Wilson District of the Cape Fear Annual Conference.

The business of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is handled by administrative bodies known as conferences, which are in turn divided in districts. When conferences hold their annual meetings, their districts provide reports of the health of the churches they comprise.

In 1923, the Wilson District of the Cape Fear Annual Conference of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District represented 10 circuits. Seven congregations — Contentney Mission, South Wilson/Saint Stephens Mission, Sims Mission, Elm City Mission, Wilson Station, Stantonsburg Circuit and Black Creek Circuit — were in Wilson County. (Today, there are only three A.M.E. Zion churches in the county — Saint John and Trinity in Wilson, and Bethel in Stantonsburg.) Here are pages from Wilson District’s report that year.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.21.18 PM

  • Rev. W.J. Fox
  • Rev. J.E. McKoy
  • Rev. Steadaway — Wyatt Studaway was born about 1851 in Wake County, North Carolina. His death certificate lists his parents as Isaac and Mary Studaway and notes that he lived on Manchester Street and died of heart disease in Wilson in 1926.
  • Rev. Jesse Ward

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.22.03 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.22.39 PM

  • Rev. A.J. Rhodes

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.23.11 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.24.09 PM

  • Jane Sutzer — Mary Jane Bass Taylor Henderson Sutzer.
  • Mattie Moore — possibly Mattie Moore (1878-1927), wife of Johnnie Moore. Per her death certificate, she was born in Wilson County to John and Rachel Sims Lassiter.
  • Fanny Allen — Fannie Preston Allen, wife of Samuel Allen, below. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1885 in Robeson County, North Carolina, to Sandy Ashley. She died in Wilson in 1943.
  • L.J. McPhail — possibly Laura McPhail (1871-1936), wife of Raiford McPhail. Per her death certificate, she was born in Cumberland County, North Carolina, to Washington and Delia Gillmore Wardell.
  • Mary Sims
  • Rev. J.B. Sutton
  • Rev. Sam Allen — Per his death certificate, Oxford, North Carolina native Samuel Allen died in Wilson in 1930. He was married to Fannie Allen and worked as a day laborer at a tobacco warehouse. He lived at 706 Roberson Street.
  • Rev. D.A. Baker

From the Minutes of the Twelfth Annual Session of the Cape Fear Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church (1923), University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  1. Thank you! Are there any other Wilson District AMEZ Records in the collection?

    1. Good afternoon, Rev. McDow. The red links in the post will take you directly to the minutes. Discovering the prominence of Saint John among early 20th century A.M.E. Zion congregations has been a pleasant surprise!

Leave a Reply