Concord Primitive Baptist Church History

Taneya | August 13, 2009 |

By deed dated 14th December, 1808, registered 7th June, 1810 in Book “C” at Page 163, Office of the Register of Deeds, Washington County, North Carolina:

“This Indenture made between James Ambrose and Andrew Oliver, Commissioners, appointed by the Baptist Society to carry on the business of Building of a Meeting House in the up River Neighborhood so called; and their Successors of the one part, and Jacob Hassell of Washington County of the other part, Witnesseth: That in order to promote piety, Morality, and vital Religion in said Neighborhood the said Jacob Hassell hath given granted and conveyed until the Commissioners above mentioned and their successors, for the purpose of placing a meeting House thereon…”

property was deeded from Jacob Hassell of Washington County.

The first entry in the first book of minutes for Concord Church is a certification that Micajah Ambrose “is in full fellowship with us the Baptist church in Tyrrell County at Ansleys meeting house” and a Letter of Dismission for Ambrose and “all the members in Washington County which formerly belonged to us” was granted, signed by order of the Conference by Levi Hassell, clerk.

The next entry for 12 May 1810 shows a meeting by adjournment from Ansleys meeting house in Tyrrell to the Concord meeting house in Washington County at said Concord meeting house. Micajah Ambrose became the first pastor of the newly-constituted church.

In “History of the Church of God, From The Creation To A.D. 1885; Including Especially The History of the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association” (Elder Cushing Biggs Hassell, Revised and Completed by Elder Sylvester Hassell, Gilbert Beebe’s Sons, Publishers, Middletown, Orange County, New York 1886) Pg. 853, is found the following:

“Concord, Washington County -This Church was constituted by Elders Micajah Ambrose and Amariah Biggs in the year of our Lord 1810, with fifty-eight members dismissed from the church at Scuppernong. Elder Ambrose accepted the pastoral charge of the church first, and after him Elder James Ambrose, George W. Carrowan, David L. Mot, William Gray, William Reynolds and Steven Biggs, three of whom held their membership with the church. Elder Biggs is pastor at present. Her Deacons have been Daniel Clifton, John Biggs, William Furlaugh, Jesse Sawyer, Darius Phelps, Steven Biggs, Henry Bateman, Jordan Phelps, W. P. Jethro, James J. Ambrose and Isaac Furlaugh. Her Clerks have been Jacob Hassell, Maxey Tatum, Jesse Sawyer, Samuel Lewis, Jordan Phelps, James W. Clifton and Woodson S. Ambrose. The church is situated in the lower part of Washington County and is some distance from any other church. The members, however, are sound in the faith, enjoy their meetings, and those who visit them enjoy them also. Their monthly meetings occur on the Fourth Sunday and Saturday before. Her number of members is forty-seven.”

Hassell records that the church at Scuppernong, Tyrrell County, N.C., became a member of the Kehukee Association at its meeting at Shoulder’s Hill, Nansemond County, Va., on the 14th of May, 1785 (Pg. 703). At an Association meeting held at Great Swamp, Pitt County in 1868, “The name of the church at Scuppernong was dropped from the Minutes, and her few remaining members were advised to unite with some other church of the same faith and order.”

Bethlehem, Tyrrell County (about three miles southeast of Columbia) was constituted in 1824 by Elders Micajah and James Ambrose, its members “originally composing this church came mostly from the church at Scuppernong.” (Pg. 848)

At Falls of Tar River, Nash County, an ordained minister, Elder Nathan Gilbert, joined by a letter of dismission from the church at Scuppernong in August, 1795.

At Morrattock, Washington County (but in Tyrrell at the time it was constituted a church), Elder Amariah Biggs was called as pastor in 1801-2 and took a letter of dismission from the church at Scuppernong.

More Recent Concord History

For the last several decades, membership dwindled so that at the death of Noah L. Ambrose in 1991, there were no members left. The last service had been held in the fall of 1989, with Brother Ambrose in attendance.

In early 1993, the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association deeded the church property to the newly-formed Society chartered to preserve the property.

Efforts got underway by members of the Concord Primitive Baptist Church Preservation Society, Inc., to make repairs and to keep up the old meeting house and grounds.

The first homecoming, sponsored by the Society, was held 21 May 1994 with a full house. Despite bad weather, the tradition of carrying on the meeting continued as friends, relatives, and descendants gathered to remember the earlier days and memories of Concord.

The history of Concord appears in Volume I of the Church Minutes which is available from the Concord Primitive Baptist Church Preservation Society.