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An Historical sketch of the First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Date: 1939 | Identifier: BX9211.R62 H58 1939
An Historical sketch of the First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina / Mrs. T.H. MacPherson. [Rocky Mount, N.C. : First Presbyterian Church, 1939] 141 p. : ill., ports. ; 23 cm. Title on cover : History First Presbyterian Church. Addendum sheet inserted in pocket in back. more...



diadem vignette]

Rocky Mount, N.C.


Norman Johnson

of the


Fleur-de-Lis and Eagle emblem]

Mrs. T. H. MacPherson

“History, as it lies at the root of all science is also the first distinct product of man's spiritual nature; his earliest expression of what can be called thought.



An Editorial Note from The Christian Observer

“There is a sense in which we should live in the present, it is also true that we have no right to live only for the present. We have a profound obligation to the future. As many of our troubles of today are due to the carelessness or ignorance or sin of the past, so also are most of our blessings the fruit of the sacrifices, courage, uprightness and faithfullness of our fathers. Upon the way we live and work today will depend the kind of heritage we hand down to those who will come after us. They have a right to expect from our hands a better Church than it was when its tasks were committed to us.”


by MRS. L. F. TILLERY 1926

In compiling this sketch of The First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina I have had to rely, to a great extent, on such information as I could obtain from older residents in this locality. The records of the early life of our Church were not only exceedingly brief but a great many happenings or incidents were vague. The dates given are approximately correct. I regret that I have not been able to get a full and detailed account of all who have participated in the work of the Church, as I feel that some who should have been mentioned, are left out for lack of information. To all those who have so kindly given help, I feel deeply grateful.


Thw writer of this Hostorical Sketch, Mrs. L. F. Tillery (Minnie Vyne) was a native of Zeeland, Michigan. She came to Rocky Mount, North Carolina soon after her marriage. She united with the Presbyterian Church on June 17, 1888, and was active in leadership in the work of the Church from the beginning of her membership.

She taught in the Sunday School, organized Young Peoples’ Societies and was President of the Missionary Society repeatedly. She was the first President of the Auxiliary which was formed of the various women's societies, the young peoples’ societies and the Philathea Bible Class, meeting quarterly. She followed Mrs. H. E. Brewer who had been Chairman. Mrs. Brewer had been actively instrumental in forming this new organization.

It was fortunate that Mrs. Tillery assumed the task of writing this Historical Sketch, because she and her husband, Luther Fentress Tillery, who was raised in Rocky Mount, had been connected with this Church within the first decade after its organization and knew by tradition many facts that were not recorded in any records.

Mrs. Tillery was made Honorary President of the Woman's Auxiliary, which had been organized under the Circles Plan in 1921. This tribute was paid her on April 12, 1926 because of her valuable contribution of the historical material and because of the inspiration of her leadership through the years.

She died at her home on North Main Street in Rocky Mount, December 31, 1934 and was buried in Pineview Cemetery.

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

by Mrs. L. F. Tillery 1926

In the year 1874 in a village of some 300 inhabitants near the Tar River, called Rocky Mount, six people who had decided to make their homes here met for a conference. They were Presbyterians and finding no Church of their faith decided to hold meetings for prayer at their respective homes. To these pioneers in God's field of labor, to their faith in His promise, “Ask and you shall receive,” to their vision and dreams of the Church, not only where they could worship but that would stand as a Beacon, casting its rays to light wayward souls to God, stands the First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount today, a direct answer to prayer, and with grateful hearts we do honor to those who labored with undiminished zeal through trials and discouragements to have their dreams come true. This pioneer band was saddened by the loss of one of their active members, Dr. Burnett, in the fall of 1874.

In the early seventies Rocky Mount had only one Church, the M. E. Church located near the site of our present Library. Across the Tar River, however, was a Primitive Baptist Church. The Methodist Church was a large, white building surrounded by three galleries. It stood in a beautiful grove of trees, a large cemetery in its rear. It was lighted by tallow candles and later coal oil lamps were used. It was heated by two large wood stoves. The pulpit was built in true Colonial-style. It was a tall peaked-up affair, reached by winding stairs. The Church had a large bell which could be heard for quote a distance. At this time Church and Sunday School services were well attended for the people had time and a desire to worship God. Much good was done in this community by this zealous Christian denomination.

There were very few Presbyterians in Eastern North Carolina. It was said that they were as rare as good roads and railroads. In regard to Railroads, we had the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line passing through the town which ran several trains daily. Beside this, there was a short line to Tarboro, however, it did not extend beyond that point. A train left Tarboro in the morning for Rocky Mount, returning that night, stopping en route to fill the wood box with fuel.

Orange Presbytery, which included our present Albemarle Presbytery, occupied a large area in Eastern North Carolina. In February 1874 they organized the Presbyterian Church at Tarboro. The Presbyterians in Rocky Mount sent a request to the Presbytery asking them to make this a preaching point. It was customary to send out an elder and layman to spy out the land. After this was done Presbytery acceded to their request and arrangements were made by which the Reverend J. W. Primrose, who was doing evangelistic work and was with the Church at Tarboro, to preach here once a month. Later he was succeeded by the Reverend T. J. Allison. On the corner of West Thomas and Main Streets, where now stands Dixon's Tin Shop, was a cotton gin and over this was what was known as Burnett's Hall, where preaching services were held and were well attended. When the Masonic Hall was erected just across the street from where our Manse now stands, the use of the Hall was offered to any religious educational body or any organization that stood for the uplift or good of the community. Gladly the Presbyterians took advantage of this and services were held there till 1880. The Reverend R. A. Wailes succeeded Rev. Allison but died soon afterward. Several members were added to the roll and all names were inscribed at the nearest Presbyterian Church, Tarboro, and it was indeed a day of rejoicing when, on December 9th, 1878, the memberships were transferred to Rocky Mount and Orange Presbytery organized the first Church at Rocky Mount with ten members. They were: Mrs. M. B. Arrington, Midd Ida Bassett, Miss Viola Tillery, Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Sadler, Mrs. Lucy S. Thorpe, Mrs. S.A.E. Bunn Mr. W. L. Thorp, Mrs. Bettie Thomas, Mrs. S. E. Burnett. It was a great sorrow that Dr. Henry R. Thorpe, who had spared no effort in the Church work, died shortly before the church was organized, in 1878. The first

meeting of the session was held May 30th, 1880. The Reverend L. H. Baldwin was appointed as Pastor by the Presbytery to hold services once a month. The following were appointed elders: Mr. O. R. Sadler, Mr. J. H. Nurney, and W. L. Thorp. Steps were taken immediately to build a suitable house of worship.

In New Berne North Carolina lived a loyal Christian, Mr. George Allen, whose idea of extending the Lord's work as much as he was financially able was to purchase and present a lot in any community where the building of a First Presbyterian Church was contemplated. Hearing of the proposed plan in Rocky Mount, he came and purchased the three lots on which the present Church and Manse now stand. Presenting the deed with one condition attached—that the land could never be used for anything except Church purposes. The approximate cost of the lots was $300.00. It was a wonderous gift and filled all hearts with thanksgiving. Subscription funds were solicited, and met with generous responses. The merchants (as was customary at that time) wrote to wholesale establishments north that they patronized, asking for subscriptions, and there was great rejoicing over the first check for $50.00 from a Baltimore firm. Mr. S. K. Fountain owned a planing mill and he gave the timber and had it cut out for the Bell Tower. Many gave building supplies, such as timber and hardware. Money was borrowed and in a short time the church was ready for worship services. It stood unpainted for several years. This was an eyesore to the ladies of the Church. They were very anxious to paint the Church building and proposed selling the Manse lot to pay for it. Fortunately the proviso in Mr. Allen's deed prevented the sale, so they went to work and in various ways raised the money and succeeded in their efforts after all. After Rev. R. A. Wailes’ death, Presbytery arranged for the Reverend J.N.H. Summerell, who was pastor at Tarboro, to preach at Rocky Mount once a month. He was the first pastor to whose salary the Church was able to contribute, but regardless of our protests and to our great regret, on January 27th, 1888 Presbytery decided to abolish the plan of having one pastor serve two churches. Rev. Mr. Summorell was retained for all his time at Tarboro. The Church was now on a more solid foundation. The membership had increased from ten to

thirty. J. J. White was elected an additional elder and John H. Thomas was elected the first deacon in the church. A call was extended by the Church to the Rev. R. P. Pell, who accepted and was installed as pastor January 1889. He resigned in April 1891. He is now President of Converse College in South Carolina. From then until 1893 the Church had no regular pastor, but fortunately succeeded in having James Thomas from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton N. J. as student supply for two summers. The Reverend Frederick D. Thomas was called and came to us in February 1893 for three-fourths of his time. The fourth Sunday being given to Enfield. He was pastor here for six years, until January 1899, when he accepted a call to Elberton, Georgia. As we had no manse it was decided to build one for the Thomas family and $900.00 was borrowed for this purpose. A five room cottage was erected. Ever since the organization of the Church the Ladies had had an Aid Society. Now the membership had increased and every possible effort was put forth to help pay the debt on the Manse. A series of entertainments were planned by Mrs. L.F. Tillery, Misses Lillie and Octavia Sadler, who were two of the principal performers, and others, assisted by the young people of Rocky Mount. A platform was built in a vacant store and the performers donned gingham aprons, climbed on step ladders and painted the stage scenery and drop curtains, and a series of plays were presented. Admission at that time was ten and twenty-five cents, but a goodly sum was realized by this method. In 1895, Mr. Thomas endeavored to organize a Missionary Society, but instead it was decided to have the Aid Society study Missions and so the The Ladies’ Aid and Missionary Society was formed with Miss Lucy Thorpe as President. As the Church was in need of a new organ, the Session granted the ladies permission to organize an Organ-League. Much discussion prevailed as to whether this should be just a Church organ of a pipe organ. It was decided that this was not an opportune time to purchase a pipe organ and just a good organ was purchased and installed. Mr. Thomas left for his new field of labor in September 1899. Dr. W. D. Morton, a Synodical evangelist, who had accepted our call extended him, came and was installed as pastor September twentieth. With the exception of the fifth Sunday, when he did evangelistic work for the Synod,

Dr. Morton's entire time was given to this church.

In the summer of 1900, W. L. Groom and L. F. Tillery spent an afternoon driving in the country near town looking for a community that would be benefited by the establishment of a Sunday School. Three miles from town they found a little school house and after talking with several residents of the neighborhood and finding them favorably disposed, they sent out a notice for a meeting at the School Building the following Sunday, when they organized a Presbyterian Sunday School with some fifteen members. Mr. Tillery was Superintendent, Mr. Groom, Vice-superintendent, W. C. Joyner, Secretary and Treasurer. Accompanied by Miss Embra Morton, Miss Lucy Thorpe and others, they drove from town every Sunday when the roads were passable, to conduct the Sunday School. Dr. Morton held preaching services as often as possible. The erection of a chapel was decided upon. It was built and dedicated on December 29th, 1901 and a Church was organized. They named this vigorous preaching point, “Bethlehem”. Mr. W. L. Groom followed Mr. Tillery as superintendent from 1903 to 1908, when Mr. S. K. Fountain followed him and remained there until Octavious Joyner, one of the Sunday School boys, was made superintendent. It is interesting to note that Bethlehem won the banner given by the Presbytery to the School contributing the largest amount per capita for Sunday School Extention, and that they in turn are doing Missionary work. Dave Joyner, one of their members now being superintendent at Morton Church. Rev. W. B. Neal has for several years done splendid work at Bethlehem and Morton Churches. A two-story Manse was erected for him at Bethlehem, and Bethlehem contributes $600.00 yearly to the Pastor's salary.

In 1903 our second Missionary Sunday School was organized at Lemon Joyner's, seven miles from town. The teaching force going out on Sunday consisted of L. F. Tillery, Superintendent, Miss Lula White, Miss Mary McDearman, Miss Lucile Jones, Miss Neva Daniel (later Mrs. S. S. Henry) Miss Janie Williams, Miss Black, Miss Lucy Hall, A. B. Jenkins, S. K. Fountain and S. S. Henry followed Mr. Tillery as Superintendents until they in turn were followed by Levi Daughtridge, one of the Sunday School boys. A nice Chapel has been erected

here and named Morton Church. In February 1924, the corner stone of this building was laid by William Morton, the only grandson of Dr. W. D. Morton.

About 1903 Mr. L. F. Tillery, assisted by workers from Rocky Mount organized a Sunday School in a tobacco price house at Drew Joyner's some several miles from town. This School was continued for two years and a great deal of good accomplished, but owing to lack of a suitable building and for other reasons it was deemed wise to discontinue it.

In 1914 Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Scott organized a Presbyterian Church at Powells School House in Edgecombe County. They were assisted by Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Cummings. Meeting with much encouragement, a call was sent out for additional workers. In response to their request, S. K. Fountain, L. F. Tillery, Miss Leora James and others went out every Sunday. Mr. Tillery was Superintendent of this Sunday School, later Mr. J. W. Keel was made Superintendent and others have contributed their services. Dr. Morton arranged for preaching services and a Church was organized with some twenty-three members and was called Tillery Church. Our present pastor, the Reverend Willard Conger, conducts services there weekly, the weather and roads permitting. Mr. F. M. Pridgen, Superintendent of a flourishing School and Mrs. Willard Conger, as leader of the young ladies’ work there, has met with wonderful success. This School is especially fortunate in having a large number of good singers who contribute much to the services.

About this same time, Mr. W. L. Groom organized a Presbyterian Sunday School at Juvenile, several miles out on the Wilson Road. He was assisted by workers from town. Successful work was done there until its membership was absorbed by the newly organized Second Presbyterian Church.

In September 1914, Mr. H. E. Brewer organized a Sunday School in Union Hall near the oil mill on Cokey Road. Mr. Brewer and F. M. Pridgen were made Superintendents and were assisted by Mrs. A. A. Northcott, Miss Marguerite Conyers, Mrs. J. H. Raynor, Mrs. William Fountain and others. Rev. Morton and Rev. N. H. McDairmid

who came here in June 1915 for work at our Mission Points, Mr. Crane, Rev. William Black and others going but for preaching services and a Church was organized to be called the Second Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. June 18th, 1916, with twenty members. E. M. Turner and N. C. Mincy were elected Elders.

Rev. H. N. McDairmid was the first pastor, having charge of this and other Mission Points. In 1818 the members asked us to build a Church in that locality. Walter Davenport and L. F. Tillery presented them with a corner lot nearby on the Wilson Road, and steps were taken to secure funds to commense the building. Much credit is due Mrs. A. A. Northcott, Miss Conyers, Mrs. J. H. Raynor and others of the congregation who worked with untiring zeal to raise funds. The present membership there is nineth three. The Rev. F. H. Scattergood became pastor in 1921. He was followed by the Reverend J. A. Boyd, who remained only a few months. In about 1922 the attractive brick Church building was completed with the exception of the interior work and equipment. In order to finish this Mr. W. A. Hart, of Tarboro, presented the Church with $500.00.

Rev. J. A. Satterfield is the present pastor and Mrs. Satterfield is president of the Woman's Auxiliary. Our Church contributes $900.00 a year to the pastor's salary, Bethlehem $600.00 and the Synod and Presbytery $400, and the congregation $400.00. the paster of this Church also has charge of the Churches at Bethlehem and Morton. Mr. W. U. Guerrant, Mr. Vick and other student supplies have at various times worked at our Mission Points.

In 1902 the first children's society was organized by Mrs. L. F. Tillery and called The Ivey Band. It was composed of young girls from five to twelve years of age. Annie V. Tillery was made president, Carrie Barrett, Secretary and Treasurer. It was a combined Aid, Missionary and Social Society and at stated intervals they gave a Missionary program in the Church. The society existed for several years and the money they made, about $150, was given to help buy the pulpit furniture for our present church.

The Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society was reorganized in 1905 and continued its existence until 1917 when in connection with the Aid Society it was merged to an Auxiliary with Mrs. H. E. Brewer as President. (according to the findings of the Historian these Societies kept their separate existence till 1921, but had formed an Auxiliary of all the societies meeting together once a quarter.) We find such names as the following as Presidents of these Societies: Mrs. O. R. Sadler, Mrs. John Thomas, Mrs. J. W. Hines, Mrs. L. F. Tillery, Miss Mary McDearman, Mrs. A. P. Thorpe, Mrs. Henry Thorpe, Mrs. D. J. Rose, Mrs. W. G. Weeks, Mrs. Stanley Matthews, Mrs. W. L. Groom, Mrs. H. E. Brewer, and others.

The first young ladies society formed in the church was in 1914 with twelve members, with Mrs. Jarvis Tillery as President and called the Young Ladies’ Guild. Later the name was changed to the Dorcas Society. This Society was very active, increased in membership and remained in existence until 1921 when it joined the Auxiliary, which enabled us to organize the present Auxiliary with the circle plan. Of this Auxiliary, Mrs. H. L. Hicks was the first President. She was succeeded by Mrs. Henry R. Thorpe, who in turn was followed by Mrs. R. B. Spencer, who at present holds the chair. (1925)

A Boy Scout Troop was organized in 1914, and the same year the Christian Endeavor Society by Mr. R. M. Wilson. At the present time we have four Christian Endeavor Societies.

In 1918 the Miriams were organized with twelve members by Mrs. L. F. Tillery with Virginia Thorpe as President. Almost doubling its membership, it was divided the following year into a senior and junior band. These girls took upon themselves the responsibility of clothing an orphan at Grandfather's Orphanage.

In 1906 a congregational meeting was called to decide whether it would be better to repair the church or to build a new one. It was decided to move the church on an adjoining lot and to erect a new one on the present site. Later the Church was sold to a colored

congregation and is now an E. E. Church. A building committee composed of H. E. Brewer, A. P. Thorpe, W. L. Groom, Trustees elected: W. S. Clary, S. K. Fountain, L. F. Tillery, W. L. Groom, Murdoch McRae: Contractor and Builder, Mr. J. R. Rose. The corner stone on our new building was laid in 1907, and owing to a business depression, work on the Church was hampered but active work was resumed in 1908. In May 1907 finding the old manse inadequate, it was decided to sell it and to erect a new one upon the present site. This plan was carried out and we now have a commodious and comfortable manse. Three years ago steam heat was put in the building. Another organ league had been formed to raise funds to buy a pipe organ for the new Church, but it was voted to use this money to paint the Manse. November 8th, 1914 was a day of rejoicing when with all debts liquidated, our Church with appropriate ceremonies was dedicated to the service of God. In this same year a Children's Society was directed and sponsored by Mrs. A. P. Thorpe and Mrs. Sam Henry. Having again succeeded in raising funds for a pipe organ, a committee was formed consisting of H. E. Brewer, chairman, with Mrs. H. E. Brewer, Mrs. Will Fenner and Miss Carrie Barrett to ascertain and purchase the best make of organ. This was installed in February 1914 and Mrs. E. G. Hornbeck engaged as organist. In appreciation of her services as an organist which had been given without compensation since 1894, the Church presented Mrs. Brewer with a gold pin. Assisting Mrs. Brewer during this period were: Miss Carrie Barrett, Miss Mary McDearman, Miss Stella Fountain and others. Since the organization of the Church we find the names of the following who rendered valuable services as organists: Misses Bessie Griffin, Lillie Sadler, Eliza White, Mrs. John Snyder and Miss Nellie Groom, who has served for several years and is at present giving her service without remuneration for Sunday School and prayer meeting.

Like a thunder bolt out of a clear sky came the announcement on April 15th, 1918, that with the early dawn our beloved pastor, W. D. Morton, had rested from his labors and passed on to his reward. From far and near came a sorrowing multitude to pay tribute to the man whose life had been a blessing and a benedication.

It was decided by the congregation not to erect a cold shaft to his memory but to fulfill his last wish, i.e., that of building a model Sunday School building.

The Reverend T. P. Allen was extended a call to our Church in the summer of 1918 and installed pastor about September 27th. He resigned in January 1920, to do evangelistic work in West Virginia.

Three young men, who were members of our Church have entered the ministry: Mr. William Copeland, now a pastor in South Carolina, Mr. George Taylor, who after graduation from Union Theological Seminary was sent by the Foreign Mission Board to Brazil and Mr. Flourney Morton, son of our pastor, W. D. Morton, having lived in our midst since childhood, beloved by all, it was with great sorrow to the entire congregation when during his pastorate at Farmville in 1919, the summons came for him and we placed him to rest beside his father. Miss Leora James, one of our members and who was closely associated with our Church work was accepted by the Foreign Mission Board in 1916, and sent out to Brazil. Both she and Rev. George Taylor are meeting with success in their chosen fields of labor. Miss Gertrude Pierce, one of our girls, was sent to and graduated from the Assembly's Training School in Richmond, Virginia. She is now the wife of the Reverend Irby Terrill.

A call having been extended to the Reverend Willard Conger of the Dutch Reformed Church of Port Jervis, New York, was accepted, he came to Rocky Mount and was installed on April 25th, 1920. Deeply interested in the plan for a Memorial Building and seeing the great need for increased Sunday School facilities, Mr. Conger exerted every effort to increase interest and get work started. It was decided to purchase the lot adjoining the Church lot. Mr. D. J. Rose was named Contractor and Builder. Finance and building committees were formed. The building committee consisted of Chairman D. J. Rose, Mrs. Henry Thorpe, Mrs. H. L. Hicks, Dr. E.G. Hornbeck and F. M. Pridgen. The finance committee consisted of A. P. Thorpe, W. S. Wilkinson, W.G. Weeks George R. Edwards and J. W. Keel, and the work went forward. In November 1923 Mrs. Kate D. Morton laid

the corner stone and the building was named the Morton Memorial. Finished in 1925, much credit is due the builder, D. J. Rose, and the various committees who spared no effort to make this magnificent structure with its auditorium, its class rooms, its parlor and equipment for serving, complete in every detail. The building and equipment cost approximately $60,000. In 1924 the Men-of-the-Church were organized to meet monthly to discuss the welfare of the Church. In this year Mrs. A. P. Thorpe paid for the services of a young people's worker, Miss Mary Denny. Next the Church has Miss Esther Gamble in charge. On May 31 1925, Rev. J.N.H. Summerell, a life long friend, came to conduct a memorial service to Dr. W. D. Morton. In the rotunda of the Memorial Building, a large, striking portrait of Dr. W. D. Morton had been placed. This portrait was made and presented by Mr. H. Dempt. Master William Morton and little William Dempt drew aside the curtain that veiled the portrait. Under the portrait is a bronze tablet, which reads: “1843-1918.” “This building is erected to the glory of God in memory of W. D. Morton, pastor of this Church eighteen years—They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever.”

Of our Elders, Mr. W. S. Clary and family, Mr. K. C. Barrett and family, Mr. Hector McNeil and Dr. W. C. McSwain have moved to other cities. It was with regret that we parted from those who have been so active in church work. We lost by death, J. J. White, W. L. Thorp and Murdoch McRae.

The Sunday School, since its foundation in 1880, has kept pace with the progress of the Church and has been fortunate to have a splendid body of men for Superintendents. These were: J. H. Nurney, J. J. White, W. L. Groom, W. S. Clary, L. F. Tillery, H. E. Brewer, K. C. Barrett, F. M. Pridgen, Richard Fountain. In the names of the Sunday School teachers from its early history until 1890-Mrs. J. H. Thomas, Mrs. E. P. Griffin, Miss Reid and Miss McSwain. A Sunday School Council has been formed to look after the welfare of the Sunday School. Mr. Conger has a very large Bible Class for men and Mrs. Conger has charge of a Women's Class. The Philathea Bible Class is active and at present time we

have an enrollment of teachers and pupils of 485. We have a large increase in membership during the past six years. Our Church stands today on the threshold of a great forward movement, a period of greater usefulness and more work for the Kingdom.

“Cloriously blessed by the Master in the past, we place in His hands the future.”

Historian's Note 3:

There are some minor disparagments between a few statements in this sketch and the findings of the Historian, but were not changed.

