Holiness church

Sanctified church.

The 1913 edition of Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson shows a small building on East Jones Street, near South Lodge, labeled Sanctified Church (Negro).

The 1912 city directory reveals this to be Holy Apostolic, one of four African-American Holiness churches large and permanent enough to be mentioned.

The 1913 Sanborn map shows the church next door to 313 East Jones, but by 1922, per Sanborn, the address had been renumbered 414.  The lot is now vacant and is adjacent to a rambling sheet metal warehouse at 410-A once occupied by Mello Buttercup Ice Cream Company.

The obituary of Rev. James Wesley Holiday.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 March 1977.

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In the 1920 census of Concord, Clarendon County, South Carolina: farmer Wesley Holiday, 29, farmer; wife Caroline, 22; and children Erlier, 5, Cecil, 4, Manyard, 3, and Eddie, 2.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holiday Wesley (c; Rosa) tob wkr h 709 Cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 612 East Suggs, rented for $12/month, tobacco factory laborer Westley Holiday, 40; wife Rosa, 30; and children Earlise, 12, Edward, 11, Deborah, 9, Lula M., 6, Earnest, 4, and Joseph, 1.

Rosa M. Holiday died 31 January 1938 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 5 months old; was the daughter of Wesley Holiday and Rosa Brown, both of Sumter, South Carolina; and resided at 312 Spruce Street.

In 1946, Joseph Holliday registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 16 September 1928 in Wilson County; lived at 648 Cemetery Street; was a student; and his contact was his father Wesley Holliday, 648 Cemetery.

Rosa Holiday died 8 December 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 September 1899 to Payrow Brown; was married; and lived at 648 Cemetery Street. Rev. W.H. Holiday was informant.

James W. Holiday, 69, married Lona Tillery, 47, in Wilson on 23 October 1958.

Lonia Tillery Holiday died 15 November 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; was married to James Holiday; was the daughter of Mary Sanders; and had worked as a maid.

James Wesley Holiday died 8 March 1977 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born January 1900 in South Carolina to unknown parents;

Snaps, no. 8: Cax aside all fear.


Evangelist Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver with her Bible, circa 1931. The boy is her great-nephew, Lucian J. Henderson. This photo appears to have been taken at the same time as this one.

I have written here of a Bible (not the one shown above) that once belonged to Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver. When I first thumbed through the Book in the early 1990s, I found two scraps of paper stuck deep in its chapters. Sarah had left the Congregationalism of her upbringing and joined the Holiness movement sweeping the country in the early 1900s and pencilled in a square, unsophisticated hand were these bits from her sermons.

Self life that might hender and draw you to earthly thing it inpels you on in to Godlines Paul sed I die dailey to the things of this world yeal your life dailey and hold your life in submision to the will of God and live by his word that you may grow unto the fulles measure of the staturs of Chris the one that lives wright is the ones who will a bide bide with him the day of his coming and stand when he a

Come by your God like impression God will take care of you no matter where you are cax aside all fear and put your trust in God and you are save. Then when your pulgrimage is over and you are call from labor to reward you will be greeted with that holy welcome that is delivered to all true missionaries come in the blessed of my father 

Hattie Henderson Ricks recalled: “Mama’d make us go to Holiness Church and stay down there and run a revival two weeks. And we’d go down there every night and lay back down there on the bench and go to sleep. … Mama’d go every night. And they’d be shouting, holy and sanctified, jumping and shouting.” She did not recall the name of the church, which was located on Lodge Street. This 1933 Sanborn insurance map may provide an answer. Mount Zion Holiness Church is shown in the block of South Lodge between Walnut and Banks Streets. The area was cleared in the 1960s to make way for the Whitfield Homes housing project.

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1933 Sanborn insurance map, Wilson. 

Sarah Henderson Jacobs apparently met her second husband, Rev. Joseph Silver, founder of one of the earliest Holiness churches in eastern North Carolina, on the revival circuit. They married 31 August 1933 at her home at 303 Elba Street and divided the five years before her death between Wilson and his home in Halifax County.

Interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; photograph in the possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Cornerstones, no. 1.

Calvary Baptist Church, 704 Gay Street, Wilson.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Mount Zion Holy Church, 517 Hadley Street, Wilson.

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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.]