Early history of New Vester Missionary Baptist Church.

The roots of New Vester Church go back to the brush arbor in the mid-1860’s. Vester Church, located in an area known as Parker’s Island, was led first by a Reverend Stamper, who was followed after a few years by the Reverend Nick Anderson.  Reverend Daniel Stokes and Reverend Nick Arrington succeeded Reverend Anderson. In 1891, the church was relocated to its present site, where two deacons, Harry Dunston and Ned Kent, contributed lumber to build a new edifice. Under the leadership of Reverend Anderson, who served from 1891 until 1903, the church adopted the formal name New Vester Missionary Baptist Church. Reverend W.H. Mitchiner served from 1903 until his death in 1953, with Reverend Offie Richardson serving as Associate Pastor for three years due to Rev. Mitchner’s illness. Rev. Mitchner was succeeded by Reverend J.H. Bryant and Reverend A.A. Crum, who served from 1956 until 1970.


New Vester is located near Buckhorn reservoir southwest of Sims (and due south of Bailey), in western Wilson County. It remains an active congregation.

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  • Daniel Stokes may have been the 35 year-old farmer who is listed in the 1880 census of Castalia, Nash County, with wife Cherry. Their 1871 marriage license describes Daniel as born in Franklin County to Cary and Eliza Stokes and Cherry as born in Franklin to Redic and America Wheeless. Daniel died in 1917 in Cypress Creek, Franklin County.
  • Harry Dunston (1855-1950) was the son of Ben and Harriet Hester Dunston. He is buried at New Vester.
  • Ned Kent was born about 1855 in Johnston County. His death certificate lists his parents as Elbert and Abbie Sanders, but a family story published at Ancestry.com names Lightfoot Sanders and Angeline Kent. Ned Kent married Lydia Barnes circa 1875, probably in Wilson County. He died in 1940 in Springhill township, Wilson County.
  • Offie William Richardson was born in Wake County in 1884 to Richardson “Dick” Richardson and Cornelia (or Topsy) Richardson. He died in Johnston County in 1965.

Church history adapted from http://www.newvesterchurch.com/churchhistory.html


  1. This articl shares a hidden piece of my family history. Reverend Offie Richardson is my paternal great great grandfather.

    1. Rev. Offie W. Richardson was married to Maggie Lucus Rlchardson of Wendel, N.C. and had 15 children. He was my grandfarher, I am the son of Ruth one of 8 daughters by him and Maggie.

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