Rev. J.A. Satterfield resigned as pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in 1935 to give his entire time to Bethlehem and Morton Churches in Nash County. He began the work with this Church in January 1924.

Rev. J. E. Echols followed Rev. Mr. Satterfield giving his time to this Church and Macclesfield as stated supply for a period of months.

Rev. R. L. Forbis, just graduated from the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., preached for the first time in the Second Presbyterian Church on June 8, 1936, and was ordained and installed as pastor for his full time on July 26, 1936. He was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Sykes of Augusta, Georgia in August of the same year.


(Supplementing the Narrative History)

Mrs. T. H. MacPherson, Historian

Advisory Committee

Mrs. A. B. Douglas Mrs. Norman Johnson

Committee of Elders for Printing History Booklet

G. R. Edwards, Chairman

W. G. Weeks R. M. Wilson


The Historian, Mrs. T. H. MacPherson, nee Kate B. Hill, a Virginian by birth, a child of the Manse, daughter of Rev. William E. and Mrs. Jennie K. Hill, came to Rocky Mount to make her home in 1916. She identified herself at once with the First Presbyterian Church and entered wholeheartedly into every phase of the church work.

In preparing this history of the Church—entirely a labor of love—Mrs. MacPherson gave unstintingly of her time and talents. Often with very little as a starting point, she patiently and pains takingly, with much sacrifice of both time and effort, ferreted out facts that have proved invaluable in tracing the growth of this particular church.

To her, whose efforts made possible the compilation of this History, the Pastor, Officers and the members of the congregation hereby express their sincere appreciation.



Roll Book # 1 beginning Dec. 9, 1878

Roll Book # 2

Minutes of the Session

Book # 1 from Dec. 1880 to Nov. 1905

Book # 2 from May 1900 to Sept. 1910

Book # 3 from Apr. 1910 to Mch. 1916

Book # 4 from Apr. 1916 to May 1930

Combined Book—Roll Book and Minutes of the Session

Book # 1 from Mch. 1932 to

Baraca Class Roll and Minute Book

Book # 1 from Mch. 1908 to Dec. 1908

Sunday School Books

Book # 1 from 1885-1888

Book # 2 from 1889-1891

Home Mission League

Book # 1 Sept. 1814 to Jan. 1919

“DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN NORTH CAROLINA” presented to the Church by Mrs. S. B. Dominick (Minnie Stone) from the library of her father, Mr. E. M. Stone. This book to be kept with the typewritten copy of the History of the First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, N. C.


Furnished by:

Rev. J. W. PrimroseMiss Carrie Primrose, Daughter, 112 N.Hinds St., Greenville, Miss.
Rev. T. J. AllisonMr. T. T. Allison, Son, 128 N.Caswell Road, Charlotte, N.C.
Rev. D. C. RankinRev. W. E. McIlwain, Classmate, 321 W. Jackson St., Pensacola, Fla.
Rev. L. H. BaldwinMr. C. S. Baldwin, Son, Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tonnessce.
Rev. R. A. WailesMiss Mary Lee Wailes, Sister, Schuyler, Virginia.
Rev. J. N. H. SummerellMrs. C. C. Todd, Daughter of Orren Williams-Eldor of the Tarboro Church, Tarboro & Rocky Mount, N.C.
Rev. R. P. Pell and Rev. James ThomasMrs. J. P. Cutts, nee Stella E. Fountain, Daughter of S. K. Fountain Elder. 224 S. Church Street, Rocky Mount, N. C.
Rev. James ThomasMrs. M.R. Robbins (Marion) Daughter of Mrs. J. W. Hines an early member of Church, 306 S. Grace Street, Rocky Mount, N. C.
Rev. F. D. ThomasRev. James Thomas, Brother, Eatonton, Georgia.
Rev. W. D. Morton, D. D.Miss Lizzie Snyder, Daughter of Mrs. J. G. Snyder, nee Martha P. Fountain, Organist (Early Member) 314 S. Church Street, Rocky Mount.
Rev. T. P. AllenMr. W. L. Groom-Elder, 226 S. Franklin Street, Rocky Mount, N. C.
Rev. Willard CongerMrs. Willard Conger, West Haven, Rocky Mount, N. C.
Rev. Norman JohnsonBy request of Historian


1878 December 9The (First) Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina was organized with the following members from the Tarboro Church transferred by an “act of Presbytery” Orange Presbytery at that time.
Mrs. M. B. Arrington by letter from Tarboro
Mrs. S.A.E. Bunn by an Evangelist
Miss Ida Bassette by letter from Tarboro
Miss Viola Tillery by letter from Tarboro
Mr. O. R. Sadler by letter from Tarboro
Mrs. O. R. Sadler by letter from Tarboro
Mrs. Lucie S. Thorpe by letter from Tarboro
Mr. W. L. Thorp by letter from Tarboro
Mrs. Bettie E. Thomas-no notation but rated a charter member by J. J. White.
Mrs. S. E. Burnett by letter from Tarboro (Reference Captain J. J. White, Early Elder and Clerk of the Session)
(Dr. S. E. Burnett, 1874 and Dr. Henry R. Thorpe died in 1878, shortly before the Church in Rocky Mount was organized both had been interested in forming the organization.)
The Reverend J. W. Primrose (Evangelist of Orange Presbytery in Eastern North Carolina (1872-1882) preachedat intervals before the Church was organized using the Lodge Building which stood about opposite the Manse and Burnett's Hall on the corner of West Thomas and Main Streets for the services (Burnett's Hall is standing 1936).
1875 November 18The Reverend T. J. Allison was ordained and installed pastor of the Tarboro Church and preached regularly each month in Rocky Mount. He stayed in the field till 1877.
1878 - 1879Rev. D. C. Rankin with Tarboro & Rocky Mt.
1880 May 30The Reverend L. H. Baldwin is noted as being Moderator of the Session with W. L. Thorp, Clerk. (Captain J. J. White states that this was the first meeting of the Session) Mr. Baldwin

stayed with the Tarboro and Rocky Mount Churches only a short time.
1882 April 21The Reverend R.A. Wailes became moderator of the Session and remained with the Church as part time pastor until his death
1883 June 14in Tarboro.
1883 OctoberThe Reverend J. N. H. Summerell became Moderator of the Session. He served Rocky Mount and Tarboro as pastor preaching in Rocky Mount once a month. He remained with both churches until he was sent to Pitt County to do Home Mission work.
1887 December 30Relations were dissolved by the Presbytery between Dr. Summerell and the Church in Rocky Mount.
1889 January 27The Reverend R.P. Pell was installed as pastor and served Wilson and Rocky Mount on alternate Sundays.
1891 & 1892During the Summer months the Reverend James Thomas was stated supply while he was a student at Princeton Theological Seminary.
1891 AprilHe resigned having been appointed Evangelist by the Synod of North Carolina and sent to the “Four Lost Counties” of Western North Carolina Ashe, Wautaga, Mitchell and Yancy. (Rev. Pell)
1893 January 10The Reverend Frederick Duncan Thomas was called. He preached in Rocky Mount three Sundays in the month and gave the fourth Sunday to La Grange.
1899 January 1Mr. Thomas resigned as pastor. He served next in Elberton, Georgia.
1899 September 20The Reverend W. D. Morton, D. D. was installed as Pastor. He had been Synodical Evangelist. He served Louisburg and Rocky Mount until 1901 then he served Rocky Mount every Sunday except the fifth Sundays which he reserved for evangelistic work.
1918 April 9Dr. Morton was called to serve in Heavenly Places.
1918 September 29The Reverend T. P. Allen was installed as Pastor. He served as full time pastor.
1920 February 1Pastoral relations were dissolved between Mr. Allen and the congregation.
1920 April 25The Reverend Willard Conger came to Rocky Mount upon a call from the congregation.

1920 July 4He was installed as Pastor. Having come from Port Jervis, New York from the Dutch Reformed Church.
1931 May 28Mr. Conger was called to enter the Heavenly Mansions prepared for those who love Christ.
1931 December 16The Reverend Norman Johnson came, in acceptance of the call, from Blacksburg, Virginia.
1932 February 14Mr. Johnson was installed as Pastor.
1937 February 14Marked the fifth anniversary of Mr. Johnson's installation.


Rev. T.J. Allison


John W. Primrose


Reference Made To General Catalogue Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (and other sources)


Orange Presbytery



John W. Primrose was born in New Bern, North Carolina in 1835. He took his A. B. and A. M. Degrees at Princeton University. He was a Confederate Soldier and a prisoner part of the time in 1862-65. He graduated at the Seminary, then in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, in 1871. He was licensed by Orange Presbytery in 1871 and was ordained as an Evangelist April 8, of 1872. His connection with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was while he was Evangelist of Orange Presbytery in doing pioneer work which resulted in the construction of a Church Building and the formation of an organization with ten charter members in 1878.

Rev. Mr. Primrose did some teaching in Rocky Mount using the Lodge Room on Church Street for teaching as well as preaching. Much credit should be given him for the origin of a Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount.

Davidson College conferred the title of Doctor of Divinity upon him in 1890. He was the author of “Presbytery and Prelacy.”

His ministerial career led to Missouri, Mississippi and Texas as well as in North Carolina. He was President of Synodical College in Fulton, Missouri. (1893 to 1896)

He died in Greenville, Mississippi in 1907.

Note: See references made to the splendid work of Rev. J. W. Primrose in “Development of the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina.” This book on file.

Sketch From
North Carolina Presbyterian
October 8, 1896
Wilmington, N. C.

The subject of this sketch is from one of the old families of How Bern, N. C., being a grandson of Marcus C. Stephens. His father, Robert Primrose, came from Glasgow, Scotland, with his brother John who settled in Raleigh and for whom Dr. Primrose was named.

He graduated from Princeton College in the class of 1860. The Civil War breaking out he entered the Confederate army and at the close of the war we find him holding the rank of Captain conferred by act of Congress. November 14th, 1865, he married Miss Mary Sterling Twitty. Giving up his chosen profession, law, he responded to the call of the gospel ministry and after a course in theology at Union Seminary, Virginia, was ordained to work as Evangelist of the Presbytery of Orange, April 7, 1871. His ordination took place in Now Born, Craven County, N. C., his native town and in the Church of which he was a member.

As Evangelist of Orange Presbytery he succeeded Rev. S. A. Stanfield who had in that capacity preached in Wilson and Tarboro for one year. The Rev. Mr. Dalton then pastor of the church at Washington, N.C., had also preached occasionally to the handful of Presbyterians at Tarboro, where under the labors of Mr. Primrose, an organization was effected. The churches at Nahalah, Littleton and Rocky Mount were also organized under his ministry as evengelist, and funds were collected for a church building at Wilson. Miss Mary Ballard Bunn, baptized by Mr. Primrose, was the first person received into the Church at Rocky Mount and was for a while the only Presbyterian in the place.

He labored as Evangelist of Orange Presbytery for eight years and his work enters largely into the history of the new Presbytery of Albemarle. He left his work

in the fall of 1880 to accept a call to the pastorate of the church at Oxford, together with the county churches of Shiloh and Grassy Creek. To this field was afterwards added Geneva Church, which he served for one year. After a fruitful and happy ministry of four and a half years in this field he accepted a call to the Second Church, Wilmington, N. C., which he served for six years.

During this pastorate at Wilmington the name of the church was changed to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church; a handsome structure was erected and furnished and the resident membership about doubled, and the church was especially noted for comparatively large contributions to benevolences of the Church at large.

In June, 1890, the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by Davidson College.

He accepted a call from the Synod of Missouri to the evangelistic work in that Synod in January, 1891, and served in this capacity two and one half years when he was elected President of Synodical Female College at Fulton, Missouri. Accepting the Presidency through three years of drouth and financial stringency he gathered to him an able faculty and added much to the educational reputation of the institution. Upon hearing the announcement of his resignation the well known author, Mrs. Julia McNair Wright wrote: “Whosoever comes after him can at the highest do no more that fill his place, and few, if any, can secure for the Synodical College so strong and popular a corps of teachers as Dr. Primrose has gathered about him. A public spirited citizen, a gentleman of culture, and an eloquent and helpful preacher of the gospel.”

While occupying the Presidency he filled the pulpit of the church in Fulton with great acceptance for one year, in which time he did much for the organization of the church work. The Ladies’ Society of that church especially express their lasting indebtedness to him for the organization and efficiency of their work.

In June of this year Dr. Primrose accepted a call to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, Mississippi, where he now labors.

As a preacher, Dr. Primrose shows himself a close and earnest student of the Bible. He believes in preaching the Word as alone containing the remedy for sin both personal and national, past and future. He is a firm believer in the efficiency and sufficiency of the Church, organized according to Scripture, in the world wide propagation of God's truth through all ages and conditions of the human race. His sermons and magazine articles show him a logical thinker and able exegete.

Note: Article not signed.

Sketch to the Historian by Miss Carrie Primrose daughter of Dr. John W. Primrose, of Greenville Mississippi. (March 1937)


Thomas Johnston Allison was born in Cabarrus County North Carolina. (1849) He took his A. B. and A. M. Degrees at Davidson College. He graduated at the Seminary, then in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, in 1874. He was Stated Supply then ordained and installed pastor at Tarboro, North Carolina (1875). During his ministry the Presbyterians of Rocky Mount were enrolled at Tarboro awaiting the time when there was sufficient strength to warrant an organization at Rocky Mount. Preaching services were at stated times and were held in available buildings, Burnett's Hall and the Lodge Building on Church Street.

Rev. Mr. Allison's ministerial career was in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. He was co-editor of the “Presbyterian Standard.” (1906-7) He died in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 22, 1919.

Dr. Summerell, a later pastor, in commenting upon Mr. Allison in connection with these Churches said he was held in affectionate esteem because of his sincere christian character as well as for his preaching ability.


“On Thrusday afternoon, May 22, Rev. T. J. Allison died at the Presbyterian Hospital, at Charlotte, after a long illness which he bore with Christian fortitude.

Several months ago he came to Charlotte from Florida acting upon the advice of his physician, Dr. C. C. Wilson, who saw that he needed a cooler climate.

He was born in Cabarrus County, May 30, 1849.

His first wife was Jeanette Tillett, daughter of Rev. John Tillett and sister of C. W. Tillett, of Charlotte. She died in September 1897 leaving the following children: T.T., C.W., and H.J. Allison all of Charlotte, J. C. Allison of Raleigh, and J. H. Allison, now with the Marines in Cuba.

June 15, 1899, he married Miss Bessie Neely, of Salisbury, N. C., who survives him.

April 1, 1919, Mrs. Allison came from Lakeland Florida and up to the time of his death, she was his special daily nurse at the hospital, and was with him in his last moments.

Mr. Allison was educated at Davidson College and the Union Theological Seminary, Virginia.

Between 1877 and 1891, Mr. Allison held pastorates at Rockingham and Lumberton, Mebanesville and the Creek and Fifth Creek Churches near Elmwood.

In 1891 Mr. Allison engaged in evangelistic work in the Savannah, Georgia Presbytery. From this work he was called to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church at Decature, Alabama. After four years of successful work there, he accepted a call to Sugar Creek Church, remaining as pastor for eight years. From there he went to Asheville to take charge of work in that Presbytery, residing at Bryson City. Going to Florida for his health, he did much hard work there.

As pastor of Sugar Creek Church and evangelist for Mecklenburg Presbytery he was widely known in this section and had many friends.

For a short time he was connected with the Presbyterian Standard.

He represented an element of our ministry that has always made its influence felt. The death of such men is always a distinct loss, both to the Church and to the community.

We have known him for over forty years—as a man of keen mind and warm heart, and who in a quiet way did much to build up our waste places.

J. R. B.”

Presbyterian Standard, June 4, 1919.

1878 - 1879

David C. Rankin was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, September 25, 1847. His ancestors were noted in the history of the state for their staunch patriotism and Presbyterianism. Though his early life was that of a motherless boy he was brought up in a Godly home under Godly father and grandmother. He had the advantages of education in the best schools and colleges. He entered Columbia Theological Seminary, S. C., and graduated in 1875.

He was licensed by the Presbytery of Harmony in 1874, and ordained by the Presbytery of Savannah in 1876. He was pastor of Valdosta, Georgia, 1876-1878; Tarboro, N. C., 1878-1879; Professor in the Institute for Colored Ministers (now Stillman Institute) Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1879-1883; President Plumer Memorial College, Virginia, 1883-1884; Stated Supply Tabb Street Church, Petersburg, Virginia, 1884-1885; pastor Holly Springs, Miss,, 1885-1888.

Dr. Rankin was Assistant Secretary and Treasurer of Foreign Missions, 1888-1892. Editor of The Missionary” 1893-1902, and the founder of the “Children's Missionary.”

He had an especial fitness for editorial work, and built up the circulation of “The Missionary” from 2,000 to 12,000. He himself had been won for missions as a lad by reading the lives of David Brainerd, Henry Martin, and others, and but for ill health would have served in the foreign field. He had been anxious to travel and witness the work at first hand, and it was in Korea on this itinerary that he died, December 28, 1902. He was a man of great piety.

Dr. Rankin married Miss Mary C. Curtis of Marietta, Georgia, December 21, 1876.


R.A. Wailes


D.C. Rankin.


Rev. L.H. Baldwin

1889 to 1881

Lucious Howard Baldwin was born in Newark, New Jersey, July 24, 1836. He came south as a young man. He was a studentat the University of Virginia at Charlottesville at the outbreak of the War Between the States. He joined the Confederate Army and served for one year as a private, was then appointed Chaplain with the rank of Captain. He acted in this capacity till the war was over.

He taught several places in the south. Some years after the war, he returned to Newark and was pastor of Coe Memorial Church of that city.

In 1880 Rev. Mr. Baldwin was pastor of the group of Tarboro and Rocky Mount Churches; leaving in 1881 he went to Norfolk, Virginia, becoming pastor of the Colley Memorial Church, which he served for ten years. His last pastorate was in suffolk, Virginia, from which Church he retired due to ill health.

He married Amanda Hutcheson Mebane, a daughter of Rev. Alexander Mebane who was stated supply and pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond from 1836 to 1846.

Rev. Mr. Baldwin had been a Methodist minister but through the influence of his wife he became a Presbyterian minister.

He died in Richmond, Virginia, January 4, 1902 and was buried there.

As a matter of especial interest to the history of the local church, we note that Captain J. J. White, a clerk of the session, states; “The first meeting of the Session of the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount was in 1880;” that Rev. L. H. Baldwin was moderator and Mr. W. L. Thorp, clerk.


Robert Austin Wailes was born May 11,1855 in Nelson County, Virginia. He was graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia in the class of 1879-80.

He was ordained by Orange Presbytery, December 11, 1881 and was installed pastor of the Tarboro Church; a short time later he was made pastor at Rocky Mount, serving these churches till his death occurred on June 14, 1883. He was twenty eight years of age and had been in the ministry only five years. He was buried at Rockfish Church in Nelson County, Virginia. Dr. J. N. H. Summerell, who was a class-mate of Mr. Wailes recommended him to this field.

Reverend B. M. Wailes, the father of Reverend R. A. Wailes preached for thirty years at Rockfish Church, Nelson County, Virginia.

Quoting from a memorial to his father we can understand in some measure what a loss the death of this young man was: “He (Rev. B. M. Wailes) loved that exquisite valley embosomed in its noble mountains. His people lie there to whom he preached and his loved son Reverend R. A. Wailes, cut off in the dawn of a career of great promise as a minister of the blessed Gospel, Here his name and his influence will live on and here he should rest until the Resurrection.


by Samuel M. Smith

The readers of the “Central” before this reaches their eyes will have been saddened and startled by the news that Rev. R. A. Wailes died on the 14th of June, 1883.

I hope some capable hand is preparing a memorial worthy of him. I have not the date, and if I had, the sense of his loss is too great and his memory too fresh and precious to allow me to speak with that moderation which good taste always demands in such writing.

Though I made the acquaintance of my brother while we were at Hampden-Sydney College my intimacy dates only from 1881 when he began work in the Synod of North Carolina.

He was installed pastor of the Tarboro Church the 11th of December 1881, and a short time later of the Rocky Mount Church. His congregations were devotedly fond of him, and their pride in him was manifested in every mention they made of him. He seemed to be popular with all alike and his hold on their hearts was growing every month. He was bright and sunny in temperament but as consecrated to his work as any one I ever knew; thoroughly conscientious, independent and brave in his convictions yet modest and utterly free of self assertion.

He was married to Miss Mary E. Eggleston in October 1882. God has taken him in the very beginning of his career. We can not doubt God's wisdom and mercy and love: “But, oh! for the touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still.”

Note: His sister, Miss Mary Lee Wailes, who provided a copy of this sketch and loaned the photograph to be copied, said that they had a silver pitcher which had been given to her brother as a bridal present by the Rocky Mount Church.


James North Howard Summerell was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, August 31, 1854. He received his college education at Davidson College, had two years at Union Theological Seminary, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, with a middle year at Free Church College, Edinburgh, Scotland. He graduated from the Seminary in 1880 and was ordained in 1881. He was Stated Supply in Kentucky part of 1880. He served the Tarboro and Rocky Mount Churches as pastor from 1885 to 1887 then continued with the Tarboro Church until 1875.

Rev. J.N.H. Summerell received his A. M. and D. D. Degrees from Davidson College. He was a Trustee of this College for many years.

Dr. Summerell endeared himself to the Presbyterian Congregation of Rocky Mount, so much so, that a protest went up when another congregation sought to draw him away: however, the Presbytery, Orange, eventually sent him to do evangelistic work in Pitt County.

He was pastor of several different churches in North Carolina and of one church in Norfolk, Virginia, from 1902-1908. His last pastorate was in New Bern, North Carolina, a stroke of paralysis making it necessary for him to retire in 1929. He made his home in Greenville, North Carolina until his death of acute myocarditis on the night of March 24, 1938. He had an active ministry of 50 years, and an inactive ministry of eight years as pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of New Bern, North Carolina.

Dr. Summerell was a Charter Member of Albemarle Presbytery, which was formed from Orange Presbytery in 1890. He was an efficient and untiring Clerk of this Presbytery for years and served as Moderator of this Church Cort more than once. He meant much to the Church Courts of North Carolina. His sermons were eloquent and of sound doctrine.

The First Church in Rocky Mount invited Dr. Summerell to be the principal speaker when the Sunday School Annex

was presented as a Memorial to Rev. William Dennis Morton, D. D. in May, 1925 during the pastorate of Rev. Willard Conger.

Note: In a copy of “The Phoenix”, a paper published in Rocky Mount, under the date of May 31, 1894, an item read: “Dr. J.N.H. Summerell preached Sunday Night and his sermon abounded in the intellectual jewelry for which this christian devine is widely and justly noted.” According to the same issue of this paper, Rev. Frederick Duncan Thomas had been installed as pastor on this same Sunday, therefore, Dr. Summerell must have been present to take an official part in the installation service.

1889 - 1891

Personal Sketch by Request.

I was born in Washington, North Carolina, on the 12th of June, 1860, but we moved to Raleigh within a year after my coming into the world and lived there until I was ten years of age. We then spent a few years at Cary, North Carolina, and later went to Lenior, North Carolina, where I was prepared for college in Finley High School. I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1880, and was instructor in the University and in the Summer Normal School for two or three years as well as Secretary of the Faculty. My health broke down, and I traveled considerably for a year. I then went to the Union Theological Seminary, located at that time in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia.

After serving as a stated supply for one year at the First Presbyterian Churchat Harrisonburg, Virginia on account of the illness of the pastor, I then went to Wilson in 1887, where I was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. In 1889 I became pastor of the Rocky Mount Church, serving Wilson and Rocky Mount on alternate Sundays.

It was a most delightful pastorate in every way. I can recall many, many of my friends there at that time.

Most of them have passed away. Mr. S. K. Fountain, who for many years was a Ruling Elder joined the Church during my pastorate, and large numbers united with the Church when Rev. W. D. Morton, D. D. held a series of services at Rocky Mount during my pastorate. It was a very remarkable service he rendered at that time, and still more remarkable was his work there as pastor.

