1904, and has for more than a Quarter of a Century provided ample banking facilities for this community and section.
This bank takes this opportunity to express its appreciation of your loyal patronage to ask that you will continue your banking connections with us, promising the same uniform courtesy and attention that has been given your financial interest for the past TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.
D. C. BARNES, President
URIAH VAUGHAN, Vice-President
W. C. FERGUSON, Vice-President
ROBERT J. BRITTON, Active Vice-President
W. GARY PARKER, Cashier
E. STANLEY BRETT, Asst. Cashier
HERMAN H. BABB, Asst. Cashier