Mary Grove.

Mary Grove Missionary Baptist Church is on Wiggins Mill Road northwest of Lucama in Springhill township. Founded in 1909, the church is home to branches of the Kent, Renfrow, Jones, Barnes, Creech and Powell families, among others. (Including members of the Gospel Four.)

These photographs, which appear to date from the early 1970s, show the church’s wooden mid-century iteration, an early cornerstone, and the road sign that once identified the church to passersby.


Mary Grove Church today. The sanctuary has undergone several remodels in its 100+ years and is now a modern brick structure with attached offices and meeting space. The cornerstone in the brick plinth shown above is now embedded front left.  The church’s cemetery is located behind the parking lot at the far right edge of the image below.

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Many thanks to Edith Jones Garnett for sharing family photographs of Mary Grove Church.

Cornerstones, no. 3.

Jerusalem Grove Primitive Baptist Church, 3339 Airport Blvd., Wilson.



Ellis Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, 5032 Aviation Place, Wilson.



Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, 571 East Nash Street, Wilson.



Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, 119 Pender Street, Wilson.



Johnson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 317 Beauvue Road, Elm City.



Rountree Missionary Baptist Church, 2110 Martin L. King Blvd., Wilson.


Dixon Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, Stantonsburg Road, Wilson.


Saint John Apostolic Holiness Church, 5546 Central Road, Black Creek.

[N.B. One of the cornerstones was engraved by marble worker/artist Clarence B. Best.]

Cornerstones, no. 2.

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 414 Hadley Street, Wilson.



Brown Chapel Baptist Church, 1507 Hadley Street, Wilson.


“Established Mar. 23, 1900 in old Grab Neck by Rev. R. Rodman named for Rev. J. Brown moved to Hadley St. Ext. Sept. 1956.”


Saint Luke A.M.E. Church, 112 North Vick Street, Wilson.



Mount Zion Original Free Will Baptist Church, 305 Lane Street Southeast, Wilson.



Piney Grove Free Will Baptist Church, 309 North Vick Street, Wilson.


“Founded 1882 by Revs. A. Blunt & D. Blunt.”

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Piney Grove’s original location on Vance Street, at the corner of Elba. (Sanborn Map, Wilson, North Carolina, 1913.)

[N.B. Two of the five cornerstones were engraved by marble worker/artist Clarence B. Best.]

Cornerstones, no. 1.

Calvary Baptist Church, 704 Gay Street, Wilson.



Wilson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, 513 East Barnes Street, Wilson.


This church was founded in 1910 as Jackson Chapel. (Jackson Chapel later merged with the much older First Baptist Church, which stands one block away at Pender and Nash.) The original one-story wooden structure is shown below.

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Sanborn Insurance Map, Wilson, N.C., 1913.


Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, 627 East Green Street, Wilson.


The church building, at the corner of Green and Elba Streets, is now occupied by Christ Deliverance Tabernacle Ministries.

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Sanborn Insurance Map, Wilson, N.C., 1913.


Union Grove Primitive Baptist Church, 519 Singletary Street, Wilson.


The original church, a small wooden building, is at left below. (The larger brick church, designated Tabernacle Missionary Baptist, is now the site of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.)

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Sanborn Insurance Map, Wilson, N.C., 1922.


Mount Zion Holy Church, 517 Hadley Street, Wilson.


Organized in North Carolina in 1886, the United Holy Church of America, Inc., is a predominantly black Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination and the oldest African-American Holiness-Pentecostal body in the world. Bishop G.J. Branch of Goldsboro, North Carolina, established congregations up and down the East Coast.

[N.B. Three of the five cornerstones were engraved by marble worker/artist Clarence B. Best. (Four, if you count the dates added to the Pilgrims Rest cornerstone.]