In 1891 the Synod of North Carolina appointed me as an evangelist of the Synod to plant Churches in what was known as the “Four Lost Counties of Western North Carolina”—Ashe, Watauga, Mitchell and Yancy. In about three and a half years I succeeded in establishing four small Churches and four parochial schools. The work grew so rapidly and the territory was so extensive that I could not handle the situation alone. I, therefore, resigned in 1895, and asked the Synod to put two men in my place. This was done, and the work has developed remarkably since that time. For a year and a half I served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Newberry, and was then elected President of the Presbyterian College for Women in Columbia, South Carolina. After remaining there for six years I was chosen as President of Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, where I have been since 1902.

The University of North Carolina was kind enough to confer upon me the degree of Litt. D. and Austin College, Sherman, Texas, and the University of South Carolina followed it with the degree of LL. D.

Note: Dr. Pell did some teaching while connected with these Churches. We are told by several members that he taught at Nashville.

In “The Phoenix”, a paper published in Rocky Mount under the date of June 7, 1889, the Rev. R. P. Pell is mentioned as being a minister “of growing note and power.”

Reference is made to the work of Rev. R. P. Pell (later D. D.) in: “Development of the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina.”

1891 & 1892

Summers Only

James Thomas was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, April 23, 1865. He attended the University of North Carolina and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1893. He was ordained by North River Presbytery on October 26, 1893. He was assistant pastor at Poukeepsie, New York from 1893-95; was pastor at Wilson, North Carolina, 1896-1905; at Shelby, North Carolina, 1912-18; and at Eatonton, Georgia, 1917-

Reverend James Thomas was connected with the Presbyterian Church at Rocky Mount, North Carolina during the summer months while he was taking his theological course at Princeton Theological Seminary.

The Presbyterian Churches in Rocky Mount and Wilson were grouped together at this time.

1893 - 1899

Frederick Duncan Thomas was born in New Bern, North Carolina, December 2, 1867. He attended the University of North Carolina, and spent two years at the Seminary in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia being listed with the class of 1888-1889.

He was ordained by Albemarle Presbytery December 13 1891. During his entire ministry he served Churches in Missouri, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. He was Stated Supply at all Churches served up to the time of his being made pastor at Rocky Mount in 1894 after he had served as Stated Supply for a year. He preached at La Grange as Evangelist while serving the Rocky Mount Church.

The first manse was built for the Thomas family to occupy and was completed early in the year 1893.

Rev. James Thomas, a brother, preached during the summer vacation months of 1891-2, not having had a regular


J.N.H. Summerell


James Thomas


Robert P. Pell

minister in some time the Church was not growing in numbers, then, too, Rocky Mount was a small town at that time. With Rev. F. D. Thomas’ ministry the beginning of a steady growth was marked.

The women were organized into a Missionary Society in 1896 but they decided to change to a Ladies’ Aid Society in 1897, with a Missionary feature.

Rev. William Black held an evangelistic meeting during this pastorate in December 1895.

Rev. Mr. Thomas, after leaving Rocky Mount, served as pastor in Elberton, Georgia, then at Brunswick, Georgia, and as pastor at Accomac Court House in Virginia from 1923 to 1938. He retired from the regular service of the ministry after forty eight and a half years, to make his home in Norfolk, Virginia.

Note: In a copy of “The Phoenix” a paper published in Rocky Mount under date of May 19, 1894, we find this item: “The sermon of Rev. F. D. Thomas on “Religion in Politics” Sunday night is said to have been a strong and able effort in its moral tone, befitting the consecrated, christian character of this clever and accomplished gentlemen.”

Item May 31, 1894: “The Rev. Frederick Duncan Thomas was installed pastor of the Presbyterian Church on Sunday.” (May 27)

Children of Rev. F. D. Thomas who were born in the original manse that was built for the Thomas family to occupy were:

James Randolph Thomas, Born October 22, 1893

Fanny Marks Thomas, Born September 22, 1895


William Dennis Morton was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, June 7, 1843. He graduated at Hampden-Sydney College in the class of 1866-67. He was ordained by Muhlenburg Presbytery in 1870. He received his D. D. from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri in 1890. He was in evangelistic work three different times and preached the gospel in Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and North Carolina. He was pastor in Morganfield, Kentucky; Booneville, Missouri; and Henderson, N. C. He had a long and successful pastorate in Rocky Mount, N. C.

He served Louisburg and Rocky Mount but it was decided for him to give his entire time to Rocky Mount except the fifth Sundays which he used for Evangelistic work. He had held a meeting in Rocky Mount during the pastorate of Rev. R. P. Pell.

The Church grew in numbers during his pastorate and an ambitious building program was carried out, a new two story manse and the brick Church building were constructed.

He inspired the establishment of a Home Mission League and three Mission Churches resulted: Bethlehem Morton and the Second Presbyterian Churches. He was also vitally interested in Foreign Missions.

He was Trustee of Union Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia in 1893-1896, then again from 1903-1918. He died suddenly April 9, 1918.

The Sunday School Annex was later constructed and named as a memorial to him. His widow, Katherine Dennis Morton, continued to live in Rocky Mount and survived him until May 18, 1936.

His daughter, Marie Embra Morton, became a teacher and exerted a marked influence upon the youth of Rocky Mount and in the educational program of the city schools as well as in the Sunday School of the First

Presbyterian Church and the Mission Points. The son, Henry Flournoy Morton, entered the ministry in 1913. He survived his father only two years, dying in New York City of influenza-pheumonia on February 13, 1920. (See Sketch)

Dr. Morton was a man whose influence was felt strongly in civic as well as ecclesiastical circles. He endeared himself to people of all denominations and all walks of life. He came to Rocky Mount when it was a small town and in the nineteen years of his pastorate he built up a large acquaintance, keeping in touch with the older inhabitants and getting acquainted with the new-comers through his extensive visiting program.

There had not been a larger concourse of people nor more floral offerings in the history of this Church than when his funeral service was held as a last tribute of respect was paid this well-beloved and greatly revered citizen and pastor.

Note: See references made to the splendid work of Dr. W. D. Morton in: “Development of the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina.”


Calling Reverend T. P. Allen

Messrs: H. E. Brewer R. M. Wilson

K. C. Barrett S. K. Fountain

W. L. Groom A. P. Thorpe

Miss Mary McDearman

Mrs. Stanley Matthews

Elmer Bulluck


Thomas Phelps Allen was born in Knoxville, Tennessee April 3, 1884. He received his A. B. Degree at South Western University and graduated with the class of 1911-12 at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va. He was ordained by Tygart's Valley Presbytery in 1914, was Home Missions Superintendent and Evangelist in this Presbytery in 1916, was pastor of Immanuel Church in Wilmington, N. C. 1916-1918 serving as Stewardship Evangelist from February to August of 1918. He accepted the call to the First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, N. C. and was installed pastor September 29, 1918.

Mr. Allen had a special gift for systematizing the work and looking after the details of Church Government His budgets for different societies were accepted and later were combined to form the Auxiliary Budget.

He worked out a Current Budget with Mr. T. E. Marshall as Treasurer and formed a Benevolent Budget with Mr. R. M. Wilson as Treasurer, separating the two for the first time.

He edited a Church Bulletin.

When the Influenza Epidemic was raging in Rocky Mount in 1918 he was untiring and fearless in ministering to those in need of assistance.

Though of short duration, his pastorate was marked with progress along many lines.

After leaving Rocky Mount, Rev. Mr. Allen worked with the Synod of West Virginia as Secretary of Stewardship.


Calling Reverend Willard Conger

The Elders and Deacons

Mrs. A. P. Thorpe

Mrs. H. R. Thorpe

Mrs. L. F. Tillery

Dr. E. G. Hornbeck

Miss Effie Vines

(Mrs. E. G. Gordon)


Reverend Willard Conger came to Rocky Mount from Port Jervis, New York, in April, 1920. He was born in New York City, February 21, 1874. He was educated in New Brunswick, New York at Rutgers Preparatory School, Rutgers College and Rutgers Theological Seminary.

Besides teaching Greek at Rutgers College he held charger at Asbury Park, New Jersey and Port Jervis, New York in the Dutch Reformed Church. He was received by Albemarle Presbytery in the spring of 1920, and was installed as pastor of this church July 4, 1920. He married Mrs. Kathryn Gallman Marriam after accepting the charge in Rocky Mount.

Mr. Conger's sermons reflected much study, deep thought and spirituality of a high order and were received with rapt attention and with holy benefit by his congregations.

The Morton Memorial Sunday School Building was constructed and equipped five years after his connection with this church. The Men of the Church organization was formed in 1924.

There were three evangelistic campaigns during his pastorate in which he was most actively concerned: The (second) J. E. Thacker Meeting, The Gypsy Smith, Jr. (Union) Meeting and The Home Visitation Evangelistic Campaign. Rev. Mr. Conger became such friends with Gypsy Smith, Jr., that he and Mrs. Conger were invited to spend their vacation with them the summer following this meeting in their summer home in Maine.


T.P. Allen


F. D. Thomas


W.D. Morton

Mr. Conger died after a short illness on May 28, 1931, at his home in West Haven, Rocky Mount, N. C. He was buried in Pineview Cemetery.

A memorial Service was held for him in the Church on June 15, 1931.

A Baptismal Font was given by the Woman's Auxiliary in his memory and presented to the Church on Sunday, January 24, 1937. In accepting the Font, Rev. Norman Johnson, pastor, spoke of his influence as that of “the contagion of a triumphant spirit.” The press said of him that, “he possessed a personal magnetism and inner radiance of spirit that even the youngest seemed to feel and his sincere and spontaneous smile radiated to others a happiness that had a divine touch of holiness.”

Events: (Limited on account of lack of records)

Rev. Willard Conger - Pastor

1921 Nov. 21Woman's Auxiliary organized under the Circle Plan. Mrs. H. L. Hicks - President (May Williams)
1924 Oct. 29Men-of-the-Church organized. Mr. W. S. Wilkinson, President.
1925 Oct. 23-25Albemarle Presbytery met in the First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, N. C. Luncheons served at Church. Members entertained in the homes of the congregation.
1926 Sept.Dr. B. R. Lacy, President of Union Theological Seminary invited to fill the pulpit because the pastor, Rev. Willard Conger had an annual custom of filling a certain pulpit the Sunday nearest Labor Day. This became an annual custom in this Church. His visit on September 11, 1938 being his thirteenth annual visit.
1929 Oct.Synod of North Carolina met in the First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, N. C. Luncheons served at the Church. Members entertained in the homes of the congregation.


Calling Reverend Norman Johnson

Mr. W. G. Weeks, Chairman

Mrs. A. P. Thorpe

Mrs. H. L. Hicks

Mr. W. N. Clark

Mr. G. R. Edwards



Norman Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He was educated in the Grade, Grammer and High Schools of Atlanta. He graduated from Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina in 1915. He was President of the Senior Class, and quoting from “Quips and Cranks”— the schoolmates thought of him: “Tall in stature, big in heart, self-sacrificing, conscientious and zealous in any work he undertakes, a man of high moral principles and ideals, and, what is more, a man who daily lives up to them.”

He entered Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, in 1916 and received his B. D. Degree in 1919 During his Senior year he had the honor and responsibility of being President of the Student Body.

Reverend Norman Johnson was ordained July 13, 1919 by Atlanta Presbytery. He was pastor of Inman Park Church in Atlanta, 1919-1922; Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Blacksburg, Virginia, and Roanoke Valley Presbyterian Church near Blacksburg, 1922-1931.

While at Blacksburg a part of Rev. Mr. Johnson's salary was paid by the Synod of Virginia as a worker among the Presbyterian Students at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He ranked as a Chaplain of the College. He has the distinction of having his name on the roll and being a member of the Davidson Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honorary Scholarship Society.

He was called to the First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 1931 and arrived to accept the pastorate on December 16, 1931. His wife, Mary McClure Johnson and son, Norman McClure Johnson,

accompanying him to take up their residence in the Manse, hard by the Church, on Church Street.

The installation service was held February 14, 1932. Reverend James A. Satterfield of the Second Presbyterian, Bethlehem and Morton Churches charged the pastor. Reverend Chester Alexander of the Howard Memorial Church, Tarboro, charged the people and Rev. E. C. Lynch of the Wilson Presbyterian Church preached the sermon. Mr. E. M. Turner of the Second Presbyterian Church was the elder appointed for the service.

A second son, James Wallace, was born August 3rd, 1935. He was the first child of a minister to be born in the second manse, which was constructed in 1907.

Chronological Events and scrapbook items give a continued account of Rev. Mr. Johnson's pastorate.


W. L. Thorp

O. R. Sadler

J. J. White

K. C. Barrett

F. M. Pridgen 1918


J. H. Nurney (Elder)

J. H. Thomas (First Deacon)

H. E. Brewer (More than one term)

A. B. Jenkins

J. H. Cuthrell

L. F. Tillery (More than one term)

T. E. Marshall 1917- (R. M. Wilson Benevolent Tres. (Mrs. T. E. Marshall, 1920-


From Reports to Presbytery in Session Books

187810Charter Members


By the Church Roll in the period of its early history we note the answer to the question “How Received” as being “By an Evangelist.” Thus we see the value of Evangelistic Services that called for a decision to: “Come out on the Lord's side.” Each evangelistic meeting or campaign has given an impetus to the growth of the Church spiritually and in numbers. From the Sessional Minutes these Evangelists are noted as moderating the Session and it is gathered from these notations that the Evangelistic Services were being held.

The Fife Meeting was noted because Mr. H. E. Brewer stated that he was drawn into the Church under his influence. Since Mr. Brewer united with the Church in 1890 we give this meeting an approximate date of 1890.

1890Rev. W. P. Fife Evangelist.
1904 MarchRev. R. W. Alexander of Tarboro, Dr. Morton Pastor.
1904 NovemberRev. McG. Shields, Dr. Morton, Pastor.
1909Rev. Dr. Mebane, Dr. Morton, Pastor.
1911Rev. J. E. Thacker, D.D. Union Meeting in Crew's Warehouse. Mr. and Mrs. George Fisher, Gospel Singers. Dr. W. D. Morton, Pastor.
1913Rev. J. C. Shives, Dr. W. D. Morton, Pastor.
1918 March 13Dr. J. Ernest Thacker, Evangelist. Dr. W. D. Morton, Pastor. 37 Sermons and addresses 489 re-consecrations 154 for Church Membership 35 by letter.
James W. Jelks of Macon, Georgia, Singer (later a Baptist Minister) 4 young people decided to study for the Ministry. Information given by Dr. Thacker, March 16, 1939.
1920 January 11(Two Weeks) Rev. J. E. Fincher D.D. Organizer, Rev. W. H. Matthews, Miss Mary Dan Harbeson, soloist. In Presbyterian Church, Rev. T. P. Allen, Pastor.
1927 May 4(Two Weeks) Rev. J. E. Thacker, D. D. and Mrs. Thacker. Second meeting in Rocky Mount this one held in the Presbyterian Church. Rev. Willard Conger, Pastor. (Reference Auxiliary Minutes 1927)

1924Gypsy Smith, Jr. Union Meeting in Warehouse. Rev Willard Conger, Pastor.
1929Home Visitation Evangelistic Campaign. Rev. Guy H. Black of Greencastle, Ill. Organizer. This was a Union Campaign consisting of Home Visitation with the object of drawing into the membership of the chosen denomination those out of the church and impressing upon the members the duty and blessing of regular attendance upon the worship services and the Sunday School and active participation in God's work.
Rev. Willard Conger had a leading part in the organization and carrying out of this campaign. It was far-reaching in its results. He was asked to go to Henderson and Roanoke Rapids afterward to help with similar campaigns, which he had to decline.


1873 May 16Lot 80 × 105 ft. Corner of N. Church and Thomas Streets. Gift by George Allen and Leah Allen, wife, to J. W. Primrose (Rev.) J. H. Thorpe, Bennett Bunn, Octavious Sadler, T. Pullen, Dorsey Battle, Judge George Howard, George Allen (by Orange Presbytery) Trustees.
1882 Feb. 2Lot 62 × 107 ft. Church Street adjoining Church lot to South. Manse Lot. Payment of $75.00. Deeded by George Allen and Leah M. Allen, wife, to W. L. Thorp O. R. Sadler, A. P. Thorpe, J. H. Nurney Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
1902 Mch. 26Lot 35 × 80 ft. Thomas Street adjoining Church Lot East on Thomas, Part of Church Lot. Payment of $500.00. Deeded by Simon Hicks and Charlie B. Hicks, wife to S. K. Fountain, J. W. Hines, A. P. Thorpe, and W. L. Thorp, Trustees of the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
1922 May 23Lot 35 × 80 ft. Thomas Street adjoining Church Lot east on Thomas Street. Sunday School Building Lot, Payment of $3500.00. Deeded by L. F. Tillery and Minnie H. Tillery to S. K. Fountain, Murdoch McRae and L. F. Tillery, Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
1907 April 24Trustees of Albemarle Presbytery (Made from a part of Orange Presbytery) Samuel Watkins, John Webb, Leo D. Hartt, J. H. Thorpe, George Allen, Frank Thorpe and Octavious Sadler deeded the original Church Lot-Corner of Church and Thomas Streets-to S. K. Fountain, L. F. Tillery and W. L. Groom, Trustees of the Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, N. C.
(All Deeds recorded in Court House, Nashville, North Carolina, Nash County)


In regard to the lot deeded by George Allen and his wife Leah M. Allen: “to be used by said Presbytery of Orange in the establishment and building up in the town of Rocky Mount, Nash County, North Carolina, a Presbyterian Church to be in connection with and under the Ecclesiastical control of said Presbytery, and whenever in the judgment of said Presbytery it shall appear that said property can no longer by used for the advancement of the interest of the Presbyterian Church in the said town of Rocky Mount, then said property shall be held in such trusts and uses as said, Presbytery of Orange, shall thereafter direct.”


Miss Ida Agatha Bassett was a Charter Member of the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount by letter from Tarboro and “by an act of Presbytery.” She joined “by confession” in Tarboro March 17th, in 1878. She died in Rocky Mount, 1920.

Dr. Joseph Halsey Burnett is given credit for being the first Presbyterian to locate in Rocky Mount, having been raised a Presbyterian in Morristown, New Jersey. His wife was Samuel Ann (Folk) Burnett. They had their children baptized by Rev. J. W. Primrose, the evangelist who organized the Church here.

Second Generation: Annie M. Burnett (Mrs. E. G. Muse) became an Episcopalian.

Joseph Halsey Burnett, Jr.’s name is not found on the records. He later became a Baptist with his family and died in Texas.

William Seymour Burnett united with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount first in 1886. After living away for a period of years he joined again, with his wife, in 1929

Third Generation: Ann Garvin Burnett united with the Church in 1932. Mana Byrd Burnett united with the Church in 1937.


Mary Ballard Bunn (Mrs. A. W. Arrington) was enrolled in Tarboro as a member of the Presbyterian Church, February 15, 1874. Her name was transferred “by an act of Presbytery” (Orange) December 9, 1878 as a charter member to help form an organization in Rocky Mount.

In the Sketch of Dr. J. W. Primrose, Mary Ballard Bunn was mentioned as having been baptised and received into the Church by him and as being for a time the only Presbyterian in Rocky Mount.

After her marriage she lived on the North West Corner of Sunset Avenue and Church Street. Her home was always open for the entertainment of the ministers who came to hold services, not only of her own but of other denominations as well. She died January 29, 1886.

Second Generation: (Third from Mrs. S.A.E. Bunn) Lucy Arrington (Mrs. E. G. Johnston) became a Methodist, Bennett Bunn Arrington united with the Church in 1928.

Third Generation: (Fourth from Mrs. S.A.E. Bunn) Margaret Ballard Arrington united with the Church in 1925, Martha Bunn Arrington united with the Church in 1928, Frances Allen Arringtio united with the Church in 1928, Edward G. Johnston, Jr., united with the Church in 1912.

Fourth Generation: (Fifth from Mrs. S.A.E. Bunn) Julia Johnston united with the Church in 1938.

Mrs. S. A. E. Bunn (Mrs. Sarah A.E.) was rated as a Charter Member of the Rocky Mount Presbyterian Church. Her name appears on the original roll as having been received “by an Evangelist.” She was the mother of two other Charter Members-Mrs. A.W. Arrington and Mrs. Lucy S. Thorpe. Her husband died and she had the responsibility of the family. Her home was at one time in the large brick home overlooking Tar River, known by some as the Lewis Home, and by others as the Bunn Home. Later she lived further out the road leading from in front of this home a few miles further out in Nash County. The original house burned and another one

was constructed on this site. She is buried in a private plot on this farm. She was born in 1818. “The Phoenix” —a paper published in Rocky Mount, published a notice of her death in 1894. It was said of her that: “she was a model of humility and gentleness of character—a sweetness of disposition unsurpassed.”

Her church activities are obscured by a lack of records but we do honor to the part she must have had in strengthening the organization from its beginning.

Generations of members from her are noted through her daughter and through Mrs. Lucy S. Thorpe, page 52.


Octavious Ryland Sadler and wife Mary Alice (Otey) Sadler came to Rocky Mount, North Carolina from Richmond, Virginia, about 1869. They found no Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount but grouped themselves with other Christians and by their interest and cooperation helped to foster an organization.

Dr. J.W. Primrose was the Synodical Evangelist from 1872-1882 for Eastern North Carolina and began to stimulate the small group by holding services in the buildings available and encouraging a Sunday School. Members united with the Church at Tarboro in 1874 where we find Mr. and Mrs. Sadler's names were enrolled and on December 9th, 1878, “by an act of Presbytery (Orange)” their names, with eight others, were transferred to form an organization in Rocky Mount.

Mr. Sadler was named as one of the Trustees who had “power to receive donations and to purchase and hold property real and personal in trust for Orange Presbytery. (Later Albemarle Presbytery was formed for this section).

The lot on the corner of Church and Thomas Streets was deeded to these Trustees: J. W. Primrose, (Rev.). J. H. Thorpe, Bennett Bunn, Octavious Sadler, T. Pullen Dorsey Battle, Judge George Howard and George Allen on May 16, 1873.

Mr. Sadler with W. L. Thorp, J. H. Nurney and A. P. Thorpe being Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina for the receipt of the Manse Lot, February 2, 1882.

He was elected an Elder January 27, 1880, and was Clerk of the Session for several years. He was a zealous worker, taking care of the Church building voluntarily for a time and looking after the comfort of the worshipers. He strongly sanctioned keeping the Church in the location on Church and Thomas Streets when a discussion arose as to seeking a different one. He died July 22, 1924.

Those who knew Mrs. Sadler said she worked lovingly and untiringly toward the upbuilding of the Church. She had her children baptised and reared them so as to become loyal members. She served as a leader in the Ladies’ Aid and Missionary Societies. Her name is found repeatedly as representing the Missionary Society in the meetings of the Presbyterial Union which was the forerunner of the Presbyterial Auxiliary.

Mrs. Sadler became an invalid several years before she died, but her loving interest was still manifested in every way it could be by one shut-in. She died on June 1, 1918.

Their sons and daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren are hereby named as a part of the History of the (First) Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and it is hoped that as long as this History is added to that the future generations of all charter members will be so noted as a tribute to these zealous pioneer members.

Second Generation: Roberta Sadler Harris (Mrs. C. H.) united with the Church in Rocky Mount, N. C., in 1886. She then joined the Baptist Church with her husband. Ryland Otey Sadler, eldest son, joined in 1887. He became a dentist and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. He was made a Ruling Elder there in the Maryland Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1897. Lilly Sadler Thomas (Mrs. J. S.) united with the Church in 1886. We find no record

of Walter Sadler's membership. He left Rocky Mount in 1894. We find no record of Dove Sadler's membership. He became a member of the Maryland Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.

