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EARLY METHODISM IN 
GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, 
AND A HISTORY OF 
THE JARVIS MEMORIAL 
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 



By 

Wyatt Brown 



Edited by 
Dr. John D. Ebbs 



Greenville, North Carolina 



Copyright © 1978 
Wyatt Brown 
Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church 
510 Washington Street 
Greenville, North Carolina 27834 



Library of Congress Catalog No. 78-73847 



Printed by 
Edwards & Broughton Co., Raleigh, N.C. 



Stained Glass of Christ as Shepherd behind Pulpit 



I dedicate this book to my mother whose deep devo- 
tion to her God and Church led her to ask me to write a 
history of Jarvis Memorial as a service to Him. 

— Wyatt Brown 



MEMBERS OF HISTORICAL COMMITTEE 

Marvin Blount, Sr., Chairman 

Mrs. M. L. Starkey, Secretary 

James H. Bailey 

Wyatt Brown 

O. E. Dowd 

John D. Ebbs 

Mrs. J. B. Kittrell, Sr. 

Mrs. K. B. Pace 

Allen Taylor 

Mrs. David J. Whichard, II 



V 



Contents 



Chapters Page 

I Earliest Methodism in Greenville 1 

II Greenville's First Known Preacher .... 9 

III St. Pauls Is Built— 1833 17 

IV 1834-1859 21 

V The Civil War 27 

VI Resurgence After the War 31 

VII "A New St. Pauls" 40 

VIII Greenville Becomes a Station 

Appointment 60 

IX Annual Conference Entertained 66 

X First Auxiliary of the Women's Foreign 

Missionary Society Organized 72 

XI A New Church Wanted 77 

XII Building Jarvis Memorial 85 

XIII Consecration of Jarvis Memorial 92 

XIV The First Foreign and Local Missionary 

Society Auxiliary Organized 100 

XV The Sunday School Golden Years 112 

XVI The First Five-Year Pastorate 122 

XVII Decision: Downtown Church 132 

XVIII A Second and Third Methodist 

Congregation 152 

XIX A Peak 162 

XX Becoming a Downtown Church 170 

XXI On the Move 179 



vii 



Appendices Page 

A Bibliography of Sources 187 

B Names of Jarvis Memorial Members 

Who Have Gone into the Ministry 188 

C Names of Pastors at St. Pauls and 

Names and Pictures of Former 

Pastors at Jarvis Memorial 188 

D Names of Superintendents of 

Sunday School 194 

E Presidents of United Methodist 

Women of Jarvis Memorial 194 

F W. M. Howard's Prayer at the 

Dedication Service of Jarvis Memorial 

Sanctuary, June 17, 1962 195 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Stained Glass of Christ as Shepherd 

behind Pulpit Frontispiece 

(All other illustrations follow p. 118 of the text.) 

PLATE 1: The first St. Pauls Church after it was 
moved and rebuilt at Simpson 

PLATE 2: The second St. Pauls Church at the 
corner of Second and Greene Streets, 
dedicated on February 7, 1880 

PLATE 3: A country fair sponsored by the Ladies 
Aid Society to raise money for the 
Church. Pictured here, left to right, are 
Mrs. A. H. Taft and Mrs. Wiley Brown, 
and the date is 1910 

PLATE 4: Announcement of the opening service at 
the Jarvis Memorial Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, March 10, 1907, 
including a portrait of the Church and of 
Thomas J. Jarvis 



viii 



PLATE 5: 

PLATE 6: 

PLATE 7: 

PLATE 8: 

PLATE 9: 



PLATE 10: 
PLATE 11: 

PLATE 12: 
INDEX . . . 



Picture of Jarvis Memorial Church, 
South, on a postcard postmarked 
Greenville, September 2, 1909 
Portrait of members of the Baraca Bible 
Class, posed by the side of the Jarvis 
Memorial Church (exact date unknown) 
Another portrait of members of the 
Baraca Bible Class, posed by the side of 
the Jarvis Memorial Church (exact date 
unknown) 

The interior of the Jarvis Memorial 
Church, decorated for the wedding of 
Anna Elviro Tucker and W. P. Moore, 
Sr., December 27, 1918 
The interior of the Jarvis Memorial 
Church, showing the chancel rail, the 
pulpit, the organ pipes, and the original 
position of the "Shepherd" stained glass 
window (exact date unknown) 
Another view of the interior of the Jarvis 
Memorial Church (exact date unknown) 

The Jarvis Memorial Church after the 
Educational Annex had been con- 
structed in 1922 

Embellished dedicatory prayer by W. M. 
Howard, Jr., at the dedication service of 
Jarvis Memorial Sanctuary, June 17, 
1962 

197 



ix 



CHAPTER I 



Earliest Methodism in Greenville 

The year 1782 is the earliest date of known 
Methodism in Greenville. The town at that time was 
named Martinborough, but changed to Greenesville in 
1787. So there was a Methodist Society in Greenville 
before Methodism was organized in 1784 at the Chris- 
tian Conference in Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore. 

The 1782 date is provided by that extraordinary, 
peripatetic, indefatigable circuit rider, and first 
Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury. He wrote about 
the first Society in Greenville in his diary when he was 
visiting the local community in January 1812. His 
entry reads: 

January 26, 1812: We called a meeting at Greenville on 
Tuesday, January 26, 1812 at our Sister Brook's; as there 
were few men present, I adapted a text and sermon to 
women. We have no chapel here, although we have had a 
society for thirty years. At Mr. Freeman's we dined, talked, 
and prayed. It began to rain at one o'clock, and we started 
on our way to Edward Hall's. We dare not loiter or wait for 
fair weather. 

Another reference to Greenville in the "Journal" is 
an entry of January 31, 1815: "A heavy storm overtook 
us at Greenville. We put the remains of a poor pious 
slave in the ground who had reached one hundred 
years." 

The entry for the next day (February 1, 1815) relates 
that he rode the twenty-two miles to Edward Hall's, 
near "Tarborough," where he spent a week ill. 

These two entries constitute all the specific infor- 



1 



mation about Methodism in Greenville from 1782 until 
1829. From the pastorate of John Wesley Childs, who 
served here in 1829, to the present, a fairly continuous 
record can be constructed from church members, 
histories, diaries, letters, biographies, and Conference 
Journals. (See Appendix A, p. 187.) 

As a historical context a brief chronology will be 
helpful. Greenville had been chartered by the North 
Carolina House of Burgesses to be a town named 
Martinborough in 1771. It was made the county seat in 
1774. The N.C. Legislature altered the name to be 
Greenesville in 1787. The coming of the cotton culture 
after 1800 improved the local economy. The town 
continued to be a small place, numbering only 828 in 
1860, the first time the town is listed in the United 
States census. 

Although specific information about the Greenville 
Methodists may be lacking, it is possible to indicate 
the climate in which they lived their spiritual lives 
prior to 1830. Impetus had been given to Methodists in 
the state by sending agents when North Carolina was 
designated the Carolina Circuit in 1776. George 
Whitefield had been preaching at New Bern and Bath 
for some time prior to that. 

There were 610 Methodists in North Carolina in 
1776. Then the agents, Isham Tatum and Edward 
Droomcoole, came. By 1785 there were 4,000. Twelve 
circuits had been organized by then within the state to 
handle the growing members. Usually the circuits 
were named for rivers. One was named Tar River 
Circuit, but no counties on the lower eastern end of 
Tar River were named in it. North Carolina became a 
district in 1800, and an Annual Conference in 1836. 

Pitt County was mentioned for the first time in the 
minutes of the Annual Conference in 1790. The 
boundaries of Contentnea Circuit were set to include 



2 



Craven, Green, Wayne, and Lenoir Counties and por- 
tions of Pitt County. Whether that included Green- 
ville is not indicated. The circuit rider assigned in 
1790 was Reverend John Baldwin. At the end of his 
service on the Contentnea Circuit, he wrote in his 
diary that it was the best circuit in eastern North 
Carolina. 

Baldwin noted that preaching on the circuit was 
done mostly in the homes, though sometimes a public 
building was used if there was one. He also recorded 
that the first Methodist meeting houses in the eastern 
section of the state were at Spain's near Greenville 
and Rainbow near Snow Hill. Aquilla Sugg was ap- 
pointed to Contentnea Circuit in 1791. 

Contentnea Circuit was placed in the South Caro- 
lina Conference when American Methodism was di- 
vided in 1790 into six Annual Conferences. The con- 
ferences created were New England, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, Western, Virginia, and South Carolina. 
The western part of North Carolina was put into the 
South Carolina Conference and the rest in the Virginia 
Conference. That same year, after conference in Bal- 
timore, Bishop Asbury was in Tarboro. His "Journal" 
records: "No church and only two homes open to me 
in Tarboro." 

District Conferences were being held at mid-year 
between Annual Conference in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Circuit riders were shifted every six months at 
both District and Annual Conferences. 

A word needs to be said about the circuit riders. At 
the 1792 Annual Conference held at Green Hill's home 
near Louisburg, the question of the individual pastor's 
finances was brought up. It was determined that each 
circuit rider was to receive $64 per year, plus food for 
himself and his horse. In addition, the preachers 
could allow an honorarium be given them for per- 



3 



forming a marriage, but no fee could be accepted for a 
funeral. All the records indicate that they received 
each year nearer $30, instead of the $64 proposed. 

Rev. A. M. Chreitzberg, a historian of the South 
Carolina Conference, makes the flat statement that in 
the early nineteenth century Methodists failed to af- 
ford their ministry financial support and also became 
exceedingly hypercritical of the preachers. In this 
period apparently the circuit rider's "locating" (stay- 
ing more than six months on a circuit) was more 
popular among the preachers than among the laymen. 
When a Methodist preacher was sent to serve a local- 
ity, the congregation refused to provide a parsonage. 
As one bishop of that period states it, the congrega- 
tions seemed to have confused "free grace" with the 
ministry and wanted a "free ministry." Resistance to 
providing parsonages was a troublesome issue for 
forty years. Provision of a home for the preacher in 
Greenville was avoided until 1878, forty-five years 
after a church had been built. 

Further evidence of the atmosphere in eastern 
North Carolina in which faithful Methodists had to 
abide prior to 1800 is revealed in a letter written in 
1797, in which comments are made concerning the 
attitude in eastern North Carolina toward religion. 
The writer of the letter was Joseph Caldwell, profes- 
sor at the University of North Carolina. He was a 
native of New Jersey and had recently graduated from 
Princeton University. The letter reads: 

Religion in New Jersey has public respect and support, but 
in North Carolina, particularly in that part that lies east of 
us, everyone believes that the first step he ought to take to 
rise into respectability is to disavow, as often and publicly 
as he can, all regard for the leading doctrines of the scrip- 
tures. 



4 



Growth of Methodism was among the "least" peo- 
ple (poorest, most hopeless). The letter of Profes- 
sor Caldwell reveals the attitude in the nineteenth 
century of the people hoping for distinction. Further 
antagonism had been inspired by Wesley's being "un- 
alterably opposed" to slavery and alcohol. Asbury also 
was constantly preaching against slavery and drink- 
ing. The first Annual Conference of Methodism, held 
in 1785 at Green Hill's, had voted to be opposed to 
slavery and alcohol. 

Slavery in the eighteenth century had not become a 
public issue outside Methodism. The Constitution had 
provided for the continued importation of slaves until 
1808. When short staple cotton culture and the cotton 
gin became widely prevalent in the South, slavery 
became more highly valued. In 1844 the Methodist 
Church split over the slavery issue. 

Blacks gave Methodists strong support. Since the 
earliest days of Methodism in America, planters had 
given the Methodist preachers the privilege of 
preaching to their slaves. The Blacks liked the "en- 
thusiastic" Methodist type of religion. It was popular 
with them. Conference records show many Blacks 
were members of the Methodist Church in North Car- 
olina by 1785. In fact, at the Annual Conference in 
May, 1783, the preachers spoke of the fact that there 
was a more ready response to them from the Blacks 
than from the white people. 

Another factor in the rapid expansion of the 
Methodists was their adoption of camp meetings. 
Camp meetings were held in wooded spots. A rough 
board construction with a brush roof was provided for 
the preachers as a platform from which to speak. Cut 
limbs were arranged to create an arbor over the area of 
log seats to protect the congregation from the sun. The 



5 



preaching went on all day — preachers taking turns. 
One sermon was delivered after dark each night of the 
week-long session. 

Such meetings received enthusiastic lay participa- 
tion. Those attending camped in a tent, a lean-to, or a 
covered wagon. People came from miles around. It 
was a predominantly religious occasion, winning hun- 
dreds of members, but it had social aspects. Many 
marriages resulted. A special deputation was set up to 
handle drunks, fights, or other disrupting incidents. 

Some notoriety became attached to the Methodist 
camp meetings because of highly emotional demon- 
strations by those affected with the preaching. Some 
of the behavior was known as "speaking with 
tongues," "the shivers," "trembling," "dancing," 
"leaping," and many other appelations denoting overt 
manifestations of a strong emotional reaction to highly 
emotional and stimulating preaching. Camp meetings 
were reputedly attended by congregations of as many 
as ten thousand persons. Many did attend, but how 
many is unrecorded. Methodist membership in North 
Carolina increased remarkably due to camp meetings. 
Bishop Asbury notes in his "Journal" in 1802 the 
record of "a successful camp meeting at Greenville." 

Camp meeting behavior made Methodists unpopu- 
lar. In 1829 Mrs. Ebineezer Pettigrew, who lived in 
Washington County, wrote: 

My neighbors would be without the gospel sound if it were 
not for the Methodists, but notwithstanding, I should dis- 
like belonging to the sect. Such scrutinizing into the feel- 
ings, moralities, and forms must be disagreeable. 

Others commented: 

Methodism met with opposition on all sides. They made a 
direct appeal to the emotions so that shouting and 
"trembling" frequently accompanied their meetings. Such 
extravagance led to persecution. In Wilmington Methodist 



6 



ministers were arrested or assaulted, churches were 
burned, and at least one man applied a "blister plaster" to 
his wife to cure her of Methodism. 

A piece of local folklore from the eighteenth century 
concerns circuit riders. If such a story were actually 
true, it would help to explain their lack of popularity 
with members. A circuit rider arrived on his horse one 
Sunday morning in front of the place of worship at 
Greenville for his appointment to preach. Standing 
out in front were men in little groups talking quietly, 
but occasionally a brief smile would light up their 
faces. On getting down from his horse, the preacher 
walked directly over to one of the groups and took 
them to task for levity on a Sabbath morning. As he 
stalked inside to commence worship, the yarn goes 
on, he observed a plain silver ring on a lady's finger. 
He abruptly stopped beside her pew and immediately 
reached out his hand for hers. Unceremoniously he 
removed the ring from her finger. She was ad- 
monished on the spot to hide away such manifesta- 
tions of ostentation in the church. 

Evidence of the growth of membership in eastern 
North Carolina was shown in the appearance in 1803 
of a church building in New Bern. In quick succession 
chapels appeared in Raleigh (1811), Bethel (1814), 
Beaufort (1820), and Greenville (1833). Places of wor- 
ship in Spain's and Rainbow had been built earlier. 
There was evidence of a maturing church. The Gen- 
eral Conference in 1804 ruled that circuit riders could 
stay two years on the same circuit. Also, the confer- 
ence instituted that same year the requirement that 
one seeking to partake of Holy Communion would be 
required to have a card certifying good behavior and 
regular attendance at classes of the society. At that 
1804 conference, "Quarterly Conferences" were first 
instituted. 



7 



What was happening in the post-revolutionary 
period in the other denominations? Lack of an indig- 
enous organization had gotten the Episcopalians off 
to a slow start following the Revolution. The Baptist 
growth lagged too. The Baptists were involved in an 
enervating intra-denominational struggle. One faction 
was opposed to missions and education. That struggle 
was resolved in 1829 when a Baptist State Convention 
was organized right here in Greenville. 



8 



CHAPTER II 



Greenville's First Known Preacher 

("Greenesville Methodism 1829") 

The General Conference records show that the Vir- 
ginia Annual Conference, of which Greenville was a 
part, met in New Bern, North Carolina, in December 
1829. Benjamin Devany was made Presiding Elder of 
the Roanoke District, of which Pitt County was a part. 
Rev. John Wesley Childs was appointed along with 
Rev. Rowland G. Bass as assistant to serve the 
Greenesville Circuit of the Roanoke District. 

What did Childs and his assistant Bass find when 
they came to Pitt County? The first bridge had just 
been built across the Tar River at Greenville and the 
old ferry had been discontinued. Figures for the 1830 
census show the Pitt County population was 12,093, 
with 6,046 of that number slaves. Thus, since the first 
national census in 1790, Pitt County had grown 3,750 
in population. The 3,750 increase had been the in- 
crease in the slave population. Cotton farming had 
been greatly expanded in Pitt County by 1830. 

The year 1830 must have been a prosperous time. 
No less than four private academies were started in 
Pitt County within the space of two years — 1830 to 
1831. Other evidence that things were progressing 
was the brief appearance and collapse of a newspaper 
and steamboat service for Greenville. A county poor 
house had been provided. 

Such were Pitt County and the county seat to which 
John Wesley Childs with his "devout" young as- 



9 



sociate, Rowland G. Bass, "rode directly to and as fast 
as he could," after being appointed. Reverend Childs 
noted that his own health was poor, but he vowed that 
"neither his lack of health nor the rigors of circuit 
riding would deter him" from his "high calling." But 
at the next Annual Conference he sought assignment 
to the western part of the state because the fevers of 
the swamps in eastern North Carolina had "brought 
him low," and he feared for his very life. 

Childs must have felt gratified when he arrived on 
the Greenesville Circuit. He said he received "a cor- 
dial, widely expressed welcome." He noted that some 
had heard him preach before since he had served the 
neighboring circuit the preceding conference year. 
Quite honestly and soberly he recorded that as time 
went on some resentment grew up over his devotion to 
extreme piety. 

His strictness manifested itself in his constant 
watching over his flock, his strict self-discipline, and 
the plainness of his apparel. This was his second 
circuit in the tobacco-raising part of the state, but he 
"stuck to his guns" in his opposition to the use of 
tobacco. From his point of view, which without hesi- 
tation he urged upon his flock, "The amount spent on 
tobacco should instead be given to the relief of the 
poor." 

The reputation of this devout, dedicated, pious man 
spread over the circuit and caused many to come — 
some perhaps out of curiosity — to hear him preach. 
But Childs found that many of the curious who ex- 
pected to find fault, instead liked his message and 
kept coming to hear him. He commented on his pas- 
torate, "The church was revived, and sinners were 
brought to the foot of the cross." 

In those days the pastor, when in a community 



10 



filling a preaching appointment, met with his mem- 
bers in classes for their religious instruction. Mem- 
bers who could read the Bible well enough to under- 
stand the scripture were few, and even fewer had 
Bibles at all. Childs noted that there were many holy 
and saintly people among the Methodists in his cir- 
cuit. Their acquaintance with the scripture was usu- 
ally oral — quoted and explained to them by a 
preacher in classes or visits in their homes. 

The classes served the preacher, not only as an 
opportunity to teach, but also to examine the state of 
his members' souls. The quality of the saintly man's 
instruction was proverbial on the circuit. But equally 
as well known and even feared were his frequent 
searching investigations into his members' state of 
piety. Examinations were followed inevitably with 
admonition for the errant if not suspension or expul- 
sion from membership. 

The strictness of Reverend Childs' inquiries into 
their behavior and faith was highly significant in the 
life of the members. The privilege of partaking of Holy 
Communion depended upon his approval of their 
spiritual lives. To partake of communion, one had to 
have a ticket showing the member qualified spiritu- 
ally. Some of the members on the Greenville Circuit 
felt Childs was unduly severe. Following his examina- 
tion he denied tickets to some who many thought 
merited the communion privilege. 

Childs moved about his circuit rain or shine, 
mounted or not. Societies and slave quarters on plan- 
tations, as well as homes of the least, were regular 
stops. He was prompt to meet all his appointments, 
but on his way he searched out "the homes on every 
road, every lane, every bypath, deep into fields and 
into the midst of the trackless woods." As he said, he 



11 



had "good news." He sought out everyone — "the 
lonely, the sick, the bereaved, the lost, and the least" 
— to tell each about the love of God. 

His procedure as he stopped at each home along the 
way was the same, whether that of a member or not. 
He would knock on the door. If no one answered, he 
called out until someone responded. He would tell 
whoever responded that he wanted to have a prayer 
with and read scripture to the household if they would 
be kind enough to call everyone to the house. If he 
were rejected, he would ride on to the next house, 
singing hymns of hope and praise. 

Around the circuit people had heard of the ex- 
traordinary man. He smiled infrequently and never 
laughed. He spent four hours in private each morning 
before seven o'clock reading scripture and engaging 
in devotions. He went for months without eating meat 
and fasted every Tuesday and every Friday. Rarely 
did he accept a dessert with a meal. He objected to 
anyone's cooking on Sunday and could not accept any 
food cooked on Sunday. 

To those simple, isolated people he seemed so little 
a part of this world with his extreme piety and ascetic 
ways. They were awed when they saw the intense gaze 
of the gentle preacher. He was six feet tall, with a 
bushy mane of thick, black hair framing a hollow 
cheeked face. He had a somber air as he inquired 
about their receiving him, but his message showed his 
love for them. To lonely, isolated small homes he was 
acceptable. He brought the news of the day as well as 
the "good news." 

His stop at each house during the daylight hours 
was brief. Where he stopped to eat and sleep, he 
would always pray with his hosts. After the meal he 
would ask permission of the host and have all to listen 
to the reading of the Bible and to kneel in prayer. Then 



12 



all neighbors would be invited to come over for an 
evening session of prayer, scripture reading, and a 
brief sermon. 

Next morning before breakfast he would have 
prayer with the family as he had on retiring the night 
before. To all who received him as he went about his 
circuit, he "left a savior, a holy influence, and a Godly 
example." He became widely admired and deeply 
loved. Most of his preaching was to small groups in 
homes. Sometimes he used public buildings. In 
Greenville he used a school building on the corner of 
Second and Greene Streets. 

In the spring of 1830, when the weather became 
balmier, Reverend Childs decided to dispense with 
his horse. There was a strong reaction. Some pitied 
him; others scorned and ridiculed his walking. Childs 
gave five reasons for abandoning his horse: health 
factors were a reason; walking facilitated his more 
easily stopping in at the homes of the people as he 
passed along the circuit; having no horse made it more 
convenient and less expensive for those who enter- 
tained him; walking the great distances he did re- 
moved the alibi of those who said they could not get to 
preaching because their horse was tired from working 
hard at farming and it was too far to walk; finally, he 
said his search of the scriptures left him with the firm 
impression that it would be more apostolic to walk. 

A bit of local folklore from the early twentieth cen- 
tury concerns a Methodist circuit rider who gave up 
his horse and fine saddle for "the more apostolic mode 
of walking." The story was told by lay persons. They 
would say it occurred in the 1830's, although such a 
date is incorrect since there was no town of Farmville 
then. It could be oral tradition's garbled account of 
Childs' deciding to walk. With no embellishments of 
further comment the story goes like this: 



13 



Back before Greenville had a church building the 
Methodist circuit rider rode in one Sunday morning from 
Farmville to fill his preaching appointment at Greenville, 
All were astounded at the magnificent bay horse he rode, 
fine saddle, and luxurious leather saddle bags. The 
preacher explained they had been given to him by the 
Farmville Methodists in gratitude for his ministering and 
preaching. Criticism was heaped upon him by the Green- 
ville Society for such ostentation and munificence. 
Obviously the critical attitude of the Greenville Methodists 
had gone deep. They heard next day that the horse, saddle, 
and saddle bags had been given away at Black Jack, and the 
preacher had left there on foot. 

Sent to the Greenville Circuit to spread the gospel, 
Childs must have found much resistance. He wrote on 
leaving the circuit that he had not achieved a very 
extensive revival but added that there had been some 
good spots. It must have been a disappointing year for 
he gave no statistics as to the number who joined that 
year. He did cite figures for the circuits he served 
subsequently. 

Childs had to deal with the "reform" movement 
prevalent in 1820-1830 in North Carolina. It has been 
impossible to determine the precise nature of the 
"reform" movement, due to conflicting reports. 
Childs said that partisans to the "reform" caused 
excitement in even the largest and best Methodist 
Societies. A few Methodists became so troublesome, 
having become involved in the "reform," that he had 
to put them out of the church to calm down the situa- 
tion. Some of those expelled were Methodist leaders. 

In his concluding entry about the "reform," he says 
the "putting out of the church the disturbing mem- 
bers" had been achieved in such a manner that those 
removed seemed to retain a high regard for him. He 
commented that he had found it a very distasteful 
thing to do. His own reaction to the expelling of the 



14 



members was that he was "tearing down" when he 
wanted to "build up" the membership. 

At the Virginia Annual Conference in December 
1830, he asked to be sent to a "higher climate" be- 
cause the year in the east, in the midst of swamps 
filled with fevers, had left him quite ill. At the same 
Virginia Annual Conference in 1830, when Childs 
asked to be moved, all circuits were redrawn. Green- 
ville appeared as a point on the Tar River Circuit of the 
Neuse District. Reverends Henry Speck and Henry T. 
Weatherly were appointed to the new Tar River Cir- 
cuit. (F or the names and dates of all pastors who have 
served St. Pauls and Jarvis Memorial United 
Methodist Church, see Appendix C, pp. 188-193.) 

The record of the Virginia Conference of 1832 
shows that Greenville had been put in the Roanoke 
District on the Williamston Circuit. It was one of the 
fourteen points on the circuit, stretching through 
Edgecombe, Martin, and Pitt Counties. The local 
Methodists had one preaching service on one Sunday 
a month. Reverend John A. Miller had been appointed 
to the Williamston Circuit in 1832. Local tradition has 
always held that Miles Foy was appointed the pastor in 
1832, but the records of the General Conference show 
he was appointed to the Currituck Circuit in 1832 and 
1833. 

By 1832 the Episcopal congregation in Greenville 
had become stronger. It was being served by mis- 
sionaries of this denomination and by visits from the 
pastor of the neighboring Washington Episcopal 
Church. The Greenville Episcopalians had become 
more alive after they were visited by their Bishop, 
Levi Silliman Ives, in 1832. They began to talk of 
building a sanctuary, and they built a modest wooden 
structure on Pitt Street and Second in 1838. 

The Greenville Baptists too had made progress. 



15 



There had been General Baptists, Particular Baptists, 
and Separate Baptists. But on May 2, 1827, a Baptist 
congregation had been organized. Reverend Thomas 
Mason was called to be their pastor, and he continued 
for three years. They worshiped in the Academy. In 
1829 the Greenville Baptists took the initiative in con- 
vening a group of messengers of that denomination 
from across the state to create a statewide missionary 
organization. The Baptist Benevolent Society was or- 
ganized to carry on a traveling ministry in North Caro- 
lina. The next year — 1830 — when the Benevolent 
Society met in Greenville, the group transformed the 
organization into the North Carolina Baptist State 
Convention. The Greenville Baptists purchased a lot 
in 1832 at Greene and Fourth Streets. A church was 
built there shortly afterward. 



16 



CHAPTER III 



St. Pauls Is Built — 1833 

A resident of Greenville in 1833 reported that "de- 
termination to build a Methodist Church in Greenville 
was shaped in the crucible of their hearts, fired by 
their faith in and devotion to God." The decision was 
made by the handful of local Methodists. 

They bought a lot. Allen D. Nobles gave a deed for it 
dated May 7, 1833, transferring title to a half an acre 
lot to the "Greenville Methodist Episcopal Church." 
The amount paid for the lot was $40. Accepting title 
for the church were Simon Nobles, Samuel Whitley, 
and Benjamin Stancil. Tradition is that a church was 
promptly built. They named it St. Pauls. 

That little chapel sat in what is today a part of 
Cherry Hill Cemetery. More specifically, the old site 
is just inside to the left as one enters the gates of 
Cherry Hill Cemetery from Second Street. A winding 
path from Pitt Street through a field, in those days, led 
to the church. It was a modest forty by sixty foot 
chapel. The roof was covered with shingles and the 
sides with unpainted clapboard. The sills rested on 
up-ended sections of a cypress log. Astride the roof on 
the front end was a cupola with a bell in it. 

There were wide steps stretching almost all the way 
across the front. The steps led up to double doors 
which gave entrance. The doors opened directly into 
the sanctuary. Inside, immediately to the right, were 
narrow steps with a hand rail which led up to the 
gallery. The Black members worshiped up there. 
There were ten small windows above shoulder high in 



17 



each side wall. All the panes were clear glass. An aisle 
ran down the middle of the sanctuary from the back to 
the chancel rail. Just beyond the rail was the pulpit, 
two feet above the level of the floor. On either side, 
parallel with the pulpit at floor level, were three pews 
at right angles to the other pews, providing two Amen 
Corners. 

All the pews were home-made of flat pine boards. 
The back rose at a right angle from the seat. No paint 
was ever put on them. The men sat in the section of 
pews to the right of the aisle and the women in the 
pews to the left. The right Amen Corner was for the 
men, and the left for the women. 

Between the front pews and the raised pulpit was 
the chancel rail. It was sixteen feet long, the width of 
the pulpit. There was no cushion — just a board — for 
those kneeling at the rail for communion. Between the 
chancel rail and the pulpit enough room had been left 
to accommodate the communion table and to move 
about to serve the elements. Usually, communion was 
served only when the Presiding Elder came to hold 
quarterly conferences. Also, he would preach before 
serving the Lord's Supper. Many of the circuit riders 
lacked educational qualifications to advance in the 
clerical orders. 

The pulpit extended ten feet to the back wall of the 
church. The lectern was built by a local artisan of 
plain board with no decoration other than the pattern 
of the amber grained long leaf pine. But "it was care- 
fully made," Mrs. Mollie Brown insisted. 

Built in the wall at the back of the pulpit was a door. 
It could not be opened for there were no hinges. In 
fact, the exterior clapboard was solid across the whole 
back of the building, except for the openings for two 
windows on either side of the false door. It was a 
symbolic door, symbolizing an entrance for the Holy 



18 



Ghost. It was a feature common to Methodist 
Churches in those days. 

The two windows in the back wall of the church 
were located above head high on either side of the 
pulpit. The panes faced the south and were un- 
painted; consequently, on cloudless summer Sunday 
mornings the congregation was blinded by the bright 
glare of the sun shining in the windows. No one com- 
plained. The walls inside were paneled. Overhead, 
the ceiling was covered with white plaster. The floor 
was made of wide planks. "There was not a rug or 
carpet in the whole building." 

Prior to building, the Greenville Methodists had 
been worshiping in the Academy. The Academy was 
a two-story public building, located on the southwest 
corner of Second and Greene Streets. At that time all 
denominations that wanted to, used the Academy for 
their services. The use of homes, schoolhouses, or 
public buildings for worship services was a common 
practice for congregations in the rural South until 
each built sanctuaries. 

In 1912, in anticipation of compiling a history of 
Greenville Methodism, four persons who had at- 
tended services at the first St. Pauls Church, or who 
had known the church shortly after the Civil War, 
were questioned. The four were Miss Lill Wilson, Mr. 
and Mrs. Wiley Brown, and Mr. Robert L. Humber, 
Sr., three of whom had been life-long members of St. 
Pauls. Wiley Brown did not become a Methodist until 
1889. 

Mrs. Wiley (Mollie A. Moore) Brown attended the 
first St. Pauls until another one was built at Second 
and Greene Streets in 1880. Her mother (Mrs. Adriana 
Ernul Moore) and her grandmother (Mrs. Adriana 
Ernul) had been members of the local Methodist Soci- 
ety since the early 1800's. Mrs. Mollie Brown's ear- 



19 



liest memory of the first St. Pauls was of herself as a 
child with her head lying in her mother's lap, watching 
the twinkling stars through the ceiling during a night 
service. The fallen plaster and missing shingles left an 
opening to the night sky. The chapel had deteriorated 
in forty years. 

What these four contributed, which has not been 
provable by records, will be attributed to them by 
name when used. 



20 



CHAPTER IV 



1834-1859 

To keep Methodist Church history orderly requires 
that one keep in mind that Methodist Annual Confer- 
ences usually met each year during November or De- 
cember, after the crops had been harvested. When 
schools became more common, the moving of pastors 
at that time of the year played havoc with the educa- 
tion of the parsonage progeny. 

In the 1950's a determined drive to change the 
sessions of conference to a more suitable time of the 
year developed. Proponents of the winter sessions 
rationalized that meeting late in the year had been 
essential. The collection of the church budget from a 
predominantly agrarian constituency had to defer to 
when the crops had been sold. Consideration for par- 
sonage children and a decreasing dependence upon 
agriculture led the North Carolina Conference to de- 
cide in 1955 to convene in June each year. Therefore, 
until 1955, appointments were made each year in 
November or December. Reverend John A. Miller, for 
instance, was appointed December 1832 to the 
Williamston Circuit on which Greenville was a point. 
Miller, thus, was the pastor in 1833 when St. Pauls 
was being built. 

Every preacher appointed to serve St. Pauls is re- 
corded in Appendix C, pp. 188-193; therefore, only 
those preachers who have left a written record or have 
been mentioned in some record, or who left a strong 
enough impression to be remembered by past mem- 
bers, are designated by their name in this account. 



21 



Methodism in North Carolina was "on the march." 
The building of St. Pauls in 1833 was evidence of the 
growth of Methodism in Greenville. Expansion of 
Methodism all over North Carolina was taking place. 
The state had grown into multiple Methodist districts, 
with some in the Virginia and part in the South Caro- 
lina Conferences. It was at the 1836 Methodist Quad- 
rennial General Conference that North Carolina was 
designated to be an Annual Conference. 

Greenville, in 1836, had been on the Pitt Circuit, 
Roanoke District, Virginia Conference, with Rev- 
erend W. M. Jordan as its pastor. Pitt Circuit had a 
membership of 376. Twenty-six of that number were 
Black. St. Pauls had contributed $4.50 for Conference 
Claimants. This is the only money figure in the Gen- 
eral Conference record for Greenville. 

In 1836 the Virginia Annual Conference still had 
jurisdiction and appointed Reverend Chapel Feather- 
ston to the Pitt Circuit, on which Greenville was a 
point. The circuit had reported at the 1837 Virginia 
Annual Conference 68 white and 35 Black members 
and $2.50 for Conference Claimants. The North Car- 
olina Annual Conference was convened at Louisburg, 
near Green Hill, for organization in 1837, following the 
Virginia Conference session in 1837. 

At the first North Carolina Annual Conference ses- 
sion in January 1838, there was a redrawing of district 
lines. Greenville was put in the Washington District, 
on the Tarboro Circuit, and stayed there until put on 
the Williamston Circuit in 1852. The Greenville Cir- 
cuit in 1862 became the Greenville- Williamston Cir- 
cuit, for that one year. In 1863, Greenville was a 
circuit again for three years. Then for eleven years, 
starting in 1864, the Greenville-Washington Circuit 
was the appointment. Greenville, as a station, was 
designated the first time in 1875. 



22 



The preachers appointed from 1838 to 1841 by the 
North Carolina Annual Conference to the Tarboro 
Circuit were no doubt good men, but it was not until 
1841 that one came who created a stir big enough to 
draw attention to his efforts. The statistics show the 
membership on the circuit stayed about the same — 
154 members, of which 75 were Black — from 1838 to 
1841. 

Pitt County in 1841 was sorely in need of schools; 
illiteracy was common. "Liquor drinking was consid- 
ered an essential element in the life of the people." 
Methodist Churches had a difficult time, for they were 
inevitably small, widely scattered, and each congre- 
gation was having great difficulty maintaining itself. 
Methodist circuit riders referred to the "gospel con- 
quest" as being "a desperate venture even for the 
stoutest of heart." 

Into the midst of that situation in Pitt County in 1841 
rushed Reverend John Tilett, whose valiant fighting 
for the Lord had earned him the sobriquet of "The 
Iron Duke of Methodism." He met the situation head 
on. A revival to him was his most potent weapon to 
fight evil. During his very first week he got a resound- 
ing revival going at St. Pauls in Greenville, calling 
back to assist him the Rev. Philmer W. Archer, pastor 
of St. Pauls in 1840. 

Every night there were two sermons of the typical 
Methodist variety, stimulating and exciting. The con- 
gregations reacted with many overt manifestations of 
the "working of the spirit." The "meeting" was de- 
clared an overwhelming success. Archer and Tilett as 
a team had put the revival over big. Then revivals were 
held all over the circuit. They added 126 white and 2 
Black members that year to the circuit. The St. Pauls 
congregation, as a result of their meeting, added new 
members. 



23 



In 1844 the North Carolina Annual Conference 
joined with the other Southern Slave State Confer- 
ences to form the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. The slavery issue caused the schism. A Bishop 
resident in Georgia could not free his wife's slaves 
under Georgia law. He was castigated even though he 
had given each a home and an independent income. 

The next brief glimpse of Greenville Methodism is 
provided by Reverend Washington S. Chaffin. After 
retirement he wrote a letter about his year at St. Pauls 
in 1847. Chaffin states: 

The size of the congregation was good but not very rever- 
ent. The membership was small, among them were Mrs. 
Evans, Mrs. Dr. Blow, Mrs. Gould Hoyt, Mrs. Ed Nelson, 
another Mrs. Nelson, S. P. Olds and wife, and Johnstons in 
the country. These adherents of the church were among the 
most respectable people in every respect. 

Mr. F. V. Johnston said in the 1930's that he was 
descended from that family of Johnstons. 

In his letter is a record of the amounts paid him in 
salary from each point on the circuit in 1847: 

$106.27 Williamston; $10.10 Hamilton; $8.50 Sharon; 
$24.25 Williams Chapel; $23.45 Carmie; $53.05 Greenville 
(St. Pauls); $12.75 Bethel; $15.00 Mt. Zion; $33.00 New 
Hope; $17.05 Jamestown; $16.90 Holly Springs totalling 
$320.32 for the year. 

He also had put in his letter that the Tarboro Cir- 
cuit, to which he was appointed in December 1846, 
was composed of 

fourteen preaching points, stretched over all of 
Edgecombe, Martin Counties, and all of Pitt County to the 
north of Tar River but with Greenville included, then, also 
parts of Halifax and Beaufort counties. 

The longevity of Brother Chaffin was unusual. He 
was in his nineties, superannuated, and living in 
Jonesboro, when he wrote the quoted letter in 1913. 



24 



But he was the exception. The average Methodist 
preacher in 1847 died before he was thirty-five, be- 
cause riding or walking the circuits of such great 
length overtaxed his strength. The record shows that 
two-thirds of the Methodist preachers in that day died 
before they were able to render more than twelve 
years service on the circuit. 

Then, in 1858, came William A. Hester. He was 
appointed to serve the newly formed Greenville Cir- 
cuit. But he failed to visit the members at St. Pauls. 
There was much grumbling. They complained about 
his refusing to visit among the congregation and his 
choosing to keep to himself. Everyone agreed that he 
was a good, studious young man, but he acted as 
though he were a "stuck-up" preacher who was too 
good for the people of the little Greenville congrega- 
tion. M. T. Plyler related it this way: 

Hester would drive up to the church before dinner time 
each Sunday in plenty of time for visiting before a three 
p.m. service. After unhitching the horse, he would get 
some feed from under the buggy seat and feed the animal. 
He didn't need to do that. Members of the church could 
have easily provided that little handful of feed in the back- 
yard of any one of their homes. It embarrassed the con- 
gregation before the whole town, made it look like the local 
Methodists would not furnish feed for his horse. 

Then, having fed his horse, Hester would take his dinner 
pail out of the foot of the buggy. Sometimes he sat in the 
buggy to eat; other times he would sit on the steps of the 
church. He would reach in his pail and pull out his victuals, 
mincing over each bite like it was something fancy he was 
eating. But his congregation knew it won't nothing but ham 
and collards because some few had even peeked into his 
pail. He just thought he was too good to eat with his 
parishioners. He couldn't afford to eat with plain folks, it 
looked like. 

To add further to young Hester's difficulties, some 
complained to the stewards that he was not a good 



25 



preacher. The Board of Stewards found much objec- 
tion to him. He probably would have been moved at 
the mid-year District Conference, but Hester had "the 
influence of a man in the country named Atkinson who 
was wealthy and prominent; so, he stayed the whole 
conference year." 



26 



CHAPTER V 



The Civil War 

Following the year of dissension caused by Rev- 
erend Hester, the Bishop appointed Reverend N. A. 
H. Godwin in December 1859 to serve the Greenville 
Circuit. Soon after arriving on the charge he found the 
churches had fallen back during Hester's pastorate. 
The circuit membership had shrunk from 515 white 
and 63 Black to 200 white and 38 Black members. 
Godwin immediately secured the services of Rev- 
erend W. H. Moore, an evangelist, to come hold 
protracted meetings all over his circuit. He wanted to 
regain the lost ground and go forward for Methodism. 
The revivals added many members. It had always 
been the Methodists' most dependable means of 
spreading the faith. A good start had been made. 

In the summer of 1860, when Godwin had been on 
the charge for only half the conference year, he an- 
nounced his intention to resign from the ministry and 
to become a doctor. This upset his members, for 
everything had been going fine and they liked him. His 
revivals had been successful. Worst of all, District 
Conference for that year had already met, at which an 
interim appointment could have been made. The 
prospects were that the charge would have to get along 
without a pastor the rest of the year. 

The gloom was dispelled when someone had a 
happy inspiration how to remedy the desperate situa- 
tion. It was suggested that they secure the services of 
Reverend W. H. Moore, who was still in Greenville, to 
finish out the conference year. He was approached 



27 



and was willing. Moore filled the pastorate quite 
satisfactorily. The Greenville Circuit at the 1860 
North Carolina Annual Conference reported 271 
white and 85 Black members. That showed an in- 
crease over 1859 of 200 white and 38 Black members. 
Moore joined the Conference. He served St. Pauls 
again in 1868 by regular appointment. 

Reverend Robert P. Bibb followed Moore at St. 
Pauls in December 1860. He had served St. Pauls 
previously in 1838. A total of 28 members — 8 white 
and 20 Black — were added by him during this second 
time on the circuit. The additions accomplished by 
Bibb raised the circuit's total to 279 white and 105 
Black members. Bibb faced a dilemma during his 
pastorate at St. Pauls. Stephen Johnson, an official of 
St. Pauls, died and "there was not another member 
suitable for being a steward," according to church 
historians. This fact was confirmed by both J. M. 
Daniel and M. T. Plyler. 

The year 1861 found the war pressing in on Green- 
ville. Northern forces had occupied "Little" Wash- 
ington and New Bern. The Yankees were harassing 
the area between Washington and Greenville with 
patrols directing attacks at Greenville, finding only 
slight resistance. In 1862 Greenville accepted the 
Yankee demand of surrender to a water-borne force 
from Washington that landed at the town. 

In December 1861, Reverend James L. Fisher had 
been appointed to serve the Greenville Circuit. He 
lived in Washington and had filled his appointment at 
Greenville regularly during the first few months of 
1862. Later in the year, when the Yankees let it be 
known that they would like to capture him, he sus- 
pended his preaching at St. Pauls altogether. Such is 
the way it was told to Wiley Brown and R. L. Humber 
in their youth. 



28 



Reverend E. A. Wilson was appointed to the Green- 
ville Circuit in 1862. Wilson adjusted to the cir- 
cumstances, met his appointments all over the circuit, 
and was effective enough among his membership that 
the Bishop returned him to the same work for a second 
year in December 1863. During his two years serving 
St. Pauls, Wilson received into membership two per- 
sons who contributed greatly to the increasing influ- 
ence of St. Pauls. The first was a lady from a socially 
prominent Greenville family, Mrs. Mangie Dancy. 
Nothing is known of the occasion; we know only the 
fact that she did join. Having such a lady join must 
have cheered both the preacher and his St. Pauls 
congregation. Such occasions were all too infrequent. 
Mrs. Dancy became a much loved and highly valued 
member. 

The second important accession for St. Pauls dur- 
ing Wilson's pastorate was Ben Warren Brown, a 
wealthy, educated man. He had not been converted at 
St. Pauls. He had been converted while away at col- 
lege and had joined the Methodist Church in the col- 
lege town. But in 1864, while Wilson was pastor, Ben 
Warren Brown had returned to live in Greenville. He 
decided to transfer his membership to St. Pauls. Such 
a man's membership meant much to St. Pauls, when 
only two years before the preacher could find no one 
"suitable" to be a steward. Immediately Brown be- 
came one of the leaders of St. Pauls and served faith- 
fully many years. A plaque honoring his service hangs 
today in the basement of Jarvis Memorial. 

Two years at St. Pauls by Wilson was the third time 
in the history of St. Pauls that a pastor had been 
returned for two years. Though the war was going on 
during Wilson's tenure, the net membership on the 
circuit did not decrease from the 284 he found when he 
came, and he added 50 on a probationary status. 



29 



St. Pauls, in 1864, was put on the Greenville- 
Washington Charge, with services one Sunday a 
month. Assigned to Greenville-Washington in De- 
cember 1864 was Benjamin F. Long, but he did not fill 
a single appointment at St. Pauls. War conditions did 
not permit his fulfilling his duties, he reported. The 
St. Pauls membership at the 1865 Annual Conference 
was 24 whites and 5 Blacks. These are the first mem- 
bership statistics recorded for St. Pauls alone. 



