This exhibit contains pictures of old Free Will Baptist Church buildings that are no longer being used for Free Will Baptist church activities. Some are being used by other denominations. Many have been destroyed. The information relating to them is based both on documentary sources and on locally prepared church histories.
Established in 1879, the first congregation worshipped in a log structure which was located on the opposite side of the road from the present church. In 1881, a one-room wooden frame building was constructed (pictured). A new church building was begun in 1922 and dedicated in April 1925. Original Photo Size
Beulaville Original Free Will Baptist Church, Beulaville, NC
This church’s property was deeded in 1893 and the congregation met in a wood structure about 30 by 40 feet. The name of the church was changed from Myrtle Grove to Beulaville Free Will Baptist Church in the fall of 1917. This building was used by the church from 1893 to 1966. On March 17, 1966, the church burned. Original Photo Size
After the original church burned, services were held in the Quinn-McGowan Funeral Home until the new church was built. This building was used by the church from 1966 to 1967. On April 22, 1967, the first meeting was held in the new church. Later that year, the church published a pamphlet detailing its eighty years of church history. Original Photo Size
This church was apparently organized in the mid to late 1860’s as it was first found on the FWB General Conference rolls in 1870 with a membership of 92. The Collection has no records of the church though its membership had increased to 138 at the time it joined the Central Conference when it was formed in 1896. However, when it joined the Albemarle Conference in 1945 membership was only 98, and when it disbanded (circa 1994/95) membership was down to less than 5 members. Building as pictured in 2009 is believed to the original and only building of the church. The church is/was located 4 miles east of Jamesville off Davis Road. Building is as pictured in 2009. Original Photo Size
Daniels Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, Wilson, NC
This church was previously known as Aleo Free Will Baptist Church. In January 1961, this church voted to change locations and build a new church building. On Easter Sunday 1962, the first service was held in the new church. Original Photo Size
Established in 1922, this church was used from 1922-1938. During the 1960s, the church property was sold and the church building was relocated under the name of First Free Will Baptist Church of Durham. Original Photo Size
This picture shows a church picnic held at University Lake, Chapel Hill in Sept. 1934. Original Photo Size
Elm Grove Original Free Will Baptist Church, Ayden, NC
The first worship services were held in an old log schoolhouse in the 1830s. Original Photo Size
This is possibly the original building which was said to be constructed in 1840. This picture is believed to have been taken in 1921. Original Photo Size
Elwood Lane Original Free Will Baptist Church, Kannapolis, NC
This church had its first services in a house on Simmons Street in 1908. In 1910, the first church was built on the corner of Lionel and Simmons Streets on land donated by The Reverend Jake Hill. The church purchased the lot adjoining the church in 1922. Two Sunday School rooms were added on the back of the church building in 1923. It is thought that these were the first Sunday School rooms ever to be built in a Free Will Baptist Church in North Carolina. More Sunday School rooms were built beside the church building. Today, these rooms remain on the southwest corner of Simmons and Lionel Streets as a doctor's office. By 1937, a brick veneer was completed to the church building and Sunday School rooms. A parsonage, located at 713 Simmons Street was purchased in 1942. In 1954, the sanctuary burned to the ground.
The William Street school building was used before moving into the educational building of the old Presbyterian church, which is now the home of the Historical Society.
In 1955, the church bought the B.G. Thompson property on Ash Street (pictured), which was remodeled from a private home into a church. In 1964, ground was broken for a new sanctuary. The congregation dedicated and moved to this church on New Year's Day 1967. In June of 1968, the congregation purchased the property, on the corner of Leslie and Mulberry next to the church, for a parking lot. The sanctuary side windows were installed in 1975. In 1985, the Thompson Building was destroyed. Following the demolition, the church built an educational building and fellowship hall in 1989.
In remembrance of their parents, the children of Roy and Ola Mae Bailey donated the bell tower in 1992. The tower holds the church bell from the original church building that burned in 1954. The bell tower stands outside the building in the front of the still existing B. G. Thompson Carriage House. Original Photo Size
This church was formally established in 1889 and worshipped in the courthouse in 1899. It joined the Eastern Conference by 1900, reporting twenty-eight members. The church building (pictured bottom left) was built in 1902 at the corner of Tiffany and Chestnut.