Third Generation: Sons and daughters of Mrs. G. S. Edwards: George R. Edwards united with the church in 1911. He was made a Deacon in 1923 and an Elder in 1934. Mary Edwards (Mrs. Woodall Rose) united with the Church in 1918. Julia Edwards, (Mrs. Leon Timberlake) united with the Church in 1918. Ruth Edwards united with the church in 1918 Philip Edwards united with the Church in 1936. Scott Thomas, son of Mrs. J. S. Thomas went with his father to the Baptist Church.

Fourth Generation: J. W. Thurman, Jr. (Grandson of Mrs. C. H. Harris) united with the Church in 1938 Sons of G. R. Edwards: Ryland Edwards united with the Church in 1935. George Edwards united with the Church in 1938. John Edwards baptized in 1934.

Daughter of Julia Edwards Timberlake: Julia Timberlake, not yet a member of the Church.


Mrs. Lucy S. Thorpe

Second Generation: (Third from Mrs. S. A. E. Bunn) William B. Thorpe, a son, united with the church in 1890. He was made a Deacon that same year. He moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1892. Mrs. T. E. Marshall (Miss Lucie Carrie Thorpe) united with the Church in 1892. She took an active interest in the Missionary Society and the Ladies’ Aid Society, being listed as the President of the Missionary Society organized by Rev-F. D. Thomas in 1896. She served the Woman's Auxiliary, organized in 1921, as its first Treasurer and at other times later in its history. She served also in other important capacities. Mr. T. E. Marshall became treasurer of the Church about 1917. After it was decided to have a Treasurer for Current Expenses and Benevolences, Mr. R. M. Wilson was made Benevolent Treasurer. He served for a short time and Mrs. Marshall was

made Benevolent Treasurer serving from 1920-

W. L. Thorp:

W. L. Thorp was enrolled in Tarboro February 16, 1878 and was dismissed “by an act of Presbytery” to form an organization in Rocky Mount, December 9, 1878. Captain J. J. White, a later Clerk of the Session, stated that the first meeting of the Session was May 30, 1880. At this time Rev. L. H. Baldwin was the pastor. He was the Moderator of the Session and Mr. W. L. Thorp was the Clerk. He had been made an Elder December 15, 1878.

In 1883 Mr. Thorp, at hos own request, ceased to act as an Elder because he had moved to Hilliardston and was too far away to attend to the duties of the office.

We find his name upon the deed of February 2, 1882 for the manse lot as a Trustee and also upon the deed of March 26, 1902 for the additional Church lot on Thomas Street.

He returned to Rocky Mount about 1890 and was active in promoting the work of the Church in its entire program. He was a lawyer by profession. He became Mayor and served in this capacity at two different times. He was known as Judge Thorp. He impressed all who knew him as being a true, devout and earnest christian and carried out these principles in every phase of his life. He influenced many to become members of the Church. He gave liberally of his interest and means in building up the Church of his choice, materially as well as spiritually.

There is no record to show the names of those instrumental in constructing the original building, but we feel that Mr. Thorp's name would appear upon such a record. Later records show that he was actively interested in the construction of the Brich Church constructed in 1907 and 1908.

His oldest son, Archibald A. Thorp joined the Presbyterian Church in 1892. He died in 1907.

Other children, one son and three daughters, became Episcopalians on account of their mother's belonging to this denomination. Virginia, (Mrs. R. H. Gregory) died in 1903, Mary (Mrs. R. A. King), Mildred (Mrs. J. L. Horne), William L. Thorp.


Miss Viola Tillery was rated as a Charter Member, uniting with Rocky Mount Church by a letter from Tarboro and “by an act of Presbytery” December 9, 1878. She was active in the work of the Church at that time, especially in helping with the singing. She married Mr. J. R. Sorsby. She died May 27, 1889 in her thirty-fifth year.

She was a daughter of John P. Tillery and at the time of her death she was rated as the oldest native-born citizen. She was buried at the Rick's Burying Ground and Dr. J.N.H. Summerell conducted the service.

There are no succeeding generations from her listed in the Church records.

Mrs. J. H. Thomas was named by Captain J. J. White, an early Clerk of the Session, as being a Charter member of the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, and was enrolled December 9, 1878. She was an active worker. She taught in the Sunday School and had many boys and girls in her classes.

Mr. J. H. Thomas was the first Deacon elected, December 7,1884, and presumably followed Mr. J. H. Nurney Elder, as Treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas removed from Rocky Mount. There are no succeeding generations from them enrolled at the time of the printing of this History.


1878 or 79Approximate date (certainly before 1880 as the Sessional Record of that date states that the Session “met in the Church.”)
The original building was frame with bell tower but no steeple. (according to a statement of Rev. J. N. H. Summerell, the steeple was added during his pastorate) The building was rectangular about 35×51 feet. The bell tower was on the north corner with a door toward Thomas Street and an inside door opposite it into the vestibule. Door in front a double door opening into vestibule. Two doors from vestibule into auditorium. Two aisles. Long central pews, shorter side pews, being well constructed. Pulpit on rostrum with a two-step rise. Organ and choir occupied corner by the pulpit. The large stove furnishing the heat was placed in center toward the vestibule. Light was furnished by oil lamps. Windows were of Gothic type with plain glass. The women added paper to simulate stained glass, later. They also carpeted the aisles and pulpit and were instrumental in painting and papering the Church.
1893Between January and May a five room cottage was built for the occupancy of Rev. F. D. Thomas and family to be used for the manse.
1906It was decided that a new Church building should be undertaken. Since the manse was too close and would have to be moved it was deemed best to sell it and to construct a new manse as well. The house was sold and moved off the lot and the money turned over to the Ladies’ Aid Society. Messrs W. L. Groom, W. G. Weeks and H. R. Thorpe were appointed as a committee to assist the women.
1907The corner stone was laid for the new Church. The frame building turned to face Thomas Street to the rear to be used during the construction of the new building. It was later sold to a colored congregation, (Methodist) and moved to Atlantic Avenue.
1908 January 14Report of the completion of the two-story, eight room manse for a total of $3086.24







all paid. The Committee to let the contract for the Church building was Messrs. H. E. Brewer, A. P. Thorpe and J. H. Cuthrell. The contract was given to D. J. Rose and Company. Mr. Rose being connected with the Church was more than a contractor in his interest in the building program and when a business depression held up the work for a time he made personal sacrifices by making special concessions to have the building completed.
Dr. W. D. Morton was pastor at this time.
1909 November 14The brick Church Building was opened for worship services. It was completed at a cost of $20,000.00. Building of red brick, stone trimmed. The front has a three-arched portico flanked by square towers. The north tower having a pyramidal steeple, the south tower with a square masonry top. The gable end between the towers having three double stained glass windows. The Sunday School division being built to the South with vestibule entrance being rectangular with three class rooms opening to the south by folding doors. The parlor in front of the Sunday School division to right of the vestibule and Baraca (or Men’) Bible Class Room to rear of Sunday School room with door and steps leading from it to the outside. Pulpit in central of three arches with oak columns supporting them. Study, or Session Room, to north of Pulpit and Estey Pipe Organ under the southern arch. Heavy cross-beamed ceiling in Church auditorium and Sunday School Department. Three upward sliding, green burlap-paneled doors separating the two departments. All windows stained glass with semicircular tops. Woodwork dark oak. Three sets of curved oak pews, graduated in length. Floor sloping. Four aisles. Four memorial windows. (Described under Memorials)
1914 November 8Church dedicated. (See Scrap book for program) Pipe organ installed before this service.
1922Chimes added to organ.
1923 NovemberMrs. W. D. Morton laid the corner stone of the Morton Memorial Sunday School Building.







1925Building opened with ceremonies on May 31, 1925 (See Scrapbook) Cost of Building and equipment, approximately $60,000.00.
The members of the Church assumed financial responsibility under the direction of the Finance Committee. That part which was not given in cash was carried as Building and Loan shares by individuals, 97 shares were carried by the Women's Auxiliary to maturity. The remaining indebtedness being secured by a mortgage upon the Manse.
D. J. Rose and Sons were the Contractors and they gave the Church the benefit of as close a price as was commensurate with good workmanship and materials.
The Committee to decide upon type of building and the Finance Committee are named in Mrs. Tillery's Sketch.
The Morton Memorial Sunday School Building being a Departmental Building. Red brick, stone-trimmed. Rectangular with an L connection to Church Building. Flat top. Windows on basement and first floor square topped and on second floor with semi-circular top, glazed with pebbled glass. Basement floor containing Auditorium, kitchen, Scout room and lobby. First floor, with entrance from open court. Containing: Cradle Roll, Beginners and Primary Departments with cloak rooms. Parlor and Pastor's double-study. Lobby and Secretary's Alcove. Second floor containing Junior, Intermediate and Senior Departments. One small room and two large class rooms also lobby and cloak rooms. Beginner's Department arranged with one large room and two smaller connecting rooms. Storage closets in two rooms. Two connecting entrances to the Church building by steps descending to the level of original Sunday School Department later designated as the “Chapel.” Baraca Class room converted into Choir Room for vested choir. Pianos in all departments and in Parlor and Auditorium. Chairs and seats of type appropriate to seating


Willard Conger


Morton Memorial Sunday School


needs. Reverend Willard Conger, Pastor.
1938 AugustWork begun on the Thorpe Memorial Chapel For description of building see “Memorials.” (Page 83)


In the History, written by Mrs. L. F. Tillery, many of the early Sunday School Workers are mentioned. Her facts are supplemented by the names of the Superintendents in chronological order as gleaned from the Sessional Records.

The organized classes with the original officers and charter members (as far as it was possible to get this information) are listed.

The General Superintendent, Secretary and Treasurer, and the Superintendents of Departments of the Departmental Sunday School, as organized when the Morton Memorial Sunday School Building was first occupied, are listed.

Appreciation is hereby acknowledged of all Superintendents, Officers and Teachers who through the years—though unnamed here—have directed the youth of the Church in paths of righteousness.


J. H. NurneyH. C. Brewer
J. J. WhiteK. C. Barrett
H. E. BrewerF. M. Pridgen
J. J. WhiteR. B. Spenser
L. F. TilleryR. T. Fountain
W. L. GroomE. H. Austin
W. B. JenkinsW. E. Renneker
W. S. ClaryR. M. Wilson


The Baraca Class was organized March 8, 1908 in the “tower room” of the frame building which had been turned to face Thomas Street, to the rear of the brick Church Building which was under construction.


L. F. Tillery, President

B. J. Weatherford, Vice President

K. C. Barrett, Secretary

Murdock MacRae, Treasurer

Dr. W. D. Morton, Teacher

Captain J. J. White, Assist. Teacher

Members Present:

Dr. W. D. Morton

K. C. Barrett

Charles Kirkland

J. C. Pierce

T. C. McCall

B. J. Weatherford

E. S. Wood

Wiley Daniel

Leslie Calhoun

L. F. Tillery

V. T. Bassett

John Nordstrom

R. S. Thompson

G. W. Corbin

J. W. Keel

Murdock MacRae

J. T. Spivey

J. T. Branch

J. J. White

Members Absent:

R. T. Fountain

J. C. Rosemond

F. M. Pridgen

There must have been a Men's Bible Class prior to this time. Indications point to this fact but no records are on file to prove it.

Since the “tower room” was a very small room the men decided to get the Ladies’ Parlor of the Brick Church in shape so they could have more adequate quarters in which to meet. They met there April 19, 1908. On October 25, 1908 they met in their own room, known as the Baraca Room, and situated on the southeast corner of the brick building with the organ and choir loft to the north and the main Sunday School room to the west, opening into the Sunday School room by a door near the northwest corner and opening by large double doors to steps leading out at the rear of the Church. Also, door into Choir Loft.

This class sponsored the Home Missions League and by superintending, teaching and attending these Home Mission Sunday Schools they helped establish the three Mission Points—Bethlehem, Morton and the Second Presbyterian Church. Sunday School and Preaching Services were held at other points, such as Powell's School House and Juvenile which did not develop into Churches but where much good was done by their efforts.

This Class then joined the class that had been organized by and taught by the Reverend Willard Conger in the room on the second floor over the Parlor. It became known as the Men's Bible Class and having outgrown this room they moved to the Auditorium of the Morton Memorial Building.

Teachers of the Baraca Class were: Dr. W. D. Morton, Captain J. J. White, Mr. S. K. Fountain, Mr. W. L. Groom, Mr. J. A. Edgerton, Mr. J. W. Keel, Rev. T. P. Allen, and Mr. C. W. Woodward.

Of the combined Classes, Mr. H. W. Kendall and Mr. T. L. Simmons have taught most of the time.

Books on File: Book # 1 giving organization, March-December, 1908. Minute Book 1911-1914 and 1918-1924.


The Westminster Philathea Class was organized in the frame Church building in 1908 as it stood on the lot facing Thomas Street. This succeeded the Bible Class that had been a part of the Sunday School prior to this time.


Mrs. W. H. Fountain, President

Miss Annie Daniel, Vice President

Miss Lottie Wemys, Secretary

Mrs. A. S. Lyon, Treasurer

Mr. F. M. Pridgen, Teacher

Charter Members:

Mrs. W. H. Fountain

Miss Lottie Wemys

Miss Alma Bradshaw

Miss Minnie Stone

(Mrs. S. B. Dominick)

Miss Lizzie Taylor

Miss Annie Daniel

Miss Lucile Jones

(Mrs. R. H. Speight)

Miss Mabel Bradshaw

(Mrs. J. P. Stinson)

Mrs. A. R. Ferguson

(Mrs. F. M. Pridgen)

Mrs. A. S. Lyon

(Some members are left out, no doubt.....Names gleaned from tradition, not from records)

The Westminster Philathea Class affiliated with the Baraca-Philathea Union for a period of years. It was an organized class from its formation in 1908. The funds of the class have been disbursed according to the discretion of the class and not through the Sunday School Treasurer. They have paid for their literature, have given to local Home Missions, to the Causes of the Church from time to time, and have given regularly to the Orphans’ Home at Barium. One project of the class has been the starting of a Memorial Student Loan Fund with the Committee of Christian Education and Ministerial Relief in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon the death of a member her name is sent to be enrolled on the memorial list and an extra contribution is made in her memory.

Mr. F. M. Pridgen taught the class till he accepted the position of Superintendent of the Sunday School in 1918. Mrs. Jennie K. Hill was made teacher in 1918.

The name of the class was changed to The Jennie K. Hill Bible Class in her honor. Mrs. Hill died May 29, 1929.

Mrs. D. B. Faison was the next regular teacher.

Mrs. H. C. Wilson, Mrs. J. E. Hopwood and other members of the class have taught for short periods as substitute teachers.

Mrs. T. H. MacPherson, daughter of Mrs. Hill, was elected teacher in 1931 or 1932. She resigned in December, 1938 on account of absence from the city.

The class elects officers each year and the names of these officers should be on record in the minute books of the class on file in their class room on the southeastern corner of the Church Building.

The office of treasurer has not been changed for a number of years as the class held the efficiency and interest of Mrs. W. L. Groom in so much esteem.

The office of Secretary held by Mrs. B. Warren held over a longer period because of her marked ability for this office, but other officers and committees have been changed more frequently to keep the activities of the class more fluent.


Enrollment: December, 1938

Mrs. R. C. AndersonMrs. C. E. Bostain
Mrs. H. E. BrewerMrs. J. A. Brown
Mrs. A. F. BuchananMiss Kezzie Clark
Mrs. Thomas CrothersMrs. J. B. Cummings
Mrs. Lindsay EnnisMrs. W. H. Fountain
Mrs. W. L. GroomMiss Nellie Groom
Mrs. P. P. HallMrs. J. T. Holmes
Mrs. J. E. HopwoodMrs. A. S. Lyon
Mrs. T. H. MacPhersonMiss Mary McDearman
Miss Bonnie McSwainMrs. John Nordstrom
Mrs. J. C. PierceMrs. R. T. Rawls
Mrs. J. J. RollinsMrs. B. Warren
Mrs. L. F. WitteMrs. H. L. Young

President, Mrs. A. F. Buchanan

Vice President, Mrs. H. L. Young

Secretary, Mrs. B. Warren

Treasurer, Mrs. W. L. Groom

Pianist, Miss Nellie Groom

Mrs. L. F. Witte considered a “Service Member” as she was Superintendent of the Junior Department of the Sunday School.

The Memorial List started after the death of Mrs. Jennie K. Hill.

Mrs. Jennie K. Hill, May 29, 1929, widow of Rev. W. E. Hill.

Mrs. W. D. Morton (Kate Dennis), widow of a former pastor.

Mrs. R. C. Brake (Hetty Cosby) February 25, 1937.


1921A Young Woman's Bible Class was organized in the home of Mrs. J. W. Keel in April, 1921 with the following Charter Members:
Mrs. N. H. EdgertonMrs. J. W. Keel
Mrs. F. M. PridgenMrs. R. B. Spencer
Miss Margy BradleyMrs. N. A. Harrington
Mrs. L. H. BowlingMiss Maggie Spears
Miss Zolma BradleyMrs. H. L. Rose
Mrs. H. H. Littrell
(The organization of this class is from the memory of several members. No doubt some names are left off.)
Officers Chosen;
Mrs. H. L. Rose, President
Mrs. N. H. Edgerton, Vice President
Miss Margy Bradley, Secretary
Miss Maggie Spears, Treasurer
The Class did not function with much regularity until September when Mrs. Willard Conger was chosen as the teacher and the place of meeting was provided at the Manse where the meetings were held until the class moved into the room provided for it in the Morton Memorial Building on January 25, 1925. This room was on the southwest corner on the second floor, counting the basement, the first and the second floors. The name was changed to The Woman's Bible Class February 22, 1926. Then changed to The Conger Bible Class in honor of both Mrs. Willard Conger, the teacher, and the revered Pastor. This change was made October 29, 1931.
The Class has had many worthy objectives, both spiritual and material. It has had a social feature that has meant much to the fellowship of the members.
Packing a Christmas Box for the children at Grandfather's Orphanage was undertaken after the Dorcas Society was combined with the other Societies to

form the Auxiliary in 1921. This was handled for several years.
Giving regular amounts to promote Out-station Work in Africa was another major objective.
Helping to reduce the debt on the Manse and carrying Building and Loan to maturity for the Morton Memorial Building was accomplished.
For several years a Christmas Bazaar was sponsored by the Class.
Almost complete records have been gotten together by Mrs. J. A. Holdren in one book from records preserved by former Secretaries. This book is on file. Also, Roll Books.


December, 1938


Mrs. N. H. Edgerton, President

Mrs. E. M. Turner, Vice President, Chairman of Spiritual Life

Mrs. H. H. Zerbach, 2nd Vice President, Chairman Membership Committee

Mrs. W. G. Weeks, 3rd Vice President, Chairman of Visiting Committee

Mrs. A. F. Harrell, 4th Vice President, Chairman Finance Committee

Mrs. J. A. Holdren, Secretary and Treasurer

Mrs. B. B. ArringtonMrs. M. C. Bonham
Mrs. L. H. BowlingMiss Zolma Bradley
Mrs. W. S. BurnettMrs. Willard Conger
Mrs. T. A. Dixon(Teacher since 1921)
Mrs. J. A. EdgertonMrs. N. H. Edgerton
Mrs. Lynwood ElmoreMiss Cornelia Ferrell
Mrs. A. F. HarrellMrs. A. Hengeveld
Mrs. J. A. HoldrenMrs. J. D. Jenkins
Mrs. L. U. LewisMrs. H. H. Littrell
Mrs. R. S. McCoinMrs. E. A. Parker
Mrs. J. E. ParkerMrs. H. H. Renfro

Mrs. W. E. RennekerMrs. T. J. Russell
Mrs. J. B. SweeneyMrs. B. B. Sweeney
Mrs. E. M. TurnerMrs. J. R. Tignor
Mrs. R. M. WilsonMrs. A. P. Thorpe, Sr.
Mrs. W. G. Weeks, Sr.Mrs. H. H. Zerbach


1921In the Fall of 1921 a Young Men's Bible Class was organized by Rev. Willard Conger, Pastor. It was formed with six members the first Sunday and there were eight the second Sunday. Seven of the eight who attended the Class the first two Sundays are here recorded, given from memory by W. W. Kearney and Emmett Brewer.
W. W. KearneyG. R. Edwards
Emmett BrewerMarshall Spears
Dan DoveDonald Cuthrell
E. G. Johnston, Jr.
The Class was under the direction of Rev. Mr. Conger. He was also the teacher.
The over-crowded condition of the accessible places for meeting made it impossible to find a place to meet at the Church, so it was necessary for this Class to find a place to meet elsewhere. This place was found in the Phillip's Building, 126 North Main Street, later occupied by the Wilkinson, Bullock Company. This became an organized class, Mr. W. S. Wilkinson being among the first, if not the first, president.
When the Morton Memorial Sunday School was opened for use of the Sunday School in January, 1925, this class had a room provided for it over the parlor.
The Baraca Class merged into the Class later.
Regular teachers have been: Rev. Willard Conger, Mr. H. W. Kendall, Possibly others, and Mr. T. L. Simmons since 1928.

This Class outgrew the room over the parlor and the next meeting place was the Auditorium of the Morton Memorial Building, an added advantage being that it was so easily entered from Thomas Street.
Meeting the obligations of the Class by paying for the literature, contributing to the general Sunday School funds and giving the offering of the Fourth Sundays to the Orphanage have been some of the regular objectives of the Class.
A Dollar Club for Barium was formed in 1937. (See Scrap Book for clipping from the Barium Messenger under Sunday School) This move on the part of the Class was given a write-up in appreciation of the fine spirit of cooperation and, no doubt, served as an inspiration to other classes throughout the Synod.
Social features have been a part of the program of the Class from time to time. Some of these have been in the form of Supper Meetings with guest speakers. At times they have extended invitations to the Women's Bible Classes and in 1938 they gave a Supper in honor of the newly organized Westminster Men's Bible Class.
In 1938 the name for the Class generally used was THE MEN'S BIBLE CLASS.
No records are on file of the organization of this Class. Roll Book 1926 to 1928 filed with the Historian.


1938 December
T. L. Simmons, Teacher
W. F. Cross, Secretary & Treasurer
O. R. Mixon, President
Lindsay Ennis, Vice President
A. L. AlwranN. B. Boddie
A. E. BoneyM. C. Bonham
Douglas BrakeS. A. Burton
C. E. BostainLeslie Calhoun
M. M. BrownW. F. Cross
J. B. CummingsTravis Davenport
Thomas A. DixonN. H. Edgerton
Lindsay EnnisJ. F. Ennis
C. F. FosheeB. E. Fountain
O. L. GayJ. W. Gray
W. L. GroomA. F. Harrell
J. A. HoldrenJ. T. Herring
W. P. JenningsW. W. Kearney
J. W. KeelW. H. King
E. C. LindseyW. T. Martin
T. E. MarshallC. V. March
R. O. MayoO. R. Mixon
W. O. MooreT. R. Moore
J. M. McRaeWalter MacRae
P. G. PowersJohn Nordstrom
J. W. PhillispJ. C. Pierce
Con ProctorF. M. Pridgen
B. E. RoneyH. Robbins
R. G. SpearsT. L. Simmons
L. J. ShiveW. M. Spears
J. L. ThomasW. I. Tanner
L. F. TilleryB. E. Thompson
T. T. ThorneE. M. Turner
Gordon VestalD. W. Vestal
G. A. WilkinsonX. H. Ward
Harry WhitakerB. Warren
Paul MacRaeRev. Norman Johnson (Honorary)


1929A Young Woman's Bible Class was organized at the home of Mrs. H. E. Brewer, Jr., in the fall of 1929. The name of the class was afterward changed to The Renneker Bible Class in Memory of Mr. W. E. Renneker who was so interested in the formation of the class and who was Superintendent of the Sunday School at the time of his death on December 14, 1929.
No early records of the class are available, but from the memory of some, these names are rated as Charter Members. Others, no doubt, should appear here.
Mrs. H. E. Brewer, President
Vice President
Mrs. H. E. Brewer, Jr.Mrs. J. B. Brewer
Miss ClarkMiss Smith
Mrs. J. W. DavenportMiss Dorothy Anderson (Mrs. Frank Doar)
Miss Leslie Moss (Mrs. H. W. Kendall)
Mrs. W. W. Kearney
Mrs. F. L. GreathouseMrs. A. Lewis
Mrs. E. W. Bulluck was chosen as the first teacher.
Mrs. H. L. Hicks was the second teacher.
The Class Room has been the Ladies’ Parlor.
1938 December
Mrs. J. F. Ennis, President
Mrs. Don Carter, Vice President
Mrs. Travis Davenport, Secretary
Mrs. H. L. Hicks, Teacher
Mrs. Ben Fountain, Substitute Teacher
Mrs. N. B. BoddieMrs. Harold Browning
Mrs. Don CarterMrs. Frank Cross
Mrs. Travis DavenportMrs. G. R. Edwards
Mrs. J. F. EnnisMrs. J. A. Farmer

Mrs. C. S. FosheeMrs. Ben Fountain
Mrs. H. L. HicksMrs. Louie Lattimore
Mrs. W. W. KearneyMrs. W. H. McIntyre
Mrs. C. V. MarchMrs. H. S. Merrill
Mrs. Lyman MelvinMrs. Ed Newton
Mrs. E. M. MobleyMrs. Bob Pearson
Mrs. H. T. ParryMiss Aline Pendleton
Miss Mary RennekerMrs. A. E. Ritch
Miss Betsy RitchMrs. David Vestal
Mrs. L. F. ShivesMrs. Harry Whitaker
Mrs. H. X. Ward


1925 January 25The Morton Memorial Sunday School Building was occupied. It was constructed for a Departmental Sunday School.
General Superintendent:R. T. Fountain
Secretary and Treasurer:H. H. Littrell
Cradle Roll Department:Mrs. R. M. Wilson
Beginners’ Department:Mrs. A. B. Douglas
Primary Department:Mrs. W. G. Weeks
Junior Department:E. H. Austin
Intermediate-Senior Departments:Mrs. H. L. Hicks
1938 December:A Sixty Year Period of Church History.