30 



CHAPTER VI 



Resurgence After the War 

Methodism in Greenville shrank a little more fol- 
lowing the Civil War. There were only 24 members left 
on the roll when the last of the Black members with- 
drew in 1866. Shortly thereafter, however, with the 
emergence of a more numerous middle class, 
Methodism in Greenville grew steadily in membership 
and in influence. 

Reverend John S. Long was appointed to the 
Greenville-Washington Circuit in 1866 and was re- 
turned for a second year in 1867. St. Pauls was still 
one point on the two-point Washington Charge with 
preaching one Sunday a month. The membership of 
the charge grew to 125 during Long's first year. Then 
the roll remained unchanged for two years. 

Pertinent facts to explain the sudden loss of effec- 
tiveness to win souls are not available. Apparently, 
the inefficiency of the local church was widespread. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, took actions 
calculated to meet the situation. In 1866 the au- 
thorities liberalized the church by adopting three 
changes. 

The first innovation was to extend the maximum 
ministerial term to four years. It had been limited to 
two years since 1804. St. Pauls had its first four-year 
man, W. H. Call, during 1869-1872, but had four-year 
men only twice after that until it became a practice at 
Jarvis Memorial in 1917. The second innovation was 
the provision for equal lay and clerical representation 
at General, Annual, and District Conferences. Thus, a 



31 



more democratic institution had evolved. A third pro- 
vision was for the elimination of the requirement of a 
six-month probation for those seeking membership. 

The Bishop appointed Reverend W. H. Moore, who 
had served as a temporary incumbent in 1860, to the 
Greenville-Washington Charge in 1868, to follow the 
two-year pastorate of John S. Long (1866-1867). Dr. 
Moore wrote a letter recalling his 1868 pastorate at St. 
Pauls. His letter was written in 1893 when he was 
Presiding Elder of the Fayetteville District. When the 
dark picture of Methodism in Greenville was painted 
in Moore's letter, it should be kept in mind that 
Greenville was reeling from the spiritual, social, and 
economic consequences of the war and reconstruc- 
tion. The 1870 census shows that the town had a 
population of 601, a loss of 227 in population since 
1860. 

Moore's important letter reads: 

I was appointed to the charge of Greenville and Washington 
in December, 1868. 1 lived at Washington where I preached 
three Sundays, going to Greenville one Sunday a month. I 
found in 1869 twenty members and little attention given to 
religion in the community. Every church was closed except 
the Methodist, and few attended the Methodist. 

To Sister Anne Pearce and Brother Ben Warren Brown the 
church is indebted more than to any others at this time. God 
seldom gives the church two more choice spirits. Sister 
Pearce had two children, Joe and Ada (Mrs. J. B. Cherry). 
Ada swept the church, rang the bell, played the organ, led 
the singing, and counted no service at the church too me- 
nial to perform. 

The situation in Greenville must have changed greatly 
since his prior pastorage. Moore had had great suc- 
cess in 1860 in Greenville. He reported only the same 
membership in 1869 that Long had in 1868 — a total 
membership of 125 for the circuit. 

In 1869 Reverend William H. Call was appointed to 



32 



the Greenville-Washington Charge. His first year re- 
sulted in 72 additions to the membership. Then, he 
was reappointed for three more years, 1870-1871- 
1872, for a total of four years. Call was the first pastor 
to serve St. Pauls four years. He was deeply loved by 
all the congregation; those who were members of St. 
Pauls at that time remembered readily. His crayon 
portrait was found in members' homes. Reverend 
Call's library came to Greenville a second time with 
the appointment in 1953 of W. M. Howard to Jarvis 
Memorial. The Call library had been given to Howard 
several years earlier. There were a few who did not 
like the four-year tenure. There were some in Jarvis 
Memorial in the 1920's who said the only thing wrong 
with Brother Call's pastorate was that he stayed too 
long. 

Reverend A. R. Raven was appointed to follow Call 
at the 1873 Annual Conference. He was returned for a 
second year in 1874, along with Reverend W. H. Call 
as an associate. There is no explanation why an as- 
sociate was sent. Raven had added 13 to the charge 
membership his first year, raising the total to 220. 
Raven and Call together in 1875 added 90 to make a 
total of 300 for the Washington-Greenville charge at 
Annual Conference. 

During Reverend Raven's first year, the Sunday 
School Superintendent at St. Pauls was J. B. Congle- 
ton. He served as Sunday School Superintendent 
during both 1874 and 1875. He was succeeded by S. D. 
Bagley, who held the post for seven years, from 1876 
to 1882. (The names of all Superintendents of Sunday 
School with dates are provided in Appendix D, p. 194.) 

Captain Thomas J. Jarvis, for whom Jarvis Memo- 
rial was later to be named, moved to Greenville in 1875 
and attended his first service at St. Pauls. Many 
Greenville Methodists knew his mother and father 



33 



were staunch members of Mt. Zion Methodist Church 
at Jarvisburg, one of the oldest churches in North 
Carolina. Captain Jarvis had just moved to Greenville 
two weeks prior to his first attendance at St. Pauls. 
There had been no service at St. Pauls his first two 
Sundays. 

He had graduated from Randolph-Macon in 1861. 
He was a lawyer, had been wounded in the Civil War, 
and had held the rank of Captain. He had been con- 
verted in 1870, but he had not yet joined a church. He 
had been married just before moving to Greenville. 
Also, he had announced he was going to run for the 
office of Lieutenant-Governor of the State of North 
Carolina in 1876. He was a tall, handsome, distin- 
guished gentleman. 

Except for the few remaining services in 1875, 
Captain Jarvis saw little of St. Pauls, being so oc- 
cupied with effecting nomination and campaigning for 
election as Lieutenant-Governor in 1876. He was 
elected, and he moved to Raleigh. In 1880 he was 
elected Governor; he filled out the unexpired term of 
U.S. Senator Zeb Vance in 1884; during 1885-1889 he 
served as Ambassador to Brazil. He had joined his 
parents' church, Mt. Zion, in 1885. His membership 
was moved to St. Pauls in 1889 when his political 
career ended and he had come to Greenville to prac- 
tice law and to make his home. 

The growth of Methodism in Pitt County in the 
1870's, due to the efforts of St. Pauls, had caught the 
attention of the North Carolina Annual Conference. In 
recognition of what had been accomplished, and to 
develop the potential further, in 1875 the Annual 
Conference set up a new circuit to be based at Green- 
ville and called the Greenville Circuit. It included 
preaching points at Greenville, Bethel, Little's 



34 



I 



Chapel, Mount Zion (in Pitt County), Shiloh, and 
Shady Grove. 

Creation of the Greenville Circuit imposed added 
responsibilities on St. Pauls. The preacher on the 
circuit was to reside in Greenville, which meant St. 
Pauls had to provide living quarters. To meet this 
situation the congregation provided accommodations 
for the pastor at the hotel. They had handled guest 
ministers that way on the few previous occasions 
when temporarily hosting a preacher in Greenville. 
Parsonages were rare in the state. The Hundredth 
Anniversary of Methodism in North Carolina was cel- 
ebrated in Raleigh in 1876 by the state's Methodists. 
Cited at the anniversary among other figures were the 
five hundred Methodist churches in the state, but only 
seventy parsonages. 

The hotel accommodations were acceptable to the 
first preacher appointed to the newly designated 
Greenville Circuit in 1875 — Reverend Jeremiah 
Johnson. That was his second occasion for serving St. 
Pauls. He had been appointed once before, in 1845, 
when St. Pauls had been on the Tarboro Circuit. At 
the Annual Conference in 1876 he reported 337 circuit 
members. 

Though Johnson had made no protest over the hotel 
accommodations, the preacher following Johnson ex- 
ploded over being provided nothing but hotel quar- 
ters. That was Rev. B. B. Culbreth, who was ap- 
pointed in 1876 to follow Johnson on the Greenville 
Circuit. The Conference Journal minutes erroneously 
recorded Culbreth as being appointed to the 
Greenville-Washington Circuit in 1876 instead of the 
Greenville Circuit. Both J. M. Daniel and M. T. Plyler 
quote a letter from Culbreth which indicated he 
preached and resided in Greenville for the conference 



35 



year starting in November 1876. If he had been ap- 
pointed to the Greenville-Washington Circuit, he 
would have resided in Washington. The following is 
quoted from a letter written by Culbreth recalling his 
pastorate in Greenville: 

When I reached Greenville, I was informed that it had been 
the custom for the preacher to put up at the hotel and that 
the church would settle the bills. I determined to put a stop 
to such foolishness and let the people understand that I was 
as good as they were and that I did not feel disposed to 
preach to a people who would not entertain me. Upon which 
they threw open their doors, and I had as many homes as I 
wanted that I could stay in. 

Culbreth said his protracted meeting, in 1877, 
aroused some interest, but that "Greenville was con- 
sidered a hard place in those days." The letter was 
written several years after he left Greenville. During 
the years since his pastorate Greenville had come to 
the front as a strong Methodist community; therefore, 
in his letter he threw in the explanatory phrase, "in 
those days." 

Further along in the letter Culbreth recalled some of 
the people he remembered from his pastorate at St. 
Pauls: 

I can call to mind a few of the good people I knew there: Ben 
Warren Brown was one of the pillars of the church. I loved 
him very much. Brother Rawls was true to me, and I loved 
him. 

Among the good women, I found some noble ones. Sisters 
Hoyt, Blow, Pearce and her sister, and Ada Cherry, the 
sweet singer. She sang as sweetly in that old barn of a 
church as she has ever done in the new church. 

He meant St. Pauls, built in 1833, when he referred to 
"that old barn of a church." The "new church" was the 
St. Pauls at the corner of Greene and Second Streets 
which had been built in 1880 after he had left. 
An incident occurred during Culbreth's pastorate at 



36 



St. Pauls which may be hardly worth the telling today, 
but which caused great excitement when it happened. 
Mrs. Wiley Brown and Robert Humber recalled the 
incident. 

Methodism may have been born to "save Christians 
from dead ritual," but all indications are that the 
Methodists varied their worship services very little 
once a set order became established. Even in the 
twentieth century grumbles have been inspired 
among the congregation by innovations — not serious 
objection but manifested displeasure. There was even 
less readiness to adapt to new ideas in the nineteenth 
century. 

The incident occurred at the beginning of a new 
conference year. Culbreth was holding his first wor- 
ship service at St. Pauls. Before giving out the number 
of the first hymn he announced there would be a slight 
change in the order of worship. Instead of following 
the first hymn with the pastoral prayer, he said he 
wanted the congregation to remain standing at the end 
of the first hymn, join him in the repeating of the 
Apostles' Creed, and then kneel for the pastoral 
prayer. 

One of the church's leading members was a devout 
man named S. P. Erwin. He was clearing land to 
create a farm just beyond the southeast edge of town, 
where the Moose Lodge is today in Greenville. He al- 
ways walked to church in order to let his team rest on 
Sunday. Sometimes he arrived a minute or two late. 
On that Sunday Erwin arrived while the congregation 
was standing, singing the first hymn. He walked down 
the aisle to his customary place on a front pew of the 
Amen Corner. He stood at his seat and sang — some- 
one had handed him a hymn book and indicated the 
place. The hymn over, Mr. Erwin went to his knees in 
prayer as had been the custom of that congregation for 



37 



years. Everyone else stood and were led by the pastor 
in the repeating of the Apostles' Creed. Erwin just 
stayed on his knees and went on with his prayer. At 
the conclusion of the Apostles' Creed everyone knelt 
for the pastoral prayer. Erwin, having concluded his 
prayer, got up from his knees and just sat bolt upright 
in his pew while the rest of the congregation were 
praying. 

After the morning service that day everyone was 
busy giving his or her opinion of the incident. Some 
who objected to any innovations heaped criticism on 
the preacher for embarrassing poor Mr. Erwin like 
that. Some supported the preacher. As far as the 
preacher and Erwin were concerned, it was quickly 
settled. The preacher said he was sorry; Erwin said he 
apologized for being stubborn. But tongues wagged for 
weeks in the little church. 

Brother Culbreth added 12 new members to the roll 
of St. Pauls his year on the Greenville Circuit. He 
reported at conference in December 1877 a total of 337 
members on the circuit. The conference records show 
he was paid $338.99 on his salary by St. Pauls. 

The 1833 "old barn of a church" had deteriorated 
with the passage of time and the few repairs made had 
been hit or miss. The front steps sagged and shook 
when one walked up them. Many shingles were miss- 
ing from the roof, and the plaster was cracked and 
some had fallen. Robert L. Humber, Sr., recalled in 
the 1930's that those coming into St. Pauls on a rainy 
day in the late 1870's would always squint up at the 
ceiling before seating themselves. One sought to sit 
where the plaster looked less likely to fall on one 
during the service. The falling plaster was a threat to 
worshipers. 

When B. B. Culbreth had finished his year's pastor- 
ate in November 1877, he left by boat five days before 



38 



Annual Conference to arrive in Greensboro in time. 
The little town on the Tar was a county seat and 
trading center. It had a population of about 900 in 
1877. The steamboat plying Tar River was the only 
means of transportation to the outside world. Culbreth 
left on that boat for Tarboro, where he caught the train 
for Rocky Mount; then, he could catch a train to make 
connection for Greensboro. 

A weekly newspaper had been started in Green- 
ville. The Academy was providing education for the 
wealthy, but public school had only a three-week ses- 
sion. The share-cropping arrangement for securing 
farm labor had seen many "time" stores appear. A few 
such supply stores developed in Greenville. But the 
barroom owners continued to be the wealthiest non- 
farm citizens. 

The town's north border was the river. Everything 
to the west of Pitt Street and to the east of Reade 
Street was open country as was all south of Fifth 
Street. The courthouse and store buildings were all 
built of wood. The streets were unpaved and muddy 
after rains. Board walks in front of the stores helped 
pedestrians shop. Candles or oil lamps provided lights 
after dark. Except in the homes of the well-to-do, 
cooking was done in an open fireplace. Stoves were a 
luxury afforded by only a few. 

Such was the community in which St. Pauls was 
located. Economically, the town had improved with 
the expansion of trading due to slavery's having been 
replaced by share-cropping. Home rule following re- 
construction had been regained. The prospects for the 
future had greatly improved. The population grew by 
over a thousand each year after 1880, having in- 
creased only 300 between 1870 and 1880. 



39 



CHAPTER VII 



"A New St. Pauls" 

Reverend Culbreth attended the 1877 session of the 
North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, all that last week in 
November, anticipating the climax when the Bishop 
would read the appointments on Sunday afternoon, 
the last day of the conference. He was interested in 
the appointment to the Greenville Circuit for he might 
be sent back. Instead he heard the name L. L. Nash 
read out for the Greenville Circuit. 

Nash was a big, energetic, likeable young fellow 
who had joined the conference three years before. He 
had been appointed to the Bath Circuit in 1874 and the 
neighboring Williamston Circuit the last two years, 
1875-1876. His full connection status had just been 
attained at the 1877 Greensboro Conference. 

Nash drove his buggy from Williamston to his new 
appointment. On arriving in Greenville he had to pass 
through the heart of the business section. It was a 
muddy-streeted, saloon-infested cluster of business 
establishments. He was on his way to the B. C. 
Pearce's, whose guest he was to be until he could get 
settled. He had heard beforehand that he might be put 
in a hotel. He meant to change that. 

The idlers and saloon patrons were impressed by 
the big, handsome, serious-faced man with his pretty 
young wife seated beside him holding a baby. Books 
filled the foot of the buggy from the dashboard to the 
back. A round-topped small trunk had been tied on 
back. 



40 



Nash, in his "Recollections," recorded what his 
thoughts were of his new work: 

Religion at Greenville, and the surrounding country, was at 
low ebb. There was not a prominent business man in 
Greenville who was a member of any church. The town was 
full of barrooms, and most of the people patronized them 
liberally. Profanity, gambling, and all other forms of vice 
were the order of the day. 

The town presented a dilapidated appearance, and the only 
Christian force in evidence was an organization of good 
Methodist women who labored to keep the church alive and 
meet expenses of religious work by festivals, charades, 
oyster suppers, etc. 

His first business with the official Board was to 
settle the matter of quarters for himself and his young 
family. Nothing but the hotel would be provided, the 
official Board declared resolutely. But "well-wishers" 
continued to entertain him and his "brood" in their 
homes. Nash said he stayed with "Mr. and Mrs. B. C. 
Pearce, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Cherry, and Mr. and 
Mrs. James Dill. Dill was not a member of St. Pauls, 
but his wife was." 

That he recalled with gratitude years later the 
names of the hosts for those first few weeks in Green- 
ville indicates Nash was grateful for the privilege of 
living in their homes. But that young preacher was not 
going to put up with being quartered in a hotel or being 
entertained in the homes of members, inconvenienc- 
ing them with a small baby. All circuits were expected 
to provide parsonages. Nash thought St. Pauls was 
obligated to provide one for its pastor. 

He took the matter up again and again with the 
Board of Stewards, holding call meetings several 
times a week. After Nash proposed it and prodded 
them enough, they did finally agree that they would 
pay the rent on a house for the preacher if he could 
find one. They told him that none was available. 



41 



Immediately he tried to locate a house. Very 
quickly Nash found, as the stewards had advised him, 
that "there was not a habitable house for rent in the 
town." He went right back to the Board and urged that 
they live up to their obligation to their pastor by pur- 
chasing a parsonage. The response of the officials of 
St. Pauls revealed unconcern toward the whole matter 
if Nash did not like what they offered. To them the 
hotel was the satisfactory solution and would have 
sufficed for anyone except this young tiger the Bishop 
had sent them. Having to attend such frequent Board 
meetings annoyed them. 

The Board reflected the lay attitude of their day and 
time. Methodism in the United States had been 
brought into being by the circuit riders who never 
stayed in one place long enough to need parsonages; 
they had to cover too much territory too rapidly. Wes- 
ley himself in the eighteenth century had censured the 
occasional circuit riders who got married and wanted 
to "locate." 

Parsonages or churches were not even sought until 
Methodism's fantastic membership growth after the 
Revolutionary War. Many exhortations had been de- 
livered in Annual Conferences by Bishops and had 
been printed in Conference Journals since the early 
1800's, beseeching the brethren to build chapels. In 
the last half of the nineteenth century the plea had 
been to get congregations to provide parsonages. 

Finally, Nash made the stewards a proposition: let 
the preacher buy a parsonage and finance it himself. 
They thought that was just another young man's wild 
idea. He had no private resources with which to make 
the down payment. The Board agreed he might "buy a 
house," but that he must keep in mind that they had 
no money to help, no intention of trying to raise any, 
nor would they involve their credit. 



42 



Lacking any kind of support from his Board, Nash 
appealed to the women of the church. He knew there 
was a small group of faithful women at St. Pauls who 
loved their Lord, their preacher, and their church. 
Before he came to Greenville he had heard of the 
tireless money-raising efforts of that small group and 
how they had constantly exerted every effort possible 
to contribute all they could to the support of the 
church. At his suggestion they gladly met at the home 
of one of the ladies to hear about acquiring a parson- 
age. They knew about the stewards' negative attitude. 

Before the preacher had hardly gotten seated the 
ladies assured him that from the very first they had 
been behind him one hundred per cent on the idea of 
St. Pauls' providing a parsonage. They had been put- 
ting money aside since the Greenville Circuit had 
been created, looking forward to the day when St. 
Pauls would be buying one. On hand already was 
$300.00 in cash which he could have on the instant. 
With that much cash in hand and the ardent backing 
of the ladies for his proposal, Nash got busy trying to 
locate a house that would be suitable for purchase. 

He found a house. He thought that limited repairs 
would make it suitable. The available house belonged 
to William Grimes of Raleigh, who had put the sale of 
it in the hands of a Greenville lawyer. Nash went to see 
the lawyer to arrange purchase. A price of $1,000.00 
was agreed on — $400.00 would be paid in cash and 
the balance in two years. 

But when the $400.00 was tendered a day or so later, 
the lawyer said, "No!" He had heard that the official 
Board was not backing the purchase. The whole 
$1,000.00 would have to be in cash. In his frustration 
young Nash went over to the office of his most pres- 
tigious friend, Captain David Dill, the local agent for 
the Old Dominion Steamship Company. Though Dill 



43 



1 



Contents 



Chapters Page 

I Earliest Methodism in Greenville 1 

II Greenville's First Known Preacher .... 9 

III St. Pauls Is Built— 1833 17 

IV 1834-1859 21 

V The Civil War 27 

VI Resurgence After the War 31 

VII "A New St. Pauls" 40 

VIII Greenville Becomes a Station 

Appointment 60 

IX Annual Conference Entertained 66 

X First Auxiliary of the Women's Foreign 

Missionary Society Organized 72 

XI A New Church Wanted 77 

XII Building Jarvis Memorial 85 

XIII Consecration of Jarvis Memorial 92 

XIV The First Foreign and Local Missionary 

Society Auxiliary Organized 100 

XV The Sunday School Golden Years 112 

XVI The First Five-Year Pastorate 122 

XVII Decision: Downtown Church 132 

XVIII A Second and Third Methodist 

Congregation 152 

XIX A Peak 162 

XX Becoming a Downtown Church 170 

XXI On the Move 179 



vii 



Appendices Page 

A Bibliography of Sources 187 

B Names of Jarvis Memorial Members 

Who Have Gone into the Ministry 188 

C Names of Pastors at St. Pauls and 

Names and Pictures of Former 

Pastors at Jarvis Memorial 188 

D Names of Superintendents of 

Sunday School 194 

E Presidents of United Methodist 

Women of Jarvis Memorial 194 

F W. M. Howard's Prayer at the 

Dedication Service of Jarvis Memorial 

Sanctuary, June 17, 1962 195 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Stained Glass of Christ as Shepherd 

behind Pulpit Frontispiece 

(All other illustrations follow p. 118 of the text.) 

PLATE 1: The first St. Pauls Church after it was 
moved and rebuilt at Simpson 

PLATE 2: The second St. Pauls Church at the 
corner of Second and Greene Streets, 
dedicated on February 7, 1880 

PLATE 3: A country fair sponsored by the Ladies 
Aid Society to raise money for the 
Church. Pictured here, left to right, are 
Mrs. A. H. Taft and Mrs. Wiley Brown, 
and the date is 1910 

PLATE 4: Announcement of the opening service at 
the Jarvis Memorial Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, March 10, 1907, 
including a portrait of the Church and of 
Thomas J. Jarvis 



viii 



PLATE 5: 

PLATE 6: 

PLATE 7: 

PLATE 8: 

PLATE 9: 



PLATE 10: 
PLATE 11: 

PLATE 12: 
INDEX 



Picture of Jarvis Memorial Church, 
South, on a postcard postmarked 
Greenville, September 2, 1909 
Portrait of members of the Baraca Bible 
Class, posed by the side of the Jarvis 
Memorial Church (exact date unknown) 
Another portrait of members of the 
Baraca Bible Class, posed by the side of 
the Jarvis Memorial Church (exact date 
unknown) 

The interior of the Jarvis Memorial 
Church, decorated for the wedding of 
Anna Elviro Tucker and W. P. Moore, 
Sr., December 27, 1918 
The interior of the Jarvis Memorial 
Church, showing the chancel rail, the 
pulpit, the organ pipes, and the original 
position of the "Shepherd" stained glass 
window (exact date unknown) 
Another view of the interior of the Jarvis 
Memorial Church (exact date unknown) 

The Jarvis Memorial Church after the 
Educational Annex had been con- 
structed in 1922 

Embellished dedicatory prayer by W. M. 
Howard, Jr., at the dedication service of 
Jarvis Memorial Sanctuary, June 17, 
1962 

197 



CHAPTER I 

Earliest Methodism in Greenville 

The year 1782 is the earliest date of known 
Methodism in Greenville. The town at that time was 
named Martinborough, but changed to Greenesville in 
1787. So there was a Methodist Society in Greenville 
before Methodism was organized in 1784 at the Chris- 
tian Conference in Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore. 

The 1782 date is provided by that extraordinary, 
peripatetic, indefatigable circuit rider, and first 
Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury. He wrote about 
the first Society in Greenville in his diary when he was 
visiting the local community in January 1812. His 
entry reads: 

January 26, 1812: We called a meeting at Greenville on 
Tuesday, January 26, 1812 at our Sister Brook's; as there 
were few men present, I adapted a text and sermon to 
women. We have no chapel here, although we have had a 
society for thirty years. At Mr. Freeman's we dined, talked, 
and prayed. It began to rain at one o'clock, and we started 
on our way to Edward Hall's. We dare not loiter or wait for 
fair weather. 

Another reference to Greenville in the "Journal" is 
an entry of January 31, 1815: "A heavy storm overtook 
us at Greenville. We put the remains of a poor pious 
slave in the ground who had reached one hundred 
years." 

The entry for the next day (February 1, 1815) relates 
that he rode the twenty-two miles to Edward Hall's, 
near "Tarborough," where he spent a week ill. 

These two entries constitute all the specific infor- 



1 



mation about Methodism in Greenville from 1782 until 
1829. From the pastorate of John Wesley Childs, who 
served here in 1829, to the present, a fairly continuous 
record can be constructed from church members, 
histories, diaries, letters, biographies, and Conference 
Journals. (See Appendix A, p. 187.) 

As a historical context a brief chronology will be 
helpful. Greenville had been chartered by the North 
Carolina House of Burgesses to be a town named 
Martinborough in 1771. It was made the county seat in 
1774. The N.C. Legislature altered the name to be 
Greenesville in 1787. The coming of the cotton culture 
after 1800 improved the local economy. The town 
continued to be a small place, numbering only 828 in 
1860, the first time the town is listed in the United 
States census. 

Although specific information about the Greenville 
Methodists may be lacking, it is possible to indicate 
the climate in which they lived their spiritual lives 
prior to 1830. Impetus had been given to Methodists in 
the state by sending agents when North Carolina was 
designated the Carolina Circuit in 1776. George 
Whitefield had been preaching at New Bern and Bath 
for some time prior to that. 

There were 610 Methodists in North Carolina in 
1776. Then the agents, Isham Tatum and Edward 
Droomcoole, came. By 1785 there were 4,000. Twelve 
circuits had been organized by then within the state to 
handle the growing members. Usually the circuits 
were named for rivers. One was named Tar River 
Circuit, but no counties on the lower eastern end of 
Tar River were named in it. North Carolina became a 
district in 1800, and an Annual Conference in 1836. 

Pitt County was mentioned for the first time in the 
minutes of the Annual Conference in 1790. The 
boundaries of Contentnea Circuit were set to include 



2 



Craven, Green, Wayne, and Lenoir Counties and por- 
tions of Pitt County. Whether that included Green- 
ville is not indicated. The circuit rider assigned in 
1790 was Reverend John Baldwin. At the end of his 
service on the Contentnea Circuit, he wrote in his 
diary that it was the best circuit in eastern North 
Carolina. 

Baldwin noted that preaching on the circuit was 
done mostly in the homes, though sometimes a public 
building was used if there was one. He also recorded 
that the first Methodist meeting houses in the eastern 
section of the state were at Spain's near Greenville 
and Rainbow near Snow Hill. Aquilla Sugg was ap- 
pointed to Contentnea Circuit in 1791. 

Contentnea Circuit was placed in the South Caro- 
lina Conference when American Methodism was di- 
vided in 1790 into six Annual Conferences. The con- 
ferences created were New England, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, Western, Virginia, and South Carolina. 
The western part of North Carolina was put into the 
South Carolina Conference and the rest in the Virginia 
Conference. That same year, after conference in Bal- 
timore, Bishop Asbury was in Tarboro. His "Journal" 
records: "No church and only two homes open to me 
in Tarboro." 

District Conferences were being held at mid-year 
between Annual Conference in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Circuit riders were shifted every six months at 
both District and Annual Conferences. 

A word needs to be said about the circuit riders. At 
the 1792 Annual Conference held at Green Hill's home 
near Louisburg, the question of the individual pastor's 
finances was brought up. It was determined that each 
circuit rider was to receive $64 per year, plus food for 
himself and his horse. In addition, the preachers 
could allow an honorarium be given them for per- 



3 



forming a marriage, but no fee could be accepted for a 
funeral. All the records indicate that they received 
each year nearer $30, instead of the $64 proposed. 

Rev. A. M. Chreitzberg, a historian of the South 
Carolina Conference, makes the flat statement that in 
the early nineteenth century Methodists failed to af- 
ford their ministry financial support and also became 
exceedingly hypercritical of the preachers. In this 
period apparently the circuit rider's "locating" (stay- 
ing more than six months on a circuit) was more 
popular among the preachers than among the laymen. 
When a Methodist preacher was sent to serve a local- 
ity, the congregation refused to provide a parsonage. 
As one bishop of that period states it, the congrega- 
tions seemed to have confused "free grace" with the 
ministry and wanted a "free ministry." Resistance to 
providing parsonages was a troublesome issue for 
forty years. Provision of a home for the preacher in 
Greenville was avoided until 1878, forty-five years 
after a church had been built. 

Further evidence of the atmosphere in eastern 
North Carolina in which faithful Methodists had to 
abide prior to 1800 is revealed in a letter written in 
1797, in which comments are made concerning the 
attitude in eastern North Carolina toward religion. 
The writer of the letter was Joseph Caldwell, profes- 
sor at the University of North Carolina. He was a 
native of New Jersey and had recently graduated from 
Princeton University. The letter reads: 

Religion in New Jersey has public respect and support, but 
in North Carolina, particularly in that part that lies east of 
us, everyone believes that the first step he ought to take to 
rise into respectability is to disavow, as often and publicly 
as he can, all regard for the leading doctrines of the scrip- 
tures. 



4 



Growth of Methodism was among the "least" peo- 
ple (poorest, most hopeless). The letter of Profes- 
sor Caldwell reveals the attitude in the nineteenth 
century of the people hoping for distinction. Further 
antagonism had been inspired by Wesley's being "un- 
alterably opposed" to slavery and alcohol. Asbury also 
was constantly preaching against slavery and drink- 
ing. The first Annual Conference of Methodism, held 
in 1785 at Green Hill's, had voted to be opposed to 
slavery and alcohol. 

Slavery in the eighteenth century had not become a 
public issue outside Methodism. The Constitution had 
provided for the continued importation of slaves until 
1808. When short staple cotton culture and the cotton 
gin became widely prevalent in the South, slavery 
became more highly valued. In 1844 the Methodist 
Church split over the slavery issue. 

Blacks gave Methodists strong support. Since the 
earliest days of Methodism in America, planters had 
given the Methodist preachers the privilege of 
preaching to their slaves. The Blacks liked the "en- 
thusiastic" Methodist type of religion. It was popular 
with them. Conference records show many Blacks 
were members of the Methodist Church in North Car- 
olina by 1785. In fact, at the Annual Conference in 
May, 1783, the preachers spoke of the fact that there 
was a more ready response to them from the Blacks 
than from the white people. 

Another factor in the rapid expansion of the 
Methodists was their adoption of camp meetings. 
Camp meetings were held in wooded spots. A rough 
board construction with a brush roof was provided for 
the preachers as a platform from which to speak. Cut 
limbs were arranged to create an arbor over the area of 
log seats to protect the congregation from the sun. The 



5 



preaching went on all day — preachers taking turns. 
One sermon was delivered after dark each night of the 
week-long session. 

Such meetings received enthusiastic lay participa- 
tion. Those attending camped in a tent, a lean-to, or a 
covered wagon. People came from miles around. It 
was a predominantly religious occasion, winning hun- 
dreds of members, but it had social aspects. Many 
marriages resulted. A special deputation was set up to 
handle drunks, fights, or other disrupting incidents. 

Some notoriety became attached to the Methodist 
camp meetings because of highly emotional demon- 
strations by those affected with the preaching. Some 
of the behavior was known as "speaking with 
tongues," "the shivers," "trembling," "dancing," 
"leaping," and many other appelations denoting overt 
manifestations of a strong emotional reaction to highly 
emotional and stimulating preaching. Camp meetings 
were reputedly attended by congregations of as many 
as ten thousand persons. Many did attend, but how 
many is unrecorded. Methodist membership in North 
Carolina increased remarkably due to camp meetings. 
Bishop Asbury notes in his "Journal" in 1802 the 
record of "a successful camp meeting at Greenville." 

Camp meeting behavior made Methodists unpopu- 
lar. In 1829 Mrs. Ebineezer Pettigrew, who lived in 
Washington County, wrote: 

My neighbors would be without the gospel sound if it were 
not for the Methodists, but notwithstanding, I should dis- 
like belonging to the sect. Such scrutinizing into the feel- 
ings, moralities, and forms must be disagreeable. 

Others commented: 

Methodism met with opposition on all sides. They made a 
direct appeal to the emotions so that shouting and 
"trembling" frequently accompanied their meetings. Such 
extravagance led to persecution. In Wilmington Methodist 



6 



ministers were arrested or assaulted, churches were 
burned, and at least one man applied a "blister plaster" to 
his wife to cure her of Methodism. 

A piece of local folklore from the eighteenth century 
concerns circuit riders. If such a story were actually 
true, it would help to explain their lack of popularity 
with members. A circuit rider arrived on his horse one 
Sunday morning in front of the place of worship at 
Greenville for his appointment to preach. Standing 
out in front were men in little groups talking quietly, 
but occasionally a brief smile would light up their 
faces. On getting down from his horse, the preacher 
walked directly over to one of the groups and took 
them to task for levity on a Sabbath morning. As he 
stalked inside to commence worship, the yarn goes 
on, he observed a plain silver ring on a lady's finger. 
He abruptly stopped beside her pew and immediately 
reached out his hand for hers. Unceremoniously he 
removed the ring from her finger. She was ad- 
monished on the spot to hide away such manifesta- 
tions of ostentation in the church. 

Evidence of the growth of membership in eastern 
North Carolina was shown in the appearance in 1803 
of a church building in New Bern. In quick succession 
chapels appeared in Raleigh (1811), Bethel (1814), 
Beaufort (1820), and Greenville (1833). Places of wor- 
ship in Spain's and Rainbow had been built earlier. 
There was evidence of a maturing church. The Gen- 
eral Conference in 1804 ruled that circuit riders could 
stay two years on the same circuit. Also, the confer- 
ence instituted that same year the requirement that 
one seeking to partake of Holy Communion would be 
required to have a card certifying good behavior and 
regular attendance at classes of the society. At that 
1804 conference, "Quarterly Conferences" were first 
instituted. 



7 



What was happening in the post-revolutionary 
period in the other denominations? Lack of an indig- 
enous organization had gotten the Episcopalians off 
to a slow start following the Revolution. The Baptist 
growth lagged too. The Baptists were involved in an 
enervating intra-denominational struggle. One faction 
was opposed to missions and education. That struggle 
was resolved in 1829 when a Baptist State Convention 
was organized right here in Greenville. 



8 



CHAPTER II 



Greenville's First Known Preacher 

("Greenesville Methodism 1829") 

The General Conference records show that the Vir- 
ginia Annual Conference, of which Greenville was a 
part, met in New Bern, North Carolina, in December 
1829. Benjamin Devany was made Presiding Elder of 
the Roanoke District, of which Pitt County was a part. 
Rev. John Wesley Childs was appointed along with 
Rev. Rowland G. Bass as assistant to serve the 
Greenesville Circuit of the Roanoke District. 

What did Childs and his assistant Bass find when 
they came to Pitt County? The first bridge had just 
been built across the Tar River at Greenville and the 
old ferry had been discontinued. Figures for the 1830 
census show the Pitt County population was 12,093, 
with 6,046 of that number slaves. Thus, since the first 
national census in 1790, Pitt County had grown 3,750 
in population. The 3,750 increase had been the in- 
crease in the slave population. Cotton farming had 
been greatly expanded in Pitt County by 1830. 

The year 1830 must have been a prosperous time. 
No less than four private academies were started in 
Pitt County within the space of two years — 1830 to 
1831. Other evidence that things were progressing 
was the brief appearance and collapse of a newspaper 
and steamboat service for Greenville. A county poor 
house had been provided. 

Such were Pitt County and the county seat to which 
John Wesley Childs with his "devout" young as- 



9 



sociate, Rowland G. Bass, "rode directly to and as fast 
as he could," after being appointed. Reverend Childs 
noted that his own health was poor, but he vowed that 
"neither his lack of health nor the rigors of circuit 
riding would deter him" from his "high calling." But 
at the next Annual Conference he sought assignment 
to the western part of the state because the fevers of 
the swamps in eastern North Carolina had "brought 
him low," and he feared for his very life. 

Childs must have felt gratified when he arrived on 
the Greenesville Circuit. He said he received "a cor- 
dial, widely expressed welcome." He noted that some 
had heard him preach before since he had served the 
neighboring circuit the preceding conference year. 
Quite honestly and soberly he recorded that as time 
went on some resentment grew up over his devotion to 
extreme piety. 

His strictness manifested itself in his constant 
watching over his flock, his strict self-discipline, and 
the plainness of his apparel. This was his second 
circuit in the tobacco-raising part of the state, but he 
"stuck to his guns" in his opposition to the use of 
tobacco. From his point of view, which without hesi- 
tation he urged upon his flock, "The amount spent on 
tobacco should instead be given to the relief of the 
poor." 

The reputation of this devout, dedicated, pious man 
spread over the circuit and caused many to come — 
some perhaps out of curiosity — to hear him preach. 
But Childs found that many of the curious who ex- 
pected to find fault, instead liked his message and 
kept coming to hear him. He commented on his pas- 
torate, "The church was revived, and sinners were 
brought to the foot of the cross." 

In those days the pastor, when in a community 



10 



filling a preaching appointment, met with his mem- 
bers in classes for their religious instruction. Mem- 
bers who could read the Bible well enough to under- 
stand the scripture were few, and even fewer had 
Bibles at all. Childs noted that there were many holy 
and saintly people among the Methodists in his cir- 
cuit. Their acquaintance with the scripture was usu- 
ally oral — quoted and explained to them by a 
preacher in classes or visits in their homes. 

The classes served the preacher, not only as an 
opportunity to teach, but also to examine the state of 
his members' souls. The quality of the saintly man's 
instruction was proverbial on the circuit. But equally 
as well known and even feared were his frequent 
searching investigations into his members' state of 
piety. Examinations were followed inevitably with 
admonition for the errant if not suspension or expul- 
sion from membership. 

The strictness of Reverend Childs' inquiries into 
their behavior and faith was highly significant in the 
life of the members. The privilege of partaking of Holy 
Communion depended upon his approval of their 
spiritual lives. To partake of communion, one had to 
have a ticket showing the member qualified spiritu- 
ally. Some of the members on the Greenville Circuit 
felt Childs was unduly severe. Following his examina- 
tion he denied tickets to some who many thought 
merited the communion privilege. 

Childs moved about his circuit rain or shine, 
mounted or not. Societies and slave quarters on plan- 
tations, as well as homes of the least, were regular 
stops. He was prompt to meet all his appointments, 
but on his way he searched out "the homes on every 
road, every lane, every bypath, deep into fields and 
into the midst of the trackless woods." As he said, he 



11 



had "good news." He sought out everyone — "the 
lonely, the sick, the bereaved, the lost, and the least" 
— to tell each about the love of God. 

His procedure as he stopped at each home along the 
way was the same, whether that of a member or not. 
He would knock on the door. If no one answered, he 
called out until someone responded. He would tell 
whoever responded that he wanted to have a prayer 
with and read scripture to the household if they would 
be kind enough to call everyone to the house. If he 
were rejected, he would ride on to the next house, 
singing hymns of hope and praise. 

Around the circuit people had heard of the ex- 
traordinary man. He smiled infrequently and never 
laughed. He spent four hours in private each morning 
before seven o'clock reading scripture and engaging 
in devotions. He went for months without eating meat 
and fasted every Tuesday and every Friday. Rarely 
did he accept a dessert with a meal. He objected to 
anyone's cooking on Sunday and could not accept any 
food cooked on Sunday. 

To those simple, isolated people he seemed so little 
a part of this world with his extreme piety and ascetic 
ways. They were awed when they saw the intense gaze 
of the gentle preacher. He was six feet tall, with a 
bushy mane of thick, black hair framing a hollow 
cheeked face. He had a somber air as he inquired 
about their receiving him, but his message showed his 
love for them. To lonely, isolated small homes he was 
acceptable. He brought the news of the day as well as 
the "good news." 

His stop at each house during the daylight hours 
was brief. Where he stopped to eat and sleep, he 
would always pray with his hosts. After the meal he 
would ask permission of the host and have all to listen 
to the reading of the Bible and to kneel in prayer. Then 



12 



all neighbors would be invited to come over for an 
evening session of prayer, scripture reading, and a 
brief sermon. 

Next morning before breakfast he would have 
prayer with the family as he had on retiring the night 
before. To all who received him as he went about his 
circuit, he "left a savior, a holy influence, and a Godly 
example." He became widely admired and deeply 
loved. Most of his preaching was to small groups in 
homes. Sometimes he used public buildings. In 
Greenville he used a school building on the corner of 
Second and Greene Streets. 

In the spring of 1830, when the weather became 
balmier, Reverend Childs decided to dispense with 
his horse. There was a strong reaction. Some pitied 
him; others scorned and ridiculed his walking. Childs 
gave five reasons for abandoning his horse: health 
factors were a reason; walking facilitated his more 
easily stopping in at the homes of the people as he 
passed along the circuit; having no horse made it more 
convenient and less expensive for those who enter- 
tained him; walking the great distances he did re- 
moved the alibi of those who said they could not get to 
preaching because their horse was tired from working 
hard at farming and it was too far to walk; finally, he 
said his search of the scriptures left him with the firm 
impression that it would be more apostolic to walk. 

A bit of local folklore from the early twentieth cen- 
tury concerns a Methodist circuit rider who gave up 
his horse and fine saddle for "the more apostolic mode 
of walking." The story was told by lay persons. They 
would say it occurred in the 1830's, although such a 
date is incorrect since there was no town of Farmville 
then. It could be oral tradition's garbled account of 
Childs' deciding to walk. With no embellishments of 
further comment the story goes like this: 



13 



Back before Greenville had a church building the 
Methodist circuit rider rode in one Sunday morning from 
Farmville to fill his preaching appointment at Greenville, 
All were astounded at the magnificent bay horse he rode, 
fine saddle, and luxurious leather saddle bags. The 
preacher explained they had been given to him by the 
Farmville Methodists in gratitude for his ministering and 
preaching. Criticism was heaped upon him by the Green- 
ville Society for such ostentation and munificence. 
Obviously the critical attitude of the Greenville Methodists 
had gone deep. They heard next day that the horse, saddle, 
and saddle bags had been given away at Black Jack, and the 
preacher had left there on foot. 

Sent to the Greenville Circuit to spread the gospel, 
Childs must have found much resistance. He wrote on 
leaving the circuit that he had not achieved a very 
extensive revival but added that there had been some 
good spots. It must have been a disappointing year for 
he gave no statistics as to the number who joined that 
year. He did cite figures for the circuits he served 
subsequently. 

Childs had to deal with the "reform" movement 
prevalent in 1820-1830 in North Carolina. It has been 
impossible to determine the precise nature of the 
"reform" movement, due to conflicting reports. 
Childs said that partisans to the "reform" caused 
excitement in even the largest and best Methodist 
Societies. A few Methodists became so troublesome, 
having become involved in the "reform," that he had 
to put them out of the church to calm down the situa- 
tion. Some of those expelled were Methodist leaders. 

In his concluding entry about the "reform," he says 
the "putting out of the church the disturbing mem- 
bers" had been achieved in such a manner that those 
removed seemed to retain a high regard for him. He 
commented that he had found it a very distasteful 
thing to do. His own reaction to the expelling of the 



14 



members was that he was "tearing down" when he 
wanted to "build up" the membership. 

At the Virginia Annual Conference in December 
1830, he asked to be sent to a "higher climate" be- 
cause the year in the east, in the midst of swamps 
filled with fevers, had left him quite ill. At the same 
Virginia Annual Conference in 1830, when Childs 
asked to be moved, all circuits were redrawn. Green- 
ville appeared as a point on the Tar River Circuit of the 
Neuse District. Reverends Henry Speck and Henry T. 
Weatherly were appointed to the new Tar River Cir- 
cuit. (F or the names and dates of all pastors who have 
served St. Pauls and Jarvis Memorial United 
Methodist Church, see Appendix C, pp. 188-193.) 

The record of the Virginia Conference of 1832 
shows that Greenville had been put in the Roanoke 
District on the Williamston Circuit. It was one of the 
fourteen points on the circuit, stretching through 
Edgecombe, Martin, and Pitt Counties. The local 
Methodists had one preaching service on one Sunday 
a month. Reverend John A. Miller had been appointed 
to the Williamston Circuit in 1832. Local tradition has 
always held that Miles Foy was appointed the pastor in 
1832, but the records of the General Conference show 
he was appointed to the Currituck Circuit in 1832 and 
1833. 

