We are so pleased to receive this donation from Herb Davis (pictured left).
He has written an wonderful history of his church, the Weeping Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Jamesville, NC. The church was founded in 1866 by former slaves and others under the leadership of Rev. Abram Mebane. Present-day pictures can be viewed at their Facebook page.
If you are unable to see the document embedded below, you can access it here. Many thanks to Mr.Davis! His work to document the history will be greatly appreciated by many.
The following list of churches in Martin County are extracted from the Martin County Heritage book published in 1980 by the Martin County Historical Society. If you are interested in learning more about a church in this list, you can look for a library that holds the book and request more. To see a list of libraries that have the book, check here.
- Bear Grass Presbyterian Church – on May 17, 1929, Rev. Zachary Taylor Piephoff began his pastorate at Williamston and Bear Grass Outpost Church. He was ordained & installed as pastor on July 28, 1929. In 1931, land was purchased for the building in Bear Grass. W. Henry Belk gave brick for the church. This was the first brick church in Bear Grass. (p. 3)
- Bear Grass Primitive Baptist Church – on August 28, 1828, 15 members of the Skewarkey Primitive Baptist Church, living in the Bear Grass area, asked to be granted the privilege of enrolling their names and answering to them at the Bear Grass Meeting house. The church was officially constituted in July 1829 with Elder Joseph Biggs as pastor. (p. 4)
- Bethany Pentacostal Holiness Church – On November 1, 1916 Robert Price Sr. deeded land on Price Mill Road for this church to R.S. Price, D.O. Bowen, & J.N. Biggs. However, the church burned soon after. On May 1, 1920, D.O. Bowen and wife Maggie deeded land in another location but this building was destroyed by fire in 1925. In 1926, another building for the church was erected on the same site. (p.4)
- Calvary Bible Church – came into being as a result of a home Bible study led by Charles E. Barber of Greenville, NC. Five couples, along with their families, joined together to hold its first public service on a Sunday night in October 1969. Arvis W. Griggs was the first full-time pastor in 1970 and the church was officially organized in 1971. (p.5)
- Cedar Branch Baptist Church – the first missionary baptist church in the county. Part of the Pamlico Baptist Association and was one of the 17 churches that met on November 28, 1851 at Parker’s Chapel in Pitt county to help the association. In 1851 the church had 23 members and for several years had both black and white members.
- Christian Chapel Church of Christ – founded by Stanley Ayers in 1857. (p.6)
- Church of the Advent – in 1784, James L. Wilson was ordained and became the clerical representative of Martin & Edgecombe counties and held ministry for 7 years. The location of the church at this time is unknown. On April 26, 1850 the church was consecrated by Bishop Ives under the name of “Church of the Advent.” (p.6)
- Conoho Primitive Baptist Church – located about 1 mile northwest of Oak City near Conoho Creek. The church was originally called Conoho Log Chapel and was founded in 1794 after a group of persons were granted permission to dismiss themselves from the Flat Swamp Church. Pastors from 1794-1885 included Benjamin Joyner, Jonathan Harrell, Blount Cooper, William Bell, John Purvis, and M.T. Lawrence. (p. 7)
- Corinth Free Will Baptist Church – established in 1903, this church was first located on Ange Town road. Land was given by J.B. Alethia Waters for a new building on old Jamesville & Plymouth road. The first pastor was C.J. Harris.
- Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion Methodist Church –organized in 1884. Four of the original 12 trustees were Dempsey Sealy, W.W. Close, George Bennett and Washington Williams.
