Collection of church records, including a ledger (1926-1938, undated) and loose reports, notes, financial accounts, lists of church officers and members, minutes of church meetings and committees, and printed materials, etc.
The first name of St. James A.M.E. Zion Church was Snow Hill Zion Church, named in 1867. There is no other history pertaining to the founders. Miss Rachael A. Wright of New Bern, N.C., organized the first Sunday school in Snow Hill in 1873. She was a teacher in the public schools. The first Superintendent was Mr. Luke Shepard of Snow Hill. Sunday school and bible class teachers were Rachael Wright, Violet Coward, Martha Blount and Allen Taylor. The first librarian was Martha Blount. The library contained 15 bibles, 26 testaments, 24 songbooks and a large Catechism.
With many youth and no other church in this little town, a place was secured and called Keys Temple Zion Church. This occurred around 1875. It is assumed the Key Temple started from a prayer meeting with Richard Edwards and his wife Rosa, Jacob Best, Jacob Edwards, R.B. Ellison, Fayette Wade and his wife, Bob Coward and his wife Adline, Tome Best, Sr. and Ella Wood. Upon growth of this work, Reverend Simmons, the pastor and his wife helped to organize the church.
In 1880 R.D. Beamon, Register of Deeds of Greene County, made a deed to Jacob Best, Chairman, with Richard McKinney and Jacob Edwards serving as Trustees. This deed was recorded as A.M.E. Zion Church. Sidney Busbee and family were paid $40.00 for the land. On May 3, 1882, the land was paid in full. D.W. Patrick was Clerk of Court and John Dixon was Register of Deeds. This information can be found in Book 8, page 186.
On January 19, 1900, the following were elected: Superintendent: Johnnie McKinney Harper, Treasurer: A.C. Coward, and Sick Committee: J.E. Blount, A.D. Murphy and Pearl Britt. Some time later, the small sized church was built about midway toward the cemetery. The pulpit was large enough for about six ministers, the choir was on the left, and Amen corner was on the right.
On March 16, 1902, the name was changed from Keys Temple to St. James A.M.E. Zion Church and was dedicated in 1908. Sister Ross St. James A.M.E. Zion Church (Present) McKinney chose this name. The church was renovated in 1979 under the leadership of Rev. C.E. Council. The chairman of Trustees was Henry Elliot, and Richard McKinney Edwards assisted with securing the loan. The next renovation project began in 1994 under the leadership of Rev. Nathaniel Mitchell. The chairman of Trustees was Arlander Paige, Jr. More renovations are planned and some underway. The present Pastor is Rev. Jerome Fraiser.
Source: Greene County Heritage, North Carolina, Submitted by St. James A.M.E. Zion Church. F262.G86 G73 2009 (Joyner NC Stacks Oversize and Joyner NC Reference Oversize)
This collection contains a ledger, loose reports, notes, financial accounts, list of church officers and members, minutes of church meetings and committees, and printed materials.
Gift of William E. "Mickey" Elmore
Encoded by Lindsay Flood, April 1, 2008
Processed by Brittany Mitchell April 2010
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.