By 1832 the Episcopal congregation in Greenville 
had become stronger. It was being served by mis- 
sionaries of this denomination and by visits from the 
pastor of the neighboring Washington Episcopal 
Church. The Greenville Episcopalians had become 
more alive after they were visited by their Bishop, 
Levi Silliman Ives, in 1832. They began to talk of 
building a sanctuary, and they built a modest wooden 
structure on Pitt Street and Second in 1838. 

The Greenville Baptists too had made progress. 



15 



There had been General Baptists, Particular Baptists, 
and Separate Baptists. But on May 2, 1827, a Baptist 
congregation had been organized. Reverend Thomas 
Mason was called to be their pastor, and he continued 
for three years. They worshiped in the Academy. In 
1829 the Greenville Baptists took the initiative in con- 
vening a group of messengers of that denomination 
from across the state to create a statewide missionary 
organization. The Baptist Benevolent Society was or- 
ganized to carry on a traveling ministry in North Caro- 
lina. The next year — 1830 — when the Benevolent 
Society met in Greenville, the group transformed the 
organization into the North Carolina Baptist State 
Convention. The Greenville Baptists purchased a lot 
in 1832 at Greene and Fourth Streets. A church was 
built there shortly afterward. 



16 



CHAPTER III 

St. Pauls Is Built — 1833 

A resident of Greenville in 1833 reported that "de- 
termination to build a Methodist Church in Greenville 
was shaped in the crucible of their hearts, fired by 
their faith in and devotion to God." The decision was 
made by the handful of local Methodists. 

They bought a lot. Allen D. Nobles gave a deed for it 
dated May 7, 1833, transferring title to a half an acre 
lot to the "Greenville Methodist Episcopal Church." 
The amount paid for the lot was $40. Accepting title 
for the church were Simon Nobles, Samuel Whitley, 
and Benjamin Stancil. Tradition is that a church was 
promptly built. They named it St. Pauls. 

That little chapel sat in what is today a part of 
Cherry Hill Cemetery. More specifically, the old site 
is just inside to the left as one enters the gates of 
Cherry Hill Cemetery from Second Street. A winding 
path from Pitt Street through a field, in those days, led 
to the church. It was a modest forty by sixty foot 
chapel. The roof was covered with shingles and the 
sides with unpainted clapboard. The sills rested on 
up-ended sections of a cypress log. Astride the roof on 
the front end was a cupola with a bell in it. 

There were wide steps stretching almost all the way 
across the front. The steps led up to double doors 
which gave entrance. The doors opened directly into 
the sanctuary. Inside, immediately to the right, were 
narrow steps with a hand rail which led up to the 
gallery. The Black members worshiped up there. 
There were ten small windows above shoulder high in 



17 



each side wall. All the panes were clear glass. An aisle 
ran down the middle of the sanctuary from the back to 
the chancel rail. Just beyond the rail was the pulpit, 
two feet above the level of the floor. On either side, 
parallel with the pulpit at floor level, were three pews 
at right angles to the other pews, providing two Amen 
Corners. 

All the pews were home-made of flat pine boards. 
The back rose at a right angle from the seat. No paint 
was ever put on them. The men sat in the section of 
pews to the right of the aisle and the women in the 
pews to the left. The right Amen Corner was for the 
men, and the left for the women. 

Between the front pews and the raised pulpit was 
the chancel rail. It was sixteen feet long, the width of 
the pulpit. There was no cushion — just a board — for 
those kneeling at the rail for communion. Between the 
chancel rail and the pulpit enough room had been left 
to accommodate the communion table and to move 
about to serve the elements. Usually, communion was 
served only when the Presiding Elder came to hold 
quarterly conferences. Also, he would preach before 
serving the Lord's Supper. Many of the circuit riders 
lacked educational qualifications to advance in the 
clerical orders. 

The pulpit extended ten feet to the back wall of the 
church. The lectern was built by a local artisan of 
plain board with no decoration other than the pattern 
of the amber grained long leaf pine. But "it was care- 
fully made," Mrs. Mollie Brown insisted. 

Built in the wall at the back of the pulpit was a door. 
It could not be opened for there were no hinges. In 
fact, the exterior clapboard was solid across the whole 
back of the building, except for the openings for two 
windows on either side of the false door. It was a 
symbolic door, symbolizing an entrance for the Holy 



18 



Ghost. It was a feature common to Methodist 
Churches in those days. 

The two windows in the back wall of the church 
were located above head high on either side of the 
pulpit. The panes faced the south and were un- 
painted; consequently, on cloudless summer Sunday 
mornings the congregation was blinded by the bright 
glare of the sun shining in the windows. No one com- 
plained. The walls inside were paneled. Overhead, 
the ceiling was covered with white plaster. The floor 
was made of wide planks. "There was not a rug or 
carpet in the whole building." 

Prior to building, the Greenville Methodists had 
been worshiping in the Academy. The Academy was 
a two-story public building, located on the southwest 
corner of Second and Greene Streets. At that time all 
denominations that wanted to, used the Academy for 
their services. The use of homes, schoolhouses, or 
public buildings for worship services was a common 
practice for congregations in the rural South until 
each built sanctuaries. 

In 1912, in anticipation of compiling a history of 
Greenville Methodism, four persons who had at- 
tended services at the first St. Pauls Church, or who 
had known the church shortly after the Civil War, 
were questioned. The four were Miss Lill Wilson, Mr. 
and Mrs. Wiley Brown, and Mr. Robert L. Humber, 
Sr., three of whom had been life-long members of St. 
Pauls. Wiley Brown did not become a Methodist until 
1889. 

Mrs. Wiley (Mollie A. Moore) Brown attended the 
first St. Pauls until another one was built at Second 
and Greene Streets in 1880. Her mother (Mrs. Adriana 
Ernul Moore) and her grandmother (Mrs. Adriana 
Ernul) had been members of the local Methodist Soci- 
ety since the early 1800's. Mrs. Mollie Brown's ear- 



19 



liest memory of the first St. Pauls was of herself as a 
child with her head lying in her mother's lap, watching 
the twinkling stars through the ceiling during a night 
service. The fallen plaster and missing shingles left an 
opening to the night sky. The chapel had deteriorated 
in forty years. 

What these four contributed, which has not been 
provable by records, will be attributed to them by 
name when used. 



20 



CHAPTER IV 

1834-1859 

To keep Methodist Church history orderly requires 
that one keep in mind that Methodist Annual Confer- 
ences usually met each year during November or De- 
cember, after the crops had been harvested. When 
schools became more common, the moving of pastors 
at that time of the year played havoc with the educa- 
tion of the parsonage progeny. 

In the 1950's a determined drive to change the 
sessions of conference to a more suitable time of the 
year developed. Proponents of the winter sessions 
rationalized that meeting late in the year had been 
essential. The collection of the church budget from a 
predominantly agrarian constituency had to defer to 
when the crops had been sold. Consideration for par- 
sonage children and a decreasing dependence upon 
agriculture led the North Carolina Conference to de- 
cide in 1955 to convene in June each year. Therefore, 
until 1955, appointments were made each year in 
November or December. Reverend John A. Miller, for 
instance, was appointed December 1832 to the 
Williamston Circuit on which Greenville was a point. 
Miller, thus, was the pastor in 1833 when St. Pauls 
was being built. 

Every preacher appointed to serve St. Pauls is re- 
corded in Appendix C, pp. 188-193; therefore, only 
those preachers who have left a written record or have 
been mentioned in some record, or who left a strong 
enough impression to be remembered by past mem- 
bers, are designated by their name in this account. 



21 



Methodism in North Carolina was "on the march." 
The building of St. Pauls in 1833 was evidence of the 
growth of Methodism in Greenville. Expansion of 
Methodism all over North Carolina was taking place. 
The state had grown into multiple Methodist districts, 
with some in the Virginia and part in the South Caro- 
lina Conferences. It was at the 1836 Methodist Quad- 
rennial General Conference that North Carolina was 
designated to be an Annual Conference. 

Greenville, in 1836, had been on the Pitt Circuit, 
Roanoke District, Virginia Conference, with Rev- 
erend W. M. Jordan as its pastor. Pitt Circuit had a 
membership of 376. Twenty-six of that number were 
Black. St. Pauls had contributed $4.50 for Conference 
Claimants. This is the only money figure in the Gen- 
eral Conference record for Greenville. 

In 1836 the Virginia Annual Conference still had 
jurisdiction and appointed Reverend Chapel Feather- 
ston to the Pitt Circuit, on which Greenville was a 
point. The circuit had reported at the 1837 Virginia 
Annual Conference 68 white and 35 Black members 
and $2.50 for Conference Claimants. The North Car- 
olina Annual Conference was convened at Louisburg, 
near Green Hill, for organization in 1837, following the 
Virginia Conference session in 1837. 

At the first North Carolina Annual Conference ses- 
sion in January 1838, there was a redrawing of district 
lines. Greenville was put in the Washington District, 
on the Tarboro Circuit, and stayed there until put on 
the Williamston Circuit in 1852. The Greenville Cir- 
cuit in 1862 became the Greenville-Williamston Cir- 
cuit, for that one year. In 1863, Greenville was a 
circuit again for three years. Then for eleven years, 
starting in 1864, the Greenville-Washington Circuit 
was the appointment. Greenville, as a station, was 
designated the first time in 1875. 



22 



The preachers appointed from 1838 to 1841 by the 
North Carolina Annual Conference to the Tarboro 
Circuit were no doubt good men, but it was not until 
1841 that one came who created a stir big enough to 
draw attention to his efforts. The statistics show the 
membership on the circuit stayed about the same — 
154 members, of which 75 were Black — from 1838 to 
1841. 

Pitt County in 1841 was sorely in need of schools; 
illiteracy was common. "Liquor drinking was consid- 
ered an essential element in the life of the people." 
Methodist Churches had a difficult time, for they were 
inevitably small, widely scattered, and each congre- 
gation was having great difficulty maintaining itself. 
Methodist circuit riders referred to the "gospel con- 
quest" as being "a desperate venture even for the 
stoutest of heart." 

Into the midst of that situation in Pitt County in 1841 
rushed Reverend John Tilett, whose valiant fighting 
for the Lord had earned him the sobriquet of "The 
Iron Duke of Methodism." He met the situation head 
on. A revival to him was his most potent weapon to 
fight evil. During his very first week he got a resound- 
ing revival going at St. Pauls in Greenville, calling 
back to assist him the Rev. Philmer W. Archer, pastor 
of St. Pauls in 1840. 

Every night there were two sermons of the typical 
Methodist variety, stimulating and exciting. The con- 
gregations reacted with many overt manifestations of 
the "working of the spirit." The "meeting" was de- 
clared an overwhelming success. Archer and Tilett as 
a team had put the revival over big. Then revivals were 
held all over the circuit. They added 126 white and 2 
Black members that year to the circuit. The St. Pauls 
congregation, as a result of their meeting, added new 
members. 



23 



In 1844 the North Carolina Annual Conference 
joined with the other Southern Slave State Confer- 
ences to form the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. The slavery issue caused the schism. A Bishop 
resident in Georgia could not free his wife's slaves 
under Georgia law. He was castigated even though he 
had given each a home and an independent income. 

The next brief glimpse of Greenville Methodism is 
provided by Reverend Washington S. Chaffin. After 
retirement he wrote a letter about his year at St. Pauls 
in 1847. Chaffin states: 

The size of the congregation was good but not very rever- 
ent. The membership was small, among them were Mrs. 
Evans, Mrs. Dr. Blow, Mrs. Gould Hoyt, Mrs. Ed Nelson, 
another Mrs. Nelson, S. P. Olds and wife, and Johnstons in 
the country. These adherents of the church were among the 
most respectable people in every respect. 

Mr. F. V. Johnston said in the 1930's that he was 
descended from that family of Johnstons. 

In his letter is a record of the amounts paid him in 
salary from each point on the circuit in 1847: 

$106.27 Williamston; $10.10 Hamilton; $8.50 Sharon; 
$24.25 Williams Chapel; $23.45 Carmie; $53.05 Greenville 
(St. Pauls); $12.75 Bethel; $15.00 Mt. Zion; $33.00 New 
Hope; $17.05 Jamestown; $16.90 Holly Springs totalling 
$320.32 for the year. 

He also had put in his letter that the Tarboro Cir- 
cuit, to which he was appointed in December 1846, 
was composed of 

fourteen preaching points, stretched over all of 
Edgecombe, Martin Counties, and all of Pitt County to the 
north of Tar River but with Greenville included, then, also 
parts of Halifax and Beaufort counties. 

The longevity of Brother Chaffin was unusual. He 
was in his nineties, superannuated, and living in 
Jonesboro, when he wrote the quoted letter in 1913. 



24 



But he was the exception. The average Methodist 
preacher in 1847 died before he was thirty-five, be- 
cause riding or walking the circuits of such great 
length overtaxed his strength. The record shows that 
two-thirds of the Methodist preachers in that day died 
before they were able to render more than twelve 
years service on the circuit. 

Then, in 1858, came William A. Hester. He was 
appointed to serve the newly formed Greenville Cir- 
cuit. But he failed to visit the members at St. Pauls. 
There was much grumbling. They complained about 
his refusing to visit among the congregation and his 
choosing to keep to himself. Everyone agreed that he 
was a good, studious young man, but he acted as 
though he were a "stuck-up" preacher who was too 
good for the people of the little Greenville congrega- 
tion. M. T. Plyler related it this way: 

Hester would drive up to the church before dinner time 
each Sunday in plenty of time for visiting before a three 
p.m. service. After unhitching the horse, he would get 
some feed from under the buggy seat and feed the animal. 
He didn't need to do that. Members of the church could 
have easily provided that little handful of feed in the back- 
yard of any one of their homes. It embarrassed the con- 
gregation before the whole town, made it look like the local 
Methodists would not furnish feed for his horse. 

Then, having fed his horse, Hester would take his dinner 
pail out of the foot of the buggy. Sometimes he sat in the 
buggy to eat; other times he would sit on the steps of the 
church. He would reach in his pail and pull out his victuals, 
mincing over each bite like it was something fancy he was 
eating. But his congregation knew it won't nothing but ham 
and collards because some few had even peeked into his 
pail. He just thought he was too good to eat with his 
parishioners. He couldn't afford to eat with plain folks, it 
looked like. 

To add further to young Hester's difficulties, some 
complained to the stewards that he was not a good 



25 



preacher. The Board of Stewards found much objec- 
tion to him. He probably would have been moved at 
the mid-year District Conference, but Hester had "the 
influence of a man in the country named Atkinson who 
was wealthy and prominent; so, he stayed the whole 
conference year." 



26 



CHAPTER V 



The Civil War 

Following the year of dissension caused by Rev- 
erend Hester, the Bishop appointed Reverend N. A. 
H. Godwin in December 1859 to serve the Greenville 
Circuit. Soon after arriving on the charge he found the 
churches had fallen back during Hester's pastorate. 
The circuit membership had shrunk from 515 white 
and 63 Black to 200 white and 38 Black members. 
Godwin immediately secured the services of Rev- 
erend W. H. Moore, an evangelist, to come hold 
protracted meetings all over his circuit. He wanted to 
regain the lost ground and go forward for Methodism. 
The revivals added many members. It had always 
been the Methodists' most dependable means of 
spreading the faith. A good start had been made. 

In the summer of 1860, when Godwin had been on 
the charge for only half the conference year, he an- 
nounced his intention to resign from the ministry and 
to become a doctor. This upset his members, for 
everything had been going fine and they liked him. His 
revivals had been successful. Worst of all, District 
Conference for that year had already met, at which an 
interim appointment could have been made. The 
prospects were that the charge would have to get along 
without a pastor the rest of the year. 

The gloom was dispelled when someone had a 
happy inspiration how to remedy the desperate situa- 
tion. It was suggested that they secure the services of 
Reverend W. H. Moore, who was still in Greenville, to 
finish out the conference year. He was approached 



27 



and was willing. Moore filled the pastorate quite 
satisfactorily. The Greenville Circuit at the 1860 
North Carolina Annual Conference reported 271 
white and 85 Black members. That showed an in- 
crease over 1859 of 200 white and 38 Black members. 
Moore joined the Conference. He served St. Pauls 
again in 1868 by regular appointment. 

Reverend Robert P. Bibb followed Moore at St. 
Pauls in December 1860. He had served St. Pauls 
previously in 1838. A total of 28 members — 8 white 
and 20 Black — were added by him during this second 
time on the circuit. The additions accomplished by 
Bibb raised the circuit's total to 279 white and 105 
Black members. Bibb faced a dilemma during his 
pastorate at St. Pauls. Stephen Johnson, an official of 
St. Pauls, died and "there was not another member 
suitable for being a steward," according to church 
historians. This fact was confirmed by both J. M. 
Daniel and M. T. Plyler. 

The year 1861 found the war pressing in on Green- 
ville. Northern forces had occupied "Little" Wash- 
ington and New Bern. The Yankees were harassing 
the area between Washington and Greenville with 
patrols directing attacks at Greenville, finding only 
slight resistance. In 1862 Greenville accepted the 
Yankee demand of surrender to a water-borne force 
from Washington that landed at the town. 

In December 1861, Reverend James L. Fisher had 
been appointed to serve the Greenville Circuit. He 
lived in Washington and had filled his appointment at 
Greenville regularly during the first few months of 
1862. Later in the year, when the Yankees let it be 
known that they would like to capture him, he sus- 
pended his preaching at St. Pauls altogether. Such is 
the way it was told to Wiley Brown and R. L. Humber 
in their youth. 



28 



Reverend E. A. Wilson was appointed to the Green- 
ville Circuit in 1862. Wilson adjusted to the cir- 
cumstances, met his appointments all over the circuit, 
and was effective enough among his membership that 
the Bishop returned him to the same work for a second 
year in December 1863. During his two years serving 
St. Pauls, Wilson received into membership two per- 
sons who contributed greatly to the increasing influ- 
ence of St. Pauls. The first was a lady from a socially 
prominent Greenville family, Mrs. Mangie Dancy. 
Nothing is known of the occasion; we know only the 
fact that she did join. Having such a lady join must 
have cheered both the preacher and his St. Pauls 
congregation. Such occasions were all too infrequent. 
Mrs. Dancy became a much loved and highly valued 
member. 

The second important accession for St. Pauls dur- 
ing Wilson's pastorate was Ben Warren Brown, a 
wealthy, educated man. He had not been converted at 
St. Pauls. He had been converted while away at col- 
lege and had joined the Methodist Church in the col- 
lege town. But in 1864, while Wilson was pastor, Ben 
Warren Brown had returned to live in Greenville. He 
decided to transfer his membership to St. Pauls. Such 
a man's membership meant much to St. Pauls, when 
only two years before the preacher could find no one 
"suitable" to be a steward. Immediately Brown be- 
came one of the leaders of St. Pauls and served faith- 
fully many years. A plaque honoring his service hangs 
today in the basement of Jarvis Memorial. 

Two years at St. Pauls by Wilson was the third time 
in the history of St. Pauls that a pastor had been 
returned for two years. Though the war was going on 
during Wilson's tenure, the net membership on the 
circuit did not decrease from the 284 he found when he 
came, and he added 50 on a probationary status. 



29 



St. Pauls, in 1864, was put on the Greenville- 
Washington Charge, with services one Sunday a 
month. Assigned to Greenville-Washington in De- 
cember 1864 was Benjamin F. Long, but he did not fill 
a single appointment at St. Pauls. War conditions did 
not permit his fulfilling his duties, he reported. The 
St. Pauls membership at the 1865 Annual Conference 
was 24 whites and 5 Blacks. These are the first mem- 
bership statistics recorded for St. Pauls alone. 



30 



CHAPTER VI 



Resurgence After the War 

Methodism in Greenville shrank a little more fol- 
lowing the Civil War. There were only 24 members left 
on the roll when the last of the Black members with- 
drew in 1866. Shortly thereafter, however, with the 
emergence of a more numerous middle class, 
Methodism in Greenville grew steadily in membership 
and in influence. 

Reverend John S. Long was appointed to the 
Greenville-Washington Circuit in 1866 and was re- 
turned for a second year in 1867. St. Pauls was still 
one point on the two-point Washington Charge with 
preaching one Sunday a month. The membership of 
the charge grew to 125 during Long's first year. Then 
the roll remained unchanged for two years. 

Pertinent facts to explain the sudden loss of effec- 
tiveness to win souls are not available. Apparently, 
the inefficiency of the local church was widespread. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, took actions 
calculated to meet the situation. In 1866 the au- 
thorities liberalized the church by adopting three 
changes. 

The first innovation was to extend the maximum 
ministerial term to four years. It had been limited to 
two years since 1804. St. Pauls had its first four-year 
man, W. H. Call, during 1869-1872, but had four-year 
men only twice after that until it became a practice at 
Jarvis Memorial in 1917. The second innovation was 
the provision for equal lay and clerical representation 
at General, Annual, and District Conferences. Thus, a 



31 



more democratic institution had evolved. A third pro- 
vision was for the elimination of the requirement of a 
six-month probation for those seeking membership. 

The Bishop appointed Reverend W. H. Moore, who 
had served as a temporary incumbent in 1860, to the 
Greenville-Washington Charge in 1868, to follow the 
two-year pastorate of John S. Long (1866-1867). Dr. 
Moore wrote a letter recalling his 1868 pastorate at St. 
Pauls. His letter was written in 1893 when he was 
Presiding Elder of the Fayetteville District. When the 
dark picture of Methodism in Greenville was painted 
in Moore's letter, it should be kept in mind that 
Greenville was reeling from the spiritual, social, and 
economic consequences of the war and reconstruc- 
tion. The 1870 census shows that the town had a 
population of 601, a loss of 227 in population since 
1860. 

Moore's important letter reads: 

I was appointed to the charge of Greenville and Washington 
in December, 1868. 1 lived at Washington where I preached 
three Sundays, going to Greenville one Sunday a month. I 
found in 1869 twenty members and little attention given to 
religion in the community. Every church was closed except 
the Methodist, and few attended the Methodist. 

To Sister Anne Pearce and Brother Ben Warren Brown the 
church is indebted more than to any others at this time. God 
seldom gives the church two more choice spirits. Sister 
Pearce had two children, Joe and Ada (Mrs. J. B. Cherry). 
Ada swept the church, rang the bell, played the organ, led 
the singing, and counted no service at the church too me- 
nial to perform. 

The situation in Greenville must have changed greatly 
since his prior pastorage. Moore had had great suc- 
cess in 1860 in Greenville. He reported only the same 
membership in 1869 that Long had in 1868 — a total 
membership of 125 for the circuit. 

In 1869 Reverend William H. Call was appointed to 



32 



the Greenville-Washington Charge. His first year re- 
sulted in 72 additions to the membership. Then, he 
was reappointed for three more years, 1870-1871- 
1872, for a total of four years. Call was the first pastor 
to serve St. Pauls four years. He was deeply loved by 
all the congregation; those who were members of St. 
Pauls at that time remembered readily. His crayon 
portrait was found in members' homes. Reverend 
Call's library came to Greenville a second time with 
the appointment in 1953 of W. M. Howard to Jarvis 
Memorial. The Call library had been given to Howard 
several years earlier. There were a few who did not 
like the four-year tenure. There were some in Jarvis 
Memorial in the 1920's who said the only thing wrong 
with Brother Call's pastorate was that he stayed too 
long. 

Reverend A. R. Raven was appointed to follow Call 
at the 1873 Annual Conference. He was returned for a 
second year in 1874, along with Reverend W. H. Call 
as an associate. There is no explanation why an as- 
sociate was sent. Raven had added 13 to the charge 
membership his first year, raising the total to 220. 
Raven and Call together in 1875 added 90 to make a 
total of 300 for the Washington-Greenville charge at 
Annual Conference. 

During Reverend Raven's first year, the Sunday 
School Superintendent at St. Pauls was J. B. Congle- 
ton. He served as Sunday School Superintendent 
during both 1874 and 1875. He was succeeded by S. D. 
Bagley, who held the post for seven years, from 1876 
to 1882. (The names of all Superintendents of Sunday 
School with dates are provided in Appendix D, p. 194.) 

Captain Thomas J. Jarvis, for whom Jarvis Memo- 
rial was later to be named, moved to Greenville in 1875 
and attended his first service at St. Pauls. Many 
Greenville Methodists knew his mother and father 



33 



were staunch members of Mt. Zion Methodist Church 
at Jarvisburg, one of the oldest churches in North 
Carolina. Captain Jarvis had just moved to Greenville 
two weeks prior to his first attendance at St. Pauls. 
There had been no service at St. Pauls his first two 
Sundays. 

He had graduated from Randolph-Macon in 1861. 
He was a lawyer, had been wounded in the Civil War, 
and had held the rank of Captain. He had been con- 
verted in 1870, but he had not yet joined a church. He 
had been married just before moving to Greenville. 
Also, he had announced he was going to run for the 
office of Lieutenant-Governor of the State of North 
Carolina in 1876. He was a tall, handsome, distin- 
guished gentleman. 

Except for the few remaining services in 1875, 
Captain Jarvis saw little of St. Pauls, being so oc- 
cupied with effecting nomination and campaigning for 
election as Lieutenant-Governor in 1876. He was 
elected, and he moved to Raleigh. In 1880 he was 
elected Governor; he filled out the unexpired term of 
U.S. Senator Zeb Vance in 1884; during 1885-1889 he 
served as Ambassador to Brazil. He had joined his 
parents' church, Mt. Zion, in 1885. His membership 
was moved to St. Pauls in 1889 when his political 
career ended and he had come to Greenville to prac- 
tice law and to make his home. 

The growth of Methodism in Pitt County in the 
1870's, due to the efforts of St. Pauls, had caught the 
attention of the North Carolina Annual Conference. In 
recognition of what had been accomplished, and to 
develop the potential further, in 1875 the Annual 
Conference set up a new circuit to be based at Green- 
ville and called the Greenville Circuit. It included 
preaching points at Greenville, Bethel, Little's 



34 



Chapel, Mount Zion (in Pitt County), Shiloh, and 
Shady Grove. 

Creation of the Greenville Circuit imposed added 
responsibilities on St. Pauls. The preacher on the 
circuit was to reside in Greenville, which meant St. 
Pauls had to provide living quarters. To meet this 
situation the congregation provided accommodations 
for the pastor at the hotel. They had handled guest 
ministers that way on the few previous occasions 
when temporarily hosting a preacher in Greenville. 
Parsonages were rare in the state. The Hundredth 
Anniversary of Methodism in North Carolina was cel- 
ebrated in Raleigh in 1876 by the state's Methodists. 
Cited at the anniversary among other figures were the 
five hundred Methodist churches in the state, but only 
seventy parsonages. 

The hotel accommodations were acceptable to the 
first preacher appointed to the newly designated 
Greenville Circuit in 1875 — Reverend Jeremiah 
Johnson. That was his second occasion for serving St. 
Pauls. He had been appointed once before, in 1845, 
when St. Pauls had been on the Tarboro Circuit. At 
the Annual Conference in 1876 he reported 337 circuit 
members. 

Though Johnson had made no protest over the hotel 
accommodations, the preacher following Johnson ex- 
ploded over being provided nothing but hotel quar- 
ters. That was Rev. B. B. Culbreth, who was ap- 
pointed in 1876 to follow Johnson on the Greenville 
Circuit. The Conference Journal minutes erroneously 
recorded Culbreth as being appointed to the 
Greenville-Washington Circuit in 1876 instead of the 
Greenville Circuit. Both J. M. Daniel and M. T. Plyler 
quote a letter from Culbreth which indicated he 
preached and resided in Greenville for the conference 



35 



year starting in November 1876. If he had been ap- 
pointed to the Greenville-Washington Circuit, he 
would have resided in Washington. The following is 
quoted from a letter written by Culbreth recalling his 
pastorate in Greenville: 

When I reached Greenville, I was informed that it had been 
the custom for the preacher to put up at the hotel and that 
the church would settle the bills. I determined to put a stop 
to such foolishness and let the people understand that I was 
as good as they were and that I did not feel disposed to 
preach to a people who would not entertain me. Upon which 
they threw open their doors, and I had as many homes as I 
wanted that I could stay in. 

Culbreth said his protracted meeting, in 1877, 
aroused some interest, but that "Greenville was con- 
sidered a hard place in those days." The letter was 
written several years after he left Greenville. During 
the years since his pastorate Greenville had come to 
the front as a strong Methodist community; therefore, 
in his letter he threw in the explanatory phrase, "in 
those days." 

Further along in the letter Culbreth recalled some of 
the people he remembered from his pastorate at St. 
Pauls: 

I can call to mind a few of the good people I knew there: Ben 
Warren Brown was one of the pillars of the church. I loved 
him very much. Brother Rawls was true to me, and I loved 
him. 

Among the good women, I found some noble ones. Sisters 
Hoyt, Blow, Pearce and her sister, and Ada Cherry, the 
sweet singer. She sang as sweetly in that old barn of a 
church as she has ever done in the new church. 

He meant St. Pauls, built in 1833, when he referred to 
"that old barn of a church. " The "new church" was the 
St. Pauls at the corner of Greene and Second Streets 
which had been built in 1880 after he had left. 
An incident occurred during Culbreth's pastorate at 



36 



St. Pauls which may be hardly worth the telling today, 
but which caused great excitement when it happened. 
Mrs. Wiley Brown and Robert Humber recalled the 
incident. 

Methodism may have been born to "save Christians 
from dead ritual," but all indications are that the 
Methodists varied their worship services very little 
once a set order became established. Even in the 
twentieth century grumbles have been inspired 
among the congregation by innovations — not serious 
objection but manifested displeasure. There was even 
less readiness to adapt to new ideas in the nineteenth 
century. 

The incident occurred at the beginning of a new 
conference year. Culbreth was holding his first wor- 
ship service at St. Pauls. Before giving out the number 
of the first hymn he announced there would be a slight 
change in the order of worship. Instead of following 
the first hymn with the pastoral prayer, he said he 
wanted the congregation to remain standing at the end 
of the first hymn, join him in the repeating of the 
Apostles' Creed, and then kneel for the pastoral 
prayer. 

One of the church's leading members was a devout 
man named S. P. Erwin. He was clearing land to 
create a farm just beyond the southeast edge of town, 
where the Moose Lodge is today in Greenville. He al- 
ways walked to church in order to let his team rest on 
Sunday. Sometimes he arrived a minute or two late. 
On that Sunday Erwin arrived while the congregation 
was standing, singing the first hymn. He walked down 
the aisle to his customary place on a front pew of the 
Amen Corner. He stood at his seat and sang — some- 
one had handed him a hymn book and indicated the 
place. The hymn over, Mr. Erwin went to his knees in 
prayer as had been the custom of that congregation for 



37 



years. Everyone else stood and were led by the pastor 
in the repeating of the Apostles' Creed. Erwin just 
stayed on his knees and went on with his prayer. At 
the conclusion of the Apostles' Creed everyone knelt 
for the pastoral prayer. Erwin, having concluded his 
prayer, got up from his knees and just sat bolt upright 
in his pew while the rest of the congregation were 
praying. 

After the morning service that day everyone was 
busy giving his or her opinion of the incident. Some 
who objected to any innovations heaped criticism on 
the preacher for embarrassing poor Mr. Erwin like 
that. Some supported the preacher. As far as the 
preacher and Erwin were concerned, it was quickly 
settled. The preacher said he was sorry; Erwin said he 
apologized for being stubborn. But tongues wagged for 
weeks in the little church. 

Brother Culbreth added 12 new members to the roll 
of St. Pauls his year on the Greenville Circuit. He 
reported at conference in December 1877 a total of 337 
members on the circuit. The conference records show 
he was paid $338.99 on his salary by St. Pauls. 

The 1833 "old barn of a church" had deteriorated 
with the passage of time and the few repairs made had 
been hit or miss. The front steps sagged and shook 
when one walked up them. Many shingles were miss- 
ing from the roof, and the plaster was cracked and 
some had fallen. Robert L. Humber, Sr., recalled in 
the 1930's that those coming into St. Pauls on a rainy 
day in the late 1870's would always squint up at the 
ceiling before seating themselves. One sought to sit 
where the plaster looked less likely to fall on one 
during the service. The falling plaster was a threat to 
worshipers. 

When B. B. Culbreth had finished his year's pastor- 
ate in November 1877, he left by boat five days before 



38 



Annual Conference to arrive in Greensboro in time. 
The little town on the Tar was a county seat and 
trading center. It had a population of about 900 in 
1877. The steamboat plying Tar River was the only 
means of transportation to the outside world. Culbreth 
left on that boat for Tarboro, where he caught the train 
for Rocky Mount; then, he could catch a train to make 
connection for Greensboro. 

A weekly newspaper had been started in Green- 
ville. The Academy was providing education for the 
wealthy, but public school had only a three-week ses- 
sion. The share-cropping arrangement for securing 
farm labor had seen many "time" stores appear. A few 
such supply stores developed in Greenville. But the 
barroom owners continued to be the wealthiest non- 
farm citizens. 

The town's north border was the river. Everything 
to the west of Pitt Street and to the east of Reade 
Street was open country as was all south of Fifth 
Street. The courthouse and store buildings were all 
built of wood. The streets were unpaved and muddy 
after rains. Board walks in front of the stores helped 
pedestrians shop. Candles or oil lamps provided lights 
after dark. Except in the homes of the well-to-do, 
cooking was done in an open fireplace. Stoves were a 
luxury afforded by only a few. 

Such was the community in which St. Pauls was 
located. Economically, the town had improved with 
the expansion of trading due to slavery's having been 
replaced by share-cropping. Home rule following re- 
construction had been regained. The prospects for the 
future had greatly improved. The population grew by 
over a thousand each year after 1880, having in- 
creased only 300 between 1870 and 1880. 



39 



CHAPTER VII 



"A New St. Pauls" 

Reverend Culbreth attended the 1877 session of the 
North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, all that last week in 
November, anticipating the climax when the Bishop 
would read the appointments on Sunday afternoon, 
the last day of the conference. He was interested in 
the appointment to the Greenville Circuit for he might 
be sent back. Instead he heard the name L. L. Nash 
read out for the Greenville Circuit. 

Nash was a big, energetic, likeable young fellow 
who had joined the conference three years before. He 
had been appointed to the Bath Circuit in 1874 and the 
neighboring Williamston Circuit the last two years, 
1875-1876. His full connection status had just been 
attained at the 1877 Greensboro Conference. 

Nash drove his buggy from Williamston to his new 
appointment. On arriving in Greenville he had to pass 
through the heart of the business section. It was a 
muddy-streeted, saloon-infested cluster of business 
establishments. He was on his way to the B. C. 
Pearce's, whose guest he was to be until he could get 
settled. He had heard beforehand that he might be put 
in a hotel. He meant to change that. 

The idlers and saloon patrons were impressed by 
the big, handsome, serious-faced man with his pretty 
young wife seated beside him holding a baby. Books 
filled the foot of the buggy from the dashboard to the 
back. A round-topped small trunk had been tied on 
back. 



40 



Nash, in his "Recollections," recorded what his 
thoughts were of his new work: 

Religion at Greenville, and the surrounding country, was at 
low ebb. There was not a prominent business man in 
Greenville who was a member of any church. The town was 
full of barrooms, and most of the people patronized them 
liberally. Profanity, gambling, and all other forms of vice 
were the order of the day. 

The town presented a dilapidated appearance, and the only 
Christian force in evidence was an organization of good 
Methodist women who labored to keep the church alive and 
meet expenses of religious work by festivals, charades, 
oyster suppers, etc. 

His first business with the official Board was to 
settle the matter of quarters for himself and his young 
family. Nothing but the hotel would be provided, the 
official Board declared resolutely. But "well-wishers" 
continued to entertain him and his "brood" in their 
homes. Nash said he stayed with "Mr. and Mrs. B. C. 
Pearce, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Cherry, and Mr. and 
Mrs. James Dill. Dill was not a member of St. Pauls, 
but his wife was." 

That he recalled with gratitude years later the 
names of the hosts for those first few weeks in Green- 
ville indicates Nash was grateful for the privilege of 
living in their homes. But that young preacher was not 
going to put up with being quartered in a hotel or being 
entertained in the homes of members, inconvenienc- 
ing them with a small baby. All circuits were expected 
to provide parsonages. Nash thought St. Pauls was 
obligated to provide one for its pastor. 

He took the matter up again and again with the 
Board of Stewards, holding call meetings several 
times a week. After Nash proposed it and prodded 
them enough, they did finally agree that they would 
pay the rent on a house for the preacher if he could 
find one. They told him that none was available. 



41 



Immediately he tried to locate a house. Very 
quickly Nash found, as the stewards had advised him, 
that "there was not a habitable house for rent in the 
town." He went right back to the Board and urged that 
they live up to their obligation to their pastor by pur- 
chasing a parsonage. The response of the officials of 
St. Pauls revealed unconcern toward the whole matter 
if Nash did not like what they offered. To them the 
hotel was the satisfactory solution and would have 
sufficed for anyone except this young tiger the Bishop 
had sent them. Having to attend such frequent Board 
meetings annoyed them. 

The Board reflected the lay attitude of their day and 
time. Methodism in the United States had been 
brought into being by the circuit riders who never 
stayed in one place long enough to need parsonages; 
they had to cover too much territory too rapidly. Wes- 
ley himself in the eighteenth century had censured the 
occasional circuit riders who got married and wanted 
to "locate." 

Parsonages or churches were not even sought until 
Methodism's fantastic membership growth after the 
Revolutionary War. Many exhortations had been de- 
livered in Annual Conferences by Bishops and had 
been printed in Conference Journals since the early 
1800's, beseeching the brethren to build chapels. In 
the last half of the nineteenth century the plea had 
been to get congregations to provide parsonages. 

Finally, Nash made the stewards a proposition: let 
the preacher buy a parsonage and finance it himself. 
They thought that was just another young man's wild 
idea. He had no private resources with which to make 
the down payment. The Board agreed he might "buy a 
house," but that he must keep in mind that they had 
no money to help, no intention of trying to raise any, 
nor would they involve their credit. 



42 



Lacking any kind of support from his Board, Nash 
appealed to the women of the church. He knew there 
was a small group of faithful women at St. Pauls who 
loved their Lord, their preacher, and their church. 
Before he came to Greenville he had heard of the 
tireless money-raising efforts of that small group and 
how they had constantly exerted every effort possible 
to contribute all they could to the support of the 
church. At his suggestion they gladly met at the home 
of one of the ladies to hear about acquiring a parson- 
age. They knew about the stewards' negative attitude. 

Before the preacher had hardly gotten seated the 
ladies assured him that from the very first they had 
been behind him one hundred per cent on the idea of 
St. Pauls' providing a parsonage. They had been put- 
ting money aside since the Greenville Circuit had 
been created, looking forward to the day when St. 
Pauls would be buying one. On hand already was 
$300.00 in cash which he could have on the instant. 
With that much cash in hand and the ardent backing 
of the ladies for his proposal, Nash got busy trying to 
locate a house that would be suitable for purchase. 

He found a house. He thought that limited repairs 
would make it suitable. The available house belonged 
to William Grimes of Raleigh, who had put the sale of 
it in the hands of a Greenville lawyer. Nash went to see 
the lawyer to arrange purchase. A price of $1,000.00 
was agreed on — $400.00 would be paid in cash and 
the balance in two years. 

But when the $400.00 was tendered a day or so later, 
the lawyer said, "No!" He had heard that the official 
Board was not backing the purchase. The whole 
$1,000.00 would have to be in cash. In his frustration 
young Nash went over to the office of his most pres- 
tigious friend, Captain David Dill, the local agent for 
the Old Dominion Steamship Company. Though Dill 



43 



was not one of his members, he had become a good 
friend of his wife's youthful minister. Dill's prompt 
reaction to Nash's financial dilemma was to run over 
to his home and get a shot bag in which he had ac- 
cumulated $600.00 in silver dollars. He urged the 
preacher to use the $600.00, buy the house, and pay 
him back in any way that suited Nash's convenience. 

The thousand dollars was promptly handed to the 
Grimes' lawyer. A proper deed was passed. St. Pauls 
had a parsonage. It was the first. The women were 
overjoyed. Dill's name was entered in their Golden 
Book of Memories for saving the day for them. Nash 
immediately set about securing workmen to make 
repairs necessary for comfortable occupancy. It was 
obviously quickly done, for it was occupied by the 
Nash family early in January 1878. He had not been in 
Greenville forty days in all. 

"With the help of the good women, the money was 
raised and all the loans paid back," Nash wrote. That 
simple statement of accomplishment does not afford 
one the complete picture. Mrs. Adriana Ernul Moore 
told her daughter, Mrs. Wiley (Mollie Moore) Brown, 
about how the women of the church, trusting in God, 
worked to the limit of their strength to raise that 
money to repay Dill in those difficult days. The recon- 
struction had left the Southern economy unsettled, 
and money was scarce. 

The ladies had customarily held suppers and 
bazaars to raise money for the church, but to pay the 
balance on the parsonage they had to hold many more, 
much better, and even bigger oyster suppers, bazaars, 
charades, lawn parties, and musicals. Ladies of some 
of the other churches were concerned at the frantic 
Methodist money-raising efforts. That method of 
raising money was almost monopolized by the 
Methodists for a time. 



44 



Similar though less frantic money-raising affairs 
put on by the women were an important source of 
funds for many years, both before and after the pur- 
chase, for the women of Greenville Methodism. They 
were continued until Mrs. Gloss (Georgia Pearsall) 
Hearne in the 1940's led the ladies for a number of 
years to provide the majority of Women's Society 
funds through sacrificial giving. The women's com- 
mercial ventures, Mrs. Hearne thought, had provided 
money, but with less personal sacrifice. 

The records of St. Pauls showed 31 members in 
November 1877. "The sole male membership in 
November, 1877 were: Ben Warren Brown, John B. 
Congleton, S. P. Erwin, Arthur A. Forbes, Joseph 
Grimmer, Orlander Hearne, James Long, W. S. 
Rawls, Jesse D. Williamson and one or two others." 
That list of eleven men indicates that there were 
twenty women. How many of the twenty were active is 
impossible to determine. 

Having got a parsonage for his wife and baby, Nash 
turned immediately to improving the church: 

Our church in Greenville was in a delapidated condition. 
The overhead plastering had begun to fall. It was danger- 
ous because it sometimes fell during services at the church. 
Before I could get a congregation to go in the church, I had 
to have the plaster knocked off. 

Thus the edifice was made safe. 

Immediately in the early spring of 1878 Nash an- 
nounced he would hold a revival at St. Pauls. That 
campaign stirred the people. He records: 

... a fine revival occurred resulting in thirty-six acces- 
sions. Now there was new life in the church. We began to 
make plans for a new church. Then, Greenville Methodism 
came rapidly to the front. 

As important and time consuming as his activities 
with his church in Greenville were, Nash kept a full- 
scale program going all over his whole circuit. His own 



45 



reaction to his first year shows it was a full year for him 
too. He records: 

I felt very much relieved when I was ordained Elder at 
Annual Conference in 1878, for I was under the consider- 
able strain of bringing up my studies and of doing the heavy 
work of my charge. 

In fact, during 1878, 160 new members had been 
added to the circuit rolls. Nash had held revivals at 
several places on the circuit. Distance, weather, 
muddy roads, and riding in an open buggy did not 
deter him. 

On returning from the 1878 Annual Conference, 
Nash led his congregation to build a new church. 
There were only 66 members, and no doubt some of 
that number were children. Though he knew his own 
church was fully behind him in planning to build, 
there were those in the community who did not think 
the local Methodists could afford to build. Nash him- 
self tells us this: 

It was commonly predicted all over the county that we 
would never be able to pay for the $1,000.00 lot we had 
bought (January 26, 1879) at Second and Greene Streets, 
much less build a church. 

Greenville and Pitt County were agog over the 
miracle of faith the Methodists were planning to per- 
form. Obviously, determination to build was simply 
the result of sufficient faith in their God that they 
should do their best and leave the rest to Him. But, 
according to a recollection of Mrs. Mollie Moore 
Brown in 1913, one prominent businessman took Rev. 
Nash to task for involving the poorer members of the 
Methodist Church in an attempt to build a new church 
when most of them needed the money to put more food 
on their tables. 

Nevertheless, we are told that the new church was 
begun: 



46 



It took some time and great effort to build the church. An 
organization of good women helped mightily holding festi- 
vals, charades, oyster suppers, etc. Mrs. B. C. Pearce gave 
the first $500.00 on the building fund. The lot and building 
cost $3,500. 

Mrs. Pearce, unfortunately, was the first member to 
die after occupation of the new church. 

Apparently, Nash was indefatigable. Building the 
new St. Pauls was just one activity. He called 1879, 
when St. Pauls rebuilt, the "Year of Revivals" on his 
circuit. He organized three new churches, added 160 
new members, making a total of 470 for the circuit, 
filled all of his regular appointments, visited the 
members, and kept his eye on the new church in 
process of building. His documentation reads: 

This year — (1879) — I held a meeting at a school house 
(Taft's) seven miles below Greenville (Simpson) where we 
had more than fifty conversions, and I organized a church 
there; we named the new church "Salem." Later we gave 
the old (1833) church building in Greenville to this new 
congregation, and it was moved down and rebuilt there. 