General Superintendent:R. M. Wilson since 1930
Secretary & Treasurer:H. H. Littrell since 1919

Superintendent:Mrs. C. C. Colston since 1937
Helpers:Mrs. T. J. Russell
Miss Nancy Stinson

Superintendent:Mrs. A. B. Douglas since 1918
Teachers:Mrs. W. N. Clark
Mrs. W. S. Wilkinson, Jr.
Mrs. R. M. James
Mrs. R. H. Gregory, Jr.
Mrs. R. T. Rawls, Substitute
Pianist:Mrs. W. N. Clark
Mrs. R. T. Rawls, Substitute

Superintendent:Mrs. A. L. Alwran (Margaret Commander) since 1927
Secretary:Miss Marian Stinson
Pianist:Mrs. M. V. Barnhill, Jr.
Teachers:Mrs. C. C. Ward
Mrs. Jerry Shive

Mrs. H. E. Brewer, Jr.
Mrs. K. C. Denny
Miss Polly Easley

Superintendent:Mrs. L. F. Witte since 1926
Secretary:Mrs. J. A. Harper
Pianist:Mrs. J. A. Harper
Teachers:Mrs. N. O. Tuttle
Mrs. John King
Miss Maggie Spears
Miss Rachel Herring
Mrs. Lindsay Ennis
Miss Ann Hamlet

Superintendent:Mrs. J. P. Barksdale
Adult Adviser:Mrs. Garland Wood
Pianist:Miss Elizabeth Renneker
Music Director:Miss Betsy Ritch
Teachers:Miss Louise Cummings
Mr. James Woodson
Miss Joyce Jones
Mr. W. N. Clark


(Separated from the Intermediate Department on October 1, 1938. Meeting Place in the room over the Parlor, the League Room.)

Superintendent:Mrs. C. C. Todd since 1937
Pianist:Miss Chloris Tuttle
Pianist Asst.:Miss Bessie Rollins
Teachers:Mrs. T. C. Young
Mrs. F. L. Greathouse
Mr. C. A. Rhinehart
Mr. James Keel

1939 January 1The Senior Department of the Sunday School used for the first time the recently acquired hymnals “The New Hymnal for American Youth” compiled by H. Augustine Smith.
This Hymnal being rated as the highest class one on record for Young People. The compiler spent

years in gathering select material for it.
In connection with the hymals another book compiled by H. Augustine Smith “Lyric Religion” was secured.
Mrs. C. C. Todd originated the idea of securing the books. She had the co-operation of Mrs. K. C. Denny, Secretary of Religious Education in presenting the idea to the Woman's Auxiliary. Liberal contributions were made by:
Mr. J. B. BrewerThe Sunday School
The Woman's AuxiliaryMrs. K. C. Denny
Mr. W. N. ClarkMrs. W. S. Burnett
Mrs. T. C. YoungMrs. W. H. Dixon
Mrs. C. J. BlanchardMrs. C. W. Wood
Circle # 4, Mrs. L. U. Lewis, Chairman


1937 June 6The Westminster Bible Class of the First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, North Carolina was organized.
H. L. Elmore, Teacher
G. R. Edwards, Assistant Teacher
R. I. Sturtevant, President
G. W. Wood, Vice President
Robert Littrell, Secretary
H. T. Liversay, Assistant Secretary
C. C. Colston, Treasurer
Rev. Norman Johnson, President Ex. Officio.
C. T. AllenJ. B. Brewer
D. F. CadeC. C. Colston
G. R. EdwardsR. I. Sturtevant
G. W. WoodH. L. Elmore
Robert LittrellH. T. Livesay
C. V. MarchE. E. Purvis, Jr.
W. G. Weeks, Jr.Palmer Maples
1938 December
H. J. Elmore, Teacher
G. N. Adams, President
C. C. Colston, Vice President
H. M. Daly, Secretary and Treasurer
G. N. AdamsE. E. Adkins
R. C. AndersonC. D. Bedford
L. H. BowlingJ. B. Brewer
J. K. BrewerW. C. Brewer
H. M. BrowningG. W. Brinkley
J. M. BulluckC. C. Colston
W. R. CollieH. M. Daly
E. DraperG. R. Edwards
H. L. ElmoreBob Eason
J. C. FarmerRusell Harris
Henry HengeveldFred Hengeveld
E. G. JohnsonD. H. Jones
Page KeelJ. W. Lamberson

H. H. LittrellH. T. Livesay
George LeloudisPalmer Maples
C. V. MarchW. H. McIntyre
M. McGregorT. E. Marshall, Jr.
H. T. ParryR. L. Proctor
E. E. PurvisMorris Pridgen
Ray RiddleA. E. Ritch
Joe RollinsL. S. Sturtevant
R. I. SturtevantA. P. Thorpe
Harold TuttleW. G. Weeks, Jr.
B. Warren, Jr.Garland Wood


1937 June 13A class for the College Group of young people was organized at a supper meeting served by the Woman's Auxiliary Committee, Mrs. T. C. Young, Chairman.
Mrs. W. N. Clark was chairman of the committee in charge of organizing the class. Mrs. R. M. Wilson and Mrs. H. L. Hicks being members and Mr. R. M. Wilson, Superintendent of the Sunday School, was an advisory member.
It was decided to hold the meetings at ten o'clock Sunday mornings during the vacation period in the Senior League Room on the third floor of the Morton Memorial Building. A President and Program Leader were decided upon and all members of the College Group were to be asked to affiliate. Moseley Faison, a graduate of Davidson College, was elected President and Dorothy Zerbach, a student at Duke University, was elected Program Leader. No regular teacher was chosen, but the different speakers were to be secured to address the class each Sunday morning.
This class filled a gap in the Sunday School organization which had been open since the Departmental Sunday School was organized in 1925.
Mr. E. G. Johnston was the first speaker to address the class, Sunday morning, June 27, 1937.


1921 September 21 - Organized under the Circle Plan.

1921-1923Mrs. H. L. Hicks (May Williams)
1923-1925Mrs. H. R. Thorpe (Charlotte Young)
1925-1926Mrs. R. B. Spencer (Mary Brown) Mrs. W. L. Groom, Vice President finished this term, (Myra M. Dennis)
1926-1927Mrs. T. H. MacPherson (Kate Hill)
1927-1929Mrs. H. L. Hicks
1929-1931Mrs. C. W. Coghill (Rose Putney)
1931-1933Mrs. N. H. Edgerton (Elizabeth Lewis)
1933-1935Mrs. H. L. Hicks
1935-1937Mrs. W. E. Fenner (Mthyle Paschall)
1937-1939Mrs. F. L. Greathouse (Eula Proctor)
1939-Mrs. W. N. Clark (Julia Cunningham)


1924 October 29Men of the Church organized. Reverend Willard Conger, Pastor.
1924 October to March 1925Mr. W. S. Wilkinson
1925-1926Mr. W. E. Renneker
1926-1927Mr. H. W. Kendall
1927-1928Mr. W. Stronach Wilkinson, Jr.
1928-1929Mr. R. M. Wilson
1929-1930Mr. T. E. Marshall
1930-1931Mr. A. P. Thorpe, Jr.
1931-1932Mr. A. Hengeveld
1933-1934Mr. N. H. Edgerton
1934-1935Mr. J. W. Drake
1935-1936Mr. H. A. Whitaker
1936-1937Mr. S. E. Leonard


1880 (Circa)The original Communion Service consisted of two plates and two cups. This was purchased early in the History of the organization of the Rocky Mount Presbyterian Church, possible about 1880.
The cups of this set are preserved, having been loaned to the Mission Churches, Bethlehem and Second Presbyterian Church, until these Churches secured other services. After the Second Presbyterian Church adopted the Individual Service, these cups were kept by Mrs. J. H. Raynor, a charter member of that Church. They were returned by her to the First Presbyterian Church in 1936. The plates were seemingly not loaned with the cups, some other disposition having been made of them. Cups replated by a gift of Mrs. M. R. Robbins.


Captain J. J. White, Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Sadler were custodians of the Communion Service during the early years of the organization. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Clary caring for it at one time. Later Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Tillery kept the service till the individual service was purchased in 1917. No doubt others, whose names have not been ascertained have assumed this holy task.

When the individual service was adopted Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Pridgen accepted the responsibility of caring for the communion service, deeming it a privilege to perform the duties in keeping with this ordinance—that of having it ready for the Communion Services and supplying the Elements.

Upon those servants of old unto whose hands the Ark was committed a blessing was pronounced, so also may the richest blessings have come upon these two members who so faithfully and for such a long time performed the task in the Master's Service.

1917The Individual Communion Service was purchased, consisting of four aluminum trays, with individual glass cups, and four plates.
1922Embroidered linen was given for the communion Table by Circle number five of the Woman's Auxiliary, Mrs. Willard Conger, Chairman.
1925Two additional trays with glasses were purchased. Two plates were presented by Mr. D. J. Edwards, A Jewish friend of the pastor — Rev. Conger.
1937A Dedication Service was held before using for the first time at the Quarterly Communion Service the solid silver service given by Mrs. M. R. Robbins (Marion Hines) in memory of her mother, Mrs. J. W. Hines. (Mary Matilda MacEntyre)


1917James W. Hines, Jr.Paul Jordan
Howard PierceHassell Weeks
Charles CopelandWoodall Rose
Cameron VestalWalter MacRae
Jeff WhiteheadJarvis Tillery
Frank ThomasJeff Dickens
William Culpepper(Died in Camp, Gold Star Flag sent and displayed in his memory.)
Turner Goff
Names found on Roll of Rev. T. P. Allen (no date)
Edwin L. Bradley - Navy
Edwin B. Jenkins - Navy
Walter N. Lewis - Coast Guard
Harry McC. Moore - Army
G. W. Pennington - Army Engineers
John D. Smiley - Army

Song Sung Each Sunday by Congregation till Armistice.


By Dr. Henry VanDyke

  • God Save our splendid men,
  • Send them safe home again,
  • God Save our men.
  • Make them victorious,
  • Patient and chovalrous,
  • They are so dear to us,
  • God Save our men.
  • God Keep our own dear men,
  • From every stain of sin,
  • God Keep our men.
  • When Satan would allure,
  • When tempted Keep them pure,
  • Be their protection sure,
  • God Keep our men.
  • God Hold our precious men,
  • And love them to the end,
  • God Hold our men.
  • Held in Thine arms so strong,
  • To Thee they all belong,
  • Held safe from every wrong,
  • God Hold our men.


The large central stained glass window on the north side of the Church Auditorium was presented by Miss Lucie Carrie Thorpe (Mrs. T. E. Marshall) in memory of her parents.

Inscription: “In Memory of Henry Roane Thorpe

Subject: “The Good Shepherd” after the painting by Plockhorst.

Dr. Henry Roane Thorpe was born at the Thorpe homestead in Nash County, just outside the city limits of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. On June 7, 1874 he united with the Presbyterian Church in Tarboro. The question “How received?” was answered “By an Evangelist.” He died October 27, 1878.

It was his great desire to see a Presbyterian Church organized in Rocky Mount, and he encouraged the plan in every way that he could. He died, however, before he saw the fulfillment of his desire.

He married Lucy Swepson Bunn. Mrs. Lucy S. Thorpe united with the Church in Tarboro, February 16, 1876, and was transferred to form the Church in Rocky Mount “by an act of Presbytery” (Orange) as a charter member on December 9, 1878. She died June 6, 1883.


The stained glass window behind the pulpit was presented by Mrs. Annie Burnett Muse (Mrs. E. G.), Mr. William Seymore Burnett and Mr. Joseph Halsey Burnett, Jr., in memory of their parents and brother.

Subject: “The Sower”


“To the Glory of God and in loving Memory of Joseph Halsey Burnett, M. D. Baptised April 30, 1914 Died September 28, 1864

Samuel Ann Burnett, his wife Died May 10, 1909

Charles Nutman Burnett, their son, Born November 5, 1867 Died May 15, 1886

Joseph Halsey Burnett was born in Morristown, N. J. He was reared a staunch Presbyterian. By his zeal and interest he helped to lay the foundation for an organization in Rocky Mount. Before the Church was built the pioneer members met in Burnett's Hall on the corner of Thomas and Main Streets, the north west corner, and in the Masonic Lodge on Church Street, west side. He died in 1874 before the Church he helped to foster was organized.

Dr. Burnett married Miss Samuel Ann Folk in Martin County in 1850. She was enrolled in Tarboro and was transferred from that Church “by an act of Presbytery” December 9, 1878 as one of the ten charter members to form an organization in Rocky Mount.

Since Mr. L. F. Tillery, a native of Rocky Mount, in one of his Historical Sketches of the Church stated that Dr. Burnett was the first Presbyterian to locate in Rocky Mount the Historian felt constrained to trace his membership from Church to Church.

It was found by a Register of the Presbyterian Church at Morristown, N. J., 1742-1885 that Joseph Halsey Burnett became a communicant December 1, 1829 and was dismissed to the Presbyterian Church in New York City known as the West Church (Presbyterian) now known as West-Park Presbyterian Church. He was dismissed July 12, 1833 and received August 6, 1833 then was dismissed from this Church to the Presbyterian Church in Washington, N. C., May 17, 1840. By the records of the Washington Church he was received upon certificate May 18, 1841 and there is no record to show that he was dismissed from this Church.

He practiced medicine in Williamston, N. C. for a number of years but there was no Presbyterian Church there at that time. His name was not found upon the Tarboro roll and the Church in Rocky Mount was not organized until after his death, so we conclude that his membership was not moved from the Washington Presbyterian Church.


Alexander Miller was a Deacon of the (First) Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He was elected in 1900 during the pastorate of Rev. W. D. Morton, D. D. He served until his death in 1904.

In his memory his wife gave the stained glass window to the right of the central window on the north side of the Auditorium.

A circular inset showing Christ's Hand and a portion of the Door as the pictorial subject. This was copied from the famous painting by Holman Hunt “The Light of the World.”

Quotation: “Behold I Stand at the Door.”

Inscription: “In Memory of Alexander Miller 1841-1904”


The stained glass window to the left of the central window on the north side of the Church Auditorium was given by members of the family.

At the top is the word “Praise.” In the center is pictured a Harp.


“Mary Elizabeth Woodruff 1852-1904”

Mrs. Woodruff was a leader in the work of the Church, helping especially with the Home Mission Work.


1914 October 20Mrs. James Williams Hines (Mary Matilda MacEntyre) died. She united with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 1887 upon certificate from the Presbyterian Church in Wilson, North Carolina. Her name was placed upon the roll of “The Ladies’ Missionary Society” on December 25, 1896, shortly after it had been organized by the Reverend Frederick Duncan Thomas in October of that year.
Mrs. Hines served as President of that Society in 1909 and 1910, possibly longer and at other periods. She represented this Society at several of the Missionary Unions of the Presbytery. This Union was the forerunner of the Albemarle Presbyterial Auxiliary.
She was a deeply interested and loyal member of the “Ladies’ Aid”, the “Ladies’ Missionary Society” and of the Church. She promoted the work in every way that she could. In her prime her failing strength cut her off from active participation in the work of the Church she loved, except through her prayers, her gifts to all causes, and her personal words of encouragement to her pastors and fellow workers with whom she came in contact in the home.
Mary Matilda MacEntyre was born at Rutherfordton, North Carolina at Broad River Plantation, July 1, 1858.
1937 January 3The Communion Service presented by her daughter Mrs. Marvin Russell Robbins (Marion Erwin Hines) was dedicated with appropriate services and used for the first time in the Quarterly Communion Service. It bears the inscription:
“Ad Gloriam Dei et in Memoriam”
Mary Matilda MacEntyre Hines
This service is solid hand-wrought silver. It

was purchased in Mexico. It consists of four plates and two sets of three trays with covers. The trays hold the individual cups. It is stored in a compact mohogany case made especially for its preservation when not in use.
Note: January Third was the birthday anniversary of the donor of this Memorial Communion Service.
Her infant daughter, Erwin MacEntyre Robbins, was baptized right after the morning service.
At the time of the purchase of this Service The Honorable Josephus Daniel was Ambassador to Mexico. Mr. Daniel had been best man at the wedding of Mrs. Robbin's Father and Mother. Mrs. Daniel took a personal interest in the purchase and construction of this Service.
It was purchased through Miss Norma G. Berryman, Native Arts, Pasaje America # 13, Mexico D. F.
Mrs. Robbins also had the cups of the original Communion Service re-plated for their better preservation.


On January 24, 1937 a marble Baptismal Font was presented to the Church by the women of the Auxiliary with Mrs. H. L. Hicks, Mrs. A. P. Thorpe, and Mrs. P. K. Gravely in charge.

It was inscribed:

“In loving memory of the Reverend Willard Conger, pastor, 1920-1931.”

Mrs. A. P. Thorpe presented the memorial gift in these words: “ ‘What shall we do for one whom we delight to honor?’ has been the question agitating the minds of the members of the Woman's Auxiliary for some time. A Baptismal Font seemed the answer for two reasons:

First, there was need for one and he whose memory we desired to perpetuate was ever practical.

Second, there was no service in the Church in which he delighted more and which he conducted with more grace and dignity than the baptismal service, so:

In loving memory of Reverend Willard Conger, who was for eleven years our pastor, our friend, our guide, we present to this Church this Baptismal Font. Through its ministry may many infants be consecrated and many older ones, born again of the Spirit, here begin to walk in newness of life for the glory of God and the coming of the Kingdom.”

The Reverend Norman Johnson, pastor, accepted the gift for the Church, expressing appreciation and gratitude, referring to Reverend Conger as having lived so as to leave “the contagion of a triumphant spirit upon all who knew him.”

The Font was unveiled by Adam Thorp Jr. Mrs. Conger's grandson. Mrs. Adam Thorp (Helen Marriam), her daughter, sang “Come Unto Me.”

A group of babies and one little girl baptized in the presence of the congregation initiated the Font. They were:

Mary Darden, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Brewer, Jr.

John Girardeau, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Gardner.

Newsom Battle, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Maples.

Blanche Kaigler, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Thornton.

Lucy Ann, small daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Boddie.

Carl Henry, Jr., infant son of Dr. and Mrs. C. H. Peters.


In a letter to the Officers of the First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, dated July 3, 1937, Mr. A. P. Thorpe, Jr. acting for his mother, sisters, himself and wife, requested the privilege of remodeling the Chapel of the Church as a memorial to Mr. A. P. Thorpe. The new Chapel to be called The Thorpe Memorial Chapel. (See Gifts to the Church)

A congregational meeting was called. The members signified their hearty appreciation by voting unanimously to accept this generous offer.

The wing of the Church Building, christened “The Chapel” by Rev. Willard Conger after the Morton Memorial Sunday School Building was occupied, had been the original Sunday School Building. (See Buildings)

There were three one-story class rooms and a pantry on the south side, these were torn away. There were folding doors enclosing these rooms and an ordinary paneled door to the pentry. There were six small stained glass windows at a two-story height in the wall above the folding doors. These windows opened on pivots and were opened and closed with long cords. These windows were removed and the south wall was brought in to make the space between it and the pulpit and choir alcove even with the space between this alcove and the dividing wall between the Chapel and Church Auditorium. Thus the Chapel was made into a rectangular structure with recessed pulpit and choir space. This space was obtained by changing the wall of the Baraca Class room.

The ceiling of the original Sunday School wing had heavy oak beams and wooden ornamentation that conformed to the style of the Church auditorium. This ceiling was enclosed by placing a new arched sound-proof ceiling at a lower pitch. Two high windows at a two-story height over the one story vestibule in the west hall were bricked in and the portion extending below the new ceiling was included in the west wall of the Chapel.

The Thorpe Memorial Chapel was developed in a

Colonial Period of architecture of Virginia “character.” The pulpit furniture, light fixtures and pews all being designed in keeping with this style. This style of architecture was influenced by the Greek as the plaster capitals for the pilasters, ornamenting the pulpit end of the Chapel, were developed in the style of the Corinthian period and the plaster cornice running around the entire room being of Greek design.

The green burlap was taken out of the three upwardsliding partition doors and wood paneling inserted, this paneling being stained to match the oak woodwork on the Church side and enameled in white upon the Chapel side.

Three arched, double sash windows, glazed with art glass were placed in the south wall. The lower sash having twelve small square panes and the upper sash having twelve square panes and ten shaped panes to conform to the arched tops. The windows were also screened with copper wire.

Two six-paneled doors with colonial frames were placed on the sides of the pulpit. One door leading to the choir room and one leading to the lobby of the Morton Memorial Building. The swinging double-doors into the vestibule were left in the original position. They were refinished in white enamel, as was the interior of the vestibule after the addition of wainscoting.

Four units for steam heat were enclosed in cabinets three under the windows on the south side and one in the west end of the Chapel.

The pulpit elevation reached by two sets of curved steps, having newel posts, turned balusters and mahogany rails. Balustrades enclosing the pulpit space from the steps to the walls. The desk, in the center, of built-up paneled design with adjustible reading stand. The floor of the pulpit and choir space and step-treads of oak. The choir separeted from the pulpit by two paneled partitions.

The pews chosen were colonial in design with

mahogany seats and rails and white enameled backs and ends. Two paneled partitions were placed at the front of the two rows of pews. Two Chippendale arm chairs were placed in the pulpit and one straight chair for general use. These chairs having white leather upholstery. Racks for hymn books and six communion cup holders are on the backs of each pew.

Four candelabra in colonial brass and seven double-scones with a dome light over the pulpit and choir section furnished the lighting equipment with switches located in the vestibule and choir space.

Entrance to the choir loft being through a small door from the hall of the Morton Memorial Building.

The re-modeling was begun in August, 1937, the Chapel was opened for worship Sunday January 9, 1938. It was completely carpeted with a golden brown carpet similar to the Church carpet. The Westminster Men's Bible Class, organized June 6, 1937 adopted this as their meeting place on the above Sunday.

Dedicatory Services were held on Sunday April 3, 1938 at five o'clock with Rev. B. R. Lacy, D. D., President of Union Theological Seminary, preaching the sermon. Rev. Norman Johnson, pastor, in charge of the services. Printed programs contained Responsive Scripture Reading: Minister and Congregation. Dedication: Pastor, Congregation and Minister. Resolutions of Thanks to the Thorpe Family were adopted by the Congregation as passed by the Session.

