Soule Methodist Church

Soule Church, one of the oldest established Methodist congregations in Hyde County, got its name from Bishop Joshua Soule. In the early days Soule Church was the center of worship for a large portion of aristocracy at the time. Soule Church had its beginning on August 11, 1858, when John R. Donnell deeded the church site to Riley Murray, James R. Fisher, Edward Jones, Samuel G. Watson, Sr., James W. Swindell, Milton Sadler, Gideon S. Sermons, James Weston, and Leroy M. Swindell, who served as the first trustees of the church. Immediately after the church site was obtained, work was begun on construction of the building with Tulley Williamson as head carpenter. The church is a white-frame building with stained glass windows. In recent years wings for Sunday School classrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen have been added.

Nearby is Soule Cemetery, which is the largest burying ground in Hyde County. There lie the remains of people from all sections of the state--the place chosen because it is one of the highest spots in the county.

Milton Sadler, one of the first trustees of Soule Church, is said to have "hoisted" the first tune there. It is interesting to note that Mr. Sadler is the grandfather of Willie Mae Spencer Graham, the great-grandfather of Carolyn Spencer Harris, and the great-great-grandfather of Richard O'Neal, each of whom has taken his/her turn in "hoisting" the tunes in Soule Church since 1921.

Soule Cemetery occupies a portion of land first settled by the Benson family: Alexander Benson settled a 300 acre land grant on the south side of Mattamuskeet Lake and on Heron Bay in the 1700's; Reuben Benson settled 25 acres on the south side of the Lake in 1801; John Benson settled 60 acres of the Lake adjoining the Caleb Swindell line.

Soule Methodist Church
1890 Roll of Members
Ann C. Swindell
Emeline H. Weston
Polly Swindell
Zorada Benson
Virginia Fisher
Missouri C. Lee
Dorcas E. Boomer
Veanna Jennette
Martha M. Weston
Wm. W. Boomer
Sallie Ann Giles
Mary L. Weston
William W. Pugh
James M. Benson
Robert Jennett
Mollie G. Benson
James G. Weston
Lorena M. Bonner
James W. Swindell
Wilson S. Spencer
William S. Bonner
Nancy Jones
Parley Benson
Parley Selby
Major G. Fisher
Margaret A. Stokesbury 
Deppie S. McGowan
Juletta Spencer
Dorcas Swindell
Jane Emory
Polly Ann Berry
Florida Jones
Sallie S. Gibbs
Mary F. Richardson
Ida Berry
Cara Swindell
Zack Benson
Catherine Murrill
Emma Pugh
Gertrude Weston
Nannie J. Williams
Mary D. Gibbs
Dixon Williamson
Margaret Stokesbury
M. Theresa Williams
M. Magnolia Williamson
Mary M. Benson
Eliza M. Swindell
Bettie Watson
Mollie S. Cahoon
Elizabeth D. Harris
Jesse M. Caffey
John A. Lee
Dora A. Berry
Perrin Selby
Reuben N. Harris
James W. Williams
Walter W. Gibbs
Wm. F. Pugh
Samuel M. Pugh
Louis H. Styron
W. Ernest W. Watson
Geo. H. Weston
Selby Bonner
Henry L. McGowan
J. H. C. Berry
William T. Berry
Fannie E. McGowan
Mary E. Bonner
Florida Jones
Elizabeth Emory
James E. Berry
Wm. J. Cahoon
Etta F. Weston
Eveline Berry
Martin V. Benson
Seth B. Harris
John W. Spencer
Mary E. Spencer
Howel A. Swindell
Mary Murry
Taylor Giles
Alice berry
Ula Berry
Sallie J. Swindell
Alonza Sawyer
Geo. Credle
Sarah E. Credle
Dr. O. S. Credle
Mary M. Credle
W. D. Liverman
Dorcas J. Spencer
Nancy E. Lee
Mollie William
Alvin B. Swindell
Mattie May Sadler
Geo. L. Swindell
Sallie A. Williamson 
Thos. G. Weston
H. Harding Swindell
Addie V. Spencer
Melinda Harris 
Mary Matilda Benson
Thos. E. Watson
Eliza May Watson
Sallie Howard Benson
Mina Jones
Belle Toppin
Belle Howard
Maggie Howard
John E. Howard
Charles A. Jones
Mattie L. Bonner
Wm. D. Gibbs
Minerva R. Hudson
Sarah J. Murry
Cora May Watson