After the occupation of a new St. Pauls the old St. 
Pauls was taken down by the Salem members, piece 
by piece, loaded on a barge tied up at the foot of Pitt 
Street, floated to a point opposite Simpson, carted 
from the river to its new site, and reconstructed. For 
years Salem has had a fine brick church built on the 
same site. (See Plate 1.) 

The Tafts, ancestors of the Tafts who belong to 
Jarvis Memorial now, had built a school in the late 
1700's. Several of the Tafts cooperated to set up a 
Sunday School to meet at the school. According to the 
history of Salem Church and Mrs. M. B. (Gertrude 
Taft) Massey, it was at that school that Nash held his 
revival in 1879, and organized Salem Church. 

Also, that same year Nash held a revival south of 



47 



Greenville in Black Jack. He organized a church there 
too. As he remembered it, "the community was one of 
the toughest in the county." Also, that same year a 
church was organized in the Berea Community fol- 
lowing one of Nash's successful revivals. 

Also, in 1879, at the Washington District Confer- 
ence, the delegates decided that a Methodist District 
School would be established somewhere within the 
District. The Tarboro Methodists immediately started 
trying to get the school for their town. But Nash led St. 
Pauls in a determined effort to bring the school to 
Greenville. "A heated contest" developed. Greenville 
was selected in 1880 to be the site. The local 
Methodists bought six acres of land (at the corner of 
Grande and Dickinson Avenue). Nash goes on: 

. . . and I raised $3,000.00 to build a schoolhouse. But 
when I left the charge, the church gave the property to the 
citizens there to have the building finished and run a school 
there. But the District School enterprise never succeeded 
anywhere in the church, as far as I know. 

During this time the matter of building a new St. 
Pauls Church was foremost in the minds of some. The 
lot on the southeast corner of Greene and Second 
Streets had been bought by St. Pauls in January 1879 
from William Grimes. It was bought to provide an area 
large enough to build both a sanctuary and a parson- 
age. The trustees for the church were B. W. Brown, 
Chairman, W. S. Rawls, John B. Congleton, S. P. 
Erwin, Orlander Hearne, Jesse D. Williamson, and 
Joseph Grimmer. 

As soon as the trustees received a deed for the site, 
the groundbreaking ceremony was held after a Sun- 
day morning preaching service. The very next day 
workmen began digging the foundation. The holes dug 
for the foundation extended over a big area. A wag at 
one of the saloons stated as his opinion the Methodists 



48 



were trying to fool others into thinking they were 
building a big church, but in reality it was the 
Methodist plan that the holes be used to bury the 
members who starved to death from contributing too 
liberally to the building fund. As the building pro- 
gressed, the sceptical were impressed. Everyone who 
came in from out in the rural sections of the county 
made a point of going by to see the fabulous construc- 
tion project. It was a bigger church than any they had 
ever seen before. 

An incident occurred while construction was in 
progress which involved the reaction of one of Pitt 
County's more backward citizens. The authenticity of 
the story is vouched for by Wiley Brown and Robert L. 
Humber, Sr. One day, while Mr. Will Cowell (he and 
his father built the church) was on the roof laying 
shingles, "Brother Ross," a Primitive Baptist 
preacher, while in town on business, came by to have 
a look at the church under construction. Ross stood 
out in the middle of Greene Street so he could better 
see. He was very impressed with what he saw. He 
examined it with a deliberate scanning from top to 
bottom. He spat some tobacco juice. With the back of 
his hand he wiped off the trickle. Then he called up to 
the workman, in his deepest, most sepulchral bass 
preaching tone, "You are as high as anyone will ever 
get worshipping in such a big, fancy church." With 
that he stalked off down the street to the nearest 
saloon. 

Completion gave the congregation a fine feeling of 
accomplishment. They felt gratitude to the Lord that 
He had enabled them to have such a beautiful place to 
worship. 

"The new St. Pauls was an impressive looking 
building. It was a grand structure for worship." Its 
coat of white paint made it resplendent. It looked 



49 



large, especially to the proud Methodists. Its hundred 
foot length stretched down along the south side of 
Second Street. The fifty foot wide front came up to 
within a very few feet of the sidewalk on the east side 
of Greene Street. In fact, the front steps ran from the 
sidewalk up to the level of the door sill. Those steps 
extended half the width of the church, made of twelve 
inch wide and two inch thick oak boards. 

Rising above the door sill was a double door pro- 
viding the front entrance and only entrance into the 
church. The doors also were made of oak, heavy thick 
oak covered with a clear varnish to reveal the grain. A 
single panel was set in each door. Just inside the front 
doors was a vestibule. Straight across the vestibule 
from the outside doors were two doors leading into the 
sanctuary. To the left in the vestibule were the steps 
leading from the vestibule up to a gallery situated just 
above the vestibule. In the gallery was a place for the 
organ, seats for the choir, and seats further back set 
aside for any Black brethren who wished to worship at 
St. Pauls. There had been no Black members since 
the war. 

Entering the doors to the sanctuary one found run- 
ning down the middle of the auditorium a four foot 
wide aisle, ending at the chancel rail. Behind the 
chancel was the communion table, with the pulpit 
rising abruptly behind the table. On either side of the 
center aisle was a row of pews ranged at right angles to 
the side wall from the rear to the chancel rail. In front 
of the main body of pews on each side of the pulpit 
were three pews running parallel with the side walls. 
These specially arranged pews constituted the "Amen 
Corners" where the saints of the congregation always 
sat. The floor of the sanctuary was bare. White plaster 
covered the side walls and varnished knotty pine had 
been used for panelling the ceiling. The glass in the 



50 



small paned windows lining each side wall was cov- 
ered with transparent colored paper to achieve 
stained glass window effect. 

The level of the pulpit was four feet above that of the 
main floor of the sanctuary. Rising in back of the 
communion table, it ran a distance of about ten feet to 
the back wall. In width it stretched twenty feet be- 
tween the "Amen Corners." The rectangular dais was 
solid, plain, and adequate. Carpenters of that time 
and area built for strength with little concern for dec- 
orativeness. The solid rear wall of the church made 
the pulpit seem relatively small. At the front edge of 
the pulpit the lectern stood. It was made of pine, 
perfectly plain, with rectangular lines and no carved 
adornments, but obviously the carpenter had worked 
carefully. It was painted with a clear varnish. The 
balance of the pulpit furniture was plain. There was no 
carpet covering on the pulpit floor. 

The pews were home-made. The boards of the back 
rose at a right angle from the boards of the seats. All 
the pews were painted a dark color. The interior was 
not bright. The transparent colored paper on the win- 
dow panes and the dark paint on the pews tended to 
tone down the interior. 

The church was situated on the east side of Greene 
Street with its front doors facing west. When finished, 
it was a plain rectangular building one hundred feet 
long and fifty feet wide. There was no steeple. "It took 
some time and great effort to build the church," were 
the words of Reverend Nash. Those who were mem- 
bers of St. Pauls at that time remembered the building 
process involved every member in much effort. There 
had been some dark moments. 

Though the new church was a matter of great pride 
to the congregation, much concern was expressed by 
some, as the building had neared completion, that 



51 



there was no door at the back of the pulpit. The lack of 
windows in the back wall was fine because windows 
opening to the east in the back wall would have been 
blinding during services on sunny Sunday mornings. 
But a symbolic door should be there. A congregational 
meeting was called to deal with the matter. Until the 
new St. Pauls all Methodist churches had had doors in 
the back of their pulpits. Methodist congregations 
were accustomed to the symbolic door. 

They wanted no altar. To avoid even the semblance 
of an altar in a Methodist Church, each preacher 
maintained the practice of walking between the com- 
munion table and the front edge of the pulpit to show 
they were separated. But they wanted the symbolic 
door to make more obvious the accessibility into the 
church of God's Spirit. Reverend A. D. Betts said in 
the early 1900' s, when he was a white-haired old man, 
that he thought Methodists wanted doors behind their 
pulpits because it would be symbolic of Christ's being 
the door to heaven. 

Wiley Brown and Robert Humber, in a jovial mood 
one day, when asked about the "door incident" at St. 
Pauls, said they heard that Nash had insisted on the 
door behind the pulpit. He needed to have a way to 
beat a hasty retreat if he got the congregation too riled 
up calling out the names of sinners in "open meeting. " 

Reverend Nash called a meeting of the congrega- 
tion at old St. Pauls to discuss the pulpit door. After 
everyone who wanted to speak had sounded off, he 
proposed to the congregation a compromise. He said 
he suggested that artists from "Little" Washington be 
brought in to paint an alcove with a door on the rear 
wall behind the pulpit. In support of his recommenda- 
tion he cited these points: building in a door would 
incur a terrific cost; much money was still due; further 
building would delay entering the new church; a 



52 



"door" was a symbol; and a painted "door" provided 
the symbol with minimum cost and no delay in open- 
ing the new church. 

With the alcove and door painted on the wall at the 
rear of the pulpit, the sanctuary was acceptable. Since 
the structure had cost $2,500.00, and they still owed 
$1,200.00, the first service was used to consecrate St. 
Pauls. The service took place on February 7, 1880. 
James Mann, Presiding Elder of the Washington Dis- 
trict, delivered the sermon and dedicated the church. 
(See Plate 2.) Building the church had absorbed all of 
their funds. No parsonage, though planned, was built. 
Parsonages were rented until one was built on Eighth 
Street in 1914. 

The following persons, according to Nash, com- 
posed the first choir to furnish music for the new St. 
Pauls: 

Nina Cherry (Mrs. J. B. James), Mrs. Ada Pearce Cherry, 
R. L. Humber, Dolph Jyman, Wiley Brown. A. A. (Pig) 
Forbes, J. C. Benjamin, Mrs. Georgia Harrison James. 
Director of the choir was Mrs. Ada Cherry who had a 
beautiful soprano voice of extraordinary range, timbre, and 
volume. 

The increasing respect for the place of women 
manifested itself. Separation of the sexes in the 
sanctuary seating — the men to the right and the 
women to the left of the middle aisle — as had been the 
custom at the old church was discarded at the very 
first service in the new church. Families sat together. 
Mrs. Adriana Moore and Mrs. Sallie Charlotte, two 
widows, continued to sit in the Amen Corner to the left 
of the pulpit. 

Simon B. Wilson was the first member to join after 
moving to the new church. He joined Sunday, Feb- 
ruary 22, 1880. How many members Nash added to St. 
Pauls in 1880 can only be guessed. At the 1880 Annual 



53 



Conference the membership gain for the year was 24 
on the whole circuit. 

Filled with pride and enthusiasm due to their so 
recently completed new church, the congregation of 
St. Pauls at the 1880 Washington District Conference 
invited the session to convene at St. Pauls in 1881. 
The only special preparation St. Pauls made for en- 
tertaining District Conference was to put a second 
coat of paint on the pews. To avoid any last-minute 
rush, workers applied the paint during the summer of 
1880. The Sunday after repainting members found 
upon trying to rise to sing the hymn following the 
sermon that their clothing had become glued to their 
seats by sticky paint. As soon as the final hymn was 
finished the pastor, Nash, announced a congrega- 
tional meeting would be held immediately following 
the benediction. His wife had rushed up to the pulpit 
during the singing of the last hymn and told him about 
the horrible experience of everyone's sticking to the 
pews. 

Everyone stood during that particular congrega- 
tional meeting. Many were quite excited over the 
damage to the ladies' dresses. Nash asked that all 
keep calm and urged all to think how the sticky paint 
situation could be handled. Shortly someone came up 
with the suggestion that the problem would be under 
control if all the pews were covered with unbleached 
homespun. A committee was appointed to determine 
the amount needed and to buy it; others were assigned 
to cut and sew the covers for the pews. The homespun 
proved a perfect solution. But explaining to strangers 
the unique idea for cloth covers for pews required 
telling of the sticky paint incident over and over again. 
Finally time softened the memory; then, it was related 
with laughter. 

Entertainment of District Conference was a big 



54 



event in the life of any small Methodist Church in 
those days. To St. Pauls it was an enormous event. 
Greenville's Methodists were to be hosts to a District 
Conference for the first time. It meant the Bishop 
would come to Greenville for he always presided. 
Bishop W. M. Wightman was the Bishop who came to 
preside at the Washington District Conference the 
last week of May 1881. 

The second day, Tuesday, of the District Confer- 
ence, Reverend Nash decided to propose to St. Pauls 
to pay off the $1,200.00 still owed on the new church 
and have the Bishop do the dedicating on the final day. 
He considered the circumstances optimum for raising 
the needed funds — a Bishop present, the inspiring 
presence of the visiting District Conference dele- 
gates, and the congregation's elation at hosting the 
conference. The St. Pauls members were called to 
meet following the conference service the second 
night. He found them united behind him. "The 
$1,200.00 was raised in half an hour," he wrote, "and 
everybody was happy over the event." Now the 
Bishop could be approached. 

Then Bishop Wightman, who was due to close the 
District Conference with a sermon on Sunday, was 
asked to dedicate St. Pauls at that service. The Bishop 
agreed to do so. So the last Sunday in May 1881 the 
new church was formally dedicated by Bishop 
Wightman. 

There had been one little complication as they 
planned the big occasion of having their new church 
dedicated with a Bishop to do the honors. There was 
no organ. An organ had been ordered for some time. 
"The Humber family gladly loaned their foot pedalled 
Mason and Hamline organ to be used for the big occa- 
sion," R. L. Humber recalled with pride, "and they 
used our organ until theirs came." 



55 



A few weeks after the dedication service the 
church's own organ came. It was a lever operated 
pump Estes organ. The boys of the congregation took 
great pride in alternating at turns pumping the organ. 
There were factors other than pride which inspired 
the boys to enjoy helping with the pumping chore. In 
those days all children were brought to church every 
Sunday and made to be stock still when seated during 
the service. In the balcony freedom of movement was 
possible, once the pumping was over. After all, the 
balcony was behind and above the congregation and 
far from parental strictures. But the boys' pumping 
role was soon terminated. Mrs. Ada Cherry found 
fault with the pumping of the boys. She insisted a 
Black man, named Ned, should pump the organ. So 
Ned displaced the eager youths. 

Wiley Brown and Bob Humber and Judge Dink 
James recalled that it was Ned's deep, strong, big bass 
voice that led to his pumping the organ. He was used 
to pump at all choir practices and joined in the singing 
as he pumped during rehearsals. During the choir's 
singing of anthems at services, his big bass voice was 
heard booming out above all the rest. He was used to 
pump in order to add his voice to the choir. Ned also 
shouted 44 Amen," whenever the preaching stirred 
him. Others in those days said 44 Amen." Ned just 
44 Amened" more frequently and more vociferously. 

Two incidents that occurred to Nash while in 
Greenville are of interest; both grew out of his con- 
stant, outspoken, strong stand against whiskey. The 
first comes from local memory, the other from his 
"Recollections." 

The first occurred at the parsonage. His first and 
strongest impression of evil in Greenville had been 
from observing the widely intensive use of the numer- 
ous saloons. Methodists in the United States early had 



56 



become identified as strong supporters of 
"teetotalism" — urging Christians not to take a drop 
of alcoholic beverage of any kind whatsoever. Nash 
was a valiant, strong fighter in the "Dry" cause in Pitt 
County. In his pulpit Nash often fulminated against 
the purveyors and partakers of spirituous liquors and 
wine. That is not to say that all of his members were in 
full accord with his rabid teetotalism. Reverend Nash 
did not take his cue from his congregation. He was a 
hard hitter on liquor, whomever his attacks struck. He 
called the names of those he censured. Embarrass- 
ment occurred. Tempers flared. He records: 

I was informed that threats were made by the whiskey 
forces to mob me, but, somehow, I never felt any alarm. 
There was no violence offered me. 

This incident was a story that was always told 
whenever oldtimers reminisced about Nash's fight 
with the liquor supporters in Greenville. Nash came in 
quite dejected one cold winter Saturday night from 
some last-minute visiting before the Sabbath. He had 
been trying to raise money to pay the wages of the 
carpenters building St. Pauls. As soon as he entered 
the door, his wife called to him that they were out of 
firewood. He went right to his wife's side. Looking her 
straight in the eyes he told her he did not have any 
money with which to buy firewood, but that they 
would kneel right down and ask the Lord to provide. 
Having prayed, shivering with cold, they prepared for 
bed. Both felt fully confident that the Lord would 
provide. The home would need to be heated the next 
morning before the baby could be taken up. 

Next morning, awakening just before dawn, he 
urged his wife to remain under the covers until he 
could swallow his pride and go out to pick up fallen 
branches along the street to make fire enough to take 
the chill off the room. As he opened the front door, his 



57 



way was blocked by a six by twelve foot sign board 
made of lightwood timber two inches thick. When he 
had gotten around it and could see the side facing the 
street, he saw it bore the painted name of one of the 
town's barrooms. He rushed back into the house, and 
as he ran down the hall he bellowed to his wife that the 
Lord had sent them wood. 

Shortly he had the huge signboard reduced to fire- 
wood. It did not concern him at all that pranksters at 
the saloon had put the signboard on his porch to dero- 
gate him. Nash and his whole congregation always 
considered that a case of the Lord's answering prayer. 

The second incident occurred during the 1881 
North Carolina Popular Referendum when Nash or- 
ganized the State Dry Forces and "canvassed Pitt 
County" for the cause. A Primitive Baptist preacher 
named Ross challenged to a public debate "that 
Methodist preacher over there in that fancy church in 
Greenville." They were to debate the issue of Refer- 
endum at a scheduled night "wet" rally in Pactolus. 
Nash records: 

I went into the back woods where I found 1,500 people 
waiting in the humping darkness of lightwood knot torches 
held aloft through the crowd to light the occasion. 

He was in a dangerous situation. In the dark woods, 
speaking to a crowd who hated his stand, with no 
promise of fair play or protection, did not frighten him. 
Nash had faith, courage, and conviction. 

Much to Nash's surprise they gave him the privilege 
of being the first speaker. After speaking for an hour 
in support of prohibition, he sat down. The next 
speaker was German Bernard, one of Pitt County's 
representatives to the North Carolina State Legisla- 
ture. Bernard had voted in the last session of the 
legislature in favor of submitting the issue of prohibi- 
tion to the voters of North Carolina; that had upset the 



58 



wet partisans who wanted liquor left alone. When he 
stood up to speak, he knew that the crowd was an- 
tagonistic toward him. So he spent his time apologiz- 
ing for having voted as he had in the legislature. Then 
Bernard sat down. 

Now, finally, amidst much cheering "Brother" 
Ross mounted the makeshift, shaky rostrum. Nash 
recorded his opponent's opening words: 

Fellow citizens, I am an uneducated man, but I have been 
studyin' dis hyah question by night by the fire of litwood 
knots. I am not a hired preacher; and I have to work for my 
living. Dis Methodist preacher, who had been trying to take 
your liberties away, has a wagin load of books he brung to 
town wid him and has nothin' to do all day but read em. But 
I am opposed to dis question because it was sprung by de 
wimin and de clergy. I am opposed to it because it is de tail 
of de dragon spoke on in the Vevulation dat will drag down a 
third of de stars, ah! 

The rest of that speech was a kind of pseudo-religious 
gibberish that made no sense, but was not prolonged. 

Nash was amazed when Brother Ross stopped 
speaking after only twenty-five minutes on the plat- 
form. A minimum of three hours of oration by Ross 
had been expected under the circumstances that pre- 
vailed out there in the woods with hundreds of sup- 
porters shouting "Amen" to every statement Ross 
made. Nash got home without event. 

Nash left for Annual Conference at Durham in De- 
cember 1881. He knew he would not be back — four 
years in one pastorate was the limit. During his pas- 
torate the membership had increased on the circuit 
from 310 to 564. He had added three new congrega- 
tions — Salem, Berea, and Black Jack. A District 
School had been set up. St. Pauls had built a new 
church building and grown to a membership of 77. 



59 



CHAPTER VIII 



Greenville Becomes a 
Station Appointment 

For two years, 1881 and 1882, Reverend S. V. Hoyle 
was appointed to the Greenville Circuit. His salary on 
the circuit was $800.00 for each of the two years he 
stayed. His Sunday School Superintendent at St. 
Pauls the first year was S. D. Bagley, who had been 
first elected in 1876 and continued until December 
1882. E. C. Glenn was elected Superintendent in 
1882, and he served through 1885. Annual Conference 
in 1883 designated Greenville a station. There was 
much delight among the St. Pauls congregation at 
such conference recognition. 

Reverend C. M. Anderson was appointed as the 
first preacher to serve Greenville station. He was re- 
turned for a second year in 1884 and reported a mem- 
bership of 112 at the 1885 Annual Conference. Only 35 
had been added to the membership since Nash had 
left in 1881. 

Becoming a station saw St. Pauls develop more 
leadership in the congregation. Anderson indicated 
that when he wrote a letter in 1930 recalling his pas- 
torate in Greenville: 

I found a good many young men members of the church, 
young in Methodism but advanced beyond their years in 
their knowledge of and attachment to Methodism. There 
was an enlargement in religious growth, and the founda- 
tions of Methodism were strengthened. Our Sunday School 
was a grand success under the superintendency of E. C. 
Glenn. 



60 



His letter is quite in contrast to the previous letters 
that have been quoted. The "many young men" which 
Anderson found showed the emergence of an in- 
creased resource in leadership. 

Some of Anderson's members remembered him as 
a good pastor, but poor health dogged him while he 
was stationed here. He was well known throughout the 
conference as a "good man and good preacher espe- 
cially on doctrinal subjects." Methodist doctrine 
needed to be explained and justified in the minds of 
new Methodists in Greenville. Churches placed much 
emphasis on denominational differences for winning 
and holding members in those days. 

Reverend F. A. Bishop followed Anderson and 
came to St. Pauls for a two-year pastorate — 1885 and 
1886. He had lost 10 members according to his report 
at the end of his first year. He had added 29 by the end 
of his second year. Members of the church remem- 
bered him as a strong, colorful, highly attractive pas- 
tor. His brief written recollection of his time at Green- 
ville reveals his sense of humor: 

The earthquake (August 1886) was the biggest occasion 
during my pastorate. That occurred on Tuesday night and 
had a fine effect on my prayer meeting congregation the 
next night. My first year we had a good meeting and painted 
the parsonage (that is, the parsonage Nash had bought). 

But Bishop's pastorate was much more than that to his 
members. 

While Bishop was at St. Pauls there was an inci- 
dent that is illustrative of excessive denominational 
zeal in Greenville. This item appeared in the Eastern 
Reflector edition of April 17, 1887: 

Man and wife (J. R. Rouse) expelled on a charge of 
"herisy," that of endorsation of a human society, the 
Methodist Church, so called, with all its human append- 
ages, as a church of Christ. 



61 



Rouse had led in prayer at a St. Pauls service, while a 
member of the Baptist Church. 

Ardent partisan denominationalism was rife. Dep- 
recatory statements about other denominations were 
pronounced in pulpits, and some bitterness was en- 
gendered. All recollections of those times indicate 
that the malefactor was always cited as the "other" 
denomination. The form of baptism, immersion ver- 
sus sprinkling, was the item receiving the most atten- 
tion. Many sermons and many tracts defended each 
denomination's belief. Each attacked the other. That 
Methodism accepted immersion, sprinkling, and 
pouring never was mentioned either by Methodists or 
others. No doubt emotional involvement in con- 
troversy led to irrational thinking. The basis for the 
argument was whether the scripture said Christ went 
down "to" the water or down "into" the water to be 
baptized by John at the River Jordan. 

Years later, recalling old times at St. Pauls, Wiley 
Brown and Robert L. Humber, Sr., long-time ardent 
Methodists, brought up F. A. Bishop most frequently 
of all former preachers. They remembered him as a 
man's preacher, two fisted. As an example of his 
virility they related an incident. One day, as Bishop 
was coming out of St. Pauls, a man passing by made 
some derogatory remark about preachers in general 
and Methodist exhorters in particular, saying some- 
thing like, "All preachers are cowards, especially 
teetotaling Methodist ones." Bishop promptly pulled 
off his coat and invited the man to prove the inappro- 
priateness of the slur. The insult was immediately re- 
tracted and an apology tendered without a blow being 
passed. Bishop accepted the apology and shook the 
man's meekly proffered hand. Wiley Brown added 
that the man, who had been the aggressor, became an 
admirer of the genial preacher and joined the church 



62 



the following Sunday. Humber said he could not re- 
member the joining part. 

There was another incident which Brown and 
Humber liked to tell about. It became an issue which 
involved the whole congregation of the church in 1885. 
For some time a violin had been used to supplement 
the organ for the church worship services. It was the 
adding of another instrument — a cornet — which 
threw the congregation into an uproar. 

Two laymen, Robert Humber and A. A. "Pig" 
Forbes, had approached Brother Bishop about adding 
a cornet to the organ and violin used by the choir; both 
Bob and "Pig" were choir members. They found 
Bishop heartily in favor of the idea. In their en- 
thusiasm over the idea of a cornet, they spoke about 
the plan to everyone they saw, receiving quite favor- 
able reactions. It did not occur to them that they 
needed to bring the matter formally to the attention of 
the Board of Stewards. 

The plan agreed upon with the pastor was that Bob 
Humber would order the cornet, and "Pig," who al- 
ready knew how to play a violin, would learn how to 
play the horn and be the performer for the church. Bob 
ordered it; soon it arrived. "Pig" practiced on it 
faithfully. Some members began to talk enthusiasti- 
cally about the good fortune of having another musical 
instrument to enrich the church music. 

Suddenly strident opposition arose to the whole 
idea of having a cornet played during a church service. 
No church, the opposition declared, had ever used a 
cornet before. Head of the opposition was E. C. 
Glenn, Sunday School Superintendent, active leader 
in the church, member of the Board of Stewards, and 
highly respected for his piety. To stop the dissension 
that was scarring his congregation, Brother Bishop 
called a congregational meeting. He wanted to settle 



63 



the issue and get the membership to calm down. 
Before the congregation could be induced to vote, 
more bitterness was manifested. Bishop arose and 
declared: 

"We do not seem to get together. We thought the cornet 
would add to the richness of our worship. Such bitterness 
as that exhibited here this morning is unChristian. If it will 
help any, I will take off my coat, go outside, get into the 
ditch, and fight it out with anyone of you to get this matter 
settled now." 

Humber commented that Bishop was dead serious. 
Brown recalled Bishop's smiling face as the preacher 
stood in the pulpit making out as though he were ready 
to shuck off his coat. A vote was cast immediately — 
favorable! 

There was a story told by Bishop. It was about the 
old circuit rider, Brother A. D. Betts, who died in 
1918. Brother Betts joined the conference before the 
Civil War. In fact, he had served as a Confederate 
Army chaplain. It was told with many chuckles. 
Making the rounds on his circuit, Brother Betts often 
rode through out-of-the-way areas which were quite 
remote from human habitation. One day he was riding 
along on horseback to his next appointment on his 
circuit. It was an especially isolated area. He was 
singing a hymn to keep up his courage. Suddenly he 
was accosted from the edge of the woods by a tough 
looking stranger brandishing a revolver. Betts pre- 
sumed the stranger to be a highwayman. The fellow 
dashed out of the bushes to the edge of the woods path 
and ordered the rider to stop. Betts stopped. 

"Hand over your money and valuables." 

Very quickly it was established that Betts was a 
Methodist preacher and so had neither cash nor 
watch. With no money to be had from the circuit rider, 



64 



the ruffian decided to get up behind the parson and 
ride along with him for a way. Brother Betts, being the 
holy man he was, was concerned about the lost soul of 
this bad man. "Are you prepared to meet thy Maker?" 
Betts abruptly asked. The man immediately recog- 
nized the phrase as the one he used in advising a 
victim of an impending demise. Without even asking 
Betts to stop, the man started to scramble off the 
horse. His haste caused him to fall to the ground. With 
the lightning rapidity available only to those inspired 
by great fear, he got to his feet and ran into the woods. 
By the time the startled Betts had gathered his wits 
enough to start galloping away, he could hardly hear 
the man crashing through the woods. 



65 



CHAPTER IX 



Annual Conference Entertained 

Appointed to replace F. A. Bishop at St. Pauls in 
December 1887 was Reverend R. B. John. He quickly 
won the hearts of his people, some of his members 
easily recalled. Their spiritual life was quickened 
through his deeply spirtual preaching and pious pas- 
toral attention to his flock. Everyone in Greenville, 
including those of other denominations, considered 
him a devout man of God. He stayed at St. Pauls four 
years. They were most eventful years, affecting every 
facet of the local church's life. 

Reverend J. M. Daniel, who served Jarvis Memorial 
many years later, wrote the following comment about 
his friend, Brother John: 

R. B. John was a fortunate appointment for Greenville. He 
was the right man for the place. Many among the most 
useful members of the Greenville church when I was pastor 
in 1913 were those received in the church by him. In every 
respect the church prospered under his ministry. As a 
preacher he was always thoughtful and instructive and 
grew more in the estimation and affection of his people 
each year he stayed in Greenville. 

Brother John, early in the spring of 1888 — his first 
year at St. Pauls — held a revival. To do the preaching 
he secured Reverend Leatch. There was preaching 
twice daily for five weeks. Twenty-seven persons 
joined the church as a result of the meeting. The 
revival had permeated the spiritual life of the whole 
congregation. 

In the course of the revival one of St. Pauls' most 



66 



dedicated and devoted laymen, member of the Board 
of Stewards and former Sunday School Superinten- 
dent (1882-1885), heard a call to the full-time Christian 
ministry. It was E. C. Glenn. He was thirty years old at 
the time and employed by a local merchant. Most 
people said it was not so much the guest evangelist, 
but the fine impact on Glenn's life of Brother John. At 
a quarterly conference at St. Pauls, Glenn was 
proudly and happily recommended for license. Glenn 
joined the North Carolina Methodist Annual Confer- 
ence at the 1888 session held in New Bern. It was his 
very first opportunity after he felt a call. This was the 
first person from St. Pauls to enter the full-time 
Christian ministry. He has been followed by twelve 
others up to 1978. Such a number answering the call is 
one of the indices of the spiritual quality of family life 
in the Greenville congregation. (The names of the 
twelve are listed in Appendix B on p. 188.) 

Ever since the St. Pauls at Second and Greene 
Streets had been completed, some of the members 
had regretted that there was no steeple. Without a 
steeple they felt their edifice lacked full identification 
as a church. They were quite aware that some hyper- 
critical people in Greenville had been referring to St. 
Pauls as a "bob-tailed" church since it had no steeple. 

St. Pauls members felt strongly that the painting of 
a door behind the pulpit was inadequate. Less than an 
actual door left them feeling that their sanctuary was 
incomplete. Inspired to "be busy about the Lord's 
work," and "strong into action," St. Pauls was ready 
to provide a steeple and door. At a congregational 
meeting in January 1889 the final decision to build the 
additions was made. The Board of Stewards had pre- 
viously proposed such a project. Also, it had been 
ratified by the quarterly conference. In a few months a 
steeple soared above their beloved church, identifying 



67 



it for all to see as a temple of God. Then, at the rear of 
the pulpit an alcove with a real door in it was built. For 
the first time the congregation felt their church was 
complete. Also, a bell had been acquired and hung in 
the steeple. Much enthusiasm had been generated by 
the additions; consequently, the funds for the work 
came easily. Donations were readily secured, ade- 
quate to defray the expense, with no complaint from 
anyone. Successful accomplishment always gives 
a lift; St. Pauls was very much "on the move." 

There were other factors contributing to the ex- 
pansive feeling of St. Pauls: the first train came to 
Greenville in 1889; there was a proposal to establish a 
tobacco market; and, not least, ex-Governor Thomas 
J. Jarvis had moved back to Greenville and moved his 
membership to St. Pauls. He had immediately begun 
to attend every church worship service, he joined a 
Sunday School class, and he attended faithfully. That 
was more than the members had dreamed of by a 
distinguished man who had lived in Raleigh, Wash- 
ington, D.C., and Brazil for years. He gave them en- 
couragement and won their love and confidence. His 
sagacity, modesty, sincerity, and devotion for the 
church made him a valued member. He was elected 
Sunday School Superintendent in 1890 and a second 
year in 1891. 

While the building additions were being finished, 
Brother John put on that year's revival campaign. It 
was a big success. Thirty-two new members were 
added on the profession of faith. That made the mem- 
bership 190. 

Enriching St. Pauls' spiritual life was the rural work 
of the St. Pauls laymen. They held Sunday School 
regularly every week in rural communities. It had 
caught the attention of the Annual Conference. In 
1889 an associate pastor, E. C. Glenn, was appointed 



68 



to work toward developing those Sunday Schools into 
churches. St. Pauls got satisfaction out of the pros- 
pect of seeing some of their missions in the rural 
section become part of the organized effort of the 
conference. But they were even more gratified at the 
fact Reverend E. C. Glenn, who had gone into the 
ministry from St. Pauls in 1888, was now associated 
with his home congregation. (Reverend E. C. Glenn 
served only one year as associate pastor for St. Pauls. 
It should be noted that he died in 1946 at Greensboro 
at the age of 88 after a rich ministry in the conference 
of over fifty years.) 

Brother John was pleased with the church im- 
provements. But he urged that conference contribu- 
tions be increased. By his fourth year (1891) the St. 
Pauls annual budget totalled $2,577.75, and that in- 
cluded no building expense. St. Pauls was on the 
move! The stewards knew they had a good preacher. 
His salary was raised from the $600.00 for the first 
year to $900.00 by his fourth year. Some thought even 
that was too little. 

At St. Pauls' fourth quarterly conference in 1890, 
Brother John's third year, in the midst of the reports of 
the many fine accomplishments of another successful 
year, someone interrupted to ask, "Why can't St. 
Pauls entertain the North Carolina Annual Confer- 
ence?" They voted; there were no dissenting votes. 
The Presiding Elder made official note of St. Pauls' 
invitation. Brother John and the St. Pauls delegate to 
the 1890 conference extended the invitation. The 1890 
Annual Conference was sitting in Wilson. They ac- 
cepted St. Pauls' invitation to meet in Greenville in 
1891. At the conference in 1890 Reverend John was 
reappointed for his fourth year to St. Pauls. 

Entertaining the 1891 Annual Conference with its 
large number of lay and clerical delegates and con- 



69 



ference officials could not have been satisfactorily 
done by the 190 members of St. Pauls, even though 
gloriously excited over the prospect of hosting Annual 
Conference. The cooperation of the whole community 
was proffered and accepted. Many fine people of 
the other denominations immediately got into the 
spirit of the occasion and helped the Methodists to 
bring off successfully a big undertaking. Greenville 
had a population then of 1,937, with half of that 
number Black. Of the 968 whites, over one-half of that 
number were children. 

The enthusiastic response from the whole commu- 
nity to undertake such a responsibility was abetted by 
the atmosphere of progress permeating the town. The 
citizens were full of optimisrii. A tobacco market had 
just been opened that fall. Greenville's first railroad, 
the Weldon-Kinston Division of the Atlantic Coast 
Line, had just begun full service to Greenville. It had 
taken a year to get a trestle built across the river. 

In his invitation to the conference, part of Brother 
John's "pitch" had been that by the time of confer- 
ence in November 1891 the railroad company had 
assured him the bridge across the Tar River would be 
completed and that it was positive that service by rail 
would run right to the station in the town of Greenville. 
The congregation and the whole town had become 
involved by the time the 1891 North Carolina Annual 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, convened that November in 1891. 

Bishop C. B. Galloway presided over the week-long 
conference. Everything occurred at that conference 
that occurs at a present-day Annual Conference ex- 
cept that there was a lot more preaching, both as to the 
number of sermons delivered and as to the length of 
each. Of course, each district report and each confer- 
ence committee report were read on the floor of the 



70 



conference in full; today each is printed in advance 
and handed to all in a booklet. The appointments were 
read at the final session. The pastors did not have the 
slightest inkling of their next year's assignment until it 
was read out the last day by the Bishop. 

One act of the 1891 conference had been of great 
interest to Greenville. That was the elevation of R. B. 
John to the position of Presiding Elder. Due to the 
limit of four years on the same charge the local people 
had known before the Annual Conference that John 
would not be back. Reverend George F. Smith's name 
was read out in 1891 as being assigned to the Green- 
ville station. That pleased the Greenville Methodists 
because they had already heard of his reputation as a 
fine preacher. \ 

In Greenville, when the conference adjourned, 
everyone was wondering how acceptably St. Pauls 
had entertained. In the next issue of the "North Caro- 
lina Christian Advocate," the following appeared: 
'The entertainment and hospitality of the people of 
St. Pauls and Greenville was all that could be de- 
sired." Everyone was satisfied with that commenda- 
tion. 

In 1890, the year before the 1891 session in Green- 
ville, the North Carolina Annual Conference had been 
divided into two Annual Conferences. The area run- 
ning from the coast to just west of Burlington retained 
the designation of North Carolina Methodist Annual 
Conference. From just west of Burlington to the west- 
ern boundary of the state would be the Western North 
Carolina Methodist Annual Conference. Therefore, it 
was the North Carolina Methodist Annual Conference 
which had convened in Greenville in 1891. 



71 



CHAPTER X 



First Auxiliary of the 
Women's Foreign Missionary 
Society Organized 

The parsonage into which the Smiths settled in 
Greenville was a little three-room house located on 
Greene Street near the northeast corner of Third and 
Greene Streets, the one bought for Nash in 1877. In 
1935 George F. Smith's wife talked about having been 
sent to St. Pauls in 1891. She had known when her 
husband left for conference that they would have to 
move. Their four years, where they had been, were 
up. While he was gone to Annual Conference those 
eleven days, she got a "love" letter or two from her 
husband. Her time had been occupied with nursing 
her youngest baby and getting as much packing done 
as she could to be ready to move. Uppermost in her 
mind had been concern whether they would be sent 
where there was a decent parsonage in which she 
could keep the children well. She found the St. Pauls 
parsonage quite acceptable. The roof did not leak, all 
the doors closed, and no window panes were broken. 

G. F. Smith served St. Pauls the maximum allowed 
— four years, 1891-1894. Each of the four years 
Brother Smith held a protracted meeting in the spring. 
He brought in a guest evangelist each time to do the 
preaching. They were Reverend D. H. Tuttle in 1892, 
Reverend R. A. Willis in 1893, Mr. J. E. Schoolfield, a 
consecrated layman of Danville, Virginia, in 1894, and 
Reverend H. J. Moorman in 1895. 



72 



Smith's pastorate resulted in 50 new members on 
profession of faith and 76 added by transfer of certifi- 
cates. He had found 190 members. There were 221 on 
roll at conference in 1895. The rural Sunday Schools 
continued. 

Serving as officials of the church for G. F. Smith 
were the following: Licentiate J. T. Erwin ("licen- 
tiate" was a man licensed to preach but not in full 
connection with the Annual Conference. It could be a 
step toward the ministry. There is no record that 
Erwin ever came into full connection); Exhorter B. G. 
Sugg (an "exhorter" was one who could fill the pulpit 
to preach but had no license); Board of Stewards: 
A. L. Blow, Wiley Brown, A. B. Ellington, George Ed- 
ward Harris, Thomas Jordan Jarvis, J. H. Moye, C. T. 
Munford, and L. H. Pender; Trustees: A. L. Blow, 
W. S. Bowls, J. B. Cherry, John B. Congleton, Sam P. 
Erwin, D. D. Haskett, George Edward Harris, and 
W. S. Rawls. 

J. C. McCall was appointed as associate pastor, 
with G. F. Smith, at St. Pauls in 1893. He was as- 
signed for the special purpose of building two new 
churches — one at Ayden and one at Langs. This was 
the second time an associate pastor had been assigned 
to St. Pauls to build churches in nearby communities. 
The first one was E. C. Glenn in 1889. There is no 
record of any results from Glenn's local assignment. 

McCall did his job well. "A comfortable house of 
worship was built at each of those two places." Typi- 
cal of St. Pauls, generous financial assistance was 
provided for each. "St. Pauls had a concern for the 
extension of God's kingdom," Rev. Smith wrote. 

When Greenville had been made a station, a Green- 
ville Circuit had been set up. To clarify the record, one 
should note that for the conference year, beginning 
December 1893, Greenville station and Greenville 



73 



Circuit were made a single charge with G. F. Smith as 
pastor and J. C. McCall the associate. This had been 
done also in 1889 when E. C. Glenn was assigned as 
associate pastor for St. Pauls. It was not done again. 
Of the churches established with St. Pauls' help after 
the Civil War (Salem, Berea, Bell Arthur, Farmville, 
Winterville, Langs, and Blackjack), only Salem, Bell 
Arthur, and Farmville have survived. 

When two of their Sunday Schools became 
churches, like Langs and Ayden, the St. Pauls laymen 
just started other Sunday Schools. It was all done by 
horse and buggy. The practice of laymen's holding 
rural Sunday Schools died out when the automobiles 
came, except for one brief period by Ed Ratcliffe and 
Johnnie Overton — 1943-1947. That 1943 spurt came 
amidst a spiritual revival at Jarvis Memorial induced 
by a glorious experience with visitation evangelism. 

Brother G. F. Smith and his wife were deep in the 
affection of the congregation when it came time for 
them to leave after having been in Greenville for four 
years. Appointed to follow Smith in 1895 was Rev- 
erend Doctor N. H. D. Wilson. His stay in Greenville 
was limited to one year due to his poor health. But in 
that one brief year he made an indelible impression on 
St. Pauls. 

The General Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, had organized a Board of Mis- 
sions in 1878 to promote foreign missions. The plan 
was to establish Annual Conference Women's Foreign 
Missionary Societies with an auxiliary organized in 
each local church. Nothing happened about organiz- 
ing an auxiliary at St. Pauls until North Carolina 
Methodist Annual Conference met in Greenville in 
1891. Attending those North Carolina Conference 
Board of Missions sessions at the conference was the 
Secretary of the Board of Missions of the General 



74 



Conference. He held a number of meetings with all of 
the women delegates and also preachers' and dele- 
gates' wives. Some of the St. Pauls women attended 
those Missions meetings also. What the St. Pauls 
ladies heard stimulated their interest further in 
foreign missions. They saw the need for organizing an 
auxiliary. But nothing came of the 1891 inspiration. 

The Ladies Aid Society seemed to suffice to all the 
ladies except five or six. Mrs. James (Elvira Moore) 
Brown had been a charter member in Greensboro of 
the first North Carolina Conference Auxiliary during 
her senior year at Greensboro College; and her sister, 
Mrs. Wiley (Mollie Moore) Brown, had joined the 
same Auxiliary while she got her degree at Greensboro 
College. They had been trying since to organize one at 
St. Pauls. Then in December 1895, N. H. D. Wilson, 
known all over the state for his great missionary zeal, 
was appointed to St. Pauls. He galvanized action. 

In the spring of 1896 the women of St. Pauls, who 
were interested in organizing a Women's Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society, met with Wilson. At that very meet- 
ing that same day (May 12, 1896), the St. Pauls Auxil- 
iary was organized. Also helping to get the small group 
organized was Wilson's aunt, Mrs. Cunningham, who 
was President of the Women's Foreign Missionary 
Society of the North Carolina Annual Conference. 

Mrs. N. H. D. Wilson, the pastor's wife, was elected 
the first president of the St. Pauls Auxiliary; Mrs. S. 
D. Bagley, vice president; Mrs. Betty Warren, corre- 
sponding secretary; Mrs. G. E. Harris, treasurer; 
Mrs. Wiley Brown, recording secretary; and Mrs. 
Sallie Charlotte, agent for the "Missionary Advo- 
cate." There were fourteen charter members. Some 
of the other members were Mesdames James Brown, 
Branch Harding, H. B. Clarke, and Alf Forbes, and 
Dr. N. H. D. Wilson. 



75 



Obviously the women had been ready; now they 
were started. Mrs. G. E. Harris organized the children 
of the St. Pauls congregation into Bright Jewels, the 
children's auxiliary sponsored by the Women's 
Foreign Missionary Society. Mrs. Harris continued to 
lead that children's organization for the next sixteen 
years. In 1912 she turned over its leadership to Mrs. 
Georgia Pearsall Hearne. Mrs. Hearne continued 
until the General Conference replaced it with the 
Methodist Youth Fellowship. 

Local male Methodist resistance to the idea of 
foreign missions was found down to 1968, though ob- 
jection had diminished. A minimal contribution to 
missions was put in the 1940 church budget. That was 
during the pastorate of Leon Russell (1948-1952). Jar- 
vis Memorial finally started to contribute through an 
inclusion of a sum in the budget of the church for the 
support of Jens Jensen, a Methodist Missionary in 
Japan. Rev. Jensen had to leave Japan during World 
War II. He returned to Japan after the war. Later he 
died. Jarvis Memorial then contributed to the support 
of his wife in Japan. 

Dr. N. H. D. Wilson's year was up too soon. He was 
held in deep affection. The membership showed no 
increase, but the short twelve months had been full 
and adventurous with new ideas. 



76 



CHAPTER XI 



A New Church Wanted 

To replace Dr. Wilson in 1896, Rev. N. M. Watson, 
the most businesslike preacher St. Pauls had had, 
came. His insistence on businesslike church opera- 
tion and his cigar champing contrasted sharply with 
the scholarly, foreign-missions minded Dr. Wilson. 
Reverend Watson remained for the maximum four 
years. 

