Minutes of the Turner Swamp Primitive Baptist Association.

Elder Jonah Williams (1841-1915) was involved in the establishment of nearly every church in the Turner Swamp Primitive Baptist Association, including Turner Swamp (1897), Barnes (1898), Little Union (1899), and Rocky Mount (1908). Turner Swamp still meets at or near its original location just north of Eureka in Wayne County. Barnes Chapel was close to Stantonsburg, in southwest Wilson County. Little Union Primitive Baptist Church, which is under reconstruction, was in the Town Creek area east of Elm City. I have not been able to find current references to Rocky Mount Primitive Baptist Church. London’s Church, now inside city limits, was then just north of the town of Wilson. The church is closely associated with London Woodard, an enslaved man who was purchased by his free-born wife, Penny Lassiter. Just after the Civil War, London, who had been a staunch member of Toisnot Primitive Baptist Church, founded an African-American congregation, which seems to have reorganized under the Primitive Baptist umbrella in 1897.

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Barnes Church, near Stantonsburg. Said to have been built by slaves of a Barnes family, the structure served an active church into the 1960s. A slave cemetery is said to lie across the road. Photo taken in November 1961 by Guy Cox. Image found here.

Elder Williams participated in five Association annual sessions before his death, and the minutes of two survive, including the 1914 session excerpted below.

Minutes 5th Ann TSPBA

Minutes 5th Ann 1

5th Ann TSPBA 2

5th Ann TSPBA 3

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