Soule Methodist Church
1916 Sunday School Records
Class No. 1 
Jan. 30, 1916
Fannie Weston, Teacher 
Prat Williamson
Sammy Cahoon
Carlos Cahoon
Charlie Cahoon
Edward Bonner
Hurley Weston
Otis Mason
Burney Makely
Metrah Makely
Leo Harris
Earl Harris
Bonner Lee
Jodie Blake
Mathew Blake
Alton McGowan
John Jay Swindell
Hursey Swindell
Glen Swindell
Class No. 2
Jan. 30, 1916
Margaret Berry, Teacher 
Hazel Swindell
Mary Swindell
Delle Mason
Hortense Boomer
Mary Agnes Jarvis
Mollie Weston
Elizabeth Gibbs
Katie Mann Gibbs
Beatrice McKinney
Delle Cox
Gladys Cahoon
Fannie Cahoon
Wilhemina Lee
Lona Bonner
Ella Dill Gibbs
Margaret Tracy Fisher
Mattie Hayes
Annie Mary Weston
Mary Etta Weston
Class No. 3 
Jan. 30, 1916
Ella Berry, Teacher 
Ava Benson
Elmo Swindell
Erroll Swindell
Franklin Swindell
Dallas Blake
Rosham Mason
Willie Cahoon
Hiram Stotesbury
Louis Weston
George Flowers
Carrol Roberts 
Charlie Weston
Clifton Roper
Ione Bishop
Class No. 4 
Jan 30, 1916
Mrs. Z. Benson, Teacher 
Grace Berry
Ada Mason
Sidney Weston
Willie Weston
Alma Jarvis
Metta McGowan
Annie Cahoon
Daisy Midgette
Class No. 5 
Jan. 30, 1916
Mrs. Geo. Makely, Teacher
Margaret Jarvis
Mildred McGowan
Agnes Weston                    
Chase Benson
Creagh Williamson
Carl Caffee
Natt Berry
Ray Weston  

Joined Baraca & Phil. Classes
Officers & Teachers 
Jan. 30, 1916
J. H. McGowan
Rosalyn Swindell
Fannie Weston
Margaret Berry *
Ella Berry
Mrs. Z. Benson
Mrs. Geo. Makely
George Makely
      Record For Sunday - July 30, 1916
      Religious Services conducted by: J. H. McGowan
      Opening song: Just When I Need Him Most
      Officer and Teachers present: 6; absent: 1
      Scholars present: 32; absent: 24
      Scripture Lesson: I Corinthians 1, 18-31
      Subject of Lesson: The Word of the Cross
      School addressed:   Minutes by:
      Collection: 50 cents; Weather: Fair & Warm
      School closed by: Song no. 52
      Baraca Collection - 46 cents
      Record For Sunday - Aug. 6, 1916
      Religious Services conducted by: J. H. McGowan
      Opening song: Glory to his name
      Officer and Teachers present: 6; absent 1
      Scholars present: 29; absent 27
      Scripture Lesson: I Corinthians 13.
      Subject of Lesson: The greatest thing in the world
      Temperance Lesson
      School addressed: 10; Minutes by: Mr. Brothers
      Collection: 33 cents; Weather: Fair & Warm
      School closed by:

Photos courtesy of Sandra Carawan.
1916 Sunday School Records from Merlin Berry.
1890 Membership from High Tides, Volume 3, Number 1; Spring, 1982; pp. 18-19.
Hyde County History
published by the Hyde County Historical Society in 1976.

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