During his pastorate the congregation at St. Pauls 
saw that they needed more adequate facilities. Out of 
that realization Jarvis Memorial came into existence. 
In fact, in 1899 the determination to build was im- 
plemented by the purchase of a lot at the corner of 
Washington Street and Dickinson Avenue. 

In a letter written in 1933, recalling his pastorate in 
Greenville, Watson said he remembered coming to St. 
Pauls. Part of his letter reads: 

We added seventy-eight new members but no sweeping 
revivals were held. My four years were marked by har- 
monious cooperation between the pastor and his congrega- 
tion. We were able to establish the practice of regular 
monthly meetings of the Board of Stewards and get the 
church on a firm business-like basis. 

Members of the church who were on the Board at 
that time remembered how Watson preached religion 
on Sunday. With equal vehemence at the Board of 
Stewards meetings he urged efficient, assiduous con- 
duct of the church's business affairs. Thus the 
monthly meetings of the Board were scheduled, and 
they convened as scheduled at the exact hour set. 



77 



Businesslike standards in keeping records, ac- 
counting for every penny, constituted one important 
objective. Members should be told exactly how much 
they had paid on their pledge at any time. Nothing was 
to be spent without authorization from the Board. 
They looked after "the church financial interests with 
all the promptness and care of the directors of a 
bank," Rev. Watson recalled. 

The congregation was living in a growing commu- 
nity, blessed with ably trained lay leadership. St. 
Pauls had the confidence born of an efficient opera- 
tion; in such an atmosphere of competence and op- 
timism, a vision of better, more adequate religious 
facilities had emerged. Then the congregation de- 
cided they would build. That is when they acquired a 
lot. The record shows that Watson left 225 members. 
His salary had stayed at $900.00. The idea of building 
a new sanctuary had permeated the whole member- 
ship. St. Pauls lay leadership had assumed charge of 
the church's operation during Reverend R. B. John's 
pastorate. Brother John's preoccupation with his 
pastoral duties had left the stewards in charge of 
operations. G. F. Smith had encouraged their full 
stewardship. Watson had inspired them to adopt a 
more responsible management of church operations. 

Reverend Hilliard M. Eure was appointed to follow 
Watson at Greenville in 1900. Eure had entered the 
ministry in the St. Louis Methodist Annual Confer- 
ence, where he had served eleven years; then he was 
transferred to the North Carolina Annual Conference. 
St. Pauls was his second appointment since transfer. 
He was a dedicated, able preacher, and was much 
loved by his St. Pauls congregation. Rural Southern 
people of that day were slow in accepting "outsiders"; 
but when they learned to know him at St. Pauls, they 
accepted him fully. 



78 



An impression of St. Pauls at this time, from the 
pastor's point of view, can be had from Reverend 
Eure's 1924 letter giving his recollections of his pas- 
torate at St. Pauls: "My family and I received a cordial 
welcome from the congregation and the whole town." 
He was very much impressed by the way he was 
welcomed. All of the denominations met together for a 
united service to greet any new pastor coming to 
Greenville. Such a reception also evidenced lessened 
partisan denominational accentuation than in former 
times. 

Reverend Eure's reactions to his living quarters 
were negative. He despaired at the "total inadequacy 
of the tiny, dilapidated, unpainted parsonage," lo- 
cated on Greene Street near St. Pauls. It was the very 
same parsonage G. F. Smith had found to be quite 
acceptable in 1891, bought for Nash in 1877. Each 
preacher quite naturally reacted to the parsonage. 

Eure knew that the congregation had bought a fine 
building lot for a bigger, new church. At his first 
meeting with the Board of Stewards he told them 
about the unsatisfactory house provided for the 
preacher. He urged them to provide a parsonage suit- 
able for the preacher of such a fine congregation. The 
Board went along with the idea. The congregation 
subsequently voted approval. At the first quarterly 
conference in 1901 a Parsonage Building Committee 
was duly appointed. The Board of Stewards during his 
first year were J. L. Little, Chairman; D. D. Haskett, 
Secretary and Treasurer; A. B. Ellington, G. E. Har- 
ris, James Brown, H. C. Ormond, and C. T. Munford. 

At the next meeting of the Board of Stewards, since 
he had neither heard nor seen any signs of building a 
parsonage, the pastor asked how the planning of the 
Building Committee was coming along. Following the 
posing of the question, a period of embarrassed si- 



79 



lence ensued. Finally, the chairman of the Parsonage 
Building Committee got up and explained that they 
had found the congregation was not whole-heartedly 
in support of the idea of a new parsonage. 

In discussing the parsonage idea with members in 
their homes and on the streets, stewards declared that 
they had found many opposed to building a parsonage. 
Members had told the stewards that the church ought 
to be built first because building a parsonage would 
surely delay beginning construction of a new 
sanctuary. After some ardent discussion pro and con, 
it was agreed to have the preacher call a congrega- 
tional meeting and let all participate in discussing and 
making the decision as to what was best to be done. 

Between the Board meeting and the convening of 
the congregational meeting, Eure decided "to take the 
bull by the horns." He would solicit pledges himself 
for the parsonage fund. He thought that would assure 
immediate construction of a parsonage. He was rely- 
ing on his impression from the readiness with which 
the Board and congregation had originally accepted 
the new parsonage idea. Surely a majority really 
wanted to go ahead. They were only waiting for some- 
one to take the initiative. He thought all he needed to 
do was to get a few pledges. The congregation then 
would be convinced the members were ready. Eure 
went to see a select few he had in mind but with little 
success. Then he began frantically approaching 
everyone he could. He solicited many and did his best. 
His effort secured only $4,000.00 in pledges. 

At the congregational meeting Eure reported the 
failure of his efforts. He too now thought the time was 
not right. The congregation voted to drop the idea of 
building a parsonage at that time and concentrate on 
raising money for the contemplated new church. Eure 
was only the first minister to underestimate the acu- 



80 



men and judgment of Greenville's Methodist leaders 
as to the current mood of the congregation. 

Accepting the congregational vote on the parsonage 
idea as a mandate for a new church, the Board of 
Trustees got busy. Contractors were asked for plans 
and bids. An estimate was reached which the trustees 
thought would provide the type and quality of church 
the congregation wanted. The estimated amount and, 
therefore, the goal for money to be raised was set at 
$10,000.00. 

The trustees had gone into the problem of fund 
raising. After much discussion it was decided to raise 
the amount by subscription, getting a pledge of a 
specific amount to be paid each year for five years. If 
the pledges for $10,000.00 were secured, the trustees 
could proceed with the building. The actual pledge 
solicitation was turned over to the Board of Stewards. 
They promptly proceeded to call on the members. The 
every-member canvass secured only $4,000.00 in 
pledges. Many told the solicitors that the unpaid debt 
($3,000.00) on the lot ought to be satisfied before 
starting to build. Two years later (February 1903), 
during Reverend Eure's third year, the $3,000.00 debt 
on the building lot was paid. It was done by selling part 
of the lot for $1,500.00 and raising $1,500.00 from a 
solicitation of the congregation. 

Hope was engendered by the paying off of the debt 
on the lot. With no debt, they felt "the way was open" 
to start securing pledges for a new church. But that 
notion was quickly terminated when the price offered 
for tobacco on the opening of the market in the fall of 
1903 hit an all-time low. It was decided, Eure recol- 
lected, not even to lay the foundations of the building. 

As important as the business affairs of a church are, 
and Eure's letter was mostly about building, his pas- 
torate at St. Pauls had not neglected human relations 



81 



and conference obligations. Eure wrote: "At St. Pauls 
there was utmost harmony between pastor and people 
and we paid everything in full all three years." His 
letter mentions two of his "protracted meetings." No 
meeting was held in his first year, 1901, but he said 
that in February 1902 he held his first one: 

. . . four week protracted meeting, the pastor did all the 
preaching except one sermon which was preached by Rev\ 
erend J. N. Booth, the Baptists' preacher. Several were 
added to the membership. 

The second meeting was held in March 1903. It ran for 
"only" ten days. There were no conversions. Eure's 
letter continues: 

The sad fact which should be deplored by all is that there 
was not a single accession to the church during the entire 
year of 1903. It was the only year in my whole ministerial 
career that no souls were saved. 

He concluded his letter saying that in 1903 "the 
church made, perhaps, the best financial record in its 
history." Though his letter was written many years 
after he had left, he still seemed puzzled that expan- 
sion of finances had not been accompanied by a 
greater increase in members at St. Pauls. 

The Board of Stewards at St. Pauls in 1903, Eure 
listed, were J. L. Little, Chairman; A. B. Ellington, 
G. E. Harris, C. T. Munford, J. H. Moye, A. C. Hollo- 
man, and A. A. Andrews. The Sunday School 
Superintendent was L. H. Pender. There were 135 
Sunday School scholars. 

In 1903, at the end of Eure's third year at St. Pauls, 
the report at the North Carolina Annual Methodist 
Conference for Greenville station, as found in the 1903 
Conference Journal, was as follows: 

Total budget $3,691.84, $900.00 preachers salary. $125.00 
foreign missions, $90.00 home missions. $117.50 Methodist 
Orphanage, $2,000.00 value of church, no church debt, no 



82 



parsonage, $2,000.00 value of other church property, 205 
members St. Pauls, no additions to the church for the year. 
Sunday School report for the year 1903, L. H. Pender 
Superintendent: $157.81 total amount raised, $44.38 spent 
for supplies, 30 members Junior Missionary Society (Little 
Workers), no Epworth League, 135 scholars, 16 officers 
and teachers, $35.28 raised by the Junior Missionary Soci- 
ety. 

Since the 1903 Conference Journal has been re- 
ferred to, it might be interesting to cite another entry 
from it. Those familiar with the operation of a 
Methodist conference know that all proceedings are 
initiated by a calling of the question. Here are one 
such question and its answer as they appeared in 
1903: 

QUESTION: How shall we guard against formality in 
singing? 

ANSWER: Paragraph 225, Answer: By often stopping 
short, when the words are given out and asking 
the people: "Now, do you know what you said 
last? Did you speak no more than you felt?" 

It would be interesting to know the circumstances 
under which that question happened to be raised in 
1903. The "answer" was from the Methodist "Disci- 
pline," quoting John Wesley. 

Of course, "lining out hymns," orally giving the line 
to be sung in the absence of hymn books, was prac- 
ticed in rural churches for many years. Wesley had 
frowned on hymn books and written prayers. He had 
prescribed extemporaneous prayers except Wednes- 
day and Thursday for his followers. 

At that 1903 Annual Conference Eure was removed 
from St. Pauls. There is no explanation why he did not 
stay four years. To follow Eure came Reverend J. A. 
Hornaday, who stayed three years — 1903-1905. 
Hornaday wrote down some things about his stay in 
Greenville. With what Hornaday inscribed, what the 



83 



conference record shows, and what is revealed by 
recollections of some of the members who were active 
1903 to 1906, those momentous years during which 
Jarvis Memorial was built can be brought somewhat 
into focus. 



84 



CHAPTER XII 



Building Jarvis Memorial 

Hornaday was the pastor of St. Pauls while it was a 
growing church. He added new members. More mis- 
sion Sunday Schools were started by the laymen. An 
Epworth League for the youth was organized. The 
pastor's salary was increased. A better, but rented, 
parsonage was secured. Unfortunately, during Horn- 
aday's third year the situation was marred by dissen- 
sion in the congregation over the naming of the new 
church. The whole town had a spirit of optimism be- 
cause the people had in the past few months finally 
succeeded in voting bonds to provide public schools, 
utilities, sewers, and street improvements. 

To start at the beginning, we note that Hornaday 
arrived in Greenville at 8:30 a.m., December 11, 1903, 
to initiate his pastorate at St. Pauls. He found an 
adequate and comfortable parsonage had been rented 
for him and his family. The stewards had rented and 
the Aid Society had furnished a two-story house on the 
northwest corner of Second and Washington Streets. 

Obviously, word of his fine reputation as a pastor 
had preceded him to Greenville. Members of the con- 
gregation were happy and proud that they were to 
have a preacher of his high caliber. The Board of 
Stewards met the very first night he was in town to 
arrange to increase the amount of his salary. It had 
been $900.00 for a few years. Without consultation 
with Hornaday, the stewards determined that his sal- 
ary would be $1,000.00 and that he would also receive 



85 



an additional $150.00 to cover the rent of the parson- 
age. 

On his first Sunday night in Greenville, Hornaday 
was made to feel quite welcome by the whole town. He 
was accorded the customary community-wide inter- 
denominational greeting given each new pastor com- 
ing to Greenville. Hornaday wrote about this pleasant 
experience: 

All the other churches in town had closed their doors. St. 
Pauls was filled to its utmost capacity, and the exercises 
were exceedingly interesting and pleasant. 

Such interdenominational cooperation looked 
beautiful to Hornaday; therefore, he laid plans to ex- 
pand its wonderful possibilities. Four months after his 
arrival he had gotten the Missionary Baptist, Presby- 
terian Disciples, and Methodist Churches to join to- 
gether to hold a union revival to start March 13, 1904. 
All the services were to be held in the Presbyterian 
Church; the pastor of the Disciples Church would lead 
the singing, the Baptist pastor would preach at each 
10:00 a.m. service, and the Methodist pastor would 
preach at the evening service. Reverend Hornaday 
wrote: 

From the first service, the spirit was present, and a great 
work would doubtless have been accomplished but for the 
unfortunate course of the Baptist Church in regard to doc- 
trinal questions. But in spite of this, much good was ac- 
complished in spite of the divisive partisan doctrinal issues 
that got in and interrupted the harmony. 

Though occasional difficulties were caused by some 
individual's injecting narrow denominational issues, 
the practice of the churches' joint worship to greet 
new pastors and united revival campaigns persisted 
for some years. That sort of denominational coopera- 
tion with ardent Methodist support continued. How- 
ever, in the 1940's Greenville became more sophisti- 



86 



cated. The town grew too urban and cosmopolitan to 
sustain any longer the former small-town spontaneity 
and informality. The spirit of cooperation today man- 
ifests itself in the interdenominational Holy Week 
services preceding Easter and the annual "Day of 
Prayer." 

Hornaday remembered the early 1900's as follows: 

I constantly endeavored to preach the plain, simple truth of 
the Gospel. This did not, of course, please some of those 
who waited upon my ministry. But God honored and 
blessed my efforts with the largest increase any pastor ever 
had. 

The record shows that on his arrival there were 205 
members. He added 137 in his three years: 62 joined 
on profession of faith; 75 came by certificate. A total of 
35 was lost through death or transfer. The member- 
ship was 303 when reported at conference in 1906. 

The General Conference had set up the Epworth 
League for the church's youth organization. St. Pauls 
had done nothing about it. In 1904 a local Epworth 
League was organized. The Board of Stewards loved 
their preacher but ran the church. Hornaday gave a 
list of the Board serving his three years at St. Pauls: 
J. L. Little, Chairman; L. H. Pender, Secretary; A. B. 
Ellington, Treasurer; Wiley Brown, Charles Cobb, 
R. S. Evans, G. E. Harris, A. C. Holloman, R. L. 
Humber, J. H. Moye, and T. A. Person. Hornaday 
wrote, "I loved each one of those fine noble church- 
men." His affection was fully reciprocated by each of 
the stewards, four of them declared in 1926. 

The church building idea got the congregation fired 
up again. Wiley Brown recalled that in 1903, shortly 
after Hornaday came, on one Monday morning bright 
and early the men of the church dressed in work 
clothes and met at St. Pauls. Each had a hoe, pitch 
fork, grubbing hoe, rake, or shovel. In a body they 



87 



went to the new building site and cleared it off to make 
it ready for starting work on construction. 

In a congregational meeting it was decided to build 
an $18,000.00 church. An every-member canvass got 
$13,000.00 in pledges. A contract to build the new 
church was signed with contractors R. J. Cobb and 
C. V. York in 1904 for an $18,000.00 structure. The 
members were enthused. Each church organization 
and each Sunday School class began to work on proj- 
ects to raise money to help pay for the cost of the 
building. 

The J. B. James family gave the "Shepherd" 
stained glass window to go in the alcove at the back of 
the pulpit. (See Plate 8 and Plate 9.) McGregor Ernul, 
whose mother had been a life-long member of St. 
Pauls, gave a simple stained glass window as a memo- 
rial to his sister, Mrs. Adriana Moore, the mother of 
Mrs. James Brown and Mrs. Wiley Brown and grand- 
mother of Rev. A. E. Brown. The "Little Helpers" 
youth organization of the Ladies Aid Society raised 
the money for the large triple stained glass window, 
now at the rear of the sanctuary. The Wiley Brown 
pony "Bess" was used so much, helping with the 
"Little Helpers" in their money-making efforts, that 
the pony was made an honorary member of the chil- 
dren's society. Miss Martha Lee Cowell was the adult 
leader for the "Little Helpers." 

As the weeks passed, the congregation saw the 
edifice taking shape. There were extensive walls, an 
expansive roof, and a high steeple. Then the exterior 
was done. All were enthused and proud. Ex-Governor 
Jarvis was chairman of the Building Committee. He 
left no record of his part. One move is known, how- 
ever. He went to the Ladies Aid Society for help when 
the inside finishing was almost done. The ladies wrote 



88 



about his coming to them, recording both his call upon 
them and their response. 

Early in January 1906, Ex-Governor Jarvis ap- 
proached Mrs. C. T. Munford, president of the St. 
Pauls Ladies Aid Society. Apparently the available 
funds for building had been exhausted. In his meeting 
with her he apprised her of the fact that the structure 
was nearly done. Then he told her that he regretted to 
have to tell her that there was no money left for stained 
glass windows, carpet, or pews. He asked permission 
to go before the Ladies Aid Society to ask if they would 
select and finance the windows, pews, and carpet. 

Mrs. Munford promptly called a meeting for that 
purpose on January 26, 1906. Ex-Governor Jarvis 
came to present his request. They accepted the re- 
sponsibility gladly. Then, he told them that in view of 
the fact the structure was so nearly completed, the 
money for the furnishings would be needed right 
away. He offered to use his influence to arrange a 
loan. "Needless to say, the women agreed to do any- 
thing asked of them," Mrs. Brown recalled. 

The money was borrowed. The Ladies Aid Society 
then went to work to pay it back. Money was raised 
through even bigger ice cream suppers, Easter Egg 
Hunts, cake sales, Larkins orders, serving banquets, 
shirt-waist sales, Country Fairs in costume, and 
Bazaars. (See Plate 3.) 

With completion of the church so close, Hornaday 
called a meeting of the congregation with the an- 
nouncement in the pulpit that he had some "special 
business" to bring up before the body. It was called to 
convene immediately following the morning worship 
service. (The preacher was later criticized for not 
stating the purpose of the meeting.) 

Only the usual faithful few stayed for the meeting. 



89 



Hornaday presided, as was the established arrange- 
ment for Methodist congregational meetings. The 
truth was that Hornaday had been mulling over in his 
mind for several weeks what should be the name of the 
new church. During his deliberations, he could not get 
out of his considerations Governor Jarvis' assiduous 
attention to the constructing and furnishing of the new 
edifice, the deep affection with which he was held by 
the whole congregation, and the contribution he had 
made to the life of the church. He had talked with 
many members, all of whom agreed with him that the 
new church ought to be named Jarvis Memorial. At 
the congregational meeting Brother Hornaday briefly, 
but eloquently, limned Jarvis' inspiring and faithful 
role in the church, and urged the congregation to 
name the church for Jarvis. A motion to do so was 
made and seconded; no discussion occurred when 
called for. A vote was taken. First, those in favor of 
the motion were asked to raise their hands. They did. 
Then came the call for those opposed; no hand was 
raised. Hornaday, with much joy, declared that the 
motion carried. He congratulated the congregation 
for seeing the fitness of naming the church "Jarvis 
Memorial" as he had hoped and prayed they would. 
The fact that those opposed had not voted did not 
seem unusual. Often in church meetings even today 
the minority opposed to an issue abstain. They wait 
until they are on the sidewalk in front of the church to 
express themselves. Those who opposed but did not 
vote always insisted in the days afterward that the 
naming of the church "Jarvis Memorial" was never 
properly done. They cited the fact that no record of 
the number voting for and against was written in the 
minutes of that meeting. The secretary, who himself 
was opposed to the name chosen, had kept no record. 
His estimate of the situation did not find that a ma- 



90 



jority had voted "yes." He refused to record the num- 
ber voting. 

After the "church naming" incident Hornaday ob- 
served that instead of a feverish working toward com- 
pletion, the construction had practically stopped. 
Actually, it was all done except for some minor inside 
finishing. Annual Conference for 1906 came, and 
Hornaday was moved. He had been at St. Pauls only 
three years. He never had an opportunity to preach 
the first sermon in the new church. In 1933, when 
Hornaday wrote of his pastorate in Greenville, he 
manifested no bitterness. He spoke of the elegance of 
Jarvis Memorial and the great opportunities the 
forward-looking Greenville Methodists had provided 
for unborn generations. (See Plate 10.) 



91 



CHAPTER XIII 



Consecration of Jarvis Memorial 

At the Annual Conference, December 1906, held in 
Rocky Mount, Reverend M. T. Plyler was appointed 
to follow Hornaday at Greenville. He was one of the 
leading preachers of the conference, a church histo- 
rian, and an accomplished editor. 

Plyler arrived in Greenville in December 1906, a 
week or so after Annual Conference adjourned. He 
preached at St. Pauls until Jarvis Memorial was 
finished. After Plyler arrived the new church was 
quickly completed, then outfitted with pews, rugs, 
windows, heating plant, and organ. It appeared to the 
public that the contractors had just been awaiting the 
word to complete the structure. 

The contractors soon advised that Jarvis Memorial 
would be ready for the First Sunday service, March 
10, 1907. (See Plate 4 and Plate 5.) Excitement elec- 
trified the whole congregation. All necessary com- 
mittees were promptly appointed to make March 10th 
a memorable day for Methodism in Greenville. The 
planners of the initial day in the new sanctuary got 
busy. Dr. J. C. Kilgo, the president of Trinity College, 
a nationally known educator, and the pre-eminent 
Southern Methodist, was chosen to preach the sermon 
and to perform the consecration. Dr. Kilgo, who was 
later elected a Bishop, was the father of Jack L. Kilgo, 
who was a life-long member of Jarvis Memorial. One 
service would not afford participation for those who 
wanted to attend; consequently, both a morning and a 
night service were planned. Dr. Kilgo would preach at 



92 



each service. An out-of-town soloist was to be brought 
in. It was to be Mrs. Watson of Wilson, who had a 
state-wide reputation as a soloist. She would supple- 
ment the special music of the choir. 

At one of the first planning sessions Governor Jarvis 
proposed a joint choir and pipe organ concert to be 
presented Friday, March 8, two days before the dedi- 
catory services. He said the public ought to be able to 
hear the organ. He explained that to play he would 
invite Professor Henry H. Freeman, the nationally 
renowned organist of St. John's Episcopal Church in 
Washington, D.C. It was planned to receive a silver 
offering. The concert was scheduled. Some had 
suggested that it might be too much for the choir, 
which would be providing special music twice on Sun- 
day, two days later. 

Then Governor Jarvis made another request of the 
committee. He said he had put a great deal of thought 
into visualizing the Sunday of consecration. To him it 
appeared in view of the fact that the morning and night 
preaching of Dr. Kilgo was quite properly to be open to 
the whole membership and friends that the men of the 
congregation ought to have a time at some hour during 
March 10th to meet together and assess the situation 
from the point of view of the laymen. If there were no 
objection, he planned to convene the men of Jarvis 
Memorial on Sunday afternoon of the "big day." To 
address the group he would invite Colonel J. F. Bruton 
of Wilson, a banker and prominent Methodist layman. 
Approval was given promptly. It was promoted as a lay 
rally. 

Thus plans were carefully drawn and thoroughly 
developed for the first use of the new Jarvis Memorial 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Admission was 
to be by invitations available at the church upon re- 
quest. The congregation had tickets and looked for- 



93 



ward to the consecratory services. It was to be an 
occasion for glorifying their God, Who had enabled 
them to build a larger, more worshipful sanctuary, and 
adequate Sunday School facilities. 

The inevitable concomitant of such an exciting 
event was a raft of rumors going about the community. 
One was that all the initial services were open to the 
public. A second was that all the pews were owned 
except for a few in the back. Another was that the 
"silver offering," to be taken at the Friday night ser- 
vice, really meant one was expected to put gold in the 
plate. The wildest one was that Governor Jarvis, for 
whom the church was to be named, was planning to 
announce Sunday morning that he was going to donate 
the balance due on the church by giving the church 
one of his many Brazilian gold mines. (The ex- 
Governor, in fact, was a man of modest means. He 
lived on a limited scale. He had only some farm land in 
the Belvoir section and his law practice.) 

In the two previous Methodist churches built in 
Greenville provisions had been made for Black wor- 
shipers in a gallery. Jarvis Memorial had no gallery. 
There was the African Methodist Episcopal Church 
for Black Methodists and was presumed to be their 
preference in 1907. 

When March 8th arrived, plans for initiating the use 
of Jarvis Memorial's fine organ had been fully ma- 
tured. The recital-concert plan had stimulated much 
interest, but a development during the day had elec- 
trified the whole town. On March 8, 1907, the North 
Carolina State Legislature had voted to locate East 
Carolina Teachers Training School in Greenville. 

The evening hour of the organ-choir recital finally 
arrived. Each person attending came dressed in his or 
her "Sunday go-to-meeting best." Some were re- 



94 



splendent in their finery. But in the front pews there 
were a sufficient number of the "saints" of the church 
present who primly avoided ostentatious attire to pre- 
vent the occasion from being a social musicale. To 
ensure a worshipful attitude there was requested on 
the program that no applause or noisy talking between 
numbers occur. Hand clapping was not a Methodist 
Church practice. The program was a rich musical 
treat of religious themes. Dr. Freeman's playing was 
inspired, and the organ manifested qualities of tone 
richer than they had dared hope for. The choir did 
excellently well with their part of the program. The 
outstanding item on the program was the stirring ren- 
dition of a solo by Mrs. J. B. (Miss Ada) Cherry of 
"Holy City." It was done in good voice, effortlessly 
exploiting her extraordinary richness, range, and vol- 
ume. The silver offering amounted to an amazing 
$126.00. 

On Saturday, the day after the recital, the chief 
topics of conversation were about the coming of the 
college, the brilliant concert of the night before, and 
the Jarvis Memorial consecration services to occur on 
Sunday. The Friday concert had, if possible, 
heightened the anticipation of Sunday. It had been 
such a success. 

Sunday, March 10, 1907, which the Methodists had 
looked forward to for some time, finally came. It was a 
dark and cloudy morning; then a rain started and 
continued all day. Those with invitations were obvi- 
ously undaunted by the inclement weather. The 
sanctuary was filled to overflowing long before time 
for the morning service to begin. When Sunday School 
was concluded, the dividers between the Sunday 
School assembly room and the church auditorium 
were raised to make the Sunday School worship area 



95 



available. Chairs crowded all the aisles. In the opinion 
of those who were there, six hundred or more were 
present. Those attending had invitations. 

Reverend M. T. Plyler, the pastor, led the service 
which lasted two hours and twenty minutes. There 
were anthems by the choir and the solo by the guest 
soloist, Mrs. Watson. The consecratory sermon was a 
one-hour long resounding, eloquent peroration by Dr. 
Kilgo. Following his preaching he performed the con- 
secration rite. 

That was not all. Plyler had a welcome surprise in 
store for the congregation. Following the sermon he 
walked down from the pulpit up to the chancel rail. He 
beckoned to Mrs. T. J. Jarvis. On the arm of her 
husband she stepped from her pew near the front of 
the church up to and in front of the chancel rail and 
took Plyler's outstretched hand. He announced 
proudly to the congregation that Mrs. Jarvis had had 
her letter from her home church and was on this auspi- 
cious occasion joining Jarvis Memorial. It seemed so 
right to all that Mrs. Jarvis should become a member 
of the church named for her husband. 

The eleven o'clock service benediction came at 1:20 
p.m. Many went down to the front of the sanctuary to 
shake the hand of Mrs. Jarvis to greet her into mem- 
bership. Dr. Kilgo greeted the departing worshipers 
from behind the chancel rail. 

The morning service left less than an hour until the 
2:30 afternoon layman's meeting. Housewives rushed 
home to get their husbands fed before the afternoon 
layman's rally. Many had cooks (paid them fifty cents 
a seven-day week for three meals a day, but "only 
two" meals on Sunday). Sunday dinner was the 
biggest meal of the week, and March 10th being an 
especially big day, an even larger meal was the order 



96 



of the day. But on that day it was served in haste — 
soup, main meal, and dessert were all put on the table 
at one time — and the grown Methodist males gulped 
their food down to be off to the church. 

Governor Jarvis called his layman's meeting to 
order at the scheduled hour at 2:30 p.m. There was a 
large turnout. First, hymns were sung and prayers 
offered. Then the invited speaker, Colonel Bruton, 
delivered a powerful address on "Stewardship." 
When Bruton had finished, Governor Jarvis arose and 
in his quiet, calm, deliberate manner told the men the 
facts. 

In view of a rich, spiritual heritage it had been seen 
fit to build for the future as well as for present needs. 
In so doing, he went on to say, the new structure had 
cost the Building Committee $33,000.00 to complete. 
That had resulted, he explained, in creating a debt of 
$20,000.00, since only $13,000.00 had been sub- 
scribed in pledges. He then told them that the 
$20,000.00 deficit did not include the amount owed 
by the Ladies Aid Society for carpet, pews, and win- 
dows, or the debt on the organ. With that explanation 
he declared that it was his hope that a sizeable sum in 
cash could be raised in that very meeting. He then 
asked for cash donations. Five thousand dollars was 
raised there that very afternoon. Thus, the outstand- 
ing debt was reduced to $15,000.00. 

The night service on March 10, 1907, had another 
overflow crowd. All those who had invitations were 
there. It duplicated the morning service. Thus there 
had been a full day of worship to accomplish the 
initiation of the new church. Reverend Plyler reported 
the day's happenings to the next issue of the "North 
Carolina Christian Advocate," to let the whole state 



97 



know about the occasion. The article is entitled "A 
Great Day in Greenville": 

Eastern Carolina has rarely ever seen a more dismal day 
than the beginning of Sunday (March 10, 1907). It was a 
dark, damp, and gloomy day. It was so dark that everyone 
had to turn on their electric lights all morning in their 
homes to see what they were doing. The rain came down in 
torrents. But the Methodists had no notion of staying in- 
doors that "long hoped for day." The Sunday School even 
had a large attendance. Through the downpour came a 
goodly number to hear Dr. J. C. Kilgo. ... It was well that 
the people were reminded that they were worshiping in a 
Methodist meeting-house where sinners are called to re- 
pentance just the same as in the plain little house of other 
days, that the same old spirit abides. 

From the peak of "A Great Day," life settled onto 
the plane of regular existence. It took some effort to 
get adjusted to normal church life after such excite- 
ment. After the consecration services, to the end of 
his first year, Plyler found disappointment. The ex- 
hilaration of having a new church did not result in the 
accomplishments the pastor had hoped for. The 
church took a leading role in the community in the 
fight for prohibition, twenty members were lost from 
the church roll, no revival was held, and only 
$7,602.35 was raised for all purposes in 1907. Some 
attributed the "letdown" to having soared so high; 
some thought Plyler caused it since he seemed more 
of a writer than a preacher; some blamed the way the 
church got named. Then, there was some slight dis- 
appointment that Jarvis Memorial had no bell. 

The explanation of the absence of a bell lay in a 
simple oversight. During the period when the church 
was being built, some ready cash was needed by the 
Building Committee. The bank had refused to ad- 
vance any more money under the mortgage. In a 
meeting of the Board of Trustees someone suggested 



98 



that St. Pauls be sold right away and possession given 
on completion of the new church. It was sold to Mr. 
Harrington. The title was passed. When the congre- 
gation started worshiping at Jarvis Memorial, the new 
owner of St. Pauls took possession and started con- 
verting it into a home for his family. He sold the bell to 
a Black country preacher. 

Worshiping in a huge, beautiful new church the first 
few weeks absorbed the members' full attention. Fi- 
nally, they became aware of the absence of a bell. A 
committee was sent to get it from St. Pauls. When Mr. 
Harrington was approached about the bell at St. 
Pauls, he said, "No!" He explained he had already 
sold the bell. That ended the old bell. There was no 
money to buy a bell. The 1907 depression had settled 
in, with the church's $15,000.00 debt facing them. 

Plyler's second year at Greenville lagged except for 
a slight increase in members. A good revival occurred, 
and 12 more were added to the membership roll. But 
difficulty in meeting Jarvis Memorial's financial needs 
was encountered. Only $4,413.63 was raised "for all 
purposes." The way Plyler recorded it, "The total 
raised dropped. Some claimed they had given all they 
could to the church." Nothing was paid on the church 
building debt. 

In 1907 the Jarvis Memorial Auxiliary, though 
small in numbers, hosted the N.C. Conference Wom- 
en's Foreign Missionary Society Annual Meeting. It 
was an ambitious undertaking, but well done, due to 
interdenominational city-wide cooperation. Mrs. T. 
A. Person of Jarvis Memorial was elected vice presi- 
dent of the N.C. Conference Society. 



99 



CHAPTER XIV 



The First Foreign and Local 
Missionary Society Auxiliary 
Organized 

Following Reverend M. T. Plyler, J. H. Shore was 
appointed to Jarvis Memorial. He stayed three years 
(1908-1910). His salary was $1,200.00. Twenty-six 
members were added to the church rolls during his 
three-year pastorate, making a total of 332 members. 
"Brother Shore was a good preacher and was loved by 
his members, but the $15,000.00 debt was not reduced 
during his pastorate." 

In 1909 the Ladies Aid Society had finished paying 
back what they had borrowed in 1906 to pay for the 
pews, stained glass windows, and carpet. On the oc- 
casion of retiring their 1906 loan, they voted to pay the 
balance in the treasury on the organ fund and borrow 
enough to pay the balance due on the organ. 

Following Shore, Reverend E. M. Hoyle was sent to 
Jarvis Memorial for 1911, and was returned in 1912, 
but his wife's health gave out in August of his second 
year, necessitating the Bishop's making an interim 
appointment to complete the year from August to 
Annual Conference in December. But in Hoyle's 
twenty months spent in Greenville, he had stirred 
Jarvis Memorial into action on the debt. 

Hoyle had arrived in Greenville during a cold spell 
in December, 1911. Much to his disappointment he 
found that the church was without a suitable parson- 
age. Greenville's parsonage had been considered un- 



100 



inhabitable since G. F. Smith used it last in 1894. But 
the renting of a parsonage as had recently been done 
had been discontinued due to lack of funds. A com- 
mittee for building a new parsonage had already been 
appointed. Now they got busy and tore down the old 
parsonage. Then they advised Hoyle that they could 
not do anything more without money. Hoyle felt "put 
out" by the total lack of a parsonage. Immediately he 
solicited the support of the Presiding Elder of the 
Washington District, in whose jurisdiction Jarvis 
Memorial was located. 

When the Presiding Elder convened the quarterly 
conference for Jarvis Memorial on his first round of 
the year, he called for the Parsonage Building Com- 
mittee. The chairman of the committee arose and 
identified himself. Whereupon, Hoyle jumped to his 
feet and made a strong statement which Robert L. 
Humber used to love to quote verbatim: 

"Your Committee has been a 'Tear Down Committee' but 
what the church needs is a 'build-up committee'! I have 
nowhere to decently live in the meantime!" 

No doubt the gloom from the awareness of their 
huge debt and the effect of the recent depression had 
the stewards in low spirits, but they decided to take 
what action they could. Hoyle started presenting new 
ideas. First, he presented a feasible plan that could 
result in paying off the debt in five years. It was 
adopted. Something less than full cooperation, how- 
ever, was given to the solicitation. All agreed it had 
been an excellent plan, but that the plan should have 
been given wider support. Only $3,500.00 was raised. 
Of that amount, only $1,000.00 was paid on the debt 
itself; $2,500.00 was used to pay accumulated interest 
that had priority. 

Obviously Reverend Hoyle was a good church fi- 
nance man. He next presented a plan to relieve the 



101 



stewards of budget worries. The Board of Stewards 
adopted the plan. To further implement the new pro- 
gram, the Board authorized that all 280 members' 
names, each with a weekly assessment opposite, be 
printed. Preceding the list was an explanation why the 
plan was adopted and how it worked. Each member 
was to pay each week the amount indicated. There 
were 280 members' names printed with amounts 
ranging from the highest of $1.00 per week to the least 
of two cents a week for child members. The explana- 
tion pointed out that the amount assessed each 
member was his or her share for paying the preacher 
and Presiding Elder. (The member assessed $1.00 a 
week was Governor Jarvis.) 

The stewards did not give up hope that Jarvis Me- 
morial would build a parsonage. Need for raising 
money to pay off the debt was obvious. The weekly 
assessment plan got the church budget more current 
than it had ever been. Money was coming in through- 
out all twelve months of the year instead of a last- 
minute mad round of collections by the stewards just 
before the pastor boarded the train each year for An- 
nual Conference. 

Though known as a man's preacher and reputedly 
more apt at church business and hunting than at 
preaching the gospel, Hoyle's twenty-month stay in 
Greenville saw 6 new members added. He visited the 
members and faithfully attended to all his pastoral 
obligations. 

Having provided the plans to get the debt reduced 
and the budget under better control, Hoyle got back to 
the parsonage. He had become a close friend as a 
hunting partner of a prominent young businessman 
who was a member of Jarvis Memorial (Samuel Tilden 
White). Hoyle got White to proposition the stewards: 
White would give a lot on east Eighth Street if the 



102 



church would build a parsonage on it. The challenge 
was accepted; subsequently, a parsonage was started. 
Hoyle had to leave due to his wife's illness, so he did 
not get to see the parsonage completed. Daniel Lane 
came to fill out Hoyle's last five months. 

At the 1913 Annual Conference Reverend J. M. 
Daniel was appointed to Jarvis Memorial. He filled his 
role so well at Greenville that he continued the 
maximum four years. Daniel was the first preacher to 
stay for four years since N. M. Watson (1896-1899). 

Daniel recalled in a letter written in 1933 that he had 
been cordially received in 1913, and that he had found 
a fine people desirous of doing things right. Since the 
parsonage had not been ready and no suitable ac- 
commodations available, Daniel and his family had 
lived in one rented room until the parsonage was 
finished in April (three months). But no complaint was 
heard from Daniel even though he had a small baby, 
and his wife was sick. 

Daniel very quickly became popular with the men of 
the church. He, too, was a man's man and a good 
mixer. With his own fine, highly bred bird dog, he 
soon was going hunting with the men. He loved the 
Lord, a good cigar, a good bird dog, people, and con- 
versation. When he had a meal with one of his church 
families, after dinner he would light a cigar, sprawl in 
his chair, and engage everyone in the room in a jovial 
conversation. Even the children of the family became 
involved. Instead of letting the children be "shooed 
away," he insisted on their being permitted to stay, 
quoting "Suffer little children. . . ." He liked to have 
them around. He talked directly with them too. 

His reputation as a preacher with a good business 
head had preceded Daniel to Greenville. Jarvis Me- 
morial had looked forward with pleasure to his serving 
them. Perhaps he could help them remove the 



103 



millstone of church debt. Due to the long-standing 
debt the whole church life had become lethargic; 
spirit and initiative were missing. 

When Daniel arrived, the debt stood at $14,000.00, 
with $1,000.00 in accumulated interest due. Further- 
more, the parsonage that was under construction was 
being financed totally with borrowed money. The 
chairman of the Board told Daniel that the church had 
no specific plan for paying off the debt on the church 
or parsonage. First, Daniel got the Board interested in 
trying to draft a plan for raising the debt on the par- 
sonage. With Daniel feeding new ideas a plan 
emerged. It was presented to the congregation, 
adopted, and put into operation, and money began 
coming in. By the time the parsonage was completed 
in April 1914, every dollar of the parsonage building 
cost had been subscribed. The stewards felt like new 
again! 

Then the Board proceeded to devise a scheme and 
to make arrangements for a campaign in the fall of 
1914 to pay off the church building debt. The outbreak 
of World War I in August 1914 disrupted that effort. 
Interruption did not discourage the church. Daniel's 
words read: 

Their spirits remained high, and the church program im- 
proved along all lines, resulting in the best report so far in 
the life of Greenville Methodism at the 1914 Annual Con- 
ference. 

But an incident indicative of the sterling worth of a 
preacher like Daniel should be told. The N.C. Annual 
Conference sessions in 1913 had been held in De- 
cember. Daniel arrived in Greenville to take up resi- 
dence just days before Christmas. He had not had 
time to get involved in the local church's program, and 
the congregation was too preoccupied with prepara- 
tions for Christmas to pay him much attention. That 



104 



gave Daniel a few days with no church program obli- 
gations. He used the time in a manner consonant with 
the catholicity of his Christian love. 

Early Christmas Eve morning, dressed in a Santa 
Claus costume, he drove up in front of Wiley Brown's 
home on Dickinson Avenue. His vehicle was a flat- 
bed, one-horse wagon pulled by a pestle-tailed mule. 
Daniel had the reins. Behind the wagon seat were two 
upright barrells full of "Christmas confectionaries" 
and some wrapped packages under the seat. It had 
been arranged that the two smallest Brown boys, 
Mack and Wyatt, were to go along as helpers to dis- 
tribute the "goodies" in Negro town among the 
neediest. The boys came running out to the wagon, 
dressed in elves' costumes. 

The wagon drove first along Greene Street, passing 
all the white houses, then turned east on First Street. 
Immediately Daniel told the boys to begin tossing out 
the goodies to the laughing, jumping, scrambling little 
Black children along the way. Occasionally the wagon 
would stop, and Daniel would climb down with a 
wrapped package in his arms. He would disappear 
into the house of an elderly sick Black person. Every- 
one knew everybody, Black and white. Daniel was 
way ahead of his time. In 1913 all largess to Blacks was 
handed out the back door of white homes. That 
preacher went right into the front door of those 
Blacks. 

Another good year developed in 1915. Members 
honored their parsonage pledges promptly. The pay- 
ments due at the bank were made on time. Daniel 
made special mention in his recollections of the fine 
Sunday School which during his pastorate was under 
the leadership of A. B. Ellington and H. E. Austin, 
father of Edward Austin. Ellington was Superinten- 
dent and Austin was Secretary. The preacher recalled 



105 



that "new members were being added to the Sunday 
School about every Sunday." Also, he cited for special 
commendation in his recollections the church or- 
ganist, Mrs. G. B. W. Hadley, whom he described as 
"the best performer ever in the life of the church." 
She was as faithful as she was talented. She never 
missed a morning or evening church service, prayer 
meeting, or revival service. She continued until her 
voluntary retirement many years later. 

Summertime, 1915, started exactly according to 
pattern. Many were griping as usual. There was too 
little rain; too much credit had been extended to the 
tenant farmers by the banks, the merchants, and 
warehousemen. As for the church, too few people 
attended church; too little had come in on the church's 
budget. Downtown in the business district, on too 
many days a week, there were no cash customers for 
the businessmen. Storekeepers and clerks got 
thoroughly exhausted jamming a whole week's busi- 
ness into Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until the last cus- 
tomer disappeared from the business houses at clos- 
ing time sometime after midnight. 

The Chatauqua had already come and gone during 
the first week in June. The prospect was nothing but 
heat and hard work until the tobacco market and 
school opened in the fall. The chronic summer dol- 
drums of 1915 permeated Greenville as the population 
sweated in the hot, heavy weather beside the redolent, 
sluggish, muddy Tar. 

Then on June 17, 1915, word spread like wildfire all 
over town that Governor Jarvis had died. The news left 
everyone with a sense of loss. Everyone admired him. 
He was the most famous man in town. He was big in 
the Methodist Church. The whole community was 
saddened. 



106 



As time passed at the Methodist Church, Robert H. 
Wright, the president of East Carolina Teachers 
Training School, stepped gracefully and competently 
into the role of sachem of Jarvis Memorial without the 
church's loss of one ounce of momentum. Following 
Wright, a continuous series of leaders qualified in 
every respect as to ability and Christian character 
have led Jarvis Memorial. Men of high achievement in 
the lay world but with Christian dedication have long 
filled the roles of leadership at Jarvis Memorial. 

The parsonage had been completed in April 1915. 
The Ladies Aid Society had furnished every room. At 
the 1915 Annual Conference the amount reported 
raised for all purposes by Jarvis Memorial was the 
second highest in the whole North Carolina Methodist 
Annual Conference. 

Another good year was the year 1916. The 1914 plan 
for removing the church debt was reinstituted and 
carried to a successful conclusion, resulting in secur- 
ing enough pledges to cover the entire balance of the 
outstanding church debt. Daniel's preaching had 
brought in 78 new members. At Annual Conference in 
1916, Jarvis Memorial had the best report yet. 