The pulpit Bible presented at this time by the West-minster Bible Class was used by Dr. Lacy with the text “Now mine eyes shall be open and mine ears attentive unto the prayer that is made in this place.”

The Thorpe Memorial Chapel was, from its completion, a place conducive to worship because of its dedication to God, its beauty, the rare spirit that prompted the members of the family to give it, and because it has radiated the influence of one who loved his Church home and thought always of making it a place to meet for the service of God.

The Chapel's influence has been strongly felt by young couples who found it an ideal place to have the marriage vows spoken with reverence and simplicity.

at the

Whereas: the members of the family of Mr. A. P. Thorpe by the gift of this beautiful memorial chapel have manifested again their thoughtfulness, loyalty and generosity:—

Be it resolved that we, the members of the First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, express our deep gratitude for this beautiful place of worship.

Second: That we rejoice in this most appropriate way of perpetuating the memory of Mr. A. P. Thorpe who serving as Deacon and Elder, worked so loyally and generously in furthering the interests of the Kingdom of God in and through this Church.

Third: That we believe that men and women, boys and girls, meeting in this Chapel, so conducive to worship, will continually be drawn closer to God and man in abiding loyalty and loving service.

Fourth: That a copy of these resolutions be recorded in the minutes of the Session, in the minutes of the Board of Deacons, in the History of the Church, and that a copy be sent to each member of the family of Mr. A. P. Thorpe.

Since 1931

1931March 20W. S. Wilkinson Deacon
March 21S. B. Dominick
May 28Rev. Willard Conger Pastor
December 2S. K. Fountain Elder
There doubtless are others that should be listed here, but the Historian had not assumed her duties until later.
1932February 12D. T. Briles
January 17J. H. Daniel
MarchMrs. C. W. Woodward (Mollie Levy)
July 18H. L. Young
August 27T. C. Bray
October 4Mrs. N. E. Denson (Mamie McClellan)
1933January 4Mrs. J. W. Gray (Arabella Delmar)
January 16Dr. Charles E. Edge
February 18D. J. Pearson
September 23A. F. Syndenstricker
Above notices found in Scrap Book # 1
Following notices in Scrap Book # 2
December 17Abram Hengeveld Deacon
1934January 17J. Clarence Daughtridge
February 14A. M. Spindler
February 23J. H. Cuthrell Deacon
August 29A. P. Thorpe Elder
September 29Mrs. J. T. Vines (Moniza Rouse)
October 9Mrs. C. C. Cooper (Eva Bassett)
December 12Mrs. W. C. Proctor (Fonda Bulluck)
December 18Miss Annie Elmore
December 31Mrs. L. F. Tillery (Minnie Vyne)
1935March 16J. J. Rollins
March 23Mrs. Murdock MacRae (Elizabeth McDonald)
March 20R. D. Long
September 6Mrs. W. E. Bass
November 17Mrs. E. E. Purvis (Lucy Carney Sugg)
September 13Mrs. S. E. Leonard (Julia Ethridge)
1936February 14W. Hyman Bradley

March 8Mrs. C. W. Pennington (Mary Barr)
March 9Mrs. A. C. Nichols (Matilda Grice)
March 18Mrs. W. D. Morton (Kate Dennis) Widow of former pastor, Rev. W. D. Morton, D. D.
June 1C. C. Clough Deacon
October 29W. H. McCorkle
1937February 22Mrs. D. J. Pearson (Pauline Randolph)
February 25Mrs. R. C. Brake (Hettie Cosby)
May 27Miss Clara Mason Bigger
November 14Mrs. I. W. Mangum (Rose Barth)
Sept. 26P. C. Vestal
December 4H. R. Thorpe Deacon
December 4H. E. Brewer Elder
1938January 4W. M. Cavin
January 8Mrs. Ralph Sturtevant (Louise Miner)

(Continued in Chronological Events by years)


Short tributes are paid several officers who joined carlier in the history of the Church, some serving over an especially long period of time.

A list of Officers is given, with the terms of office, and to each Officer whose name is included A TRIBUTE IS IMPLIED for his faithful performance of duty in The Master's Vineyard.

1878Dec. 15W. L. Thorp (to 1883) R
1880Jan. 27O. R. Sadler (to 1887) R
J. R. Nurney (to 1890) R (Treasurer)
1884Dec. 7J. J. White (to 1910) D(J. H. Thomas (to ) R
1890Apr. 12S. K. Fountain (to 1931) D
1890Nov. 15W. S. Clary (to 1907) R
1890Apr. 30(W. B. Thorpe (to 1892) R
1891Apr. 26(H. E. Brewer (see Elder)
(L. F. Tillery (See Elder)
1900Mch. 4W. L. Groom
1900Feb. 25(A. B. Jenkins
(Alex Miller (to 1904) D
1900Nov. 2Dr. A. H. McSwain (to 1908) D
1906Dec. 2(K. C. Barrett (see Elder)
(J. H. Cuthrell (to 1934) D
1908Oct. 25K. C. Barrett (to 1918) R (Deceased Feb. 5, 1936, Ashville)
1908Nov. 1(F. M. Pridgen (see Elder)
1909Dec. 26Hector McNeill (to ) R(A. P. Thorpe
1912June 11Murdoch McRae (to 1923) D(R. T. Fountain
F. M. Pridgen
1915Oct. 17(S. S. Henry (to 1918) D
(R. M. Wilson (see Elder)

(T. E. Marshall (see Elder)
(W. G. Weeks (see Elder)
1919July 6L. F. Tillery(H. H. Littrell (see Elder)
R. M. Wilson(R. B. Spencer (to 1926) R
(B. J. Weatherford (to 1921) D
(J. A. Edgerton
(C. C. Clough (to 1936) D
1920Feb. 8C. W. Woodward (to 1932) R
1923Mch. 11A. P. Thorpe (to 1934)(E. G. Hornbeck
(G. R. Edwards (see Elder)
1925May 11W. E. Renneker (to 1930) D(J. G. Shannonhouse (to 1934) R
H. E. Austin(W. S. Wilkinson (to 1931) D
(H. R. Thorpe (to 1937) D
(W. M. Spears
1930June 8H. E. Brewer (to 1937) D(A. Hengeveld (to 1933) D
W. G. Weeks(A. P. Thorpe, Jr. (see Elder)
1934Rotary Plan
Feb. 4G. R. Edwards
H. H. Littrell
T. E. Marshall
S. E. Leonard
Feb. 11(R. C. Brake (to 1938) D
(W. N. Clark (see Elder)
(A. P. Harrell
(N. H. Edgerton
(R. O. Mayo
(T. L. Simmons

(E. G. Johnston, Jr.
(E. C. Smith
(W. G. Weeks
(W. Stronach Wilkinson (See Elder)
1937Jan. 31(J. B. Brewer
(K. C. Denny
(E. E. Fountain
(E. M. Turner (See Elder)
1938May 15W. N. Clark
A. P. Thorpe, Jr.
May 22E. M. Turner(R. I. Sturtevant
W. S. Wilkinson, Jr.
June 5(Lynwood Elmore
(H. T. Livesay
“R” Signifies removal from Rocky Mount
“D” Signifies removal by death


Mr. J. H. Nurney was elected an Elder on January 27 1880. He was Treasurer for a time as no Deacon had been elected.

He served as Superintendent of the Sunday School for several years. Dr. J. N. H. Summerell spoke of him as having been a very devout man. He exerted a religious influence upon the men who worked under him.

He removed from Rocky Mount in 1890. During the period in which Mr. Nurney was connected with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount his piety helped to lay a spiritual foundation upon which the future of the Church was built.


In dismissing Mr. W. S. Clary and family, the Session adopted the following paper, viz:

The Session of the Rocky Mount Church would take this occasion in dismissing Mr. Whitfield Spencer Clary, our brother, to express the high appreciation in which he is held by this Church. He has been faithful as the head of a family commanding his household, and instructing them in the Holy Scriptures, and the doctrines of our Church, faithful as a Church member, regular in his attendance upon divine Worship on Sabbaths, and in the weekly prayer meeting, and in his self-denying contributions to sustain the Church in all the departments of her work; faithful as an office bearer, regularly present at all the meetings of the Session, and ready to attend in order upon the higher courts of the Church, as also in visiting among the flock, in which the Holy Ghost had made him an overseer, diligent and watchful.

We all lament his departure from us, and cordially commend him and his beloved family to the Session and congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Dr. W. D. Morton, Moderator.

John J. White, Clerk.


adopted upon The Resignation Of CAPTAIN J. WHITE Clerk of the Session January 10, 1909

“Whereas, our esteemed Clerk of the Session, Captain J. J. White, has expressed his desire to resign from the office, which he has so long and faithfully held—the Session would place upon record its high estimate of the Character of Captain White as a faithful elder and a devoted servant of God of the Rocky Mount Presbyterian Church, in grateful appreciation of his long extended service as the Clerk of the Session, and while acquiescing in his resignation would cherish the hope that he may long continue his services as a wise counselor and faithful aid in the deliberations of this body.”

Dr. W. D. Morton, Moderator

K. C. Barrett, Clerk

Note: Captain J. J. White was made an Elder December 7, 1884 during the pastorate of Rev. J. N. H. Summerell and served till his resignation on account of ill health. He served as Superintendent of the Sunday School for many years. He also taught Bible Classes of men and women. His Sessional Records were kept with a fineness of detail and are of inestimable value to show the progress of the Church during the years of his faithful service. He died January 16, 1910.



Whereas our Heavenly Father in his infinite wisdom and mercy has called our dear friend, Reverend Dr. William Dennis Morton, to his chambers in the silent halls of death, and, whereas, we the Elders and Deacons and the members of The First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, bowing in humble submission to the divine will of Him who reigns supreme, keenly feel the great loss of one whose unfaltering trust and devotion to both our church and our community smoothed our rugged paths of adversity therefore be it resolved:

That we exemplify his virtues and keep ever green the memory of his unswerving loyalty to God and his country, believing that the day of reckoning shall find us re-united in that Temple, not made with hands eternal in the Heavens.

That a copy of these resolutions be spread on the Minutes of the Session of the Church, a copy be published in the Evening Telegram, The Presbyterian-Standard, The Presbyterian of the South and a copy be sent to the family of the deceased.

K. C. Barrett

L. F. Tillery

A. P. Thorpe

April the tenth, nineteen hundred eighteen.


by Reverend W. W. Moore, D. D. in Presbyterian Standard July 14, 1920

Henry Flournoy Morton, son of William D. and Kate D. Morton was born in Booneville, Missouri, August 11, 1886.

He was educated in the Rocky Mount, North Carolina High School, Warrenton Preparatory School, Davidson College 1904-1908, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond Virginia 1910-1913.

His charges were in Ripley, Mississippi, 1913-1914, Roanoke Rapids 1914-1916. From May 1916 to 1918 he served the group of churches consisting of Farmville, Fountain, Falkland and Smithfield, North Carolina. After 1918 he gave his whole time to Farmville and Falkland. The Farmville Church was built during his pastorate and in 1920 was free of debt.

He married Miss Lucile Hassell in January, 1913 and one son, William Dennis, was born in Ripley, Mississippi, February 12, 1914.

His death occurred in New York City where he had been called because of the illness, from influenza and pheumonia, of his wife while visiting friends there. He was stricken with a fatal type of influenza forty eight hours after his arrival, which must have been contracted in North Carolina, it was thought. He never became any better and died February 13th at the Prince George Hotel.

In his delirium he would say, “If all men preach as I now do, will His Kingdom come?” Once he quietly conducted an entire service. The room was full of men to assist the nurse when he was wildly delirious, and they stood with bowed heads, tears in the eyes of many as what he said went home to the hearts of the listeners.

With the completion of the work of building the Farmville Church, the remaining debt fully subscribed, God's time had come for his promotion. His Lord said: “Enter into the joy of Thy Lord.”


Spencer K. Fountain was born at Buckhorn in Wilson County, North Carolina, on December 28, 1848. He came to Rocky Mount in 1868.

He joined the (First) Presbyterian Church December 11, 1889 upon examination. He was the fifth Elder to be elected in line of service, being elected April 13, 1890. He served continuously in the capacity of Elder until his death, serving longer and more regularly than any man in any capacity had served the Church in Rocky Mount in its entire History.

At the time of his death, Mr. Fountain had lived in Rocky Mount longer than any (then) living citizen. He had seen the town grow from the mere suggestion of a town. He was in Railroad service until the age of retirement had been reached. He put the same activity of mind and spirit into the Church work that he did in his secular employment, being at the forefront of all material as well as spiritual development of the Church He served faithfully in his duties as Elder, as a Sunday School teacher, as Superintendent of the Mission Points, having especial interest in the Baraca Class, later called the Men's Bible Class, and The Men of the Church.

Such an influence as Mr. Fountain exerted will go on and on into eternity. He died December 2, 1931 and was buried in Pine View Cemetery.

“He fought a good fight, he kept the faith, and henceforth there is laid up for him a Crown of Righteousness.”


Alexander Proudfit Thorpe was born in Nash County North Carolina at the Thorpe Homestead near the city of Rocky Mount, August 28, 1860.

On May 30, 1880, Mr. Thorpe united with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, Reverend L. H. Baldwin was the minister in charge at the time and the membership, beginning with the ten charter members, had not yet reached twenty. His connection with the Church as a member was almost from the beginning of the organization. (1878) He was not an officer earlier in his relationship with the Church because he would not accept the office tendered him. He was a Trustee, however, of the Church Property, so named in a deed of February 2, 1882. He was made a Deacon on December 26, 1909 and became an Elder March 11, 1923.

Mr. Thorpe's business career was connected with Rocky Mount, and his entire church affiliations were with this one Church.

One of his outstanding characteristics was his desire to have things accomplished that needed to be done and this attitude, together with his willingness, and ability, to help financially, added greatly to the material development of the Church. His opinion carried weight in any line of action. His interest was manifested in the building of the original frame building, the two manse structures, the present brick Church Building, and more especially was he interested in the Morton Memorial Building which stands largely as a token of that interest and his business integrity.

Mr. Thorpe loved his own home and his Church home, and whatever was for the best interest of each was his greatest joy to help accomplish. His love and his willing service have added inestimably to the spiritual

development of his Church and our Church, at home and abroad, “in the name of Christ, whose we are and whom we serve.”

He was a consistent tither and believed in the joys of tithing so strongly that in his will those who benefited by his estate were requested to carry out the principle of the tithe.

He had a custom of calling regularly upon his pastors, Reverend Willard Conger and Reverend Norman Johnson, at the manse for personal conferences on things pertaining to the carrying on of God's work. These heart to heart talks, as testimonies from these pastors have proved, helped them immeasurably by inspiring and encouraging them in their own lives, their pastoral and ministerial duties.

Mr. Thorpe died August 29, 1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was buried from the Church August 31 in the Thorpe family plot near the city.


On May 11, 1890, Mr. H. Emmett Brewer united with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina upon examination. He was made a Deacon April 26, 1891 and an Elder June 8, 1930.

It is fitting that a tribute be paid Mr. Brewer because of his earnest, loyal, efficient and willing service in connection with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount.

He had served on most of the important committees of the Church: the Building Committee, for the brick Church Building; the Home Mission Committee; and, by virtue of his office as a Deacon, he served on the Finance Committee from the time he became a Deacon until he became an Elder in 1930. He served as Trustee of the Church Property, and as Treasurer more than one term.

Mr. Brewer's name is mentioned repeatedly in the records and his life has had a spiritual as well as a helpful material influence in the progress of the Church.

He was Superintendent of the Sunday School soon after joining the Church and served several other terms in later years. He was well fitted for such leadership in the program of the Sunday School as well as being able to lead the singing, an indispensable part of such a program at that time.

His entire business life was connected with Rocky Mount and his entire Church life with this one Church.

It is heartily felt that in serving the Church, the Mission Points and the Sunday School that Mr. Brewer has a “Well done!” written in the Book of Remembrance of his Lord, his fellow-workers hereby express appreciation of what his loving service has meant in making his Church and their Church one of greater influence and spirituality.

(This tribute was paid Mr. Brewer during his lifetime) Henry Emmett Brewer was born in Nash County, North Carolina, February 6, 1862 and died at his home in Rocky Mount, December 4, 1938. Services were held in the First Presbyterian Church by the pastor, Rev. Norman Johnson. The great number of floral designs completely banked the front of the Church. He was buried at Pineview Cemetery.


On May 11, 1890, Mr. L. F. Tillery united with the First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. On April 26, 1891 he was made a Deacon and on July 6, 1919 he became an Elder.

Mr. Tillery was born in Columbus County, he was raised in Rocky Mount, his business career has been mainly in Rocky Mount and his Church affiliations have been with this one Church.

He is a Trustee of the Church Property. He served on the Finance Committee by virtue of his office as Deacon having been Treasurer for several terms. His active interestin the Home Mission work of this Church helped make possible the establishment of the three Mission Points: Bethlehem, Morton and the Second Presbyterian Churches.

The lot on which the Second Church was built was donated by Mr. Tillery and Mr. Walter Davenport. Part of the lot upon which the Morton Memorial Sunday School Building stands was secured from him.

A Mission Point in Edgecombe County, which was active at one time was called Tillery Sunday School. It was abandoned with regret when it was found that Presbyterianism was crowded out, more or less, by other stronger denominational preferences on the part of the people in the neighborhood.

Cordiality has always been an outstanding trait of Mr. Tillery's, and has been used through the years in welcoming both strangers and members in their assemblying at the Church.

In the office of Elder, faithfulness to duty has marked his service; in co-operating with his pastors,

and in his wise council as to the supervision of the Church he has expressed by his active service, his desire to be a “door-keeper in the house of the Lord.”

His fellow-workers pay this sincere tribute.


It is fitting for the membership of the First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to pay a tribute to Mr. W. L. Groom, Senior Elder.

On December 2, 1899, Mr. Groom united with the Church in Rocky Mount by letter from the Presbyterian Church in Elmira, New York. On February 4, 1900 he was made Elder and in the records his name appears as having attended the meetings of the Session more often and over a longer period of years than any one connected with the History of the Church here except Mr. S. K. Fountain. By his attendance of the Session he has upheld the hands of his Pastors, in succession, in the supervision of the Church in its spiritual development. He is one of the few men who have not first been made a Deacon then an Elder.

Upon coming to Rocky Mount, Mr. Groom established a business which he now heads. He has consecrated his time and means to the upbuilding of his home, his community and his Church.

In teaching and superintending in his own and the Mission Sunday Schools, in using his conveyances for transportation of himself and others, he has made possible the “lengthening the cords and strengthening the stakes” of the Church. The three active Mission Points: Bethlehem, Morton and the Second Presbyterian Churches exist today largely because Mr. Groom has Helped to establish them and encourage them.

The progress of the Church materially and spiritually has been greater because this loyal servant of

his Master has had the spirit of Issiah in his Church life, saying by his responsive attitude: “Here am I, sond me.”


John Henry Cuthrell was a native of Enfield, North Carolina. He united with the Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, December 3, 1899 and was made a Deacon on December 3, 1906. He served in this capacity until his death. With Mr. K. C. Barrett theirs was the fifth election of Deacons.

Mr. Cuthrell served as Treasurer at a time when Church finances were not on a very business-like basis and the often found it difficult to meet the financial obligations—the pastor's salary being the chief item. He paid tribute to the help of Mr. A. P. Thorpe who advanced the needed amounts time after time until others contributed to take care of the deficiency. Dr. W. D. Morton was the pastor.

The Budget Plan of Church Finances was adopted later and the Every Member Canvass Plan, a still later development, have helped succeeding Treasurers to know the sources from which to expect an income.

Mr. Cuthrell was Chief of the Fire Department for a number of years. His business career marked a man who put the good of others above his own. His personal bearing was one of much dignity.

He died February 23, 1934 in his seventieth year. Services were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Norman Johnson, from the First Presbyterian Church and he was buried at Pineview Cemetery, Rocky Mount, North Carolina.


Articles of Historic Interest:

Articles which were connected with the original frame Church have been preserved:

Silver Baptismal Bowl with the date February 10, 1883 engraved upon it. Donor unknown. Significance of the date unknown. Used in the baptismal services in the Church until 1937, when the Conger Memorial Baptismal Font was installed. Kept by the pastor for use in home baptismal services.

Portable Reading Desk that was used in the original Church. Later in the Sunday School Auditorium, which became the Thorpe Memorial Chapel. After the Morton Memorial Building was in use, this desk was loaned to the Second Presbyterian Church. It was returned sometime between 1931 and 1937, and was reconditioned by funds provided the Historian in 1938.

Walnut Marble-Topped Table having been used as the Offering and Communion Table in the original Church building. Used in the old Sunday School Auditorium and later in the Thorpe Memorial Chapel.

The original Communion Cups. Mahogany case made for them in 1938 with funds provided the Historian.

The reed organ purchased by the Organ League during Reverend F. D. Thomas’ pastorate. Used in the original and brick Church buildings. Used in different departments of the Sunday School after the pipe organ was installed in 1914. Discarded for pianos to be used.

Mr. D. J. Rose, the contractor of the brick Church Building, said that Mr. Gid Matthews gave him an adequate amount of money to purchase a bell for the Church and that he purchased this bell on one of his trips to a northern market.


Two faithful sextons, within the memory of the Historian, merit recognition in these records.

William Ricks served during the ministry of Reverend Willard Conger. He was incapacitated by a stroke of paralysis, about 1937, some months before he died. It grieved him not to be able to be about his duties at the Church.

Frank Smith began his period of service as sexton. December 26, 1931, almost co-incident with the coming of Reverend Norman Johnson, as pastor elect. Frank being on duty early and late, summer and winter, from that time, faithful and trustworthy in the performance of the tasks allotted to him.


1934Reference Books from Reverend Willard Conger's Library. By Mrs. Willard Conger.
1935 February 5$15,000 Trust Fund, called the Alex P. Thorpe Fund was received by the especially appointed Trustees. W. G. Weeks, Chairman; G. R. Edwards, Secretary; A. P. Thorpe, Jr. Treasurer. This Fund was made possible by the bequest of Mr. A. P. Thorpe whose death occurred August 29, 1934.
1936 June 4(Completion) Painting of the interior of the Morton Memorial Sunday School Building. Gift from Mrs. W. S. Wilkinson as a memorial to Mr. W. S. Wilkinson (Deacon) and as a voluntary donation from Mr. J. B. Brewer. The amounts given in the proportion to 40% and 60% respectively. This was a splendid and much appreciated improvement in the appearance of the building.
1936 October 11(Completion) Re-painting of the Church Auditorium. Donors: Mrs. A. P. Thorpe, Mrs. Marvin Robbins, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Wilkinson, Jr., Mr. D. J. Rose. These gave in generous proportions. Mr. J. B. Brewer gave in a major proportion as his share of the cost. The Williams Lumber Company made a concession in regard to the lumber used for the scaffolding, by taking back that which had not been nailed, thus lessening the cost appreciably. The Congregation acknowledged this improvement with much appreciation. The color was changed from buff to green.
1937 JanuaryGift by Mrs. A. P. Thorpe of a large eight day clock for the lobby of the Sunday School Building.
1937 January 3Memorial Communion Service given by Mrs. M. R. Robbins. (Original Communion Cups replated as a gift by Mrs. Robbins)
1937 January 24Conger Memorial Baptismal Font presented by the Woman's Auxiliary.