- Everetts Baptist Church –began in 1877 through the efforts of Carson L. Powell and A. McA. Pittman. On November 8, 1877 Jesse Everett and wife Ella V. sold land to J.A. Whitley, Bryant Wynn, Jas. Mobley and Ullie Gurganus. In 1880, the church was moved to the community of Everetts. Bithel Leggett of Bertie county was one of the first pastors. (p.8)
- Fairview Church of Christ (Fairview Christian Church) – began around 1874 with a membership of 55. For 22 years meetings were held in the Manning Schoolhouse in Williams township; in 1896 the members went with the church at Jamesville and in 1905 the church was established at Fairview. William Manning was the first clerk of the church at the schoolhouse site; Simon E. Hardison was the first clerk to serve in the new building. (p. 9)
- First Baptist Church, Robersonville – organized on September 26, 1902 by nine charter members: Spier Cochran, John D. Everett, A.R. Dunning, J.L. Peal, Mrs. Lula Cochran, Miss Bertie Brown, H.C. Norman, Mrs. Susan Keel, and C.W. Keel. The first pastor was the Rev. James. W. Rose from 1902-1904. (p.9)
- First Christian Church, Robersonville – officially organized in 1876. The first building was erected and first used in 1877. The first clerk was Wilson T. Outterbridge. (p. 10)
- First Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ) – began in 1889 the Reverend Henry C. Bowen and the congregation officially charted on October 26, 1890 by the North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention with 15 members including Rev. and Mrs. Bowen. W.H. Wilson was appointed clerk and superintendent of the church school. (p.11)
- Flat Swamp Primitive Baptist Church – oral histories hold that the first services of the church were held in the 1700s under brush shelters. The church was officially constituted in 1776 and John Page was the first pastor. The church was destroyed by a tornado in 1924 but rebuilt by the community. (p. 11)
- Gospel Light Church of Christ – located in Dardens; James F. Jackson reported the first meeting in April 1902. The first building was dedicated on August 7, 1904 by pastor J. Boyd Jones of Wilson. (p. 12)
- Hamilton Baptist Church – established in 1876 under the leadership of Richard Salisbury and Gus Whitley. The original wooden building burned in October 1928 and a new brick building was erected in 1929. The first service held in the church was the wedding of William Jesse Beach and Annie Lee Anthony on October 7, 1929. (p. 13)
- Hamilton Church of Christ – established on November 26, 1926 in the vacated J.B. Everett store following a revival held by Harvey C. Bream; C.H. Gardner and Tom Respass elected as officers. The church building cornerstone was laid on April 20, 1947 and the dedication service for the building was held August 31, 1947. (p. 13)
- Hamilton Pentecostal Holiness Church – organized December 1, 1963 through the efforts of S.J. Williams, William C. Dunning and other supporters. The first deacon was Dennis Leggett; first minister was Rev. W.C. Dunning. (p. 14)
- Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church – formed in 1889 when members from Conoho Baptist Church & Spring Green Primitive Baptist Church requested dismissal from their church. Elder M.T. Lawrence was likely the pastor during the church’s short history, having discontinued around the time of his death in August 1913. (p. 14)
- Hassell Christian Church – began in 1877 by J.L Burns. In 1907 the church was reestablished in Hassell. In 1935 a new brick church was dedicated. Former pastors have included: T. Hassell Brown, Thomas Green, D.F. Tyndall, A.F. Leighton, R.A. Phillips, J.R. Tingle, G.H. Sullivan, J.M. Perry, Ivan Adams, W.I. Bennett, O.E. Fox, H.C. Hilliard Sr., Roger Westmoreland, Z.N. Deshields, Ronald Nichols, R.A. Phillips, Al Cooke and Richard Rundell. (p. 15)
- Holly Springs United Methodist Church – organized circa 1850, Rev. Robert J. Carson is likely the first ordained minister to preach there as the church was on his circuit. (p. 16-17).
- Holymission Church of God in Christ - established under the pastorship of James & Eva Lloyd & friends Mr. & Mrs. George Brown in the 1970s. (p. 17)
- Hood Temple A.M.E. Zion Church - organized circa Oct. 15, 1867 by Bishop J.J. Clinton. Since then, there have been 3 different churches. Present church at the corner of St. Andrew St. and Highway 64 held its first service in May 1973. (p. 17)
- Jamesville First Baptist Church – began in August 1917 when C.A. & Della Askew deeded land for the erection of a church building to R.O. Martin, J.W. Martin and A. Corey, trustees of Cedar Missionary Baptist Church.