The year 1917 was a fine year at Jarvis Memorial. 
The Sunday School was "at its best." The choir was 
"at its highest." The 1907 building mortgage was fi- 
nally paid in full with the collection of pledges. It had 
burdened the church for ten years. A short time after 
the debt had been paid, the local newspaper, The 
Daily Reflector, carried the announcement that the 
dedication services were to be held on Sunday, April 
15, 1917. Bishop J. H. McCoy of Birmingham, 
Alabama, would preach at both the morning and night 
services. Jarvis Memorial, it went on to say, was pre- 
paring for a great service. Special music would be 



107 



given by the same choir personnel that had just ren- 
dered the Easter music with great success. One para- 
graph of the announcement was an invitation: 

The entire town is cordially invited and your out of town 
friends who wish to attend. You can have invitations sent 
them by handing in your and their name to Mr. J. L. Little 
or Reverend J. M. Daniel. No invitations will be sent in 
town. 

April 15th was clear and bright, thus providing the 
Methodists of Greenville with a beautiful day for 
holding their dedicatory service. This was quite a 
contrast to the dark, rainy day in 1907 when the new 
sanctuary had been consecrated during a day-long 
downpour. The Reflector reported: 

As large as is the capacity of the Methodist building, all who 
came could not attend, the place was overflowing, there 
was not even standing room. 

It was a glorious day and an occasion of great joy for the 
Methodists and their many friends. All the other denomi- 
nations had closed their doors in order to unite in the 
morning service with the Methodist brethren in this glad 

service. 

Invited to be honored guests at the service were 
former pastors, Dr. L. L. Nash, Dr. R. B. John, and 
Reverend J. A. Hornaday. To make April 15th a full 
day, at 4:00 p.m. the choir repeated its Easter Can- 
tata. 

Trustees of the church in 1917 were Robert H. 
Wright, chairman; J. L. Little, secretary; George E. 
Harris, D. D. Haskett, C. T. Munford, W. J. Hardee, 
James Brown, L. H. Pender, and J. B. Congleton. 
A. B. Ellington was still Superintendent of the Sunday 
School. 

In June 1917 Jarvis Memorial began to sponsor a 
Boy Scout Troop. Troop No. 30, which is still active 
today, was organized during Chatauqua week, June 
1917. James E. West had come to Greenville in June 



108 



with the Chatauqua that year. He met with boys and 
organized Troop No. 30. Up to 1934 the scoutmasters 
had been Phillips, Chester, Pat Foley, J. H. Rose, 
Victor Davis, Joe Taft, William Taft, and Jake Skin- 
ner. In 1934 Troop No. 30 became a part of the Pitt 
District of the East Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of 
America. The Troop Committee for years was com- 
posed of K. B. Pace, K. T. Futrell, and S. L. Bridgers. 
After F. J. Jordan served briefly as the troop's scout- 
master, Bill Drum succeeded and continued for over 
twenty years. At the same time Drum was serving as a 
Sunday School teacher and an usher. He was still 
ushering in 1978. 

The troop has continued through 1978. A cub pack 
was organized by the church in the 1950's. It has 
continued through 1978. A senior Scout Troop, with 
R. M. Garrett, Jr., as advisor, was briefly sponsored 
by the church in the late 1950's. 

Another high experience for Jarvis Memorial during 
that year of 1917 was the entertainment of the North 
Carolina Methodist Annual Conference in December. 
That was the second time Greenville had hosted An- 
nual Conference. There was much beaver-like activ- 
ity in making preparations. The usual committees 
were assigned, and they went to work with a will. The 
church interior was repainted throughout. The 
church-sponsored troop of Scouts was assigned to 
serve as guides for the arriving delegates to the homes 
of hosts. Again the Methodists had the cooperation of 
the other denominations in the entertaining. 

The 1917 Annual Conference sessions in Greenville 
came at the end of J. M. Daniel's fourth year at Jarvis 
Memorial. His stay in Greenville he remembered in 
1933: 

During my pastorate nearly two hundred had been added to 
the church (reduced by the number who transferred to 



109 



other Methodist Churches and those who died left a net 
gain in membership of seventy-eight); Greenville had gone 
to be one of the top appointments of the North Carolina 
Annual Conference; several new mission Sunday Schools 
were started, one at the Cotton Mill Village, one at the 
school house near brother Johnson's across the river, one at 
Forbes School House on the road to Falkland, and one at 
Tinbe School house; a church debt of over $15,000 had 
been paid, the debt on the parsonage paid down to one last 
small payment; and an excellent report was made at the 
1917 Conference. 

This is the way Daniel concluded his recollections: 

The people of the charge had done nobly by their pastor, by 
the conference which it entertained as only Greenville can 
entertain, and by their church. May God bless them. 

That 1917 Annual Conference has been remem- 
bered especially by the women of Jarvis Memorial. 
Some background will clarify the reason. There had 
been a St. Pauls Ladies Aid Society for years before 
the Women's Foreign Missionary Society Auxiliary 
had been organized in 1896. In 1912 the N.C. Annual 
Conference had unified the Conference Home and 
Foreign Missionary Societies into one organization. 
The local auxiliary of the Foreign Missionary Society 
became enthused enough in 1914, following a District 
Women's Missionary Society meeting in Greenville, 
to seek to unify the Ladies Aid and Missionary Auxil- 
iary at Jarvis Memorial. 

That attempt at unification failed because the 
Ladies Aid women felt, first, they had to help pay off 
the heavy debt on the church. Some ladies decided to 
belong to both, so the auxiliary kept growing in mem- 
bership, did good work, and sponsored an active youth 
group. But they believed more could be done through 
unification with the Aid Society. 

The need of social work among the town's Assyrians 
and Blacks concerned them. Foreign missions were 



110 



all they were chartered to work with as a Foreign 
Missionary Society. The Ladies Aid did not do social 
work; they only helped with the care of church and 
parsonage. Unified into one organization they would 
be active in Foreign and Home Missions, with a local 
work department to support the local church. Then 
came the 1917 Annual Conference. The desire to unify 
had been growing in both local societies. As they 
heard the reports of the unified auxiliaries of other 
churches, it became obvious that women's work at 
Jarvis Memorial was not expanding as it was with 
unified Home and Foreign Mission Societies. 

That observation inspired the Jarvis Memorial 
women to convene immediately following the Annual 
Conference. At that meeting opposition was so strong 
it was decided to defer a final vote for a few days. A 
week later the Ladies Aid Society and the Missionary 
Society met together again. This time they met at the 
home of Mrs. G. B. W. Hadley, president of the 
Foreign Missionary group. In December 1917, they 
voted to unite. Mrs. Will E. Hooker was elected the 
first president under the unified plan. The reports at 
the 1917 Annual Conference had sufficed to inspire 
the important step of unification locally. 



Ill 



CHAPTER XV 



The Sunday School Golden Years 

By the end of Reverend J. M. Daniel's pastorate, 
Jarvis Memorial had become recognized all over the 
North Carolina Annual Conference as one of the most 
substantial churches. Only two other churches in the 
conference paid their preacher more. The member- 
ship exceeded 400. There was no debt, and there was 
a liberal budget. 

The Board of Stewards, composed of dedicated 
men who gave inspired leadership, set the pace. The 
women were active and well organized under equally 
as able and dedicated leadership and helped to sustain 
the pace. A high quality of program resulted. Each 
time a change of pastor occurred, the better preachers 
of the Annual Conference were appointed to Green- 
ville. But the characteristic that made Jarvis Memo- 
rial most outstanding was the high type of active lay 
leadership — both men and women. 

The Board of Stewards was composed of the leading 
citizens of Greenville. In 1917 they were a cross sec- 
tion of the business, professional, and agricultural 
type and included Jesse Moye, J. N. Hart, George E. 
Harris, Wiley Brown, T. A. Person, R. H. Wright, 
K. T. Futrell, A. C. Holloman, Dr. Paul Fitzgerald, 
James Brown, A. B. Ellington, J. B. (Dink) James, 
Kinchen Cobb, D. D. Overton, W. G. Norman, S. T. 
White, Charlie James, L. H. Pender, J. B. Congleton, 
J. L. Little, C. T. Munford, L. B. Garris, J. H. Wal- 
drop, Key Norris, and H. E. Austin. There were many 
others of like quality available. 



112 



The participation of the United States in World War 
I had started during the spring of 1917; therefore, it 
had been in the midst of the war that Greenville had 
entertained the 1917 North Carolina Annual Confer- 
ence. Appointed to Jarvis Memorial at that wartime 
conference was Walter Patten. He arrived in Green- 
ville to find casualty lists from the front and isolation 
and illness from the influenza epidemic had put 
everyone in the town into abysmally low spirits. 

Patten moved into the parsonage on Eighth Street. 
Not only was there no interdenominational greeting 
for the new pastor; there were no church services, 
movies, clubs, or schools — all group activities had 
been suspended to stop the spread of the flu. It was 
the height of the World War I flu epidemic. Some 
preachers might have felt rejected by such a negative 
situation, but not Patten. The doctors and nurses were 
in tragically short supply for the number of those 
seriously ill from the epidemic. Walter Patten, with 
total disregard for the hazard of infection or exhaus- 
tion, began going full speed all over Greenville, all day 
and much of the night, tending the sick who had no 
medical care or spiritual support when death visited or 
was stalking their homes. 

As the spring of 1918 approached, the influenza 
epidemic abated. War news improved. Hope began to 
return to Greenville. Normal life began again. It was 
amazing, as people felt free to mingle or assemble in 
meetings, how many told of having had visits from the 
new Methodist preacher. During their crucial illness 
or bereavement during the epidemic "the new 
Methodist preacher" — "what's his name?" — came. 
Soon they learned the Yankee-accented ministering 
"angel" had been Walter Patten. 

As Patten's identity became known everyone 
praised him. Love for him was widely expressed by 



113 



poor and rich. The National American Red Cross in a 
community-wide ceremony presented Patten with a 
"Citation of Merit" for his indefatigable, effective, 
courageous activities among his neighbors, disre- 
garding personal risk, during the darkest, most hope- 
less days of the epidemic. He became much beloved 
by his congregation. There was complete acceptance 
of him, in spite of his Yankee accent and brisk, 
businesslike manner, unlike any previous minister. 
He was a man of God, they were confident. 

The Sunday School enjoyed a phenomenal growth 
in the 1920's. In 1919 a clean-cut, energetic, talented, 
dedicated Christian young man, named Junius H. 
Rose, had been elected Superintendent of the Sunday 
School. Mr. Rose followed A. B. Ellington as the 
Superintendent. From 1895 through 1898 Mr. El- 
lington had been Superintendent, had served faith- 
fully, and had received special praise for his faithful 
leadership. Then in 1912 he had been drafted to fill the 
post until 1918. 

With his dynamic energy, singing, enthusiasm, and 
love of the church, Rose awakened the Sunday 
School. With the revitalization of its spirit and reor- 
ganization of its structure, the Sunday School had 
"zing." Goals were set for an enrollment of 500. By 
1929 the enrollment was 738, and growing. (See Plate 
6 and Plate 7.) 

Working in tandem with Rose in the 1920's was 
James B. James. He was a young attorney-at-law who 
organized and then taught the Young Men's Class (this 
became the Carson Class). James became Assistant 
Superintendent of the Sunday School, and during one 
year (1926) he served as Sunday School Superinten- 
dent. With the exception of the year 1926, J. H. Rose 
served as Superintendent of the Sunday School from 
1919 to 1956 — thirty-six years. During his first three 



114 



years as Superintendent he served also as Scoutmas- 
ter of the church's Boy Scout Troop #30. 

Also contributing to the forward surge of the Sun- 
day School in the 1920's were a number of fine 
teachers and departmental leaders. Success of a large 
operation depends upon many able, dedicated people. 
Among others there were those like Dr. Robert H. 
Wright, Mrs. Nina Redditt, Mrs. J. B. Kittrell, Mrs. 
W. H. Tolson, John G. Fleming, K. T. Futrell, Mrs. 
Closs Hearne, Mrs. J. H. Rose, Miss Etta Harris, Mrs. 
Wiley Brown, Mrs, R. M. Zahniser, and Mrs. T. A. 
Person. Each was a fine, dedicated, effective, Chris- 
tian teacher. 

Dr. Wright, while its teacher, built the Ellington 
Men's Class to 100 members. It became a major influ- 
ence in the community moral climate. Bob (R. G.) 
Fitzgerald helped and later became the teacher. The 
College Girls' Class grew into a group so large the 
class had to meet in the sanctuary of the church. Mrs. 
J. B. Kittrell and Mrs. J. H. Rose were the teachers. 

Mrs. Closs Hearne kept the interest of "mean old 
teen-age boys" alive to Christianity with her love, 
patience, and understanding of youths. K. T. Futrell 
for years gave Christian teaching and inspiration to 
high school seniors of his class, in the small pastor's 
study or out back of the church under the sky. The 
educational building had long been outgrown. The 
Carson Memorial Class had to hold forth in two 
pyramidal tents in the back yard of the church. 

The Sunday School's rapid growth made the Jarvis 
Memorial congregation happy. It was decided to build 
expanded educational facilities. The proposal was for- 
mally endorsed by the congregation and approved in 
1920 to expand the educational annex and to provide 
adequate facilities of the latest design. The cost was to 
be $40,000.00. Not wishing to have a huge debt, they 



115 



proposed to raise the money before building. J. H. 
Waldrop, a young banker, was appointed chairman of 
the Education Annex Building Finance Committee. A 
fund-raising campaign was mounted. The $40,000.00 
was pledged; the building was started. 

Annual Conference in 1921 found that Jarvis Me- 
morial had been one of the most active churches in the 
conference. The congregation was led by able older 
laymen, with younger leadership infusing the elders' 
sagacity with new ideas and enthusiasm. The mem- 
bership had grown from 427 in 1917 to 691 in 1921. 
In 1921 the name of East Carolina Teachers Training 
School was changed to East Carolina Teachers Col- 
lege. 

Sunday School Superintendent J. H. Rose jokingly 
referred to the Carson Memorial Young Men's Class 
as the "Primary Class." He said he called it the "pri- 
mary class" because the attendance increased re- 
markably each time there was a political primary in 
the community. 

To follow Patten at Greenville in November 1921, 
the Bishop sent Virgil P. Scoville, who was in behavior 
and appearance quite a change from the physically 
indefatigable, sharply dressed, rather rapid paced 
Patten. Scoville lived among and led his congregation 
and the community. He was a spiritual giant, with a 
face that glowed beautifully with the love of God. His 
holiness distinguished him, whether in the pulpit, the 
street, the home, or public rostrum. 

He was instinctively a gentle, good, saintly man. He 
was blessed with a Christian wife and several bright, 
beautiful children. He gave a hearty lift to the spiritual 
life of the church and the community. Due to his 
excellent sermons he came to be in wide demand for 
high school baccalaureate sermons each spring. He 
was known for his effective preaching which provided 



116 



deep, spiritual, moving messages two times every 
Sunday and one each Wednesday night at Prayer 
Meeting. He enriched people's spiritual lives. The 226 
new members added to Jarvis Memorial's member- 
ship by Scoville constitute a mere statistical detail. 

In 1922 the Jarvis Memorial Educational Annex was 
completed. (See Plate 11.) Upon occupying the annex, 
most of the Sunday School was departmentalized. 
Thus departments could have worship programs 
suited to age level. Sunday School Superintendent J. 
H. Rose had pushed hard to get this innovation into 
operation to modernize the Sunday School in accord 
with the most advanced educational concept of reli- 
gious education. Opposition to departmentalizing de- 
veloped among the older adults. They missed the 
stimulation they had been receiving each Sunday from 
seeing the whole Sunday School participating in the 
opening and closing periods of worship. They soon 
gave in. The opponents to departmentalizing finally 
saw the logic of avoiding the confusion created each 
Sunday getting everyone assembled in one place, the 
loss of time spent getting to the assembly, and the 
meaningiessness to the children of the adult program 
used. 

In addition to providing more room and facilities for 
departmentalized worship, the new annex also pro- 
vided more seats for morning church worship service. 
The old Sunday School worship area had been en- 
larged to increase church seating. That space was 
available for church when the dividers were raised. 
The Sunday School assembly had outgrown the Sun- 
day School auditorium some years before and had 
used the church auditorium regularly. This practice 
continued after the new annex was built; they filled 
both church and annex auditoriums. The Sunday 
School was booming along. The attendance goal for 



117 



the Sunday School had been raised to one thousand. 
Everyone was enthused to work as hard as he could to 
bring the attendance to one thousand. 

The new education building was a modification and 
expansion of the old Sunday School area. The annex 
now had a basement and a second story. These addi- 
tions provided more room. The width had been in- 
creased. A door from Washington Street, leading di- 
rectly into the educational annex, had been added. 
The building program had cost $62,000.00. 

The undepartmentalized age levels were the junior 
high and senior high. They still assembled before and 
after classes with the adults. In the 1950's the junior 
highs finally got a worship area. Reynolds May pro- 
vided funds to build a chapel for them. An unnamed 
donor at the same time provided funds for a senior 
high chapel. 

The interdenominational Ham-Ramsey city-wide 
revival meeting was one of the major religious events 
in Greenville during Scoville's pastorate at Jarvis 
Memorial. It was conducted in the Forbes & Morton's 
Warehouse on the southeast corner of Church Street 
and Dickinson Avenue. They were the first "big time" 
evangelistic team to come to Greenville. One of those 
converted during the Ham-Ramsey revival campaign 
joined Jarvis Memorial. He was F. B. Brandenburg, 
who entered the ministry from Jarvis Memorial in 
1929. 

The last "experience meeting" at Jarvis Memorial 
^occurred after a regular Wednesday night prayer 
meeting. It was entirely spontaneous. Brother 
Scoville had finished his talk. Leaning on the lectern 
he spoke informally of his needing the prayers of the 
group to sustain him in his role of pastor. Up to her feet 
arose one elderly lady, shouting a loud 44 Amen." Then 
for one solid hour she testified. It was all about her 



nm. 




O O 

CO 



o PQ 




PLATE 11 

The Jarvis Memorial Church after the Educational Annex had been constructed in 1922 



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eclidAan of mind and an altitude of the beeml. 

9m. teeAa ce-tuect.ei.tcd dofiiax tehicd z«p\e*te<l f(*)e end dceeleen to %tx 
anil mr ' i ' t t t > s b&tefui m 

heie while h.mludn mc>u '"-<•/.'■ w/tf.w.- in wtWf ot fwM; thee a>U hm m 
& Vhee, Ohjod, and at* le»wd-eted lei these uced bvedt, Hotel %ou them 
in bietied mexioui, fee dsi.fi dud') hi »hen ne-m dicff lememlcei bat Ihee. 

§\m,!e C llch'j laid, tli,- dap my neeei am ei-.cn the conqxe...,eJ. < en . : .f 
Ctju/ie ■ j h:Moe.'.el laid..!. t~ henex mi win* dhc, /<; i.th fuldi) ; fiyvi theit eJeeaiji 
be a. qc.dju man te stunt in h,c; pnlp-U ; end taint* J ten "ml *C«en in he.* 
pern,, dhif bet people be f u;.ed f \em. pule and h.cxcsep tut be paned in 
Oni-ii ten ceneeid to '.etc. dhc, and to e ee k each ethetU veal. Call hen. 
<ee < and dawjhteM te dhc, v *»•«'«.•• end mite up in eecc>i eenexo.t <en 
i.md aecd men in ha m, nJ , > d ip. 

hen of eid, hedc-i.e em time, hea-i/J then >]ed meal ft cm huxnina bueh 
end huteaq's amful iceeft and >. , > ,i d,,ff a dhti.ne. ami dedicated 
etcrn 04. a memcxiaf tc ;.e ee a . tut in en\ dap men hone t*t tkeAA ' xabnand 
hand, te neAtc the pel ImpeA im&s •''•■ice apeak* ait of e.ilene.ee. o'i in dee 

impel*- en. .d JxcteeA and edo impaintc upem the hru'J tbc : fpnfinG. to '.tie an 
•;.;•.'<•« :-• Him. 

hi-u ee n a I < it ' f 1 1 'hi de. 

iX'tch-ACefe u4 te fie doten in peace and te be iauicd in xe?,>xisA\.ejeJJ.On in the 
Kimdom Aicch lie hath pxtpaud fex theee mie tcee and o,e.\.ee H4m. 

dhc fiUiijpJ meu:tj of pee tin %.thj"t. f the cenetejit eempon tendi i.p of Qeu 
cue, J ,.,nt ,,. nt . -'uu tnij tomfett d ih, ioh, r ;,,7 i, one a cut all 
men': teduif and ai^utp . , / 

(yprmv 



PLATE 12 

Embellished dedicatory prayer by W. M. Howard, Jr., at the dedication service of Jarvis 
Memorial Sanctuary, June 17, 1962 



trials and tribulations with her family. Some of it was 
done with the words falling from her lips as rhythmi- 
cally as poetry. Some was sung like a threnody. All of 
it was a repeat performance. She had related it all 
many times before in open meetings. Years before she 
had almost interrupted the Sunday morning worship 
service to give her "experience," but the preacher had 
asked her to desist since the service had already been 
going for over one hour and a half. 

Following that lady's testimony, two or three others 
gave brief testimonies. Then the preacher led in the 
singing of some old familiar hymns for about thirty 
minutes. By that time the first lady to testify had 
stopped the sobbing which had been wracking her 
since she had sat down. For fear the same lengthy 
testimony might be given, for years testimonials were 
not asked for. 

When Scoville was pastor, members did not hesi- 
tate to criticize him for even the slightest deviation 
from what the congregation expected. Scoville was a 
man quite gentle and exceedingly modest by nature, 
and most devout. But one Sunday night, as he walked 
from the parsonage on Eighth Street to the church to 
preach for the evening service, he wore a cap. Some- 
one in the congregation told Scoville he did not think it 
proper attire; therefore, he never wore a cap again. He 
did not react the slightest bit as though he had been 
chafed. Early in Methodism preachers were frequent 
objects of members' censure about their galluses, 
saddles, etc. 

The interdenominational Sunday night services in 
the summer were carried on every summer while 
Scoville was pastor. He gave his wholehearted sup- 
port to those services. His preaching at the joint sum- 
mer Sunday night services was the best attended. He 
died early in his fourth year at Jarvis Memorial, on 



119 



March 10, 1925, after a sudden brief illness. He left a 
young wife and six children and a maiden sister. There 
was no provision by the conference for such a situa- 
tion. From the conference came only a very limited 
amount of funds, insufficient even for minimal living 
standards. 

The local church let the widow and her family re- 
main temporarily in the parsonage. Then Greenville 
citizens of all denominations quickly subscribed suffi- 
cient money to buy a lot and build a fine home for the 
bereft family. It was only a small token of the deep 
affection felt by the whole community for the beloved 
man Scoville had been. 

To fill out the remaining eight months of the confer- 
ence year, the Bishop in March 1925 sent William P. 
Watkins, a young single preacher who was a recent 
graduate from the seminary. It was his first pastorate. 
Watkins was married shortly after coming to Jarvis 
Memorial and brought his young wife to Greenville to 
live. His appointment had been made because he was 
single. As a single man he could room at some 
member's home while Scoville's widow and family 
occupied the parsonage. Some thought Watkins' mar- 
riage ill-advised under the circumstances. No prob- 
lems or extra expense developed from the young pas- 
tors marital status. The James Brown's entertained 
the couple. Watkins became popular with the congre- 
gation. He was moved when Annual Conference met 
in November 1925. 

Reverend L. B. Jones was appointed to Jarvis Me- 
morial in November 1925. His reputation was for ex- 
ecutive ability and finance-raising for the church. The 
Bishop must have had in mind the $45,000.00 debt 
facing Jarvis Memorial from having spent $62,000.00 
on the educational annex in 1922. It was hurting the 
morale of the church. 



120 



When the expansion program had been initiated, 
the community had been enjoying a continuation of 
the period of prosperity that began during World War 
I. They had pledged $40,000.00. But in 1921, before 
the building had been completed, the bottom had 
fallen out of the price for crops. The United States 
Government had abruptly ended the war-time crop 
price supports. (Until there was enacted the Agricul- 
tural Adjustment Act of the New Deal, creating price 
supports for farm crops, the local economy continued 
to be depressed.) By November 1925, only $17,000.00 
had been paid in pledges, leaving a $45,000.00 debt. 
In spite of the economic situation due to sacrifices 
having been made, $25,000.00 was paid off, leaving a 
$20,000.00 debt during Jones' three years. The mem- 
bership grew to 1,049. The Sunday School member- 
ship reached 1,000 or more. 

The void of no bell was finally filled on March 19, 
1928. It was a memorial from Mrs. Jane Forbes in 
memory of her deceased daughter, Mrs. Rosa Forbes 
Quinerly. Mrs. Quinerly had died after a life of leader- 
ship among the women of the community and the 
church. After the installation of the bell, Reverend 
Jones held a fitting dedicatory service to accept the 
bell properly and magnify the one memorialized. 
Since its installation in the bell tower, it has been used 
to announce all worship services, to toll for the dead, 
and to ring out for new brides and grooms. 



121 



CHAPTER XVI 



The First Five-Year Pastorate 

At the November 1928 North Carolina Annual 
Conference the Bishop appointed Dr. E. L. Hillman to 
follow L. B. Jones. It was a fortunate assignment for 
the Greenville church. Hillman was as near as possi- 
ble a combination of the good traits of both Scoville 
and Jones, though he was his own inimitable self 
always. 

He was possessed by strong and deep devoutness. 
His enthusiasm for his God and the church won for 
Hillman the high regard and deep affection of the 
whole congregation. Men of the church liked to have 
him as a fishing companion. On a church project he 
drove as hard and effectively as Jones ever did. His 
scholarship mainfested itself in his lucid rendering of 
the application of pertinent scriptures to the most 
complicated current moral and ethical issues of the 
day. He utilized the process to deepen the spiritual 
lives of all. 

Affection for him was quite pronounced among the 
most prestigious members as well as among the 
humblest. Such was his hold upon the heart of the 
church that after serving Jarvis Memorial four years, 
at the request of the church Hillman was returned for 
a fifth year. His fifth year was the first time any pastor 
in the history of Greenville Methodism had stayed 
over the four-year limit. 

With Hillman's inspiration the official Board 
undertook to remove the $20,000.00 debt from the 
educational annex hanging over the church. It had 



122 



become like a pall over the church. The stewards saw 
that the debt had to be reduced. The congregation 
could not be stirred to the realization of the spiritual 
damage done by preoccupation with concern over a 
building debt. A big push to pay off the debt netted 
only $7,500.00 in cash. The pledges signed in that 
campaign became worthless before they fell due be- 
cause the "Panic of 1929" hit during that fall and set 
off the Big Depression which worsened the Southern 
recession that had started in 1921 with the removal of 
government price support. But the effort with the debt 
had sufficed to reestablish the morale of the church. 
With the whole national economy depressed, the fail- 
ure of their efforts to pay off the debt did not leave 
them feeling impotent. The debt now had an unpaid 
balance of $12,500.00. 

The paying of money to satisfy a debt is normally as 
prosaic as any process in which humans engage. 
However, this was not so in paying the $7,500.00 in 
1929. Disbursing an amount raised on a church debt 
required usually only that it be taken to the bank and 
the notes paid. But in the spring of 1929 the obligation 
to be paid off was a second mortgage held by some 
private individuals. The holders of that mortgage were 
no ordinary human beings. The whole incident of the 
paying off of that debt was still fresh in the mind of 
J. H. Waldrop in 1966 — 37 years later. 

He had been the chairman of the Finance Commit- 
tee that tendered that payment. With chuckles he 
recalled the incident. The $7,500.00 was owed to a 
rural family who were reputedly wealthy. They had 
loaned money all over eastern North Carolina. Their 
eccentricities were well known. Some people, in- 
cluding the committee members, considered them 
downright queer. It was a family of three sisters, all 



123 



old maids, and a simple-minded brother who was a 
bachelor; they all lived together. 

This family greatly loved money and had a special 
relish for gold. Mr. Waldrop had proposed to his 
committee that the amount owed to the strange people 
be tendered in gold. Their obsession with gold might 
induce the four to be amenable to some discount 
when they saw all that gold instead of the usual paper 
money. They had prescribed no check. Gold was still 
circulating in 1929, and the amount to be disbursed 
was secured by Mr. Waldrop in anticipation of making 
payment. 

The family lived in a rural section, between "Clay 
Root Neck and Pitch Kittle Crick," on the southern 
edge of Pitt County. Their home was situated on one of 
their farms. It was a backwoods section far from any 
town. Their house was isolated from other houses by 
woods. Their contact with the outside world was lim- 
ited to those who came to borrow money or to make 
payment. For years they had done no visiting in town 
or anywhere. They could read and write a little. They 
received only one publication — one the visitors could 
see on a table — a Republican Party newspaper that 
was sent to them gratis. 

Driving to the farm the committee had to travel 
miles on a poorly cared for, unimproved country road; 
then they had to go another mile down a woodpath 
through thick woodsland to the opening where the 
house stood. They had noticed a battered and obvi- 
ously seldom-used mailbox when they had turned off 
onto the woodspath. As the committee drove up, all 
they could see about the house was the dilapidation 
and erosion of neglect. The surrounding farm fields 
were overgrown with weeds and pine saplings. There 
were some evidences of what had been a fenced yard. 
Two gateposts still stood; what had been a yard was a 



124 



tangle of weeds and briars. The house was a one-story, 
four-room structure with a shed kitchen. Nothing ap- 
peared to have ever had paint or repair. The chimney 
was crumbling; shingles were missing. Many panes in 
the windows were missing and others were cracked. 
Only the front room on the right had whole window 
blinds, and they were shut tightly. Pigeons flew in and 
out where the panes were missing. Pieces of cloth 
crammed some of the openings left by broken panes. 

Everything was quiet as the church committee 
drove up. The pigeons became disturbed as the men 
walked from the gateposts toward the decrepit house. 
Sounds of excited activity came from within the 
house. There was the clomping of brogan shoe heels 
striking a bare floor, and then a loud groan. Shrill 
sounds of excited, tittering female voices were the 
dominant feature. But all sounds from within stopped 
when the church delegation jumped up from the 
ground level onto the teetering porch — there were no 
steps. The committee's knock on the front door re- 
ceived instant response. Obviously, a hand inside had 
been on the doorknob in anticipation of the knock. 
The opening of the door revealed a narrow, dark, bare 
hallway. There stood the sisters expectantly, all star- 
ing at their guests. All were dressed alike: long skirts, 
shirt waists, and hefty brogan shoes — their Sunday 
best. The skirts and waists were faded, shoddy, and 
nearly threadbare but clean. 

The committee members were motioned to step into 
the room to the right. The room was dark except for 
vagrant dust-laden shafts of sunlight stealing in 
through the closed rickety blinds. One of the men 
asked if he might open a blind to permit some light to 
better carry on the business. He got a flat "No." The 
explanation was that they did not want everybody 
watching their business. "You all just hand over the 



125 



money; we got light enough for us. It can be counted 
easy. It's more secret-like this way. We're going to 
keep it right here." 

As the men's eyes became accustomed to the gloom 
of the room they saw the brother lying inert on the 
hearth in front of the open fireplace. Without com- 
ment one of the sisters lighted an old oil lantern that 
helped. Then the churchmen saw the brother's ex- 
cited, darting eyes. One of the sisters explained in a 
matter-of-fact voice that the brother was legally pres- 
ent, but that he would not be able to say anything 
because he had fallen in the fireplace a few days 
before while helping to cook dinner. The accident had 
completely paralyzed him. Any conversational 
amenities had been precluded by the women's insis- 
tence that the "paying" get started. 

The members of the committee who were not in- 
volved in the transaction saw that the room was bare 
except for a pasteboard box on the mantlepiece, five 
rickety straight chairs, and a small leaning table with a 
newspaper on it. The pasteboard box, it was found 
later, held the family timepiece. They kept it in the 
box to protect it from the dust and moisture. They 
would occasionally take it out of the box and wind it. 
The time of day was determined by them by observing 
the sun. 

The three ladies pulled up chairs and sat down. 
Only two of the committee could do the same. Dr. 
Hillman, who had come with the men, saw the busi- 
ness was about to begin; he suggested that the pro- 
ceedings be opened with a word of prayer in view of 
the fact it was church business. Promptly one of the 
sisters notified the men, "You all do the payin'; we'll 
do our own prayin'. " Snuff-laden saliva was oozing out 
of the corners of her mouth. 

The ladies would not consider discounting the 



126 



interest even one cent even though it was being paid in 
gold. The gold glinted in the lamplight as Mr. Waldrop 
tendered some of it in his hands. They wanted the full 
amount of principal and interest they were due. When 
all the gold in full payment had been passed to them, 
the women marked the notes paid. 

Then a pitiful drama began. Each of the ladies 
began to pick up double handfuls from her lap, hold 
the gold above her head, and let it trickle through her 
fingers down into her lap again, while making clucking 
noises. The brother's eyes nearly popped out of his 
head. In fact, they did not pay attention any longer to 
the presence of the committee. Mr. Waldrop said he 
got the definite impression that the committee ceased 
to exist for the ladies. The men were so embarrassed 
by the spectacle that they unceremoniously left. 

All of that weird family died one after the other in 
the next few years due to the hardships that were 
self-imposed by their own refusal to spend even for 
admitted necessities of life and health, Mr. Waldrop 
recalled. The helpless, injured brother preceded his 
sisters to the grave only by a few weeks. Obviously, 
the sisters had cared for him. He never recovered use 
of himself. So ended the family and mortgage paying 
incident. 

Hillman's pastoral activities that first year so im- 
pressed his congregation that his salary for the second 
year (1930) was raised to $4,000.00. He had received 
$3,500.00 his first year. For a preacher to inspire a 
raise of $500.00 during a severe nationwide depres- 
sion is fine, but it is more remarkable for him to insist 
that his salary be increased only $100.00 to $3,600.00. 
He did. 

In the area of evangelism Hillman was inspired. He 
added 50 members his first year. During his five-year 
tenure he added 305 members, leaving a net member- 



127 



ship of 1,143 in 1933. His preaching attracted large 
numbers of students from the college campus each 
Sunday. 

An invitation was extended from Jarvis Memorial to 
the Annual Conference to meet in Greenville in 1931. 
It was accepted. Looking forward to entertaining An- 
nual Conference for the third time — 1891, 1917, 1931 
— served to fill the congregation with enthusiasm for 
the whole program of the church as they made prepa- 
rations. The triple-a-farm legislation had restored 
local optimism. Since the 1917 session of the North 
Carolina Annual Conference, the number of delegates 
attending had grown. But entertainment of the con- 
ference was managed again, as it had been each time 
before, by quartering many delegates in the homes of 
members of other denominations. Their neighbors 
cooperated with the Methodists as always. 

Jarvis Memorial had grown, too. In 1891 there had 
been only 190 members, and in 1917 only 427 mem- 
bers to serve as hosts. Now, in 1931, there were 1,095 
members. A well-devised plan of organization was 
developed to fulfill the functions of the host church. 
For instance, there was a greeting committee to wel- 
come and register the delegates. A transportation 
committee provided the means to take delegates to the 
homes of their hosts since most delegates still came by 
train. The members of the church's Boy Scout Troop 
served as guides to the guests in getting them to the 
designated homes of hosts. 

In the Methodist homes where the hostesses enter- 
tained delegates and also attended all sessions of the 
conference, the week of the conference kept them 
rushing. Even though in those days servants in many 
homes were multiple, hostesses still had to dash home 
before the benedictions of the morning and afternoon 
sessions to try to be ready when the rest of the family 



128 



and their delegates arrived for meals. "Help was not 
as good" as it had formerly been, many complained. 

Jarvis Memorial members got nothing but the high- 
est praise for the fine way they entertained the 1931 
Methodist Annual Conference. It had convened on 
Monday afternoon. Throughout the week three daily 
sessions were held. The conference's high point for 
the public had been the hour or longer sermon of the 
presiding Bishop at the 11:00 Sunday morning service 
on the last day. That always brought out an overflow 
crowd. 

But the Sunday afternoon reading of the appoint- 
ments was the dramatic climax of the week-long ses- 
sion of a connectional church committed to the itin- 
erancy of the ministry. In those days appointments 
still were secretly decided on. All the ministers had to 
await the reading of appointments to know where they 
would be sent. The reading out was witnessed by 
delegates and ministers with a high degree of emo- 
tional tension. Reaction to appointments in such a 
tense situation often was extreme — tears, temper, 
hallelujahs, or even laughter. 

Following the successful entertainment of Annual 
Conference, the congregation was infused with en- 
thusiasm. A few weeks later, when the proposal to 
celebrate the centennial of the first Methodist Church 
in Greenville was made, it was readily undertaken. 
Plans were promptly made for looking back from the 
gratifyingly successful present into the then very hazy 
past. 

A. B. Ellington was appointed church historian. He 
was to compile a history of local Methodism. One 
available document was the 1833 deed for the first site 
of St. Pauls; also, he used recollections of the then 
oldest living members, some of whom had worshiped 
in the first Greenville structure as children. Former 



129 



pastors were requested to write down for Jarvis Me- 
morial what had happened when they were serving in 
Greenville. Closely associated with Ellington in as- 
sembling and preparing the history was Dr. H. J. 
McGinnis, who was overall chairman of the Centen- 
nial Committee. The history of Greenville Methodism 
started in 1833 as far as they determined at that time. 
A list as complete as possible of pastors from 1833 to 
1933 was drawn up. Additional data were accumu- 
lated from local recollection and the letters of former 
pastors. 

Sunday, May 4, 1933, was settled on as the date for 
the celebration of the "One-hundredth Anniversary." 
It was the closest Sunday, one hundred years later, to 
May 7, 1833. All former preachers who were still living 
and surviving widows of former Greenville pastors 
were invited. They were to be the honored guests for 
the celebration. Sunday morning, May 4, 1933, at the 
11:00 service, the centennial was launched. Everyone 
was aware that it was a big occasion. The sanctuary 
was filled to overflowing by 10:30. Sunday School had 
been dismissed thirty minutes early so they might find 
seats. 

The church had invited Reverend J. H. Shore, who 
had been the highly popular pastor from 1908 to 1910, 
to deliver the sermon memorializing that historic oc- 
casion. Before the sermon Dr. Howard J. McGinnis, 
the chairman of the Board of Stewards, presented all 
the honorees: the oldest living members of the church 
and all the former pastors or widows of former pastors 
present for the occasion. 

First, he had two ladies to stand who had been 
members in Greenville for sixty-one years: Mrs. J. B. 
(Miss Ada) Cherry and Mrs. Mollie Harris. Next, he 
asked to stand up seven who had been members for 
fifty years: Mesdames Laura Brown, Wiley (Miss 



130 



Mollie) Brown, James (Miss Puss) Brown, and D. D. 
Haskett; and Messrs. J. B. Congleton, J. L. Little, and 
R. L. Humber. Then, Dr. McGinnis presented the 
former pastors and widows of former pastors. 

That evening another service was held celebrating 
the anniversary with more emphasis on the historical 
aspects. The oldest members, the former pastors, and 
widows of former pastors were again honored guests. 
The sanctuary was overflowing. Dr. McGinnis' read- 
ing of the church history which he had prepared was 
the chief item on the program. Following his reading of 
the history, he turned the service into an informal 
reminiscing by all the honored guests about days gone 
by. The Centennial Celebration stimulated the mem- 
bership's morale. Jarvis Memorial finished the year 
with everything paid in full. The budget for 1933 had 
been pared to the bone in the 1932 gloom of the de- 
pression; it was only $9,700.00. It had been nearly 
$16,000.00 in 1928. 



131 



CHAPTER XVII 



Decision: Downtown Church 

Annual Conference time in November 1933 found 
Jarvis Memorial in good spirits, finances in good 
order, and a preacher much beloved. Mr. Hillman had 
completed his fifth year. There was no thought of 
trying to keep him beyond the extraordinary fifth year 
at Greenville. Congregation, preacher, and Bishop at 
that time were committed to the itinerancy of the 
Methodist ministry. 

Appointed to succeed Hillman at Jarvis Memorial 
was Dr. Gilbert R. Combs. During the first year of 
Comb's pastorate the balance of the educational 
annex (the final $12,500.00 and accumulated interest) 
was paid. Able leadership of the drive to raise the debt 
was provided by Herbert Waldrop. The pastor took 
the initiative to have the church roll purged of all 
persons deceased or who could no longer be located. It 
had not been done before. A storm of protest arose. 
The protestors declared they feared someone re- 
moved in error might be offended. Finally, at a quar- 
terly conference a committee presented a carefully 
prepared list of 142 names to be purged of persons 
they were unable to locate; it was done. Only one 
person was erroneously removed. When her name 
was restored, she was fully satisfied. That left 1,001 
members. The name "erroneously" removed was that 
of a lady who after moving to Raleigh had changed her 
name through marriage but had not informed the 
church. She had moved away 25 years previously. 
During that time she had never paid a pledge or at- 



132 



tended a service here or in Raleigh. But she wanted 
her name kept on the roll; it was. 

Dr. Combs had difficulties because he took an 
uncompromising stand against alcoholic beverages. 
The 1785 Annual Conference, the first following the 
organization of the Methodists at the 1784 Christmas 
Conference at Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, was 
held at Green Hill's home near Louisburg, North Car- 
olina. That session had had a rough time, Bishop 
Asbury wrote. He had insisted that the church adopt a 
definite stand for the freedom of slaves and total ab- 
stinence from alcoholic beverages. It made Method- 
ism far from popular then. When Nash was in Green- 
ville, from 1877 to 1881, he showed where Methodism 
stood. He fought against great odds for prohibition. 

During the 1934 campaigning for ABC stores, the 
Jarvis Memorial Philathea Class invited a layman of 
the church to speak on the issue. He was a known dry. 
He had spoken on the same issue a year before and 
received much applause, commendation, and sup- 
port. But in 1934 a similar speech elicited almost no 
favorable comment, and no commendation or support 
from the same class. They just forthrightly said they 
believed Pitt County must have ABC stores or lose the 
tobacco market. 

Greenville Methodist homes in the nineteenth cen- 
tury practiced teetotalism. Wine was not even served 
at weddings. Robert H. Wright, a leading member of 
Jarvis Memorial at the time, in 1918 successfully led 
Pitt County into voting for prohibition in the fight to 
amend the United States Constitution. That was the 
only time Pitt County has ever voted dry before or 
since. 

A 1934 North Carolina ABC law provided that 
counties could let their citizens vote whether they 
would have ABC stores to sell liquor. Gilbert Combs, 



133 



the pastor of Jarvis Memorial at the time, fought the 
option publicly. Some of his congregation did not sup- 
port his position. Talk among the congregation at the 
time cited the need for ABC stores to protect the local 
tobacco market. As the Ladies' Class said, if Pitt 
County did not have them, farmers would take their 
tobacco to neighboring counties that did. The General 
Conference abandoned traditional teetotalism at their 
1972 sessions. This action was taken to make the issue 
of alcohol consumption an individual preacher's deci- 
sion with his God. 

Prior to the ABC hassle Dr. Combs had initiated 
and brought about making scouting in Pitt County a 
district in the East Carolina Boy Scout Council. Since 
then scouting in the county has been on a firm basis 
and has grown enormously. 

Each of his three years Dr. Combs held revivals or 
special preaching services with guest preachers doing 
the preaching. One year the guest preacher was 
Bishop MacDowell. Needless to say, the revivals were 
not the "fire and brimstone' variety. That disap- 
pointed some in the local church. That each service 
was a deeply spiritual experience for those attending 
was not enough to prevent some criticism that the 
Bishop's style was too intellectual. Acceptable or not, 
at Annual Conference in 1936, Jarvis Memorial re- 
ported a membership of 1,195 — a total of 194 addi- 
tions since the purging of the roll. 

In 1936 the North Carolina Conference Women's 
Society of Christian Service, as the Missionary Soci- 
ety was then named, established a student center at 
East Carolina Teachers College. The first worker ap- 
pointed to serve ECTC students was Miss Zoe Anna 
Davis, a deaconess. She was paid by WSCS. Two 
rooms with the rent paid by Jarvis Memorial were 
secured in a home in front of the college — in fact, the 



134 



home sat on the present site of the Methodist Student 
Center, the northeast corner of Fifth and Holly 
Streets. 

The members of the Board of Stewards were 
unclear concerning how much more financial respon- 
sibility would devolve upon them. It should be to their 
credit that they accepted the idea of a student center 
on its merits with no clear-cut notion of the cost to 
them or its precise aims. Only after Miss Davis was set 
up on Fifth Street and could herself explain the project 
did the Board find they were not to pay her wages. 
Jarvis Memorial Was expected to pay only the rent. 
The function of the student center was to establish a 
Methodist Church relationship with Methodist stu- 
dents on the ECTC campus. 

Miss Davis' wages were paid by the Women's Soci- 
ety of Christian Service at the conference level. Ade- 
quate funds for operating expenses, other than wages 
and rent, came from individual Women's Societies of 
Christian Service located in eastern North Carolina. 