This building served the congregation until 1942 when a new building (pictured bottom right) was purchased from the Presbyterians. This building was located on Independence Street. An educational building, Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, and fellowship room were added. Rooms were added to the sanctuary. The church purchased a Hammond Organ in 1947.
Then, the church purchased for $50,000 a building which had been formerly used by the First Presbyterian Church of Kinston (pictured top) which was located on Lenoir Avenue and College Street. The congregation held its first service in this building on Sunday, November 17, 1957. The church purchased the Webb property at 312 West Lenoir Avenue, and used it for Sunday School rooms and other meetings for several years. That building was razed when it was decided that the space would be more useful as a parking lot and playground area. A Fellowship Hall was built in 1988. A ramp was added in 1994.
On June 4, 1916, the First FWB Church of La Grange was set in order after a soul-stirring revival conducted by Eld. H. R. Faircloth. There were 24 charter members and the church joined the Cape Fear Conference during its 1916 annual meeting; however, the church moved its membership to the Central Conference in 1933. The revival and succeeding services were held in the old Methodist Protestant Church (pictured above) on North Caswell Street. That property and all its furnishings were purchased on May 6, 1917 and the congregation worshipped there until 1976 when the church moved to new facilities at 802 S. Caswell Street. Original Photo Size
In November 1952, this church first met in the home of Homer and Dot Webb; it was then called the Cottage Ministry. Church meetings were held in this house from November 1952 to August 1953. Original Photo Size
In August 1953, the congregation began using the Old Jewish Synagogue on Main Street. This building was used by the church from August 1953 until September 1963. Original Photo Size
The Educational Building was finished by September 1954 and used until Sept 1963 when the church moved into its new sanctuary on Hope Lodge Street. Original Photo Size
The sanctuary on Hope Lodge Street was first used on September 22, 1963. The present location is on Western Boulevard. Original Photo Size
Organized in 1888, worship services were held in the Webster school house until 1899 when a new church was built (pictured in 1948 after the steeple was added). In 1952 construction began on a new church building. Original Photo Size
Free Union Free Will Baptist Church, Walstonburg, NC
On December 16, 1959, The First Free Will Baptist Church (First Church) in Raleigh, North Carolina voted to establish a mission in Garner and made a request that the Cape Fear Conference co-sponsor the project. On January 1, 1960, the trustees of the First Church and the trustees of the Cape Fear Conference jointly executed a contract to purchase the Methodist Church property. On Sunday, January 17, 1960, the first service was conducted in Garner with Rev. Chester Phillips, Chairman of the Board of Missions, preaching the first sermon. Rev. Herman L. Hersey was selected by the Mission Board to temporarily supervise the Mission. In March 1960, a Sunday School was organized. Rev. R. Eugene Waddell accepted the call to pastor the Mission on April, 17, 1960. The Mission was organized into the Garner Free Will Baptist Church with 43 charter members on September 1, 1960. Original Photo Size
Gum Swamp Free Will Baptist Churc, Greenville, NCh
The church was formed on April 12, 1878 at Lawrence Askew School House. This church was first named Christ Church of the Free Will Baptist; the name was changed to Hickory Chapel in 1880. This picture was taken in 1880. Original Photo Size
Picture of church as of 1907 with 4 classrooms added in 1932.
531 NC561 E
Ahoskie, NC 27910 Original Photo Size
Holly Springs Original Free Will Baptist Church, Newport, NC
This church started holding Sunday School classes in the old Holly Springs schoolhouse in July, 1888 (pictured). The church’s first service was held on the first Sunday in April 1889 with 17 members. In 1923, Holly Springs students were bussed to the new Newport School. In May 1964, ground was broken for a new church building. Original Photo Size
This church was founded about 1756. It is generally assumed that Joseph Parker organized this church. It is one of the oldest Free Will Baptist churches in North Carolina and the oldest still in existence. The church and the grounds were flooded during Hurricane Floyd. Original Photo Size
Macedonia Original Free Will Baptist Church, Ernul, NC
Organized as early as 1870 as Piney Grove Free Will Baptist Church. Name changed to Macedonia in 1894. Building pictured was built sometime in mid-1890's and used until 1967 when a new church was built. Original Photo Size
The church first met in 1880 in the Sprawls Lamm School House. The first church building was started in 1890 and completed in 1894(pictured). Services in a newly constructed building started in 1923. Original Photo Size
Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church, Bladenboro, NC
Oak Grove Church was founded in 1862. The first services were held in a log building that was replaced by a frame building in 1871. This building was destroyed by fire in the early 1930's. Another building was erected; additions to it were completed in 1955 (pictured above). The present building was constructed in 1967 and dedicated on June 30, 1968. Original Photo Size
Palmer Memorial Free Will Baptist Church, Garner, NC
This church was founded in the 1820s. The deed for the site was secured on March 11, 1828 for $1.00. This 800 square-foot church on Fleet Street apparently burned during the Civil War.