1937 DecemberBrown Velvet Valance for Choir Rail given by Mrs. Marvin Robbins, also improvements to the Jennie K. Hill Bible Class Room
1938 January 2Golden Brown Carpet for the entire floor covering of Church ready for use. This was given by private donations solicited by a committee from the Woman's Auxiliary. Mrs. W. E. Fenner, Chairman: Mrs. H. E. Brewer, Jr., Secretary and Treasurer; Committee of collectors:
Mrs. H. L. HicksMrs. N. O. Tuttle
Miss Mary RennekerMrs. T. L. Simmons
Mrs. W. N. ClarkMrs. W. H. Dixon
Miss Embra MortonMrs. W. E. Fenner
Mrs. P. K. GraveleyMrs. A. L. Alwran
Mrs. S. S. Toler, Jr.Mrs. L. M. Lattimore
Mrs. Russell ProctorMrs. J.B.A. Daughtridge
Mrs. W. G. WeeksMrs. H. E. Brewer, Jr.
(Further details in Auxiliary History)
1938 FebruaryRe-arranging, re-decorating and carpeting the Choir Room donated by Mr. F. M. Pridgen, an Elder and member of the Choir.
1938 April 3Presentation and Dedication of the Thorpe Memorial Chapel. Given by: Mrs. A. P. Thorpe, A. P. Thorpe, Jr., and wife Sara Wilkinson Thorpe, Mrs. R. H. Gregory (Virginia Thorpe) Mrs. John McC. Hepburn (Mary Bryan Thorpe) Mrs. Hugh Daly (Carlton Thorpe)
Bronze Tablet inscribed: In Memorian
Alexander Proudfit Thorpe Deacon Elder
“My Presence shall go with thee, And I will give thee rest.”
Ex. 33:14
1938 June 28Mrs. A. F. Sydenstricker and son, Kenny, presented an appropriate hymn board to the Church in Memory of Alvey Fitzhugh Sydenstricker, husband and father. It was used on this Sunday for the first time and accepted by the pastor in the

name of the congregation. The congregation appreciated the gift as a helpful addition to their participation in the services. Mr. Sydenstricker united with the Presbyterian Church in Clifton Forge, Virginia, September 1, 1901 and later joined the First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount. He died in Rocky Mount September 24, 1933, and was buried in Clifton Forge, Va.


The Congregational Fellowship Supper Meetings were inaugurated in 1934. An unnamed donor furnishing the provisions and the women of the Auxiliary serving the supper for adult membership of the Church.

1934 December 20The first Fellowship Supper was served. Reverend Norman Johnson, Pastor.
Mr. J. W. Drake, President of the Men-of-the-Church
Mrs. H. L. Hicks, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
Mrs. W. E. Renneker, Chairman of the Woman's Auxiliary, Supper Committee.
* * * * * * * * * *
Rev. G. L. Whiteley of the Belmont Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, Virginia, presented the plan called The Belmont Covenant Plan. This was the plan he tried for Church Financing. It interested the hearers deeply and inspired the adoption of the Plan in a modified way. For eleven weeks all members who agreed to do so tithed their incomes and thereby increased the gifts through the treasury of the Church in the following proportions:
January1935$ 543.86
TOTAL$3683.57 (84 Tithers)
Compared With
January1934$ 206.31
February1934$ 901.01
1936 February 28The Second Fellowship Supper.
Reverend Norman Johnson, Pastor.
Mr. H. A. Whitaker, President of the Men-of-the-Church.
Mrs. W. E. Fenner, President of the Women's Auxiliary.
Mrs. W. E. Renneker, Chairman of the Woman's Auxiliary Supper Committee.

Reverend Smiley Williams of Welch, West Virginia addressed a group of about 210 adults on Stewardship, telling how the Belmont Plan worked in his church.
One Successful feature of his ministry in Welch was his being able to draw from 1000 to 1400 people to hear him preach on Sunday evenings in the Welch Theatre Building.
1937 March 11The Third Fellowship Supper
Reverend Norman Johnson, Pastor
Mr. S. E. Leonard, President of the Men-of-the-Church.
Mrs. W. E. Fenner, President of the Womens Auxiliary.
Mrs. T. C. Young, Chairman of the Woman's Auxiliary Supper Committee.
* * * * * * * * *
Dr. E. D. Grant, a layman, of Richmond, Virginia Executive Secretary of Publication, addressed about 222 adult members of the congregation on “Stewardship.” His strongest plea for adequate Church financing was brought out by comparing the Church's need of funds with the needs of other worthwhile enterprises, saying that the members often expected the Church and its organizations to run without funds. He made his hearers feel that a hearty support, financially, was twice blessed— “Blessing him that gives and him that takes.”
1938 March 11The Fourth Fellowship Supper
Reverend Norman Johnson, Pastor
Mrs. F. L. Greathouse, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
Mrs. T. C. Young, Chairman of the Supper Committee of the Woman's Auxiliary.
Mrs. N. C. Tuttle, Chairman of Dining Room Committee.
* * * * * * * * * *
Dr. E. E. Gillespie, Superintendent and Treasurer of the Synod's Home Mission Committee, Greensboro N. C. addressed about 220 adult members of the congregation at the Fellowship Supper Meeting.

His emphasis was upon the blessings that would come to those who are less fortunate in spiritual opportunities when the members of the Churches practice Stewardship in a wholehearted way. His address, illustrated with a graphic chart, helped his hearers to have a better understanding of the needs that could be met more adequately with a greater liberality on the part of each Church member.
1939 March 17The Fifth Fellowship Supper
Reverend Norman Johnson, absent
Rev. A. G. Courtney supplying the pulpit for March.
Mrs. F. L. Greathouse, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
Mrs. T. C. Young, Chairman of the Supper Committee of the Woman's Auxiliary.
Mrs. J. A. Harper, Chairman of Dining Room Committee.
* * * * * * * * * *
Reverend W. Taliaferro Thompson, D. D. of the Department of Religious Education of Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia, found it possible to accept an oft repeated invitation to address the adult members of the Church at an annual Fellowship Supper Meeting. His subject: “Stewardship.”
Dr. Thompson gave attitudes and views as to how much one is supposed to give back to the Lord, and left that to the individual for solution. He felt that followers of Christ should certainly give by some standard. He proved by figures that the Church membership, as a whole, gives far below the accepted Scriptural proportion of a tenth giving never more than three per cent of incomes generally less. But he emphasized that Stewardship should mean loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ in what is given to His Cause and also what is spent for individual use: that Stewardship means living “as unto the Lord” as well as giving to the Lord's work.”


(Full accounts found in History or Scrapbook)

AprilMr. Abram Hengeveld, President of Men-of-the Church; Mrs. N. H. Edgerton, President of Woman's Auxiliary.
May 28Reverend Willard Conger, beloved pastor, died. The pulpit committee supplied the pulpit with guest ministers, during the term of vacancy.
Sept. 6The sixth annual sermon by Dr. Ben R. Lacy, President of Union Theological Seminary.
Sept.The Reverend Norman Johnson of Blacksburg, Virginia, called.
Dec. 16Reverend Norman Johnson, his wife, Mary McClure Johnson and seven months old son, Norman McClure Johnson arrived to make their home in the Hanse.
Dec. 20First sermon by pastor elect.
Jan. 17Reception for pastor-elect and wife.
Jan. 17Rev. W. C. McLaughlin of China preached. A School Mate of Rev. Mr. Johnson's.
Feb. 14Rev. Norman Johnson installed as pastor.
MarchAdditions to the Church, 32 for year 1931-)
AprilMr. F. M. Pridgen, President of Men-of-the Church, Mrs. N. H. Edgerton, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
Sept. 3Seventh Annual Sermon by Dr. Ben R. Lacy.
Feb.High School Mid-term Baccalaureate Sermon preached by Rev. Norman Johnson.
Feb.Sprunt Lectures at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, attended by the pastor.
MarchAdditions to the Church, 28 (for year 1932-3)
AprilMr. N. H. Edgerton, President of the Men-of the-Church, Mrs. H. L. Hicks, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
SummerMonths—Young People conducted the evening Services.
Sept. 3Dr. Ben R. Lacy preached his eighth annual sermon.
Sept. 3Pastor appointed by the Synod of North Carolina to fill the unexpired term of Rev. W. McC. White, late of Raleigh, N. C., on the

Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary. A former pastor, Dr. W. D. Morton had had this honor conferred upon him at two different times.
Oct. 24 - 26Woman's Auxiliary, Synod of North Carolina met.
Rev. Norman Johnson President of the Ministerial Association for the year.
Feb.Sprunt Lectures attended by the pastor.
Feb. 4-11Rotary Plan of service for Elders and Deacons begun.
Feb. 4-11Elections held.
MarchAdditions to Church, 35 (for year 1933 & 4)
AprilJ. W. Drake, President of Men-of-the-Church, Mrs. H. L. Hicks President of Woman's Auxiliary.
MayH. H. Littrell, Elder, Commissioner to the General Assembly from Albemarle Presbytery. Meeting at Montreat, N. C.
May 27Rev. Norman Johnson preached the Baccalaureate Sermon at Peace Junior College, Raleigh, N. C.
May 27Dr. Ernest Trice Thompson, guest minister, Professor of Church History and Church Polity, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va.
JulyBookcase built by order of the Session under the supervision of F. M. Pridgen for the books from Rev. Willard Conger's Library which had been donated to the Church by Mrs. Willard Conger.
Sept. 2Ninth Annual Sermon by Dr. R. B. Lacy
Sept. 29Dr. H. S. Hilley, President of Atlantic Christian College, Wilson, N. C. filled the pulpit as guest minister.
Oct. 2-3Albemarle Presbytery met in the First Presbyterian Church.
Dec. 16Mr. Donald W. Richardson of the Faculty of Union Theological Seminary guest minister.
Dec. 20Fellowship Supper (First) for the Adult Membership of the Church. Speaker Rev. G. L. Whiteley, originator of the Belmont Covenant Play. He explained this plan of Church Financing.

1935Through the quarter for eleven weeks the Belmont Plan was used in this modified way, bringing gratifying results spiritually and financially.
Feb. 2-9Sprunt Lectures attended by the pastor.
Feb. 5Alex P. Thorpe Fund turned over to Trustees made up of two Elders and one Deacon. Mr. W. C. Weeks, Chairman; Mr. G. R. Edwards, Secretary; and Mr. A. P. Thorpe, Jr., Treasurer. This Trust Fund was bequeathed by Mr. A. P. Thorpe who died August 29, 1934.
Feb.Churches of the city planned broadcast over WEED of morning Services according to schedule made out.
MarchMorning Services of the First Presbyterian Church Broadcast for the month of March.
MarchAdditions to the Church, 44 (for year 1934-5)
AprilH. A. Whitaker, President of the Men-of-the-Church, Mrs. W. E. Fenner, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
April 16-17Reverend Norman Johnson, Moderator of Albemarle Presbytery. William and Mary Hart Chapel, Leggetts, N. C.
May 26High School Baccalaureate Sermon preached by Rev. Norman Johnson.
JuneGuest Ministers:
8Rev. R. E. McClure, New Bern, N. C.
15Dr. J. Porter Smith, Richmond, Virginia. Professor of Theology, Union Theological Seminary. Former Missionary to Brazil.
22Dr. P. Cary Adams, Maxton, N. C., President of Maxton Junior College for Men.
29Dr. Henry C. Bedinger, Red Springs, N. C. President of Flora McDonald College.
Aug. 3James Wallace Johnson, second son of pastor and wife, born in the Manse. The first child to be born in the two-story frame manse.
Sept. 13Dr. Ben R. Lacy preached his tenth annual sermon.
Oct. 14Rev. P. Frank Price, D. D. of Nanking Theological Seminary in China (on Furlough) preached morning and night. Mrs. Price (Esther W.) addressed the combined classes of women and older girls.

Jan.Mrs. W. N. Clark appointed by the Session to be the official part time Young People's Worker, with remuneration.
Feb. 28Second Annual Fellowship Supper. Rev. Smiley Williams of Welch, West Virginia, addressed the assembly of adults, telling how the Belmont Plan worked in his Church.
Feb. 28Rev. Charles W. Worth of China preached in the morning and at the evening hour gave a description of his work in China, with pictures thrown upon the screen to illustrate the opportunities, the hardships and the progress.
MarchAdditions to the Church, 49 (for year 1935 & 6)
AprilS. E. Leonard, President of the Men-of-the-Church; Mrs. W. E. Fenner, President of the Woman's Auxiliary.
April 19-23Rev. Oscar Mann, Director of Religious Education for the Synod of North Carolina conducted a Leadership Training School for Sunday School workers.
April 15H. H. Littrell made Moderator of Albemarle Presbytery at Snow Hill, N. C. and made Trustee of Peach Junior College, Raleigh, N. C.
MayRev. Norman Johnson Commissioner from Albemarle Presbytery to the Diamond Jubilee Meeting of the General Assembly at Augusta, Georgia. This being the birthplace of the Presbyterian Church U. S. in 1861.
May 24Rev. D. W. Richardson, D. D. Filled the pulpit during the absence of the pastor for this one Sunday.
June 4The painting of the interior of the Morton Memorial Building completed. A gift from Mrs. W. S. Wilkinson in memory of Mr. W. S. Wilkinson of 40% of the cost and 60% as a gift from Mr. J. B. Brewer.
July 15Dr. P. Frank Price, Moderator of the General Assembly conducted the Prayer Meeting service in the Chapel. This was a signal honor—to have a visit from a Moderator of our highest Church Court.
AugustVacation Guest Ministers:
2Rev. James E. Bear, Professor of New Testament Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va.

16Rev. William E. Hill, Jr., Hopewell, Va.
23Rev. R. L. Forbis, Second Presbyterian Church Rocky Mount, N. C.
30Dr. Donald W. Richardson, U.T.S. Richmond, Va.
Sept. 13Dr. Ben R. Lacy, President of U.T.S. Richmond Virginia, preached his eleventh annual sermon.
Sept. 13F. M. Pridgen, Elder delegate to Synod held in Mitchell College, Statesville, N. C.
Oct. 18Church used for Services after the completion of painting the walls and woodwork. The walls changed from buff to green. A gift from J. B. Brewer in major proportion and generous amounts from Mrs. A. P. Thorpe and Mrs. M. R. Robbins and Mr. D. J. Rose, with concessions from the Williams Lumber Company in the use of lumber for the scaffolding. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Wilkinson, Jr., also made a liberal contribution to this work.
Jan. 3Solid Silver Communion Service dedicated. A memorial to Mrs. J. W. Hines by her daughter, Mrs. M. R. Robbins. (Marion Erwin Hines)
Jan. 3Large eight-day clock installed on the wall in the Lobby of the Morton Memorial Building, a gift from Mrs. A. P. Thorpe.
Jan. 24The Memorial Baptismal Font presented to the Church by the Woman's Auxiliary.
Jan. 31Deacons elected: J. B. Brewer; K. C. Denny; B. E. Fountain; E. M. Turner. Retiring: R. O. Mayo; E. C. Smith; and N. H. Edgerton.
Feb.Sprunt Lectures attended by Rev. Norman Johnson and several members of the Woman's Auxiliary, also Rev. R. L. Forbis of the Second Church.
March 11Third Annual Fellowship Supper. Dr. E. D. Grant of Richmond, Va. spoke on “Stewardship”. He was Educational Secretary of Foreign Missions, Secretary of Stewardship and Finance then became Executive Secretary of Publications in Richmond, Virginia.
March 30Dr. Paul H. Veith, Professor of Religion at Yale University assisted by Dr. J. O. Mann of the Synod's Religious Education work and Mr. W. D. McInness of the Presbytery's Religious Education work held two meetings for religious workers.

MarchAdditions to the Church, 67 (for year 1936 & 7)
AprilNo election of officers for Men-of-the-Church.
April 26Dr. E.E. Gillespie, Superintendent of Synod's Home Missions, Greensboro, N. C. preached. Rev. Norman Johnson invited to preach the Baccalaureate Sermon for the senior class of the Fountain High School, he having taught there formerly.
May 31Dr. P. Frank Price, Missionary to China and retiring Moderator of the General Assembly spoke at the Prayer Meeting Service. He asked for covenanted prayer to continue for 100 workers to be sent to China.
June 6Westminster Men's Bible Class organized, meeting temporarily in the church.
June 12Class for college group organized, meeting in the Senior League Room over the Parlor.
AugustVacation Guest Ministers:
8Rev. W. E. Hill of Hopewell, Virginia.
15Rev. M. W. Norfleet, of U.T.S. Richmond Va.
22Dr. Donald H. Stewart, of Chapel Hill, N. C.
29Dr. P. Cary Adams, Junior College for Men, Maxton, N. C.
Sept. 12Dr. B. R. Lacy, President of U.T.S. Richmond Virginia, Guest minister for his twelfth annual visit.
Sept.Mrs. C. C. Todd, official full time worker for the Young People with remuneration.
Sept.North Carolina Synod meeting at Peace Junior College, Raleigh, N. C., conferred honors upon the pastor and H. H. Littrell, Elder.
Nov.Ministers’ Annuity Fund went over the quota.
Dec. 26Dr. Frank W. Price of Nanking Seminary, on furlough, preached both morning and evening. A son of Dr. P. Frank Price and brother-in-law of Mrs. Norman Johnson. Dr. Price and wife, Essie McClure Price, daughter, Mary Virginia and son, Frank, were guests at the manse for Christmas.
Jan. 2Rev. Norman Johnson, Pastor.
Golden Brown Carpet on floor for the service on this Sunday having been laid over the entire floor of the Church Auditorium. This

undertaking promoted by the Woman's Auxiliary. A full account in the Auxiliary History, Mrs. J. A. Holdren, Historian. Notation of Committee in this History.
Jan. 8Mr. C. W. Coghill died. See Scrapbook No. 2.
Jan. 9Thorpe Memorial Chapel opened for worship in seating the congregation.
The Westminster Men's Bible Class adopted this Chapel as their meeting place on this Sunday.
Walls of Jennie K. Hill Bible Class Room having been painted green to match the Church walls and the members of the Class having furnished rugs for the floor was ready for occupancy.
Jan. 15Mrs. Ralph I. Sturtevant died (Louise Miner) See Scrapbook No. 2.
Feb. 6Rev. Herbert R. Whitelock guest minister. Evangelist connected with the City Mission.
First Wedding in the Thorpe Memorial Chapel Members of the Second Presbyterian Congregation. Miss Cossie Pearl Winstead and Mr. Arvey Owen Crocker, married by Rev. R. L. Forbis.
Feb. 27Rev. H. R. McFadyen of Pinetops preached in the evening. The pastor holding a Vesper Service in Nashville, N. C.
March 2Rev. D. L. Jones of Faison, N. C., conducted the prayer meeting.
March 6Congregational Meeting to accept the Budget: $4365 Benevolent Causes, $8874 Current Expenses. Annuity Fund Tax added for the first time.
Every Member Canvass under Mr. Marshall Spears, Chairman. Mr. A. F. Harrell, Chairman of the Board of Deacons.
March 8First Wedding in the Thorpe Chapel for a member of the First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Rhetta Cathy McClure to Mr. Jefferson D. Beale. Ceremony by Rev. Norman Johnson.
March 11Fourth Annual Fellowship Meeting. Dr. E. E. Gillespie, Superintendent of Synod's Home Missions, Greensboro, N. C. the invited speaker. See Fellowship Meetings.

March 15Sixteenth Annual Meeting of Woman's Auxiliary Beginning the second year's administration of Mrs. F. L. Greathouse, President, with the April Meetings.
March 2732 United with the Church Communion Sunday.
March 27Annual report to Presbytory 39 additions in 1937-1938.
April 3Morning Service, Rev. B. R. Lacy, D. D. preached. Vesper Service Presentation of the Thorpe Memorial Chapel. (see gifts to Church) (Memorials and Scrapbook No. 2)
April 17Easter Sunday, 27 united with the Church.
May 1Mr. H. T. Parry became director of the Choir, succeeding Mrs. E. G. Hornbeck. Mrs. Hornbeck remaining as organist. All singers to be volunteers until further changes should be made.
May 5Rev. Norman Johnson the Commencement Speaker at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va. Subject “Enriching Our Sense of God”. This was a signal honor conferred upon the pastor and a reflected honor upon the congregation. (see scrapbook No. 1—page 69 for clippings.)
May 28Mrs. W. B. Coppedge of Nashville, N. C., died. (Eugenia Ratliffe) (see scrapbook No. 2)
June 19Elders and Deacons ordained and installed. Elected at Congregational Meetings held May 15, 22 and June 5, 1938.
June 28Hymn Board given by Mrs. A. P. Sydenstricker, and son, Kenny, in memory of Alvey Fitzhugh Sydenstricker, husband and father. (see gifts to Church)
June 30Mr. Wallace McClure, father of Mrs. Norman Johnson died. Buried in Bethel Church Cemetery near Staunton, Va., July 2. (see scrapbook No. 2)
July 3Rev. D. S. McElroy, Secretary of the South Atlantic District of the American Bible Society preached. A minister of the Southern Presbyterian Church having been a missionary to Japan 1919-1924.
AugustVacation Ministers:
7Dr. Donald W. Richardson of Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va. Dr. Richardson had made many such visits to Rocky Mount having

endeared himself to the congregation.
14Rev. John B. Cunningham, brother of Mrs. W. N. Clark, of Pamplin, Va., an Evangelist of the Synod of Virginia. Rev. Mr. Cunningham had made other much appreciated visits to fill the pulpit of this Church.
21Rev. E. E. Gillespie, D. D. Superintendent of Synod's Home Missions, Greensboro, N. C. Dr. Gillespie having preached in his official capacity as well as by especial invitations on many occasions.
28Rev. James E. Bear, Department of New Testament. Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., filling the pulpit the second time by invitation.
Aug. 15Mr. B. B. Arrington died. (See Scrapbook # 2) Mr. Arrington's mother was one of the Charter Members of this Church. She was Miss Mary Ballard Bunn (Mrs. A. W. Arrington) She was baptised by Dr. J. W. Primrose, evangelist of Orange Presbytery at that time, and was for a time the only Presbyterian in Rocky Mount. B. B. Arrington, her only son and Lucy Arrington, (Mrs. E. G. Johnston) came more under the influence of the Methodist denomination while growing up and it was not until 1928 that he joined the Presbyterian Church with his wife and his two younger daughters. (See Charter Members).
Sept. 4Rev. Norman Johnson, pastor, resumed his preaching after the vacation period, which he spent at Montreat, N. C. with his family.
Sept. 7-9Rev. Norman Johnson, Chairman of Assembly's Causes of the Synod of North Carolina, meeting in Greensboro, attended with Mr. G. R. Edwards, delegate. He reported on all Assembly's causes.
Sept. 11Dr. B. R. Lacy preaching for the thirteenth consecutive time on the first or second Sunday in September.
Oct. 2Rally Day subject “Taught of the Lord.” Junion Choir organized by Mr. H. T. Parry furnished the music. Vesper Services at 5 P.M. adopted as the second preaching service instead of the 7:30 service as formerly.
Oct. 9Junior Choir beginning on this Sunday for

Vesper Service to alternate with the Senior Choir in leading the singing.
Nov. 24Thanksgiving Service.
Nov. 27-30Miss Mary Louise Woodson, Director of Religious Education for Young People in the Synod of North Carolina, headquarters in Charlotte, subject “Worship.”
Dec. 4The Junior Choir formed a processional from the vestibule to the choir loft wearing their vestments for the first time, and lead the singing for the Vesper Service in the Chapel.
Dec. 16New Electric Star installed by the Woman's Auxiliary to take the place of the first very lovely star which had become dangerous as a fire hazard.
Dec. 18Sunday School Pageant “Unto Us a Son is Born.” White Gift Sunday. Candle-light Musical Vesper Service.
Dec. 19Mr. R. C. Brake died. (See Scrapbook No. 2)
Dec. 25Christmas Day—Appropriate Christmas Message by the pastor. No Vesper Service.

This completes a sixty year period for the First Presbyterian Church

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

NOTE: Any important Historical Facts overlooked, or any inadvertant MISSTATEMENTS may be corrected in the typewritten copies of the History. These copies are: one with the Curator at Montreat; one with the Local Church; one sent to the Presbytery. Such facts or corrections should be handed in writing to the Historian.