Later Miss Davis moved to a tiny house on Holly 
Street in order to achieve a more homelike atmo- 
sphere for interested students. It was much more 
attractive. When the students began to come in large 
numbers, the center was moved to occupy a larger 
house on the corner of Fifth and Holly Streets — the 
one she had started in with two rooms. So successful 
was the work of the Wesley Foundation that the pres- 
ent modern brick structure was erected at the cost of 
$125,000.00, financed by the Annual Conference. A 
home next door was bought to expand the center. At 
some point in time direction and financing have been 
assumed by a Regional Commission. A local commit- 
tee has immediate supervision, under a Regional 
Commission. 

Miss Zoe Anna Davis stayed from 1936 to 1940. 



135 



Then came Miss Elizabeth Tittsworth from 1940 to 
1943. In 1943 Miss Mamiej Chandler came and stayed 
until 1962. She was followed in 1962 by Reverend 
James L. Hobbs. He resigned in 1969, being replaced 
by Rev. Dan Earnhardt, who is still director in 1978. 

One innovation initiated by Miss Chandler was 
having the University Student Sunday School Class 
held at the student center. That idea met with little 
success. Jarvis Memorial's University Class since 
then has reached few students. 

The youth at Jarvis Memorial have always been a 
chief concern. In 1932 Miss Ruth Henderson was 
retained by Jarvis Memorial as a youth worker to 
provide a more effective program for the youth of the 
congregation. That full-time church youth worker was 
dispensed with in 1936. The next such worker was 
Miss Helen Zekiel, who started in 1941 during Rev- 
erend George W. Perry's pastorate. Miss Zekiel, a 
fine musician and a young lady with a buoyant faith, 
contributed richly to the esthetic and spiritual lives of 
the youth. Miss Lorraine Weaver was hired next to do 
both youth and secretarial work. Since Miss Weaver, 
there have been a number of young ladies with varying 
degrees of training retained to work with the church 
youth. Miss Ramona Rouse served most effectively 
until she resigned to become Mrs. Ralph Tucker. 
Following Ramona as Director of Christian Education 
came Mrs. Betty Anne Bedsworth, who served as 
youth worker while her husband did his military ser- 
vice in Europe during World War II. Since Mrs. 
Bedsworth, most of the youth workers have made only 
brief stays. Most were young and just out of college. A 
partial list is as follows: Peggy Brown, Margaret Rose 
Powell, Nancy Wike, Kay Sugg Batchelor, Diana Har- 
rison, and in 1966 Miss Anna Critcher and Mrs. Bar- 
bara Barnes. Miss Harrison, Miss Wike, and Mrs. 



136 



Barnes were fully trained directors of Christian Edu- 
cation. 

As soon as Reverend Combs saw the educational 
annex debt paid in 1934, he suggested and urged that 
Jarvis Memorial build a more suitable parsonage. He 
pointed out the faults in the one on Eighth Street in 
which he was currently living. No enthusiasm greeted 
his suggestion. Mostly, there was objection to Combs' 
pushing. What they mumbled was, "The parsonage 
we have is good enough. What the preacher wants is a 
palace. Whoever heard of a church having a parson- 
age better than the homes of most of the congrega- 
tion?" 

Due to the negative attitude of the Board of Stew- 
ards, when Combs would tell them of the perfectly 
obvious faults of the existent parsonage — such as the 
leaky roof, bad floors, and unsatisfactory plumbing — 
the congregation would be critical of him. A written 
report from the church trustees confirmed Combs' 
statement about the poor condition of the parsonage. 
No one seemed to want to accept the true facts. 

The objection to the idea of building the new par- 
sonage derived primarily from prejudice against 
Combs. As soon as the church spent a sizeable 
amount of money on repairing the sanctuary sills, 
agreement was reached to build a new parsonage. 
J. Key Brown was chairman of the Church Upkeep 
Committee during 1933-1935. He reported that he had 
found dangerous damage by termites to the sills under 
the church sanctuary. He asked that several hundred 
dollars be provided to correct the condition. The fact 
that Brown had gone to the trouble to crawl on his belly 
all under the sanctuary and examine the timbers in 
detail did not faze the members of the Board of Stew- 
ards. No action was taken. But at the next meeting 
the Board of Stewards faced the facts. The money w as 



137 



appropriated for taking care of the sills. At the same 
Board meeting the new parsonage need was presented 
again, and building a new one was agreed to. 

The Bishop removed Dr. Gilbert R. Combs from 
Jarvis Memorial at the end of three years upon the 
request of the Pastoral Relations Committee. To help 
soften the blow to the pastor of an abbreviated tenure, 
everyone joined in giving a testimonial dinner. En- 
comiums of praise were heaped upon him, his wife, 
and his children in appreciation of what they had 
meant to the local church and the community at large. 

To follow Dr. Combs at Jarvis Memorial came Rev- 
erend T. M. Grant, a highly talented preacher, a very 
personable man, and a consummate executive on the 
local, district, and conference level. He was the most 
important and distinguished clerical leader of the 
North Carolina Annual Methodist Conference next to 
the Bishop. He was the Bishop's right arm. 

The new parsonage on Tenth Street near the college 
was completed after Grant arrived. He had to live 
briefly in the Eighth Street parsonage. The new par- 
sonage was a credit to the church for it was a two-story 
brick house of modern design, with all the modern 
conveniences and tastefully furnished by the ladies of 
the church. 

In the pulpit Grant preached powerful, effective 
sermons with much feeling and eloquence, but he 
never used a manuscript or notes. There was a big 
congregation every Sunday. It is a wonder he had time 
to develop such fine sermons in view of his pastoral 
duties and a heavy load of conference-level functions 
assigned by the conference and the Bishop. The con- 
ference duties did preclude any great amount of home 
visiting, a condition which displeased some of the 
congregation. 

During Reverend Grant's pastorate the 1939 



138 



Methodist Unification Conference met at Kansas 
City, Missouri, for the organic union of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, and the Methodist Protestant Church. Grant 
was a delegate to the Uniting Session from the N.C. 
Annual Conference. Bishop Hughes presided, and 
Hughes' sense of humor saved many occasions when 
emotions boiled up. He had preached in Greenville at 
the 1931 Annual Conference. The stickiest problem 
was the disposition of the Black Methodists. 

It seemed the problem was insoluble. At one point 
the floor of the conference was noisy and almost cha- 
otic. Grant's friend, Carl H. Fowler of Christ Church 
in New York City, "got the floor." Fowler was an un- 
usually tall, distinguished looking, white-haired New 
York attorney. He had great love for Methodism. He 
got the chairman's attention when he had climbed on a 
chair to get his six-foot-three frame higher, and to the 
top of his lung power he raised his booming voice. 

John R. Mott had an idea on how to deal with the 
problem on which the conference had bogged down. 
He had been unable from his seat on the floor next to 
Fowler to get permission from the chair to mount the 
rostrum. Fowler's effort had been to get the floor for 
Mott. Then Mott went to the rostrum and offered his 
motion, proposing the creation of a Central Jurisdic- 
tion for the Black conferences. The Central Jurisdic- 
tion idea was adopted; unification then followed. 

Fowler, subsequently, while visiting Wyatt Brown 
in Greenville, told about the incident. He related how 
Mott and Grant supported him as he teetered in the 
chair yelling for Hughes' attention. Grant never men- 
tioned it. 

Following the Unification Conference Grant re- 
turned to his pastoral duties. He apprised his congre- 
gation that the church name henceforth was simply 



139 



Methodist Church. The modifying "episcopal," 
"protestant," and "south" had been eliminated. 

Grant's pastorate at Jarvis Memorial continued for 
five years. Grant left a membership of 1,224. While in 
Greenville he served one year as president of the 
Greenville Rotary Club. Next to fill the pulpit at Jarvis 
Memorial came Reverend George W. Perry. He ar- 
rived in Greenville in December 1941. His second year 
had just been started in 1943 when he was found dead 
of a heart attack in the pastor's study at the church. 

When Perry died, there could have been a few 
awkward weeks without a pastor until the Bishop 
could appoint someone to finish out the conference 
year. But Kinchen W. Cobb, chairman of the Board of 
Stewards and one devoted to his church, gave his time 
and effort to keep the church program underway as 
well as anyone could. He was assisted by Miss Zekiel, 
the youth worker, in every way she could. 

Fortunately for Jarvis Memorial there was a young 
preacher who had been working with an orphanage of 
the church and had become available for assignment 
to a congregation. Robert W. Bradshaw was his name. 
He was already widely known. His conference-wide 
youth work meant the young people of Jarvis Memo- 
rial already knew him fondly as "Uncle Bobby." Dur- 
ing the ministry of Bradshaw (1943-1948), Jarvis 
Memorial developed to its highest point yet — in en- 
thusiasm, outreach, loyalty, and number of members 
involved. Over 650 members were added. Attendance 
at church and Sunday School overflowed the facili- 
ties. 

One physical innovation introduced was the putting 
into the sanctuary many huge exhaust fans to relieve 
worshipers of the excessive summer heat. Annual 
Conference was entertained again in 1948. Mission 
Sunday Schools in the rural sections of the county 



140 



were started up again. Visitation evangelism was ef- 
fectively and extensively used to win the unchurched 
and the unsaved. Bradshaw's spiritual leadership was 
dynamic. In fact, he told his official Board that he 
wanted to take care of the spiritual aspects with their 
support but would leave the rest to the laymen. 

Reverend Bradshaw had arrived while the congre- 
gation was still deeply saddened by the sudden death 
of the beloved George W. Perry. But the hearts of his 
new people quickly turned to him. He worked hard to 
get the church spiritually alive. The pace completely 
exhausted Bradshaw by the winter of the first year. 
Several individuals donated the necessary funds, and 
the preacher and his family went off for recuperation 
in Florida in the middle of the winter to regain his 
physical strength. 

Dedicated, able, and inspired laymen have long 
been a trait of the Jarvis Memorial congregation. 
Bradshaw had spoken to his laymen in official ses- 
sions and personally about their duties and obliga- 
tions. The laymen met the challenge of his absence. 
All activities functioned just as well while he was 
away. Loyal laymen and laywomen gave of their time 
and effort. When Bradshaw returned, the lay leader- 
ship continued their efforts and have continued to 
take the initiative in their sphere ever since. 

With the growing membership and the program 
functioning admirably, Bradshaw approached the 
Board of Stewards to ask for secretarial assistance. 
He explained that too much time was consumed by the 
office work. Miss Zekiel, the director of youth work, 
was carrying on a fine work with the youth, but she 
lacked secretarial training. She was released, and an 
experienced youth and office worker, Miss Lorraine 
Weaver of Greensboro, was hired. 

Already Jarvis Memorial felt the need for an as- 



141 



sociate pastor. The Board began each year to include 
the salary for an associate pastor in the budget. The 
District Superintendent, when asked to provide an 
additional pastor, inevitably rejected the church's re- 
quest. The Bishop said that none was available and 
that Jarvis Memorial ought to establish another 
Methodist Church in Greenville. The idea of another 
Methodist Church took root, but no action was taken. 
It was an idea for study. 

Most local members seemed to prefer a single large 
Jarvis Memorial. Also, many of the preachers in the 
conference who had witnessed the financial struggle 
of the small churches during the 1930's depression felt 
that the larger churches, in many instances, had had 
to utilize their greater concentration of resources to 
subsidize the smaller churches. Some small rural 
churches had suspended during the depression due to 
a lack of resources. The Winterville Methodist 
Church was sold in the 1930's and the congregation 
added to the Ayden Church. 

During the 1943-1948 period Jarvis Memorial en- 
joyed phenomenal growth. The Women's Society of 
Christian Service increased to 305 members; the 
Sunday School had 940 members enrolled; the church 
membership grew to 1,712. The sanctuary was filled 
to overflowing every Sunday morning. Over 125 
youths came every Sunday evening for Youth Fellow- 
ship. 

The biggest membership increase at Jarvis Memo- 
rial came from the visiting and preaching of Bradshaw 
with a big boost from visitation evangelism in 1945. 
The Methodists joined in with a city-wide religious 
census followed by a simultaneous community-wide 
interdenominational visitation. Bradshaw's leader- 
ship of the Methodists for that program made it a deep 
spiritual experience for his visitors. 



142 



Every home in Greenville had been visited for the 
religious census. Each denomination had covered a 
specific section of the city. Each home filled out a card 
showing: 

1. The names and ages 

2. Member of which local church 

3. Member of a church elsewhere 

4. Not a member of any church 

5. Which local church was preferred 

Then came the interdenominational visitation 
evangelism campaign. It ran for five nights. Each 
church was given the cards which the signer indicated 
was preferred. Teams of visitors came from each 
church. All the visitors and pastors met together for 
dinner each night, during which time they received 
instructions and inspiration. After dinner each met 
with his church's pastor when each team was given 
four cards to visit. The evening ended back at the 
church where each visitor reported to his pastor. 

To recruit his teams Bradshaw had used a low-key 
approach. Thirty teams volunteered. Most of the 
laymen and laywomen accepted their role just be- 
cause they had been asked by Bradshaw to help. They 
had only the sketchiest notion of what they were going 
to be involved in. As some of the volunteers arrived for 
the first evening they experienced deep misgivings. 
All felt entirely inadequate to speak to people about 
accepting Christ as their Savior. Nothing but their 
previously elicited promise to Bradshaw impelled 
them to go to the dinner, much less to set out the first 
evening. 

When "Uncle Bobby" met with his teams briefly 
after the dinner for handing out assignments, he as- 
sured them that neither he nor anyone else doing the 
visiting thought himself adequate, but that each by 
enlisting was just willing that the Lord might use him. 



143 



Then he prayed for God's guidance for each visitor 
and sent the teams on their way. Each team was 
advised to pray before entering a home. 

The reporting of visitors' experiences was the most 
moving part. Everyone was amazed at what had oc- 
curred. A few visitors related their experiences to the 
whole meeting. All denominations had equally as re- 
warding experiences during the five nights. 

Through their own prayers and the inspiring leader- 
ship of their pastor, the Methodist laymen and lay- 
women had gotten the decisions of many persons to 
accept Christ as their Savior and to join the church for 
the first time. Others responded to the teams' visits by 
moving their membership to Jarvis Memorial from 
Methodist Churches in other towns. The whole 
Methodist congregation felt the impact from the glori- 
ous spiritual experiences of the visitors. 

Those coming by certificate from Methodist 
Churches in other communities were recognized the 
Sunday morning following "visitation." In the after- 
noon of that same day Jarvis Memorial received into 
membership over 150 of those visited who had made 
original decisions to accept Christ. There is a picture 
somewhere of Bradshaw and the huge class of new 
members taken into membership that afternoon. On 
the following Sunday others who had not even been 
visited joined, having felt the spiritual surge. 

The visitation evangelism experience set Jarvis 
Memorial "on fire for the Lord." To extend the influ- 
ence of the church Bradshaw recruited teams to hold 
mission Sunday Schools in the rural areas around 
Greenville. Leaders like Ed Ratcliffe and Johnnie 
Overton served. One was started at Penny Hill in a 
doctor's old office, built in the late 1860's. Other 
members, including J. W. Overton, began holding a 
worship service every Sunday morning at the North 



144 



Carolina Prison Stockade across on the north side of 
Tar River. 

The impact of visitation evangelism was shared 
with a neighboring Methodist Church. Upon invitation 
a team of visitation evangelism workers from Jarvis 
Memorial was sent to the Bell Arthur Church. The 
team instructed and led that congregation in a visita- 
tion campaign. The results were an increase in mem- 
bership and a renewed spirit of purpose. The two 
laymen were W. F. Young and Wyatt Brown. 

The Jarvis Memorial sanctuary and educational 
annex auditorium were bursting at the seams with 
overflowing 11:00 Sunday morning attendance. Those 
who wished to worship at the morning service had to 
come thirty minutes early to get seats. The Sunday 
School was overcrowded also. One boys' class of the 
Sunday School had to be conducted in a toilet. 
Another used a stair landing. Obviously, more facili- 
ties were needed. Would the needs of the church be 
met? 

The need for more Sunday School facilities had 
been pressing for some time. The church had bought a 
house and lot on Greene Street behind the educational 
annex. Makeshift arrangements in the house provided 
some room for the Primary Department classes. The 
lot next to the one already owned on Greene Street was 
bought next. Then, when the need for an expanded 
sanctuary loomed, the I. F. Lee property was ac- 
quired. The I. F. Lee property was next to the other 
two lots. The church property now stretched from 
Washington to Greene Street, the same width. 

In 1947 Jarvis Memorial began to plan for the fu- 
ture. Some thought it was time to create an additional 
Greenville Methodist Church. Others felt the present 
location was unsatisfactory. Expanding would cost 
more than building a new structure. Parking was a 



145 



problem. There was the consideration of the increas- 
ing distance to the homes of members as the down- 
town business section expanded. Homes were being 
built increasingly farther out. The chief issue was 
whether Jarvis Memorial would commit to being a 
downtown church. 

Many considerations evolved as the church officials 
looked into the matter of extensive expansion. The 
Board of Stewards appointed a committee to make a 
thorough study of the situation, evaluate all the fac- 
tors, and bring a comprehensive plan for action. The 
committee was composed of Sam Underwood, Jr., 
chairman; Mrs. J. B. Kittrell, Howard J. McGinnis, 
N. O. VanNortwick, Jr., and J. H. Rose. It was called 
a "Survey Committee." 

The report and recommendations of the committee 
were presented to the Official Board on November 1, 
1947. After a statement of their findings as to possible 
future trends and resultant needs, the report posed 
four alternative plans with the committee's evaluation 
of each. 

"Plan One" proposed immediate remodeling the 
existent education annex. "Plan Two" proposed sell- 
ing the present site and buildings, purchasing a 
roomier site, and constructing new facilities. "Plan 
Three" proposed the creation by Jarvis Memorial of 
another Greenville Methodist Church, transferring 
some membership and providing liberal financial 
support to a new congregation. "Plan Four" proposed 
commitment to be "a downtown church" and to pro- 
ceed with a two-phase enlargement of existent facili- 
ties. The first "phase" would consist of the enlarge- 
ment of the sanctuary to hold 800, to be followed by a 
three-stage expansion of the educational plant; it also 
recommended the construction of a new additional 



146 



education building, the remodeling of the existent 
one, and the adding of a chapel. 

Discussion of the four plans was minimal since the 
survey was so thorough and comprehensive. The is- 
sues were clearly drawn. The "fourth plan" was 
adopted. Then much discussion did occur as to 
whether to build the sanctuary first or the first educa- 
tional stage — a new adequate building in addition to 
the educational annex. Building both at once ap- 
peared to be too ambitious. 

The adults had adequate Sunday School space. 
They knew only by hearing of the dire need of more 
space for the children and youth. The adults were 
more keenly aware of the inadequacy of the church 
sanctuary. However, when the needs of the youth and 
children were presented, it was decided to build the 
additional educational facilities first. Such consid- 
eration for the youth has been one of the fine traits of 
Jarvis Memorial that have characterized the congre- 
gation through the years. 

For some time the church had been looking forward 
to engaging in some post- World War II construction. 
The post-war high costs had discouraged any action 
thus far. Some funds had been accumulated by the 
stewards in anticipation of such building. Adoption of 
"plan four," with priority on educational facilities, 
found the Official Board in no mood to build without 
the funds in hand. They had adopted a resolution 
during World War II that the money for any building 
must be in hand to start. No building was started, but 
great effort to raise the money was engaged in. They 
loved their church. "Debt had destroyed the congre- 
gation's morale twice in the past." 

Illustrative of the fine supportive spirit in the Offi- 
cial Board was an incident which occurred during the 



147 



pastorate of Bob Bradshaw. Bradshaw was preaching 
sermons stirring people to give to the building fund. 
Following such appeals money was put in the plates 
and frequently a valuable piece of jewelry — a 
diamond ring or brooch. 

Annual Conference was convened in Elizabeth City 
late in November 1947. Bradshaw had served as pas- 
tor at Jarvis Memorial for four years, which was the 
maximum term in those days. But due to his enormous 
popularity with the whole congregation, the church 
wanted him returned for another year. The Bishop had 
on a few occasions let preachers stay more than four 
years at the bigger churches. Since Jarvis Memorial 
was one of the more important churches in the confer- 
ence, the congregation felt justified in wanting Brad- 
shaw back for a fifth year. 

During the November 1947 Annual Conference, 
word reached Greenville one night about 10:00 that 
Bishop W. W. Peele did not plan to return Robert W. 
Bradshaw for a fifth year. Upon learning of this, a 
self-appointed, concerned committee telephoned 
every member of the Board of Stewards about the 
situation. They told members a meeting had been 
called for 1 1 :00 that same night. Even Board members 
not usually seen at a regular Board meeting, as well as 
the faithful, were present. Obviously, the Board 
members were deeply concerned that Bradshaw was 
not to be sent back. At that emergency, emotion- 
packed meeting, it was quickly agreed that every man 
there who possibly could would drive the next day to 
Elizabeth City as part of a delegation to importune the 
Bishop to return Bradshaw. 

When the Greenville delegation confronted Bishop 
Peele, he reluctantly agreed to make an exception 
from the four-year limit for Jarvis Memorial. On the 
floor of the Annual Conference a few minutes later, 



148 



when the Bishop spoke of the presence of the huge 
Greenville delegation, he warned he would not be 
intimidated by large or small delegations about ap- 
pointments. The Greenville delegation rode back 
home quite happy with the results of their efforts. 
Some even hoped for perhaps more than a fifth year, 
and said so. 

In November 1948, climaxing Brads haw's fifth 
year, Jarvis Memorial entertained Annual Conference 
again for the fourth time. The local church had on its 
roll 1,750 members. The Sunday School had a mem- 
bership of 1,109. There was a large, active Women's 
Society of Christian Service. Entertainment of the 
conference was well organized and each committee 
did a good job. All lunches and dinners were arranged 
for at commercial establishments or with ladies' or- 
ganizations of churches of other denominations wish- 
ing to earn money. All such meals were paid for by the 
Annual Conference. Sleeping accommodations in the 
homes of the congregation were more difficult to se- 
cure in 1943. Since entertaining Annual Conference in 
1931, members in Greenville had reduced the size of 
new homes because of the effects of the 1929 Depres- 
sion; in fact, few homes were built for large families. 
However, with the cooperation of other denomina- 
tions in town and of the Methodist congregations of 
neighboring towns, all the lay and clerical delegates 
were accommodated. 

Difficulty arose, however, in securing the reap- 
pointment of Bradshaw for an unprecedented sixth 
year. Even among those in the local congregation who 
loved Bradshaw very much, there were some who had 
believed that the four-year limit ought not to have 
been violated by returning Bradshaw for a fifth year 
and were even more opposed to a sixth year. A few 
objected for other reasons; for instance, some did not 



149 



want Bradshaw back because they thought Bradshaw 
acted "too holy." 

The Board of Stewards had voted for the return of 
Bradshaw, but had apprehensions about a few who 
they knew were opposed. The ones who opposed had 
not voted. In those days appointments were still not 
final until read by the Bishop to the conference on the 
afternoon of the last day. Rumors of appointments 
usually were all that got around during conference. 
Repeated rumors that Bradshaw would be returned to 
Jarvis Memorial had passed along the grapevine Mon- 
day, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

Since the bigger churches' appointments were usu- 
ally settled first, according to the wiseacres of the 
conference, it began to be assumed by everyone by 
Thursday that Greenville would get its preacher back 
for the sixth year. It was a known fact that the delega- 
tions from Edenton Street in Raleigh, St. Paul in 
Goldsboro, Trinity in Durham, and Duke Memorial in 
Durham had all been reassured enough about who 
their preachers would be that they had already re- 
turned to their home towns by Thursday. 

Suddenly, on Friday afternoon the rumor came 
zooming over the grapevine that Bradshaw was being 
moved to Wilson and Leon Russell, scheduled for St. 
Paul, was being appointed to Jarvis Memorial. On 
being approached immediately in the pastor's study, 
Bradshaw declared in a quivering voice that he him- 
self had been officially notified only a few minutes 
before of being sent to Wilson. It was done without the 
customary consultation between the Bishop and 
preacher. Bradshaw indicated by his manner and his 
statements that he was shocked that he was to be 
moved. With his characteristic Christian readiness to 
forgive, he calmed himself and vouchsafed that he 
knew the names of the persons who on a self- 



150 



appointed mission had gone to see the Bishop in 
Rocky Mount just days before conference to have him 
moved. He insisted that he considered each of the 
men who had sought his removal a dear friend whom 
he loved. 

The rumor on the floor of the conference of Brad- 
shaw's removal had been accompanied with the 
further information that he would be replaced at Jarvis 
Memorial by Reverend Leon Russell, who until Friday 
was slated to return for his sixth year at St. Paul in 
Goldsboro. The delegation from St. Paul had left the 
conference on Thursday night, after having received 
assurances that Russell was being returned to St. 
Paul. They were back at conference Friday night 
upset and disappointed over losing Russell. At the 
reading of appointments on Sunday afternoon Brad- 
shaw was sent to Wilson, and Russell was appointed 
to Jarvis Memorial. 



151 



CHAPTER XVIII 



A Second and Third Methodist 
Congregation 

Russell came in November 1948 and quickly won 
the love and respect of the Greenville congregation. 
His sermons were of the highest order in structure, 
theology, and spiritual inspiration. He visited every- 
one. He was an excellent administrator. The first of 
each conference year he provided each member of the 
congregation with a mimeographed copy of the 
church's program for the whole year. With keen dis- 
cernment he saw what needed to be done and worked 
effectively with such adroitness and subtlety that it 
was done by the church leaders. 

He focused immediately upon the fact that the 
building program had not progressed beyond a pro- 
posal and money-making efforts. It was dividing the 
congregation. He wanted the church to get started 
"laying bricks." He quickly discovered the plan for 
building had been purposely delayed by those who 
were determined not to build until all the money was in 
hand. They thought a debt would dampen the 
church's mood. However, fine Christian leaders of the 
church like K. T. Futrell, Dr. F. P. Brooks, and R. R. 
Taylor urged the immediate building to fill the needs 
of the children of the current generation. They urged 
the church to borrow the money with faith that God 
would help. The opportunity to serve the present gen- 
eration of youth would be lost. Russell's opinion, pri- 
vately, was that the money would be forthcoming 



152 



when the congregation saw progress on the building. 
Construction was started early in 1951, the same year 
in April East Carolina Teachers College became East 
Carolina College with an expanded role in higher edu- 
cation in North Carolina. 

Construction plans had been drawn. The building 
and furnishings were to cost $180,000.00. Provisions 
were made for two stories and a basement. A 
passageway was to connect the old education annex 
with the new. The new building was to be the same 
width as the old annex and lie directly behind it, so 
located that it would leave the area immediately be- 
hind the sanctuary unobstructed so that any expand- 
ing of the sanctuary would not be impeded. 

During the period of construction Russell preached 
a series of sermons that subtlely and effectively in- 
spired contributions for the building fund. Money 
came in, but not fast enough for those who had wanted 
the money in hand before starting to build. "Every- 
Member" canvasses of the congregation for funds 
were held periodically to speed up donations. 

One Sunday, when the building was in its final stage 
of construction, a final "Every-Member" canvass was 
held. A Sunday afternoon was designated for the so- 
licitors to fan out through the membership. The 
amount collected was pitifully small — a few hundred 
dollars when several thousand was needed. Leon 
Russell was approached by a concerned member 
about the lack of success of the last 4i big push." The 
pastor did not seem upset at the limited amount 
raised. He confided to his close friends that he had 
expected no more from the ' 6 E very-Member" can- 
vass. He assured them that the balance would be 
forthcoming instantly. One week later every penny 
was in hand, completely confirming Leon Russell's 
judgment of the behavior to be expected. 



153 



An amusing incident occurred to two of the can- 
vassers in that final unsuccessful "Every-Member" 
canvass. The solicitors had gone out in two-men 
teams. The team which had the amusing encounter 
called on a Methodist home in what was at that time 
the most exclusive residential section of Greenville — 
Rock Springs. It was with misgivings the team 
mounted the front steps of that home. They thought 
families of such wealth usually were solicited by some 
of the more prestigious members of the Board. 

When the front door opened, there stood the 
widowed grandmother. The solicitors bluntly said 
they were there for the building fund. Smiles and 
encouraging words of approbation for the building 
program came in response. The visitors were invited 
in to have a seat while a check was being written. The 
canvassers were assured, as they entered the living 
room, that their coming had been looked forward to 
and that a donation would be forthcoming in the 
names of her recently deceased spouse, her child, and 
her grandchildren. Off she went to get a blank check 
and to get it made out for her donation to the church 
building fund. 

The canvassers sat joyfully anticipating a check of 
liberal dimensions. Their pulses raced with excite- 
ment, and smiles wreathed their faces. They twitched 
in their chairs for they could hardly contain them- 
selves. They had come up to this last card depressed 
about the prospects for the solicitation. They had 
made stops at several homes in fulfilling their assign- 
ment and had secured up to this point a total of only 
$25.00. When the good lady came back in the room 
and tendered the check, they did not dare look at it 
then. Instead they carefully folded it. They thanked 
the bountiful lady profusely, and she glowed in the 
aura of their gratitude. Out on the street in their 



154 



parked car they took a peek before driving off. The 
check was for $3.00! 

In the spring of 1951, while the annex was in the 
final stages of completion, the pastor had advised the 
church that he would like to be away all the upcoming 
summer, having been delegated by the Bishop to at- 
tend a world-wide conference on missions in Europe. 
The Official Board gave the pastor a check and a leave 
of absence. Reverend Langil Watson, a personable, 
able, recent Duke Divinity School graduate, was se- 
cured to fill the pulpit during the summer absence of 
Russell. Young Watson filled the pulpit during the 
summer months with poise, eloquence, and able ad- 
vocacy. Due to the quality of the supporting lay 
leadership, he encountered no difficulties with the 
church program. The young preacher won the admi- 
ration, respect, and affection of the entire congrega- 
tion. 

Leon Russell had that rare combination of talents 
which enabled him to come back from Europe and 
take up his role again smoothly and successfully. At 
Annual Conference in November 1951 Russell was 
returned for his fourth year. A membership of 1,842 
had been reported at that conference. Of that number 
a total of 334 had been categorized as "inactive" 
members — unknown and unlocated persons — to be 
purged from the roll in three years, according to the 
provisions of the "Discipline." 

Enthusiasm was high when Leon Russell returned 
for the fourth year. Jarvis Memorial was being spoken 
of in conference circles as comparable to the best in 
the conference. Several Jarvis Memorial laymen held 
important Annual Conference posts: R. R. Taylor, 
Kinchen Cobb, J. H. Waldrop, S. B. Underwood, Jr., 
and J. H. Rose. Jarvis Memorial always paid the full 
amount apportioned by the Annual Conference for 



155 



World Service — $2,500.00 in 1951. It was always 
more than their proportional part. By so doing, other 
churches were challenged to accept at least their 
proportional part. Russell urged Jarvis Memorial to 
add the amount of $600.00 a year to World Service for 
foreign missions. The church put it in the 1951-1952 
budget. Support of foreign missions prior to that occa- 
sion had always been left to the Women's Society. 

The congregation continued to overflow the 
sanctuary every Sunday. The sanctuary held a few 
over three hundred. Six hundred more sat in the old 
educational annex auditorium. Some who came could 
not be accommodated. Few of those sitting in the 
annex could see the preacher in the pulpit — only 
those in the front rows. Some in the annex could not 
hear him, for there was no public address system. The 
folding chairs in the annex made a terrible rumbling 
noise every time the congregation stood for hymns or 
prayers. Needless to say, such chairs afforded little 
comfort for sitting through a service. The most dis- 
turbing aspect was that some who came were turned 
away because there were no seats. The aisles of the 
sanctuary were filled with chairs every Sunday in 
defiance of fire laws. 

The new education building was completed, paid 
for, and in use. A combined consecration and dedica- 
tion service for the new facility was solemnized on 
Sunday morning, February 3, 1952, at the 11:00 ser- 
vice. It had been a highly successful venture in faith. 

Some at the time could not forget the need for 
provision of adequate and suitable sanctuary facili- 
ties. But the Sunday School, at least, had adequate, 
modern facilities except for the Junior and Senior 
High classes. They were still using the 1922 annex. 
Under the inspired, able leadership of the General 
Superintendent of the Sunday School, J. H. Rose, the 



156 



educational program in 1952 was functioning en- 
thusiastically and effectively. Attendance overran the 
expanded educational facilities. The Methodist Youth 
Fellowship was carrying on a full, active program. A 
director of Christian Education was employed from 
time to time when one was available. But laymen and 
laywomen carried on when no director of Christian 
Education was available. Mrs. W. H. Taft and Mrs. J. 
H. Waldrop served faithfully and effectively as coun- 
selors. 

Night worship services were held every Sunday 
during Russell's pastorate. In the summer, city-wide 
interdenominational services were supported. 
Wednesday night prayer meetings every week were a 
spiritual blessing for those few who attended. 

To utilize the potential leadership more fully, the 
local congregation adopted some innovations. The 
leadership of the church had been aware for some 
time of the lack of involvement of many able members 
in the leadership of the church. To provide more op- 
portunities for more members to share their talents, 
the Board of Stewards initiated a "Rotation" plan on 
May 9, 1951. The number of members of the Board of 
Stewards is governed by the "Discipline" to be a 
certain proportion of the membership. Since the ear- 
liest days in Greenville, once any man was elected to 
the Board it seemed he continued for his lifetime. 
Some men who had been on the Board for years and 
had not attended a meeting in all that time or helped 
with the work of the church would have been highly 
insulted if they had not been re-elected each year. It 
must be kept in mind that some of the inactive stew- 
ards, though unwilling to do church work, were 
usually liberal givers to the budget, precluding any 
drastic action about such inactive Board members. 

By adopting "Rotation," the Board instituted a plan 



157 



whereby one-fourth of the stewards rotated off the 
Board each year. The one-fourth rotated off became 
eligible for re-election after twelve months off. Thus, 
one-fourth of the membership of the Board was to be 
appointed each year. "Rotation" greatly broadened 
participation in the church's leadership base. 

Another innovation was initiated a few years later 
by the laymen. It was adopted July 5, 1955. To 
broaden involvement in church leadership even 
further, they adopted a rule limiting to four years the 
maximum term for anyone who was elected to office 
by the quarterly conference. 

Due to Russell's urging, another innovation in the 
early 1950's was adopted — the election of a woman to 
the Official Board. Mrs. W. E. (Annie Lee) Hooker 
was the first woman so elected. Shortly after Mrs. 
Hooker's election, Mrs. J. B. (Elizabeth Hinton) Kit- 
trell was elected a member of the Board of Trustees. 
He was concerned that no woman served on either 
Board. Since those two, women have grown to con- 
stitute a large per cent of the total number of trustees 
and stewards. The ready acceptance and expansion 
of women as church officials demonstrate another 
indication of the intelligence and sensitivity of Jarvis 
Memorial. (The names of the Presidents of United 
Methodist Women at Jarvis Memorial, 1938-1976, are 
provided in Appendix E, p. 194.) 

The city of Greenville in 1952 had grown to number 
16,500. The East Carolina College student body at the 
same time was growing rapidly due to the expansion of 
the curricula and facilities under the new president, 
Dr. John D. Messick. A veritable flood of World War 
II veterans came to East Carolina College financed 
under the G. I. Bill. The town also had felt the impact 
of the DuPont Plant being built near Kinston. Gov- 



158 



ernment crop control and support of agricultural 
prices kept the local farm economy healthy. 

Jarvis Memorial was so large that the pastor carried 
a monstrous load and could hardly visit all the shut-ins 
and the ill, much less make ordinary pastoral calls. 
How Russell got it all done no one knew. For years the 
Board of Stewards had been asking the District 
Superintendent to appoint an associate pastor. Each 
such effort had found the conference executives re- 
jecting the request. They urged the organization of 
another Methodist congregation in Greenville. 

The idea of another Methodist congregation in 
Greenville had been neglected for some years. But it 
appeared that the Bishop was not going to help ease 
the load of the overburdened Jarvis Memorial pastor 
until another church was organized. Discussion of 
organizing a new congregation reopened debate on 
moving the present church to a residential neigh- 
borhood, despite the adoption of the downtown reso- 
lution in 1947. While the debate continued, a com- 
mittee was appointed, headed by Dr. Howard 
McGinnis, to survey the city to find who would join 
and the location of the best site for a second Methodist 
congregation. His report indicated that expansion of 
the city was to the west. A site in the Pitt Memorial 
Hospital section was indicated. He found that many 
people living out that way of some other denomina- 
tions indicated a willingness to join a Methodist 
Church if one were located in the neighborhood. 

Immediately Jarvis Memorial budgeted $1,000.00 a 
year to be given in support of the new congregation. 
The new congregation grew rapidly. How many finally 
joined from the mother church is impossible to de- 
termine. But by 1954 they were ready to build their 
own facilities. 



159 



The James Brown family (Mrs. James Brown, Mrs. 
Ellie Brown Tolson, J. Key Brown, James Brown, Jr., 
Garland G. Brown, Lalah Brown Watts, and Harry M. 
Brown) gave St. James some choice lots lying at the 
corner of East Sixth Street and Forest Hills Circle 
Drive. Obviously that was in the eastern part of the 
city. But further study during the first year of St. 
James had revealed that the eastern section was more 
promising for the new church. These circumstances 
explain the gift of a site by the Browns. 

On February 27, 1955, St. James, with 326 mem- 
bers, completed their new church. It was a classroom 
and fellowship hall. The fellowship hall was to be used 
for Sunday morning worship services for the time 
being. Financing had been accomplished by issuing 
bonds. Many members of Jarvis Memorial bought 
bonds and then gave them to St. James as a donation. 

St. James developed into a strong congregation. 
Besides a full program and the usual benevolences, 
the church supported a missionary in Puerto Rico. In 
1966, with 901 members, they built a beautiful 
sanctuary and adequate educational facilities. Then, 
in 1966, they sponsored a third Methodist congrega- 
tion in Greenville — Holy Trinity Methodist Church. 
Jarvis Memorial furnished members and liberal finan- 
cial support to the new church. 

It is necessary to drop back in time, for the Annual 
Conference in 1952 has significance. Leon Russell 
had served Jarvis Memorial for four years. The Bishop 
had told Russell he wanted him to become a District 
Superintendent. Serving a pastorate was Russell's 
preference. There was some opposition to Russell in 
the local congregation. Apparently that segment of the 
congregation liked the Bishop's plan. Word that Rus- 
sell, in fact, was to be moved reached Greenville 
during conference. The church's delegate could not 



160 



be reached by telephone. Supporters of Russell left 
immediately for the Annual Conference, then in ses- 
sion at Front Street Church in High Point. A meeting 
with the Bishop was arranged. A request for the return 
for a fifth year of their preacher was presented. The 
Bishop replied, "Jarvis Memorial is a fine church, and 
they can have anyone they want. I will return Russell 
though I need him on the District." Then he stated 
that such an appointment would be a fifth year, and so 
his last. 



161 



CHAPTER XIX 



A Peak 

Aware that the church would be having a new pastor 
appointed at Annual Conference in 1953, the Official 
Board passed a resolution, declaring the imminent 
desirability of securing the appointment of an able 
"young" preacher. A special committee was ap- 
pointed to see to it. The name of William M. Howard 
was given to the committee. His appointment to Jarvis 
Memorial was sought. 

The securing of the desired preacher involved get- 
ting the cooperation of the resident District Superin- 
tendent first. When the District Superintendent con- 
curred, committee members went with him to see 
Bishop Garber twice. The second meeting with the 
Bishop about two weeks before Annual Conference 
resulted in securing his promise to appoint Howard to 
Jarvis Memorial. Garber had abandoned the four-year 
limit and regularly consulted with local churches on 
appointments. 

Howard's coming to Jarvis Memorial proved to be 
exceedingly beneficial. He was young, energetic, in- 
telligent, talented, and deeply committed to the ser- 
vice of his God and Savior. His preaching filled the 
sanctuary every Sunday. Besides the preaching, he 
married, buried, visited, comforted, planned, turned 
out the lights after night meetings at the church, 
mowed the lawn of the parsonage and the church, and 
trimmed the hedges at both. He was indefatigable. No 
task was too menial. At prayer meeting, if there was 
no one to play the piano for singing, he played. He 



162 



played the organ at Annual Conferences. He was an 
accomplished musician. With his urging, church 
music received more emphasis. It was he who ini- 
tiated the processional to open the 11:00 morning 
worship service. 

During his pastorate the issue on integration 
penetrated the local scene. Howard presented his in- 
terpretation of relevant scripture. Dr. Howard Mc- 
Ginnis, chairman of the Pastoral Relations Commit- 
tee, supported him. There was some bitter objection. 
Howard gave McGinnis a transcript in advance of the 
race relations sermons. Such practice reduced mis- 
quotation appreciably. 

There were nine hundred and more attending ser- 
vices regularly each Sunday morning in the 1905 
sanctuary. Due to inadequate seating the accommo- 
dations were intolerable. The preacher was invisible 
to about four hundred, and many more could not even 
hear him. The situation was helped when the pulpit 
was moved across to the place where the church 
sanctuary and Sunday School auditoriums met. 

When Howard placed his library in the pastor's 
study, he pointed to some old books and remarked: 

This part of my books are here for a second time. They were 
the library of Reverend W. H. Call who was the pastor of St. 
Pauls in 1870. His son gave them to me. 

Indicative of the dedication of Howard to the ser- 
vice of his Master was the circumstance of his offering 
to resign one year while in Greenville. He asked the 
Bishop to move him because he did not think he was at 
that moment the best preacher for such a great 
church. He had encountered some opposition and had 
over-estimated it. Negotiations of the Pastoral Rela- 
tions Committee at the urging of the District Superin- 
tendent convinced him that most of the congregation 
valued his pastorate. He accepted reappointment. 



163 



The Ellington Adult Bible Class had been broad- 
casting its Sunday School teacher's lesson each Sun- 
day for many years. In 1954 the church started radio 
broadcasting of the Sunday morning worship service. 
It has been retained as a way to reach those confined 
temporarily or permanently by illness and other in- 
terested listeners. It has proved to be a valuable 
medium for Jarvis Memorial. 

A continuing program of visitation by laymen was 
carried on by the Fishermen's Club following the 1946 
visitation evangelism campaign until the late 1950's. It 
was terminated by being replaced. A Methodist Men's 
Club was organized; the Fishermen group was asked 
to disband, proposing that the visitation be expanded 
by utilizing the Methodist Men. The new visitation 
idea did not work out. 

Jarvis Memorial had not participated in an inter- 
denominational tent revival meeting since the 1920's. 
In 1954 it was proposed by the Pitt County Ministerial 
Association. Such was not to Reverend Howard's lik- 
ing, but he dutifully presented the idea to the Official 
Board as he was asked to do by the Greenville Ministe- 
rial Association. It was approved. Eddie Martin and 
his team came to Greenville and set up a tent. He 
billed himself as the "Small Town Billy Graham." In 
fact, he was crude and obvious in his methods, but he 
got big money into the coffers of the "Eddie Martin 
Foundation" from Greenville. 

He sought the youth particularly. Their enthusiasm 
for him led to their being amenable to any suggestion 
he made. At his last service he peremptorily ordered 
the youth to be loyal and listen to no one except Malloy 
Owens, pastor of St. James. Following the revival, the 
youth, under the influence of Owens, rejected recre- 
ation at Sunday night Youth Fellowship at Jarvis Me- 
morial. They said they thought it was a sin. Their 



164 



worship was held at secret places. Parents com- 
plained. With such dissidence, attendance at the Jar- 
vis Memorial Youth Fellowship lost its momentum. 
The idea was put forward at the Board of Stewards 
meeting to secure an effective director of Christian 
Education to "iron things out." 

Robert McKenzie was secured as associate pastor 
with the special assignment to rebuild the youth pro- 
gram. He came in 1955 and was reappointed for 
another year in 1956. He was the first associate pastor 
since 1889, when E. C. Glenn was appointed as as- 
sociate for St. Pauls. McKenzie became useful to the 
church as the reviver of the youth work. He also 
preached ably when in the pulpit. 

In June 1956 the local church entertained Annual 
Conference for the fifth time. That was the second 
time the conference had been held in June. But the 
sessions were held on the campus of East Carolina 
College in Wright Auditorium. All the neighboring 
towns helped entertain preachers and delegates, but 
dormitory space was available as well. 

The conference met in June, with the huge au- 
ditorium providing plenty of seating capacity. The 
June heat, however, was oppressive. Sessions were 
not well attended by the preachers or delegates. The 
worship sessions did not seem as worshipful. The 
conference had met at a Fayetteville church in 1955. 
Using the college facilities was an experiment. The 
large number now attending Annual Conference pre- 
cluded sessions anywhere but in the few largest 
churches or on college campuses. The local church 
provided the 1956 delegates with ushers and cold 
lemonade. 

Jarvis Memorial had been aware since 1947 of the 
need for a larger sanctuary. Since the 1947 survey of 
church and educational facilities, the need for a larger 



165 



sanctuary had been known to all. The educational 
needs had been provided for first in 1952. But five 
years had elapsed with no sanctuary expansion. The 
need for a new sanctuary became more agonizingly 
obvious each Sunday that passed. Any mention of 
building inevitably renewed the debate of what was 
best to do: a whole new church at a new site, a com- 
pletely new church on the present site, or an extension 
of the old sanctuary. Such discussions deterred ac- 
tion. Rapidly escalating inflation further discouraged 
determination to build. Three efforts to start building 
resulted in appointing a finance chairman. Two men 
so elected refused to serve. One accepted election and 
found no support for going ahead. 

