Lower Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church, founded in 1783, was the second church organized in what is now Wilson County. (It closed its doors in 2010.) The church’s nineteenth and early twentieth-century records includes names of enslaved and freed African-American members, who worshipped with the congregation as second-class Christians even after Emancipation.
(A) the church’s location since 1876; it was originally a little closer to Black Creek (the waterway); (B) the church cemetery, which contains some interesting roughly dressed fieldstone headstones, but no known graves of enslaved people.
This page records “Reception to Babtism” from 1809 and 1823 and includes references to 13 enslaved African-Americans. (Don’t let “servant” fool you.) As Primitive Baptists did not practice infant baptism, the 13 were, if not adults, then nearly so, and thus were all born in the 1700s. Some may have lived to see Emancipation, but even if they remained in Wilson County, I have no way to identify them further.
- Hardy, a servant
- Kedar, a servant
- James, a servant
- Samuel, a servant
- Raiford, a servant
- Rufe, a servant
- Ann, a servant of John Bardin
- Lucy, a servant of Sally Barnes
- Edward, a servant of Ephraim Daniel
- Phillisa, a servant of John Bardin
- Rose, a servant of Willie Fort
- Hannah, a servant of Jesse Aycock
- John, a servant of John Sherrod
Copy of documents courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III. Originals now housed at North Carolina State Archives. Aerial image courtesy of Google Maps.