Adams, Geo. N.Bowling, Billy
Adams, Mrs. Geo N.Bowling, W. H.
Adams, ElsieBowling, Mrs. W. H.
Adkins, Emery C.Bradley, J. L.
Alran, A. L.Bradley, Miss Zelma
Alran, Mrs. A. L.Bradley, Miss Winnie
Anderson, Rourk C.Brake, Clyde Crosby
Anderson, Mrs. Rourk C.Brake, Douglas C.
Arrington, Mrs. B. B.Brake, Jesse Morton
Arrington, Miss MargaretBray, T. C., Jr.
Arrington, Mrs. Martha BunnBray, Heywood
Arrington, Miss Frances A.Braswell, W. C.
Austin, Erle H.Braswell, Mrs. W. C.
Austin, Mrs. Erle H.Braswell, S. R.
Austin, Erle H., Jr.Braswell, Mrs. S. R.
Avent, Mrs. J. T.Breedlove, Miss Mattie W.
Brewer, Mrs. H. E.
Barksdale, J. P.Brewer, John King
Barksdale, Mrs. J. P.Brewer, H. E., Jr.
Barnes, HildaBrewer, Mrs. H. E., Jr.
Barnes, JeanBrewer, Joe B.
Barnes, Mrs. W. E.Brewer, Mrs. Joe B.
Barnhill, Mrs. Maurice V.Brewer, Elizabeth
Barrett, Miss MabelBrewer, W. C.
Beach, Mrs. Ruth TuttleBroadhurst, Miss Sarah Denny
Beale, Mrs. J. D.Browder, Harold
Blanchard, Mrs. Clyde J.Browder, Mrs. Harold
Blanchard, AnneBrown, Mrs. Gertrude Young
Blanchard, C. James, Jr.Browning, Howard M.
Boddie, N. B.Browning, Mrs. Howard M.
Boddie, Mrs. N. B.Buchanon, Mrs. A. F.
Boddie, Nick Bunn, Jr.Buchanon, A. Franklin Jr.
Boney, Arthur E.Buchanon, Richard L.
Bonham, M. C.Bulluck, Miss Charlotte
Bonham, Mrs. M. C.Bulluck, Elmer W.
Bonham, Miss Mary PurvisBulluck, Mrs. Elmer W.
Bostain, C. E.Bulluck, Elmer W., Jr.
Bostain, Mrs. C. E.Bulluck, Benjamin
Bostain, NormaBunn, Fred
Bostain, AnneBunn, Mrs. Fred
Bowling, Luther H.Bunn, Dawson
Bowling, Mrs. Luther H.Burnett, W. S.

Burnett, Mrs. W. S.Crothers, Mrs. Winnie P.
Burnett, Miss AnneCrothers, Francis
Burnett, Mana ByrdCummings, J. B.
Burton, Mrs. W. D.Cummings, Mrs. J. B.
Burroughs, Miss DorothyCummings, Miss Louise J.
Currin, R. E., Jr.
Cade, W. E.Currin, Mrs. R. E., Jr.
Cade, Mrs. W. E.Cuthrell, Mrs. J. H.
Cade, W. E., Jr.Cuthrell, J. Henry Jr.
Cade, Miss VirginiaCutts, Mrs. J. P.
Cade, EarlDaley, Hugh M.
Cade, MaryDaley, Mrs. Hugh M.
Carmichael, Mrs. Carolyn Smith
Carmichael, Neil J.Daniel, Miss Annie
Carmichael, Mrs. Neil J.Daniel, Miss Jocile
Carmichael, Mrs. WillisDaniel, Miss Ruth
Carter, Mrs. Don E.Daniel, John H., Jr.
Carter, MargaretDaniel, William Hill
Clark, Miss KezzieDarden, R. B.
Clark, W. N.Darden, Mrs. R. B.
Clark, Mrs W. N.Daughtridge, Mrs. J. B. A.
Clark, William N., Jr.Daughtridge, Mrs. Jno. C.
Close, Fred R.Davenport, Mrs. Travis
Close, Mrs. Fred R.De Mai, Nicholas
Clough, Mrs. C. C.Dempt, H.
Clough, C. C., Jr.Dempt, Mrs. H.
Clough, Miss Nellie G.Denny, Kenneth C.
Clough, JacquelinDenny, Mrs. Kenneth C.
Cobb, Miss MargaretDenny, Miss Charlotte
Coghill, Mrs. C. W.Denson, Miss Corinna
Coghill, C. Wesley, Jr.Denson, Miss Katherine
Coghill, HenryDixon, Mrs. W. H.
Collie, W. R.Dixon, Margaret
Collie, Mrs. W. R.Dixon, Irene
Collie, AllineDixon, Thomas A.
Colston, Carol C.Dixon, Mrs. Thomas A.
Colston, Mrs. Carol C.Dixon, Mary Katherine
Conger, Mrs. WillardDoar, Frank M.
Conyers, Miss MarguariteDoar, Mrs. Frank M.
Cooper, Mrs. T. A., Jr.Dominick, Mrs. Minnie
Coppedge, Dr. T. O.Douglass, Mrs. A. B.
Cowan, Edgar LeeDouglass, Miss Dorothy
Coward, Mrs. Cora RedmondDouglass, Alexander B., Jr.
Cross, W. F.Dove, Chas. W.
Cross, Mrs. W. F.Draper, E. E.

Draper, Mrs. E. E.Fountain, Ben E., Jr.
Draper, Edson V. S.Fountain, Lewis K.
Duffy, Mrs. L. F.Fountain, Mrs. Lewis K.
Duffy, Ruth AnneFountain, R. T.
Fountain, Mrs. R. T.
Easley, H. A.Fountain, Miss Susie Rankin
Easley, Mrs. H. A.Fountain, Miss Anne
Easley, H. Alexander, Jr.Fountain, Margaret
Edgerton, J. A.Fountain, W. H.
Edgerton, Mrs. J. A.Fountain, Mrs. W. H.
Edgerton, Robert S.Fountain, W. H., Jr.
Edgerton, N. H.
Edgerton, Mrs. N. H.Gamble, Mrs. A. A.
Edson, Cyrus M.Gardner, Mrs. J. C.
Edwards, George R.Gay, Mrs. Norman L.
Edwards, Mrs. George R.Gay, Oliver L.
Edwards, Ryland P.Gay, Mrs. Oliver L.
Edwards, George S.Gay, Carlyle
Edwards, Geo S.Gay, Miss Willie
Edwards, Mrs. Geo. S.Gordon, Mrs. E. D., Jr.
Edwards, Miss RuthGordon, Mrs. E. J.
Edwards, PhillipGravely, Mrs. Page K.
Elmore, H. LynwoodGray, J. Watt
Elmore, Mrs. H. LynwoodGray, Mrs. J. Watt
Gray, Arabella
Fant, Mrs. AlfredGray, June
Fant, MargaretGray, J. Watt, Jr.
Fant, Mary ElizabethGray, Robert
Farmer, Horace P.Greathouse, F. L.
Farmer, Mrs. Horace P.Greathouse, Mrs. F. L.
Faucette, Mrs. Ruby MearsGreathouse, Frank Lee, Jr.
Fenner, Mrs. W. E.Greathouse, Bill Proctor
Ferguson, W. M.Green, L. W.
Ferguson, Mrs. W. M.Green, T. P.
Ferguson, FrancesGregory, Mrs. R. H., Jr.
Ferguson, LoisGroom, Miss Nellie
Ferguson, Vestal
Ferrell, Miss CorneliaHall, Mrs. P. P.
Fleming, Mrs. EvelinaHall, Robert
Flye, Mrs. RichardHall, Probert
Foshee, C. S.Hammond, Mrs. Anna Groom
Foshee, Mrs. C. S.Hammond, Flaye
Foshee, Charles W.Hampton, Mrs. F. A.
Fountain, Ben E.Hampton, Miss Frances
Fountain, Mrs. Ben E.Hampton, Winnifred P.

Hardy, Miss Dora L.Innes, Mrs. John
Hardy, Miss MollieInnes, John, Jr.
Harper, Mrs. J. A.Innes, William
Harper, Mill HildaInnes, Mary
Harrell, A. F.Inscoe, Mrs. L. S.
Harrell, Mrs. A. F.Inscoe, Miss Susan Hall
Harrell, Alfred F., Jr.Inscoe, Miss Nancy McIntyre
Harris, Lloyd Q.Inscoe, Linwood
Harris, Mrs. Lloyd Q.Inscoe, Joe
Harrison, Mrs. Jennie
Hartley, Annie BenderJames, Elizabeth
Hawley, O. W.James, Roger
Hawley, Mrs. O. W.Jenkins, Jim D.
Helvin, Mrs. Frances HolmesJenkins, Mrs. Jim D.
Hengeveld, Mrs. A.Jennings, W. P.
Hengeveld, Henry J.Johnson, Mrs. Norman
Hengeveld, Fred A.Johnson, R. J.
Henry, Mrs. Sam S.Johnson, Miss Stella Louise
Henry, Miss Annie MercerJohnson, James
Hepburn, Mrs. Mary B. ThorpeJohnson, Julian
Henry, Sam S., Jr.Johnson, Sara Fountain
Herring, Mr. J. T.Johnston, E. G., Jr.
Herring, William T.Johnston, Mrs. E. G., Jr.
Herring, Miss Rachel L.Johnston, Julia
Hicks, Mrs. H. L.Johnston, P. H.
Hinnant, Mrs. W. T.Johnston, Mrs. P. H.
Hinnant, JohnJones, Mrs. Duncan H.
Holdren, J. A.Jones, Miss Joyce
Holdren, Mrs. J. A.Jones, Mary Emma
Holdren, J. GrigsbyJones, Betty
Holdren, CarolynJones, Mrs. M. A.
Hollowell, W. E.
Hollowell, Mrs. W. E.Kearney, W. W.
Hollowell, BillyKearney, Mrs. W. W.
Holmes, Mrs. J. A.Kearney, William W.
Holmes, GlenKearney, DeLon Cooper
Holt, Mrs. Annie LouKeel, J. W.
Hopwood, Mrs. J. E.Keel, Mrs. J. W.
Hornbeck, Dr. E. G.Keel, James W., Jr.
Hornbeck, Mrs. E. G.Keel, Page C.
Hornbeck, George ArtisKeel, Frances
Hostettler, Mrs. Ruth LyonKennedy, Mrs. R. Van
Hyatt, Mrs. MamieKennedy, Gwendolyn
Kent, Mrs. Stephen A.
Innes, JohnKing, Mrs. John M.

King, Mrs. Sallie P.Mayo, Mrs. Roy O.
Kornegay, Mrs. L. W.Mayo, Roy O., Jr.
Kornegay, Dr. Robert L.Mayo, Benjamin F.
Kornegay, Lemuel W., Jr.McAffee, Miss Sarah B.
Mccorkle, Mrs. W. H.
Lattimore, Louie M.McGowan, W. O.
Lattimore, Mrs. Louie M.McGregor, Mallory
Leloudas, GeorgeMcIntyre, C. D.
Leloudas, WilliamMcIntyre, Mrs. C. D.
Leonard, Sam E.McIntyre, C. F.
Leonard, Miss Margaret W.McIntyre, Mrs. C. F.
Lewis, Mrs. L. U.McIntyre, Charles F.
Lewis, Miss JeanMcIntyre, R. Donald
Lindsay, ErnestMcIntyre, Kenneth H.
Lindsay, J. H.McIntyre, Mrs. K. H.
Littrell, H. H.McIntyre, Kenneth H., Jr.
Littrell, Mrs. H. H.McIntyre, Miss Pattie
Littrell, Ira RobertMcIntyre, Miss Ellen McIver
Litterell, H. H., Jr.McIntyre, Cicero Donald
Livesay, H. T.McIntyre, Dorothy Lawrence
Livesay, Mrs. H. T.McIntyre, Peggy
Long, Mrs. R. D.McIntyre, Miss Lillie
Long, Miss ErnestineMcIntyre, Wm. H.
Lyon, Mrs. A. S.McIntyre, Mrs. Wm. H.
McPherson, T. H.
MacRae, John M.McPherson, Mrs. T. H.
MacRae, Mrs. John M.McSwain, Miss Annie P.
MacRae, John M., Jr.Meares, Mrs. L. D.
MacRae, Paul H.Meares, Mrs. Willie Moore
Mallison, Mrs. W. H.Meares, Miss Annie E.
Mallison, Blake W.Meares, Joseph L.
Maples, L. PalmerMeares, Mrs. Joseph L.
Maples, Mrs. L. PalmerMelton, W. O.
March, C. V.Melvin, J. Lyman
March, Mrs. C. V.Melvin, Mrs. J. Lyman
Marshall, T. E.Melvin, J. Lyman, Jr.
Marshall, Mrs. T. E.Melvin, W. T.
Marshall, T. Edmunds, Jr.Merrell, Mrs. Jerman S.
Marshall, Mrs. T. Edmunds, Jr.
Marshburn, Miss MabelMerriam, Harold J.
Maynard, Miss WillieMiddleton, Mrs. Minnie L.
Mayo, Mrs. C. W.Mills, Mrs. Hugh H.
Mayo, R. G.Mixon, Elwood
Mayo, Mrs. R. G.Mixon, Nancy Ann
Mayo, Roy O.Mobley, E. M.

Mobley, Mrs. E. M.Proctor, Mrs. Russell L.
Monroe, Orville N.Proctor, Russell L., Jr.
Monroe, Mrs. Orville N.Proctor, W. C.
Monroe, Orville N., Jr.Proctor, Mrs. W. C.
Moore, George B.Proctor, W. Con, Jr.
Moore, Mrs. George B.Purvis, E. E.
Moore, W. O.Purvis, Miss Mary C.
Moore, Mrs. W. O.Purvis, Ruel
Purvis, E. E., Jr.
Niblock, Wm. N.Purvis, Mrs. S. R.
Nichols, J. I.
Nordstrom, Jno. N.Rawls, Mrs. R. T.
Nordstrom, Mrs. Jno. W.Rawls, Teele
Renfro, Mrs. H. H.
Oates, David J., Jr.Renneker, Mrs. W. E.
Oates, Charles R.Renneker, Miss Elizabeth
Renneker, Miss Mary D.
Parker, Edward A.Rhinehardt, Mrs. Arthur L.
Parker, Mrs. Edward A.Rhinehardt, Charles L.
Parker, Miss JessieRhinehardt, Louise
Parker, Richard H.Rhinehardt, Mary Lilly
Parker, Mrs. J. E.Riddle, C. G.
Parry, Harold T.Riddle, Jean
Parry, Mrs. Harold T.Riddle, F. Ray
Paylor, Mrs. Gertrude Thigpen
Pearson, Robert R.Ritch, A. E.
Pearson, Mrs. Robert R.Ritch, Mrs. A. E.
Peters, Dr. C. H.Ritch, Miss Betsy
Peters, Mrs. C. H.Ritch, A. E., Jr.
Pierce, James C.Ritner, H. L.
Pierce, Mrs. James C.Robbins, Mrs. H.
Pierce, J. StanleyRobbins, Mrs. Marvin R.
Pierce, Jennings C.Robertson, Mrs. J. L., Jr.
Pillow, Mrs. Sarah E.Robertson, J. W.
Pittman, Miss GeraldineRobertson, Mrs. J. W.
Powell, Dr. E. C.Rollins, Mrs. J. J.
Powell, Mrs. E. C.Rollins, Joseph J., Jr.
Powers, Percy G.Rollins, Jack Havens
Prewitt, R. K.Rollins, Betsy Keen
Prewitt, Mrs. R. K.Rose, D. J.
Price, Miss MargieRose, Mrs. D. J.
Pridgen, F. M.Rose, Mrs. Howard L.
Pridgen, Mrs. F. M.Rose, Miss Edith Jordan
Pridgen, F. M., Jr.Rose, I. Woodall
Proctor, Russell L.Rose, Mrs. I. Woodall

Rose, I. Woodall, Jr.Strickland, Mrs. H. W.
Rose, Mrs. J. T.Sturtevant, Ralph I.
Rose, John T., Jr.Sweeney, Mrs. B. B.
Russell, Thomas J.Sweeney, Miss Constance
Russell, Mrs. Thomas J.Sydenstricker, Mrs. A. F.
Russell, Thomas J., Jr.Sykes, Dr. J. V.
Russell, KatieSykes, Mrs. J. V.
Russell, Anne
Thigpen, B. F.
Sechriest, VernonThigpen, Mrs. B. F.
Shine, Mrs. N. F.Thigpen, W. Franklin
Shive, L. JerryThomas, Mrs. Ben H.
Shive, LowellThomas, Mrs. J. S.
Shive, VernonThompson, B. E.
Simmons, T. L.Thompson, Mildred
Simmons, Mrs. T. L.Thompson, Everett
Simmons, BettyThorne, T. T.
Simpson, Howard V.Thorne, Mrs. T. T.
Simpson, Mrs. Howard V.Thorne, Harriett
Slaughter, V. B.Thorne, Orphie
Slaughter, Mrs. V. B.Thornton, R. J.
Smith, E. C.Thornton, Mrs. R. J.
Smith, Mrs. E. C.Thorpe, Mrs. Adam T.
Smith, Miss PaulineThorpe, Adam T., Jr.
Smith, Mrs. J. H.Thorpe, Mrs. A. P.
Smith, Mrs. S. K.Thorpe, Alexander P., Jr.
Smithson, George W., Jr.Thorpe, Mrs. Alexander P. Jr.
Spears, Chester R.Thorpe, Mrs. Henry R.
Spears, Mrs. Chester R.Thurman, J. W., Jr.
Spears, Miss MargaretThurman, Mrs. J. W., Jr.
Spears, W. MarshallTignor, Mrs. J. R.
Spears, Mrs. W. MarshallTignor, Miss Virginia Mae
Spears, Mary MarshallTillery, Luther F.
Spoight, Dr. R. H.Timberlake, Mrs. Leon
Speight, Mrs. R. H.Todd, C. C.
Spruill, Mrs. Frank P., Jr.Todd, Mrs. C. C.
Stinson, J. P.Todd, Martha C.
Stinson, Mrs. J. P.Toler, Mrs. Sam S., Jr.
Stinson, Miss Marion RoseTucker, Mrs. W. E.
Stinson, Miss Nancy AliceTurner, E. M.
Stinson, Mrs. Roy E.Turner, Mrs. E. M.
Stinson, AnnTurner, Dr. Larry
Stinson, AlmaTurner, Dorothy
Strickland, H. W.Tuttle, Mrs. N. O.

Tuttle, Miss ChlorisWilkinson, Miss Lula Wyatt
Tuttle, HaroldWilliams, Clarence H.
Williams, Mrs. Clarence H.
Vaden, JoeWilliams, Mrs. C. V.
Vaden, JimWilliams, Miss Fannie
Vestal, CameronWilliford, Mrs. W. L.
Vestal, Mrs. CameronWillis, Mrs. J. J.
Vestal, DavidWillis, Miss Sarah E.
Vestal, Mrs. DavidWilson, Mrs. H. C.
Vestal, GordonWilson, R. M.
Vestal, Mrs. GordonWilson, Miss Ballard Ramsey
Vestal, Tom HarperWilson, Miss Rose
Wilson, R. M., Jr.
Walters, Mrs. L. M.Witte, Mrs. Louis F.
Walters, WallaceWomble, Mrs. Rufus M.
Ward, Mrs. C. C.Woodson, James G.
Ward, X. H.Woodson, Mrs. James G.
Ward, Mrs. X. H.Worsley, Mrs. P. R.
Ward, CaldwellWorsley, Miss Janice
Ward, BarbaraWright, Edson D.
Warren, B.
Warren, Mrs. B.Young, Miss Annie
Warren, Bernice, Jr.Young, Mrs. H. L.
Warren, ErrolYoung, Miss Lucille
Warren, William N.Young, G. Matherson
Waters, Mrs. Dorothy H.Young, H. L., Jr.
Watson, EdithYoung, T. C.
Weatherford, Mrs. B. J.Young, Mrs. T. C.
Weeks, George L.Young, William C.
Weeks, Dr. Kenneth D.
Weeks, W. G.Zerbach, H. H.
Weeks, Mrs. W. G.Zerbach, Mrs. H. H.
Weeks, W. G., Jr.
Weeks, Mrs. W. G., Jr.
Wester, Mrs. W. M.
Whitaker, Mrs. Etta
Whitaker, Harry A.
Whitaker, Mrs. Harry A.
Wilkinson, G. A.
Wilkinson, Mrs. G. A.
Wilkinson, George A., Jr.
Wilkinson, George W.
Wilkinson, Mrs. George W.
Wilkinson, W. Stronach, Jr.
Wilkinson, Mrs. W. Stronach, Jr.

The following boys of the Eastern Carolina Training School for Boys are members of our Church:

Baldwin, Frank

Carneal, Maurice

Culbreth, Delma

Etheridge, Clifton

Horne, Marion

Justice, W. D.

Mason, Donald

Moody, Fred

Nelson, Paul

Richardson, Bill

Richardson, Billy

Sykes, John

Tanner, James

Wilson, Jesse

Omissions and Corrections made by the CommitteeOmissions and Corrections made by the Typist
Harris, Mrs. Homer H.Arrington, Miss Martha Bunn
Jennings, Mrs. W. P.Barnhill, Mrs. Maurice V., Jr.
Jennings, TomBroadhurst, Mrs. Sarah Denny
MacPherson, T. H.Douglas, Mrs. A. B.
MacPherson, Mrs. T. H.Douglas, Miss Dorothy
McIntyre, D. M.Douglas, Alexander B., Jr.
Edge, Mrs. Sallie E.
Groom, W. L.
Groom, Mrs. W. L.
Hall, P. P.
Harper, Miss Hilda
Holmes, Glenn
Kearney, William W., Jr.
Merrell, Mrs. Herman S.
Through mistaken identity the names of the ministers on page 19 were reversed by the printer.Nordstrom, Mrs. Jno. N.
Pridgen, Mrs. F. M., Jr.
Rhinehardt, Arthur L.
Shive, Mrs. L. Jerry
Thomas, Ben H., Jr.
Thompson, Mrs. B. E.
Wilson, Mrs. R. M.


Brief History of First Presbyterian Church1
Detailed History13
Words of Appreciation14
Books on File15
Photographs of Ministers16
Charter Members and Outline17
Rev. John W. Primrose21
Rev. T. J. Allison22
Rev. D. C. Rankin25
Rev. Lucious Howard Baldwin27
Rev. Robert Austin Wailes28
Rev. J. N. H. Summerell30
Rev. R. P. Pell31
Rev. James Thomas33
Rev. F. D. Thomas33
Rev. W. D. Morton36
Committee Calling Rev. T. P. Allen37
Rev. T. P. Allen38
Committee Calling Rev. Willard Conger39
Rev. Willard Conger39
Committee Calling Rev. Norman Johnson42
Rev. Norman Johnson42
Clerks of the Session44
Church Treasurers44
Enrollment by Decades44
Evangelistic Services45
Deeds and Trustees47
Clause in Deed of 187348
Charter Members and Succeeding Generations48
Sunday School61
Baraca Class62
The Westminster Philathea Class64
Conger Bible Class67
Young Men's Bible Class69
The Men's Bible Class71
The Renneker Bible Class72
The Departmental Sunday School74
The Westminster Men's Bible Class77
Class for College Group78

Woman's Auxiliary Presidents79
Men-of-the-Church Presidents79
Communion Services80
Custodians of Communion Services80
Names on World War Honor Roll81
Memorial Windows83
Memorial Communion Service87
Conger Memorial Baptismal Font89
Thorpe Memorial Chapel91
Resolutions Read at Dedication94
List of Officers98
Tribute to J. H. Nurney101
Tribute to W. S. Clary and Family102
Resolution - Resignation of J. J. White103
Resolution of Respect104
Tribute to Henry Flournoy Morton105
Tribute to S. K. Fountain106
Tribute to A. P. Thorpe107
Tribute to H. E. Brewer108
Tribute to L. F. Tillery110
Tribute to W. L. Groom111
Tribute to John Henry Cuthrell112
Gifts to the Church115
Fellowship Meetings118
Chronological Events121
Church Roll131

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