In 1881, Rufus K. Hearn was allowed to build on the vacant lot, which was used for The Free Will Baptist Press for eight years.
In 1892, services were held in the home of Bryce Anderson on upper Pollouck Street.
Between 1893 and 1899, the name of the church was changed from New Bern Free Will Baptist Church to Saint Mary’s Free Will Baptist Church.
In 1909, the old wooden church was razed to construct a new building, which was completed in 1913. The church building pictured was used from 1913-1954. In 1954, the church pictured was razed to make way for the present Georgian Colonial structure.
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Tee's Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, Smithfield, NC
The original Tee’s Chapel Church was in Grabtown. This was about one mile from its present location. The first church was named Sandy Church, because of the blowing sandy land. Later the church name was changed to T’s Chapel Church, deriving its name from T.T. Oliver, who was associated with the Old Antebellum Plantation on which the first Free Will Baptist Church was built. It was built approximately in 1887 and organized in 1888. About 1909, RL Ray and Omega A. Ray gave land for a new church. A one-room church was built in a piney woods area. In 1948, Sunday School rooms were added to the church to each side. The picture above shows how the church looked from 1948-1957. This original building was torn down in 1986 to make room for the new Fellowship Hall. Original Photo Size
In December 1956, the church body agreed to go forward with a new building; the first service was held in this new building in December 1958. In 1958, land was donated for a cemetery to be located directly behind the old church. The picture above shows how the church looked from 1958-2004. In 2002, the members of the church voted to build a new church facility. In February 2005, this brick church was removed. Original Photo Size
White Oak Free Will Baptist Church, Bladenboro, NC
Rev. M.S. Todd and Rev. R. W. Baker helped establish this church in 1912 (another sources says the church was established in 1916). Mr. Todd was the first pastor. 29 charter members began meeting in an old school house in West Bladenboro in the fall of 1916. Services were held in this old school house until 1917 when a framed building (pictured) was built on the lot given by Elias Edwards which was located on Highway 211, between the town of Bladenboro and the cotton mill village. A brick building replaced the original structure. The church had 152 members in 1961. Original Photo Size
Early in 1887 in Charlton County, Georgia, Rev. Welch, a Free Will Baptist preacher, and Newton Roddenberry discussed creating Philadelphia Free Will Baptist Church. The church accepted the articles of faith, covenant and the constitution of the Southern Baptist Association on October 4, 1890. The first meetings were held in a small twelve by eighteen foot school house located where the present church now stands. Sometimes the church could not hold all the people who came for services, so they met at an old mill-pond near the school building and held services on the bank of the creek. Newton Roddenberry donated a half acre of land to the church; in 1896 Lee Chancey, Solie Chancey, and W.W. Davis cut logs, then J.J. Mattox sawed lumber to build the first church. Later, in 1947, Mrs. Susie Roddenberry gave the property adjoining the church. The total amount owned by the congregation in 1.3 acres. The picture of the church building was taken around 1917. On the far left side is Newton Roddenberry.
In 1956, the church decided to build a new church, made of blocks. The old church was rolled on logs to the back of the lot so that the new building could be erected on the site of the old one. In the 1960s, James Roddenberry purchased the old church building; he and his sons dismantled it and used part of the materials in the construction of the subflooring and the porches of the James and Bernice Roddenberry home which is located on the Newton Roddenberry homeplace near the church. The members voted the build a social hall on the back of the church in 1986; the total cost for this long room was $2,283.49. A steeple was added in 1973.
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