- Jamesville Methodist Church – On October 8, 1855 a parcel of land was deeded by Gilbert & F.W. Moore to Lorton Cooper, Thomas L. Holliday, William E. Sexton, Thomas L. Hyman and George E. Wared, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South on Highway 64 leading to Plymouth. Church activities are known about until circa 1886 – trustees at the time were H.W. Mizell, J.E. Lawrence, W.E. Staton and John F. Hardison. (p. 18)
- Macedonia Christian Church – beginnings go back prior to 1844. The first church pastor believed to be Mr. H. Dennis Carson. The name “Macedonia” adopted in 1868. (p. 18-19)
- Maple Grove Christian Church (Griffins Township) – formed November 19, 1910. Charter members signing the resolution to start the church included Asa J. Manning, Joseph A. Roberson, Sadie E. Griffin, Etta Blanche Manning, George H. Coltrain, John T. Smithwick, C.C. Coltrain, Mary L. Coltrain, Martha A. Perry, Lela G. Coltrain, Ethel Heath, John W. Jones, Mary C. Roberson and Elizabeth Heath. (p. 19-20)
- Memorial Baptist Church – established in 1870. First wood structure erected and dedicated in 1889 as Williamston Baptist Church. (p. 20-21)
- New Hope Baptist Chapel – dedicated November 14, 1976, Rev. Gary B. Thompson from First Baptist Church officiating. (p. 21)
- Oak City Baptist Church – organized June 1899 by Rev. R.T. Vann of Scotland Neck, Rev. Braxton Craig of Tarboro, Rev. G.L. Merrell of Hobgood, Noah Biggs and E.E. Hilliard of Scotland Neck. G.L. Merrel was the first pastor – paid $20 on July 1, 1899. (p. 21-22)
- Oak City Christian Church – organized November 17, 1919 as the Church of Christ of Oak City. Rev. J.M. Perry organized first revival. Charter members include: George Cox, N.F. Brown, Mrs. N.F. Brown, T.W. Davenport, J.R. Ayers, Mrs. M.L. Bunting, L.J. Davenport, Mrs. L.J. Davenport, Mrs. J.S. Ayers, Mrs. W.A. Vanderford, Mr. M.H. Ayers, C.L. Coltrain, Roy Thomas, J.W. Skiles, Mrs. J.W. Skiles, P.A. Maye and Walter B. Wynn. (p. 22-23)
- Piney Grove Baptist Church – began in the early part of the 20th century – Rev. Bytha Leggett, pastor of Cedar Branch Church in Jamesville, began holding services in a school building in Griffins Township. In 1902, church member Mr. J.C. Getsinger recognized the need for a larger building and donated land. In 1910 the church briefly closed, but was reorganized in 1933 by W.B. Harrington, Mamie F. Harrington, Virginia Corey, Stephen E. Manning, James Harrington, Ruby Lee Harrington, B.R. Manning, Effie Manning, J. Dalmar Manning, A.E. Manning, and James Hubert Hardison. (p. 23-25).
…more to come soon….
Skewarkey Baptist Church was founded around 1780 in Martin County. Originally a branch of Flat Swamp Church, Skewarkey Church constituted a separate congregation in 1787, with Martin Ross ordained as the first minister. Some of the church’s members were dismissed in 1791 to form a distinct church at Morattock, in Washington County, and other members left to join nearby established congregations. In 1803 thirty-four members of Skewarkey left to establish a church at Smithwick’s Creek and another twenty members formed a church at Tranters Creek.
The congregation remained stable for several years until, in 1827, about fifty members were dismissed to form a new church at Picot meetinghouse and still another twenty members founded a congregation at Bear Grass, also in Martin County. Thus Skewarkey Church became the parent church to many congregations in the vicinity, several of which aligned with the Primitive Baptist movement of the 1830s and shared fellowship in the Kehukee Association.
The present building, the church’s third, was constructed near Williamston in 1853. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Elder Cushing Biggs Hassell served as pastor of Skewarkey Church from 1844 until his death in 1880. His son, Sylvester, assumed the pastoral duties in 1881. The younger Hassell also served Skewarkey until his death, in 1828. The Hassells’ association with Skewarkey Church and the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Asssociation is extensive and remarkable. Cushing Hassell wrote a history of the faith, which was revised and completed by Sylvester Hassell. The volume, History of the Church of God, From the Creation to A.D. 1885; Including Especially The History of the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association, was published in 1886 and remains a fundamental resource.
- Cushing Biggs Hassell and Sylvester Hassell, History of the Church of God, From the Creation to A.D. 1885; Including Especially The History of the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association (1886) [full text @ Google Books]
- Paschal, George Washington. History of North Carolina Baptists. Raleigh: General board, North Carolina Baptist State convention, 1930. [Find @ a Library]
- Abstracts of church minutes – available at the NCGenWeb Archives