Finally, in 1957, at a meeting of the Official Board a 
proposal to repaint and air condition the sanctuary 
was advanced. E. Hoover Taft, Jr. , objected. He made 
the counter proposal that expansion, painting, and air 
conditioning be started immediately. In his making 
that proposal to expand now, he stated that he be- 
lieved in Jarvis Memorial's commitment to be a 
downtown church. It was decided that the additional 
room needed, as would be provided by extension of 
the old sanctuary, should retain the flavor of the ex- 
isting architectural style exteriorly and interiorly. The 
Board elected him chairman of the Building Finance 
Committee, and he accepted. He knew that on previ- 
ous occasions the chairmen of the Building Finance 
Committee had been elected but had not received any 
support. 

Immediately, Mr. Taft proposed retaining a profes- 
sional money raising company. A goal of $250,000.00 
was set. Solicitations resulted in raising $350,000.00 
in pledges payable in three annual installments. The 
sanctuary was built, a new pipe organ was installed, 



166 



about how highly he valued Wednesday night prayer 
meetings and of what great value they were to the life 
of the whole church. He was then informed that prayer 
meetings had been uninterrupted for years. 

The extension of the sanctuary, providing the Hall 
of History and a chapel, had cost $400,000.00. It was 
paid off in three years — the term of the pledges. 

Another courageous and constructive step was 
taken in 1958. There were 301 "inactive" members 
being carried on the church roll. That meant that 301 
had not been heard from or seen, or could not be 
located. They were removed from the roll by the ac- 
tion of the quarterly conference. 

Just a few statistics might clarify why the roll was 
1,824 in 1951 and 1,357 in 1960. The roll in 1947, when 
the decision to be a downtown church was made, was 
1,607 with 257 of those classified as "inactive" — 
unknown, unheard from, unlocatable. Between 1947 
and 1960 over 1,200 new members had been taken in. 
Add the 1,200 to the 1947 number of 1,607, and the 
total is 2,807. But from the 2,807 have to be subtracted 
the 301 dropped, plus those who died and those who 
transferred to other denominations or transferred to 
other Methodist Churches. Net membership reported 
at Annual Conference in 1960 was 1,357. 



169 



CHAPTER XX 



Becoming a Downtown Church 

In June 1960, H. R. McLamb was appointed to 
Jarvis Memorial. Immediately the church attendance 
dropped dramatically. During his one-year pastorate 
the roll went up by 97 members, though 141 were 
taken in. The continuing attrition by death and trans- 
fer took its numerical toll. Sunday School attendance 
kept going down. The attendance was 856 in 1956 and 
had slipped to 476 by 1961. 

Three upsetting experiences transpired that year. 
They stirred the church to greater efforts. All three 
revealed false impressions of the church that had been 
growing up in the minds of the people of Greenville. 

The first was an incident which might seem quite 
trivial unless considered as a false impression adding 
to the other two. It occurred during a series of lay 
visitation evangelism. Two lay persons called on a 
home of people unknown to them. Their card said 
someone there wanted to join Jarvis Memorial. The 
knock on the front door brought a man. He was in a 
dressing gown. A highball was in his hand. He cracked 
the door open. He was told who the callers were. The 
door was pulled wide open. With a broad smile and 
a gesture of welcome, he invited the callers to come in. 
Without much ado the callers told him the purpose of 
their visit, directing the telling squarely at him. His 
wife sat silent but showed she was listening. She was 
in a wrapper and she held a highball in her hand. The 
odor of liquor permeated the room. The wife finally 
spoke up good-naturedly and said it was not she or her 



170 



and the adjacent section of the educational building 
was rebuilt to provide a ladies' parlor and a chapel. 
The total cost was $400,000.00. That amount was all 
paid in three years. Such an achievement provided an 
outstanding example of lay leadership by Taft and full 
support by the congregation. 

To make the sanctuary available to the contractor 
for the building process, the congregation had to stop 
using it. A final service in the old sanctuary was held 
on January 22, 1957. Following the benediction a pro- 
cessional headed by the preacher and choir led the 
congregation out the Bell Tower front door. During the 
period of building the congregation worshiped in the 
old Austin Hall on the East Carolina College campus. 
Attendance continued good. Sunday School was held 
in the educational buildings which were not involved 
in the construction process. 

Worship was initiated, upon completion of the 
sanctuary, on Sunday morning, February 2, 1958, 
with Reverend W. M. Howard, the pastor, doing the 
preaching. The first evening service, with Bishop Paul 
N. Garber doing the preaching, was used to recognize 
those who had gone out from the church into full-time 
ministry. (See Plate 12 for the embellished dedicatory 
prayer by W. M. Howard, Jr., at the dedication 
service of Jarvis Memorial Sanctuary, June 17, 1962. 
For the actual prayer, see Appendix F, pp. 195-196.) 

That first service in the new sanctuary was the 
occasion of several innovations which have been con- 
tinued. An enrobed acolyte marched from the back of 
the auditorium down to light the altar candles. Then, 
during the singing of the opening hymn, a procession 
of choir and pastor marched down the aisle. When the 
morning collection was taken, twelve ushers marched 
down the center aisle from the back of the church to 



167 



get the plates. After having received the collection 
they marched from the back down the aisle again to 
present the offering. 

The pastor received the collection plates and placed 
them on the altar. Prior to the new sanctuary, stew- 
ards who took up the offering had risen from their 
seats about the auditorium and walked individually 
down to the chancel rail for the plates. After passing 
the plates they marched down the aisle and turned the 
plates over to the chairman of the Board of Stewards, 
who placed the plates on the communion table which 
stood just in front of the raised pulpit. That table had 
always been carefully placed so as not to touch the 
pulpit. Methodist Churches until the 1950's avoided 
altars. If the table touched the pulpit, it might consti- 
tute an altar. In the old days a new pastor would make 
a point of walking between the communion table and 
the pulpit to demonstrate that they were separated. 

The new, larger sanctuary still did not accommo- 
date all who wished to worship. An 8:30 a.m. service 
was initiated, and this early Sunday morning practice 
has been maintained. Some seem to prefer it. 

During the building of the extension of the 
sanctuary, a hall from the educational buildings to the 
sanctuary had been constructed. This has become the 
Hall of History. In a glass case a few historical items 
have been placed. One is the old communion service 
from the time when all those communing drank from 
the same silver cup. 

During Howard's pastorate an amusing incident oc- 
curred. A congregational meeting had been called to 
convene following the morning worship service. The 
agenda was promptly dispatched. Then one of the 
prominent members arose and posed a question: 
"Why have prayer meetings been stopped?" Without 
waiting for a reply, he entered into a series of remarks 



168 



The Sunday School leadership was still struggling 
with declining attendance. Two new "young adult" 
classes had been started and had grown. A cradle 
nursery was added. Under the aegis of the Sunday 
School the week-day kindergarten program was ex- 
panded. Also, a nursery school was added to that 
program. Sunday night worship services received 
faithful support. The two Sunday morning services 
were being better attended. The spirit of the congre- 
gation was excellent. One group of "The Twelve" was 
formed. A "Twelve" group met for prayer and Bible 
study weekly; then they visited for the church. 

In 1963 the church entertained Annual Conference 
for the sixth and final time. Taking care of the large 
number was made easy by using dormitory space at 
East Carolina College. It was the last time because 
Annual Conference has been meeting at Methodist 
College in Fayetteville every year for some time now. 

One summer during Dr. Fisher's pastorate Dr. Bes- 
sie McNiel was subsidized by individual members so 
she could spend a summer in Africa sharing her skill 
as a Christian and skilled teacher of Domestic Sci- 
ence. That summer's mission afforded the church a 
rich experience in sharing. 

It was in 1966 that St. James built her present 
sanctuary, expanded the educational facilities, and 
sponsored the establishment of Holy Trinity as a third 
Methodist Church in Greenville. Holy Trinity oc- 
cupied its own church in September 1973. Jarvis Me- 
morial helped by sending money and members. 

At Jarvis Memorial the Youth Program flourished. 
Kay Batchelor resigned to get married, but Diana 
Harrison was retained to follow her. Miss Harrison 
was an able director of Christian Education. About 
1966 the Official Board added a visiting pastor. To fill 
that role they retained Reverend A. E. Brown, who 



173 



had moved to Greenville to retire from his active 
ministry in the North Carolina Conference. He had 
gone into the ministry from Jarvis Memorial in 1922. 

There was a resolution adopted by a 1966 quarterly 
conference that revealed the church was attuned to 
the times. It showed the appreciation of the Official 
Board of the role of women in the life of the church. 
The resolution urged that more women be elected to 
the Official Board in the future. As indicated before 
this, women had been elected to the Board each year 
since 1950. 

It should be noted that through the years Greenville 
Methodists have been moved from district to district 
in the Annual Conference. But in 1964 a Greenville 
District was created, jarvis Memorial supported the 
establishment of the new district financially. The 
District Superintendent became a resident of Green- 
ville. 

One amusing incident occurred in connection with 
integration. It was not popular locally when the Su- 
preme Court ruling came in 1957. Members had been 
disturbed further by the aggressive Blacks seeking 
publicity by staging confrontations at the front doors 
of white churches. One Saturday, in the summer of 
1964, it was spread through the congregation that the 
Blacks were going to try to attend Jarvis Memorial the 
next day. How would the situation be handled? The 
officials of the church made plans that were adequate. 
All Blacks would be received and seated in the back 
ten rows. These rows had been set aside with ribbons. 
The official attitude was commendable — maybe a bit 
arbitrary to allocate only back seats. But in the South 
most white churches then were refusing entrance to 
all Blacks. The amusing part was the anticipatory 
behavior of the ushers. There was much discussion 
among them as to who would usher the Blacks in. 



174 



husband who had signed the card. She explained it 
was their son. He would be called in immediately. He 
came in with obvious reluctance. He was told the 
purpose of the visit. He said abruptly that he was 
uninterested. At this declaration by the son, the 
mother almost shouted, "But you will never rank so- 
cially in Greenville if you do not join Jarvis Memorial!" 
So ended that visit. 

The second discovery was made during that same 
visitation evangelism campaign in 1961. On returning 
to the church to report after visiting, several teams 
reported that they had heard some upsetting news. 
Some people they had visited had told them that St. 
James' visitation callers had told them Jarvis Memo- 
rial was a cold church made up mostly of old people 
and a congregation so large that no one knew the 
other. The first incident could have been discounted 
as the action of frivolous parents. Such misinforma- 
tion as that St. James was spreading might have been 
discounted as misguided, over-enthusiastic partisan- 
ship in competition for new members. But the third 
source made Jarvis Memorial fully aware that some- 
thing had to be done to change a growing false impres- 
sion in the community. 

The third source was a letter. It was read to the 
Membership and Evangelism Committee. Recently a 
family of five had transferred from Jarvis Memorial to 
another denomination. To make sure the church knew 
why the family had transferred, they wrote a letter to a 
member of the committee. The letter explained that 
the move had been made because they found Jarvis 
Memorial cold. 

The whole congregation rued that such ideas ex- 
isted. To meet the situation the Methodist women 
immediately started having couples at each door of the 
sanctuary to greet everyone who entered. They or- 



171 



ganized a highly effective system of visiting for the 
women of the church. The Membership and 
Evangelism Committee started visiting newcomers 
and prospects for membership every week. They kept 
at it both winter and summer. Also, guests at services 
were asked to sign cards. The resultant cards were 
bases for visits. 

The Youth Program has always been a major con- 
cern of the Official Board. Efforts to secure appoint- 
ment of an associate pastor to head the Youth Pro- 
gram had been without effect except for McKenzie's 
brief stay. In order to do the best that could be done, a 
youth worker, Kay Batchelor, was retained. Always 
doing everything possible for the youth, the church 
now established a library. Mrs. H. T. (Lois) Patterson 
had finally overcome official inertia. Immediately it 
gained wide support. It has been guided by Mrs. Pat- 
terson to become a valuable asset. The library has 
grown in the number of volumes, readers, and out- 
reach, extending beyond Jarvis Memorial to the whole 
county. New and more ample quarters are planned for 
in the near future. 

Additionally, in 1961 the Official Board began to 
nominate some younger men to official positions. The 
group who had led the Official Board since the 1930's 
began gradually to be replaced. 

By the time Dr. Edgar B. Fisher was appointed in 
1961 the church had successfully dispelled the mista- 
ken notion about "coldness." Guests were so im- 
pressed they remarked about the friendliness they 
found at Jarvis Memorial. When Dr. Fisher arrived in 
1961 he found a church ready for a full program. 
Confidence had grown. They were experienced. A 
downtown church was worth the effort and they knew 
how to do it. To this confidence and dedication Dr. 
Fisher provided inspiration and spiritual enrichment. 



172 



sity faculty. It left a heightened sense of Christian 
commitment. 

To strengthen the Youth Program further, Bill 
Drum gave the church an activities bus in 1968. It was 
used by the Boy Scouts and Youth Department. When 
it had worn out, the Methodist men led in the purchase 
of another. Later, in 1975, the church bought two 
brand new busses — one large and one medium size. 
Activities further increased. Covered-dish suppers 
were started. They have continued until 1978. 

Sunday night worship services had become less and 
less well attended. Dr. Early tried several innovations. 
Nothing seemed to help attendance. By a vote of those 
attending it was decided to stop Sunday night ser- 
vices. 

Reverend Troy J. Barrett came in 1970. An as- 
sociate pastor was added in June 1971 — Charles 
Michael Smith. They both continued until June 1974. 

Jarvis Memorial through the years has always been 
generous with finances. The budget was always 
raised. In fact, for years this church had set the pace 
for giving to conference askings. Help for foreign mis- 
sions had grown admirably, but somehow the congre- 
gation had never become involved in dealing directly 
with local social problems. Of course, the Social Con- 
cerns Commission had been involved for years, but 
not a significant part of the congregation. Some 
laymen and laywomen felt that Jarvis Memorial would 
feel a new surge of life if the congregation ever got 
involved with the social problems of the community. 
Studies of the local community were made. Those in 
the community dealing with the problems were 
brought to tell the church about their sphere of opera- 
tions and the needs still unmet. A few individuals 
became involved. The church continues essentially 
along the same old tenor. 



177 



One highlight of Barrett's pastorate was the inviting 
of all those who had gone into the ministry from Jarvis 
Memorial to come for a weekend of witnessing and 
preaching. It was a great spiritual experience. Out- 
standing was the witness of Reverend Ellis J. 
Bedsworth, who insisted on giving his testimony even 
though moments before speaking he had received 
news of his father's death. 

Barrett gave emphasis to the Youth Program. It 
became strong. Often the youth contributed by ap- 
pearing in the 11:00 morning worship service. Some 
adults were annoyed with the modern note the youth 
added, but as the youth felt more a part of the church 
the church benefited. 

Besides concern for the congregation's youth, the 
church tried to help the youth of the community. A 
week-day recreation center for any interested youths 
was provided. Recreation facilities and refreshment 
devices were brought in. The slot machines brought in 
for youth entertainment aroused the ire of some. 



178 



Periodically look-outs were sent rushing to Five 
Points and Washington and Fifth to see if the Blacks 
were coming. No Blacks came. Just a few weeks later 
a Black adult and a handful of Black children started 
attending Jarvis Memorial, at the Sunday morning 
11:00 worship service. Ushers seated them quite 
casually. The Blacks continued to attend for a long 
time. Obviously the white hosts were not disturbed. 
No confrontation occurred. They stopped coming. 
Since then all Black guests have been met with pleas- 
ant greetings and ushered to the best seats. In 1977 
the first Black member since the Civil War was taken 
in. He attended only a few Sundays. 

One problem arose during the pastorate of Dr. 
Fisher. Those speaking in tongues — glossolalia — 
formed groups. These groups began to worship in 
each other's homes; church worship and Sunday 
School were eschewed. Practitioners of glossolalia 
caused some difficulty by appearing to treat others as 
being less privy to the Lord. By 1978 most of those who 
stopped attending church services for home worship 
have returned to the fold. The "glossolalia move- 
ment" had peaked in eastern North Carolina by then. 

The Sunday School had problems as the education 
leaders studied the decreasing attendance; they de- 
cided better facilities would help. They brought the 
existing poor condition of the building to the Official 
Board. Immediately the Board saw the need for mod- 
ernizing the whole educational plant. Committees 
were set to work. After a full study of the total educa- 
tion situation, plans were drawn. 

As Dr. Fisher's six years drew to a close, conference 
records showed he had added 293 members. Due to 
deaths and transfers the membership had not in- 
creased but had shrunk to 1,438. 

An event of great significance occurred about this 



175 



time. In 1967, legislation by the North Carolina Gen- 
eral Assembly elevated East Carolina College to uni- 
versity status. The prospects for an expanded role for 
East Carolina University created a surge of excite- 
ment in Greenville. It was recognized by all that the 
institution of higher learning in Greenville throughout 
the years had served as a constant source of lay lead- 
ers. 

Following Dr. Fisher's pastorate, Dr. Joyce V. Early 
came and served for three years. An associate pastor 
was appointed with Dr. Early — Thomas E. Loftis. 
Also, A. E. Brown was continued as visiting pastor. 

The educational building modernization plans were 
modified several times after Dr. Early came. In Oc- 
tober 1968 construction was started. It was completed 
in one year. William H. Taft, Jr., served as chairman 
of the Building Committee. The Women's Society of 
Christian Service paid $7,500.00 on the building 
costs. The total cost was $305,000.00. 

Loftis was given responsibility of the youth. In spite 
of the frustrations of the building program, the youth 
program grew. To counter the canard that Jarvis Me- 
morial was a congregation of old people, Dr. Early did 
a statistical study. It revealed that over three-fourths 
of the members were under thirty years of age. 

The Membership and Evangelism Committee was 
recruited to carry on an intensive weekly program of 
visiting newcomers and other prospective members. 
Dr. Early visited right along with them. The Methodist 
women kept up their visiting. During Dr. Early's pas- 
torate the membership grew to 1,503; that was an 
increase of 65. 

The high point of Dr. Early's pastorate came 
through a spiritually magnificent Lay-Witness 
Weekend. It was enthusiastically supported. It was 
led by Dr. Legates of the North Carolina State Univer- 



176 



Redmond, who followed John as associate in 1977, the 
Youth Department had an active program. Their 
scope of activities was broadened by the use of two 
new busses. Excellent lay leadership has contributed 
much to such a successful program in the Sunday 
School Youth Department. 

Scouting as a part of the church's outreach for youth 
has had and is having a fine program too. The 1969 
modernization of the educational facilities included a 
room for the Scouts. That 1969 space was the first 
since the little shack allocated to them at the rear of 
the church when Bill Drum was Scoutmaster. Jarvis 
Memorial has had a registered Scout Troop since 1917 
— 61 years. 

Children's choirs have received special attention 
for many years. But in the late 1970's there have been 
more participants. They add to the 11:00 morning 
worship from time to time when they sing. In 1978, to 
further enhance the youth choirs, the church acquired 
handbells. 

In response to the role of a downtown church 
through the years, a fund has been provided for 
emergency aid for the needy found in the center city. 
It is an entirely voluntary fund. It is contributed to by 
members while kneeling at the chancel rail par- 
ticipating in Holy Communion. The funds have been 
adequate for the calls upon them thus far. 

The church has been aware for some time of the 
need for adequate parking areas. Several lots had 
been acquired by purchase and gift up to the 1970's. 
However, the central business district renewal pro- 
gram gobbled up all of it but a small triangled area on 
the southwest side of the church. Left with such a 
small area, it was decided to develop it so as to 
beautify the church holdings, as well as to afford some 
parking spaces. That has been done. 



181 



The financial obligations of the church have always 
been met in full. For years the Finance Committee of 
the Official Board had been trying to get the congre- 
gation to pay by the week. As Greenville had become 
less dependent on harvest-time income, more had 
started the weekly giving of their pledges. 

To "pay-out" most years in the past, the Official 
Board members themselves had to pay the final 
amount needed. It was done near the end of the con- 
ference year. The Official Board would be called into 
special session. Each member would be given some 
names of those who had not finished paying their 
pledges. After a few weeks of trying to collect the 
balance due on pledges, the Board at the end of the 
year would place demands upon itself in raising the 
balance. At the Board meeting during the last week 
before Annual Conference each steward would be 
asked to pay more. Many would respond. After 
counting the extra if it w ere not enough, Board mem- 
bers would be pressed to give more. This was kept up 
until enough was on hand to "pay out." Of course, 
before the stewards began making up the deficit, 
church officials would have made appeals from the 
pulpit for the prompt payment of pledges and for more 
money. That proved so disruptive to the worship ser- 
vice that it was stopped. 

The stewards' being importuned to make up the 
deficit did not appeal to the younger members coming 
on the Official Board in the 1960's. More efficient 
ways of getting pledges were introduced. In the 
1970's, after more effective methods of securing the 
pledges had been developed, the amount pledged be- 
came the amount of the budget. The amount pledged 
and the percentage of the pledges paid have increased 
each year since. Financial problems are kept from 
intruding on the worship. 



182 



CHAPTER XXI 



On the Move 

At a church quarterly conference in 1973 Jarvis 
Memorial adopted a resolution declaring opposition to 
liquor by the drink. Perhaps this came about as part of 
an increasing awareness of a special role in the com- 
munity. At another quarterly conference Barrett said 
he was impressed with the many requests by members 
for special services and Bible study. But when such 
programs were offered, they were not supported, he 
commented in consternation. Providing a high 
spiritual treat, Harry Denman came for a few nights' 
special services. He left a rich spiritual glow. 

As a centrally located facility and with an urge to 
help, the church provided space for a program for the 
retarded of the community. The space was provided 
even though it was known that Blacks would be par- 
ticipating. This incident indicates the congregation's 
broadening point of view. 

In 1974 the parsonage on Tenth Street needed 
major repairs. After some discussion of the size of the 
major repairs and the unfavorable location, it was 
decided to sell it. The privilege to rent was retained 
until a new one could be secured. When Mr. James H. 
Bailey arrived to be pastor in June 1974, Jarvis Memo- 
rial had no parsonage. The one on Tenth Street had 
been sold, and the church was undecided whether to 
build or buy another one. The decision to buy the 
parsonage at 107 Williamsburg Drive was passed 
unanimously on June 27, 1974, at a Charge Confer- 



179 



ence. It was located in the southern part of the city; it 
was bought in June 1974. 

Appointed as associate pastor to Jarvis Memorial 
with Mr. Bailey in 1974 was John Farmer. The youth 
were placed under his aegis. When Farmer accepted 
another appointment in 1977, Robert C. Redmond 
was appointed as Mr. Bailey's associate. Having an 
associate pastor had meant renting a house for him. 
Rented homes had been provided the two preceding 
associate pastors — Loftis and Smith. The places 
rented had been inadequate and poorly furnished. 
The church asked the Bishop if Jarvis Memorial was to 
be a two-preacher church consistently in the future. 
His answer was in the affirmative. Accordingly, a 
parsonage for the associate pastor, at 201 Harmony 
Lane, was purchased and properly furnished in the 
spring of 1976. 

Missions have received much emphasis from Rev- 
erend Bailey. In 1975 a group of young adults was 
sent to Haiti by the church with the commission to 
help a native church build an education building 
there. With them was sent $5,000.00 in cash to pay for 
any materials used. Sent along with the builders were 
a doctor and some nurses. They carried with them a 
quantity of medicine to be given free to the ill. They 
were to hold free clinics for the poor of Haiti. The 
whole group lived so close to abject poverty in Haiti 
that a deep impression was made on them. When they 
returned and told of their experiences, the whole 
church felt the impact. 

Then a work team from the Youth Department went 
down to Robeson County on a building project for 
underprivileged people. It was their first real ex- 
perience with abject poverty. Such experiences 
broadened those participating and their friends. 

Under the aegis of John Farmer, and then Robert 



180 



APPENDICES 



The decision in 1947 to be a downtown church has 
been supported with dedication by the congregation. 
In 1947 the town had a small East Carolina Teachers 
College and a tobacco market, and it served as a 
shopping center for the farmers on the weekend. Most 
businesses were concentrated on Evans Street be- 
tween Fifth and Third Streets. A few businesses 
struggled along Dickinson Avenue. Tobacco 
warehouses and tobacco redrying plants were situated 
several blocks from Five Points, spread through the 
section of the town Blacks lived in. No member of 
Jarvis Memorial lived more than a mile from the 
church. Most other white churches were within three 
to four blocks of the Methodists. 

Then came a period of accelerated change for the 
city. Industry came. The Route 264 Bypass was 
paved. Integration was ordered by a ruling of the 
United States Supreme Court in 1957. The city built 
three schools in the southeastern section, fleeing from 
the Blacks. The Route 264 Bypass was widened to four 
lanes. More industry came. From a small teachers 
college, East Carolina grew into a huge university of 
over 12,000 students. 

The population became more mobile. Living near 
one's work became passe. Leisure increased. 
Weekends expanded to two days. Families went great 
distances in their cars on weekends. Students at the 
University abandoned the campus on weekends. Sec- 
ularism grew. 

The business section downtown spread east to abut 
on the campus of the University. On the west the 
business expansion reached to where the Blacks re- 
sided. In 1947 no member lived over a mile from the 
church. In 1970 few members lived less than a mile 
from the church. No other white church was within 
two miles; all had moved into residential sections. 



183 



As all of this was developing before the very eyes of 
the members, they worked hard, continuously and 
faithfully. For twenty years the membership did not 
grow; they persisted. The spirit within the congrega- 
tion had been dramatically manifested by the nine 
young men who went from the homes of the congrega- 
tion into the ministry from 1951 to 1972. 

In 1978 the church is on the move. The membership 
has had two hundred members added to the roll since 
1974. The roll is 1,586. Mr. Bailey is an able advocate 
of the Lord and an inspiring spiritual leader. All 
church organizations relish his enthusiasm and in- 
novativeness. That means they are active and grow- 
ing. 



184 



1843 


Samuel Pearce 


1844 


William H. Barnes 


1845 


Jeremiah Johnson 


1846 


Washington S. Chaffin 


1847 


Nathan Anderson 


1848 


William M. Walsh 


1849 


Washington L. Martin and R. J. Carson 


1850 


Washington L. Martin and K. J. Carson 


1851 


Kobert J. Carson and hrancis H. baring 


1852 


Ihomas B. Keek 


1853 


John Jones 


1854 


John D. Halstead 


1855 


T T T T PC 1 r T y Ti T 

James H. Jenerson and 1. B. James 


1856 


H. H. Gibbons and George E. Wyche 


1857 


Henry H. Gibbons 


1858 


William A. Hester 


1859 


N. A. H. Godwin and W. H. Moore 


1860 


Robert P. Bibb 


1861 


James L. Fisher 


1862 


E. A. Wilson 


1863 


E. A. Wilson 


1864 


Benjamin F. Long 


1865 


No record 


1866 


John S. Long 


1867 


John S. Long 


1868 


W. H. Moore 


1869-1872 


William H. Call 


1873 


A. R. Raven 


1874 


A. R. Raven and William H. Call 


1875 


Jeremiah Johnson 


1876 


B. B. Culbreth 


1877-1880 


L. L. Nash 


1881-1882 


S. V. Hoyle 


1883-1884 


C. M. Anderson 


1885-1886 


F. A. Bishop 


1887-1890 


R. B. John and E. C. Glenn 


1891-1894 


George F. Smith (J. C. McCall appointed Associate in VWS. 


i one 
lo9o 


tvt tj t\ 

IN. H. JJ. Wilson 


1896-1899 


Neil McK. Watson 


1900-1902 


H. M. Eure 


1903-1905 


J. A. Hornaday 


1906-1907 


M. T. Plyler 



189 



1908-1910 J. H. Shore 

1911-1912 E. M. Hoyle (Daniel Lane — August to December 
1913) 

1913-1916 J. M. Daniel 

1917-1920 Walter Patten 

1921-1924 V. P. ScoviUe (W. P. Watkins — July to December 
1925) 

1925-1927 L. B. Jones 

1928-1932 E. L. Hillman 

1933-1935 Gilbert R. Combs 

1936-1940 T. M. Grant 

1941-1943 George W. Perry (died a month after Annual 

Conference) 

1943-1947 Robert Bradshaw 

1948-1952 Leon Russell (Langil Watson— Summer 1951) 

1953-1959 W. M. Howard (Robert McKenzie, Associate, 1955-1956) 

1960 H. R. McLamb 

1961-1966 E. B, Fisher 

1967-1970 Joyce V. Early and Thomas E. Loftis, Associate 

1970-1974 Troy J. Barrett and Michael Smith, Associate 

1974-1977 James Bailey and John Farmer, Associate 

1977-1978 James Bailey and Robert Redmond, Associate 

N.B. The dates listed above are appointment dates, and they may 
differ slightly from the service dates given under the portraits 
of former pastors. 



190 



APPENDIX A: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOURCES 



Asbury, Bishop Francis. Francis Asburys Journal. Nashville, 
Term.: Pathenon Press, 1964. 

Burhead, Rev. L. S. Centennial of Methodism in North Carolina: 
1776-1876. Raleigh, N.C.: John Nichols Printer in Behalf of 
the Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1876. 

Chreitzberg, Rev. A. M. Early Methodism in the Carolinas. 
Nashville, Tenn.: Publishing House of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, 1897. 

Consolidated Minutes of the Virginia Annual Conference, 1829- 
1837. 

Consolidated Minutes of the North Carolina Annual Conference, 
1838-1882. 

Edwards, Rev. John Elliot. Life of John Wesley Childs. 

Richmond, Va.: Published by John Early for the Methodist 

Episcopal Church, South, 1852. 
Everett, Mrs. J. Legrand. Seven Times Seven, a History of the 

Seven Sabbaths of Years in the North Carolina Conference 

Women s Missionary Society. Greensboro, N.C.: Piedmont 

Press, 1929. 

Grissom, W. L. History of Methodism in North Carolina from 
1772-1805. Volume I. Nashville, Tenn.: Publishing House of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Smith and Lamar, 
Agents, 1905. 

Harris, Mrs. R. L. History of the Jarvis Memorial Auxiliary of the 
North Carolina Conference, 1896-1938. Privately printed. 

Johnson, G. G. Ante-Bellum North Carolina. Chapel Hill: Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Press, 1937. 

Nash, L. L. Recollections and Observations during a Ministry in 
the North Carolina Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, of Forty-Three Years. Raleigh, N.C.: Mutual Publish- 
ing Co., Printers, 1916. 



187 



APPENDIX B: 
NAMES OF JARVIS MEMORIAL MEMBERS 
WHO HAVE GONE INTO THE MINISTRY 

Date 



E. C. Glenn 1888 

Adrian E. Brown 1922 

Lawrence A. Watts 1923 

F. B. Brandenburg 1929 

J. H. Waldrop, Jr 1951 

Ralph L. Fleming 1953 

Rufus H. Stark, II 1954 

Ellis J. Bedsworth 1955 

J. Rodney Fulcher 1957 

James Warren (Joined Georgia Conference) 1960 

Roger E. Thompson 1961 

Clarence Reginald Johnson 1966 

Jacob Milton Hadley, Jr 1972 



APPENDIX C: 
NAMES OF PASTORS AT ST. PAULS 
AND NAMES AND PICTURES OF FORMER 
PASTORS AT JARVIS MEMORIAL 



Dates 




1829 


John Wesley Childs and Rowland G. Bass 


1830 


Henry Speck and Henry T. Weatherly 


1831 


No record 


1832 


John A. Miller 


1833 


J. J. Carter 


1834 


Benjamin Watson 


1835 


Benjamin Watson 


1836 


W. M. Jordan 


1837 


Chapel Featherston 


1838 


Robert P. Bibb 


1839 


H. Alspaugh 


1840 


Philmer W. Archer 


1841 


John Tilett 


1842 


Gaston E. Brown 



188 




Rev. Robert McKenzie, Jr. Rev. H. R. McLamb Rev. Edgar B. Fisher 

1954-1956 (Associate) 1960-1961 1961-1967 




Rev. Joyce V. Early Rev. Thomas E. Loftis Rev. Troy J. Barrett 

1967-1970 1967-1970 (Associate) 1970-1974 




Rev. Charles M. Smith Rev. John A. Farmer Rev. Robert C. Redmond 

1971-1974 (Associate) 1974-1977 (Associate) 1977-1978 (Associate) 



APPENDIX D: NAMES OF SUPERINTENDENTS 
OF SUNDAY SCHOOL 



1874-1875 
1876-1882 
1882-1885 
1886-1887 
1888-1889 
1890-1891 
1892 
1893-1894 
1895-1898 
1899-1900 
1901-1905 



JohnB. Congleton 
S. D. Bagley 
E. C. Glenn 
J. White 
W. S. Rawls 
Thomas J. Jarvis 
A. L. Blow 
D. D. Haskett 
A. B. EUington 
W. F. Harding 
L. H. Pender 



1906-1907 
1908-1911 
1912-1918 
1919-1925 

1926 
1927-1956 

1957 
1958-1960 
1961-1964 
1965-1968 



George S. Pritchard 
H. D. Bateman 
A. B. Ellington 
J. H. Rose 
J. B. James 
J. H. Rose 
W. M. Reading 
Wyatt L. Brown 
N. G. Raynor 
M. G. Martin 



APPENDIX E: 
PRESIDENTS OF UNITED METHODIST 
WOMEN OF JARVIS MEMORIAL 
1938 to 1976 



Mrs. J. B. KittreU, Sr. 
Mrs. W. H. Taft, Sr. 
Mrs. S. T. White 
Mrs. M. K. Blount 
Mrs. F. P. Brooks 
Mrs. S. B. Underwood, Jr. 
Mrs. Ed. Batchelor 
Mrs. J. H. Waldrop, Sr. 
Mrs. J. Ficklen Arthur 
Mrs. M. P. Hoot 



Mrs. Jake Hadley 

Mrs. Clara Moye Shackell 

Mrs. Edgar WiUiford 

Mrs. T. R. Jones 

Mrs. John Shannonhouse 

Mrs. W. H. Taft, Sr. 

Mrs. J. Knott Proctor, Jr. 

Mrs. Phil Goodson 

Mrs. Charles Kavanaugh 

Mrs. J. C. Whitehurst, Jr. 



194 




Rev. W. H. Call Rev. L. L. Nash Rev. R. B. John 

1870-1873 1878-1881 1888-1890 




Rev. H. M. Eure Rev. M. T. Plyer Rev. Daniel Lane 

1901-1903 1907-1908 1913 




Rev. Walter Patten Rev. Virgil P. Scoville Rev. William P. Watkins, Jr. 

1918-1921 1921-1924 1925 




Rev. Lloyd B. Jones Rev. E. L. Hillman Rev. Gilbert R. Combs 

1926-1928 1928-1933 1933-1936 




Rev. Thomas McC. Grant Rev. George W. Perry Rev. Robert W. Bradshaw 
1936-1941 1941-1943 1943-1948 




Rev. Leon Russell Rev. H. Langil Watson Rev. William M. Howard, Jr. 

1948-1953 1951 (Associate) 1953-1960 



INDEX 



This index is confined to names only. Bold-faced numerals refer to a continuous discussion of 
the work and/or activities of an individual. 



Alspaugh, Rev. H„ 188 

Anderson, Rev. CM., 60-61, 189 

Anderson, Rev. Nathan, 189 

Andrews, A. A., 82 

Archer, Rev. Philmer W., 23, 188 

Arthur, Mrs. J. Ficklen, 194 

Asbury, Bishop Francis, 1-2, 3, 5, 6, 133 

Austin, Edward, 105 

Austin, H. E., 105, 112 

Bagley, S. D., 33, 60, 194 

Bagley, Mrs. S. D., 75 

Bailey, Rev. James H., v, 179-180, 184, 190 

Baldwin, Rev. John, 3 

Baring, Rev. Francis H., 189 

Barnes, Mrs. Barbara, 136 

Barnes, Rev. William H., 189 

Barrett, Rev. Troy J., 177, 178, 179, 190 

Bass, Rev. Rowland G., 9, 10, 188 

Batchelor, Mrs. Ed., 194 

Batchelor, Kay Sugg, 136, 172, 173 

Bateman, H. D., 194 

Bedsworth, Mrs. Betty Anne, 136 

Bedsworth, Rev. Ellis J., 178, 188 

Benjamin, J. C, 53 

Bernard, German, 58, 59 

Betts, Rev. A. D., 52, 64-65 

Bibb, Rev. Robert P., 28, 188, 189 

Bishop, Rev. F. A., 61-65, 66, 189 

Blount, Marvin K., Sr., v 

Blount, Mrs. M. K., Sr., 194 

Blow, A. L., 73, 194 

Booth, Rev. J. N., 82 

Bowls, W. S., 73 

Bradshaw, Rev. Robert W., 140-144, 148- 

151, 190 
Brandenburg, Rev. F. B., 118, 188 
Bridgers, S. L., 109 
Brooks, Dr. F. P., 152 
Brooks, Mrs. F. P., 194 
Brown, Rev. Adrian E., 88, 173, 176, 188 
Brown, Ben Warren, 29, 32, 36, 45, 48 



Brown, Garland G., 160 

Brown, Rev. Gaston E., 188 

Brown, Harry M. , 160 

Brown, James, 79, 108, 112, 120, 160 

Brown, Mrs. James (Elvira Moore), 75, 88, 

131, 160 
Brown, James, Jr., 160 
Brown, J. Key, 137, 160 
Brown, Mrs. Laura, 130 
Brown, Mack, 105 
Brown, Peggy, 136 

Brown, Wiley, 19, 28, 49, 52, 53, 56, 62, 63, 

64, 73, 87, 88, 105, 112 
Brown, Mrs. Wiley (Mollie Moore), 18, 19, 37, 

44, 46, 75, 88, 89, 115, 130, Plate 3 
Brown, Wyatt L., v, 105, 139, 145, 194 
Bruton, Col. J. F., 93, 97 

Caldwell, Joseph, 4, 5 

Call, Rev. William H., 31, 32, 33, 163, 189 

Carson, Rev. Robert J., 189 

Carter, Rev. J. J., 188 

Chaffin, Rev. Washington S., 24, 189 

Chandler, Mamiej, 136 

Charlotte, Mrs. Sallie, 53, 75 

Cherry, James B., 41, 73 

Cherry, Mrs. J. B. (Ada Pearce), 32, 36, 53, 

56, 95, 130 
Chester, Mr., 109 

Childs, Rev. John Wesley, 2, 9-15, 188 

Chreitzberg, Rev. A. M.. 4 

Clarke, Mrs. H. B., 75 

Cobb, Charles, 87 

Cobb, Kinchen W., 112, 140, 155 

Cobb, R. J., 88 

Combs, Rev. Dr. Gilbert R., 132-134, 137- 
138, 190 

Congleton, John B., 33, 45, 48, 73, 108, 112, 

131, 194 
Cowell, Martha Lee, 88 
Cowell, Will, 49 
Critcher, Anna, 136 



197 



Culbreth, Rev. B. B., 35-39, 40, 189 
Cunningham, Mrs., 75 

Dancy, Mrs. Mangie, 29 

Daniel, Rev. J. M., 28, 35, 66, 103-106, 107, 

108, 109-110, 112, 190 
Davis, Victor, 109 
Davis, Zoe Anna, 134-135 
Denman, Harry, 179 
Devany, Benjamin, 9 
Dill, Captain David, 43, 44 
Dill, Mrs. James, 41 
Dowd, O. E., v 
Droomcoole, Edward, 2 
Drum, Bill, 109, 177, 181 

Early, Rev. Dr. Joyce V., 176-177, 190 
Earnhardt, Rev. Dan, 136 
Ebbs, Dr. John D., v 

Ellington, A. B., 73, 79, 82, 87, 105, 108, 112, 

114, 129, 130, 194 
Ernul, Mrs. Adriana, 19 
Ernul, McGregor, 88 
Erwin, J. T., 73 

Erwin, Sam P., 37, 38, 45, 48, 73 
Eure, Rev. Hilliard M., 78-83, 189 
Evans, R. S., 87 

Farmer, Rev. John, 180, 181, 190 
Featherston, Rev. Chapel, 22, 188 
Fisher, Rev. Dr. Edgar B., 172, 173, 175, 176, 
190 

Fisher, Rev. James L., 28, 189 
Fitzgerald, Dr. Paul, 112 
Fitzgerald, R. G., 115 
Fleming, John G., 115 
Fleming, Rev. Ralph L., 188 
Foley, Pat, 109 

Forbes, A. A. (Pig), 45, 53, 63 
Forbes, Mrs. Alf, 75 
Forbes, Mrs. Jane, 121 
Fowler, Carl H., 139 
Foy, Rev. Miles, 15 
Freeman, Henry H., 93, 95 
Fulcher, Rev. J. Rodney, 188 
Futrell, K. T., 109, 112, 115, 152 

Galloway, Bishop C. B., 70 
Garber, Bishop Paul N., 162, 167 
Garret, R. M., Jr., 109 



Garris, L. B., 112 

Gibbons, Rev. Henry H., 189 

Glenn, Rev. E. C, 60, 63, 67, 68, 69, 73, 74, 

165, 188, 189, 194 
Godwin, Rev. N. A. H., 27, 189 
Goodson, Mrs. Phil, 194 
Grant, Rev. T. M., 138-140, 190 
Grimes, William, 43, 44, 48 
Grimmer, Joseph, 45, 48 

Hadley, Mrs. G. B. W., 106, 111 

Hadley, Rev. Jacob Milton, Jr., 188 

Hadley, Mrs. Jake, 194 

Hall, Edward, 1 

Halstead, Rev. John D., 189 

Hardee, W. J., 108 

Harding, Mrs. Branch, 75 

Harding, W. F., 194 

Harrington, Mr., 99 

Harris, Etta, 115 

Harris, George Edward, 73, 79, 82, 87, 108, 
112 

Harris, Mrs. G. E. (Mollie), 75, 76, 130 
Harrison, Diana, 136, 173 
Hart, J. N., 112 

Haskett, D. D., 73, 79, 108, 194 
Haskett, Mrs. D. D., 131 
Hearne, Mrs. Closs (Georgia Pearsall), 45, 76, 
115 

Hearne, Orlander, 45, 48 

Henderson, Ruth, 136 

Hester, Rev. William A., 25-26, 27, 189 

Hill, Green, 3, 5, 22, 133 

Hillman, Rev. Dr. E. L., 122-128, 132, 190 

Hobbs, Rev. James L., 136 

Holloman, A. C, 82, 87, 112 

Hooker, Mrs. Will E. (Annie Lee), 111, 158 

Hoot, Mrs. M. P., 194 

Hornaday, Rev. J. A., 83-91, 92, 108, 189 

Howard, Rev. William M., 33, 162-163, 164, 

167-169, 190, Plate 12, Appendix F 
Hoyle, Rev. E. M., 100-103, 190 
Hoyle, Rev. S. V., 60, 189 
Hoyt, Mrs. Gould, 24 
Hughes, Bishop, 139 

Humber, Robert L., Sr., 19, 28, 37, 38, 49, 52, 
53, 55, 56, 62, 63, 64, 87, 101, 131 

Ives, Bishop Levi Silliman, 15 



198 



APPENDIX F: 
PRAYER MADE BY THE REVEREND W. M. 
HOWARD, JR., AT THE 

DEDICATION SERVICE 
OF 

JARVIS MEMORIAL SANCTUARY 
JUNE 17, 1962 

God of the eternities, Who hast put it into the hearts of Thy 
servants to erect here a house of worship, accept it now as it is 
offered to Thee. Here have walked the men of courage and 
daring, piercing by faith the veil of the mists of time, and bringing 
down to earth the patterns of their tabernacles. They dreamed of 
this glad hour and by faith envisioned its reality. Some there be, O 
Lord, who foresaw this time and prayed for it, but do not live to 
see it come to pass, except as they see from the spirit world. 
Thanks be to Thee for the dreams and labors of those who from 
yon parapets of heaven rejoice with us. They have labored and 
we have entered into their labors. 

This hour of dedication is but the opening to larger things. 
Children yet unborn shall be brought here to learn of Thee and 
their first lisping shall be Thy Holy Name. The sorrowing here 
will gain solace and peace, the bridal pair find a spiritual founda- 
tion for marriage, and myriad souls be consecrated to Thee at 
this altar. Many who never will call this Church home will find 
inspiration and joy in her towering arches, and beautiful win- 
dows, and soaring organ, and quiet, serene sanctuary. Grant, 
eternal Giver, that none shall enter here in vain nor fail to find a 
hand laid upon their heads in warm benediction. Teach us that 
words alone do not dedicate: it is a volition of mind and an 
attitude of the heart. 

For every consecrated dollar which expressed love and devo- 
tion to Thee and made possible this holy place, we are grateful. 
Some are memorialized here while hundreds more have no 
plaque in marble or brass; they are known to Thee, O God, and 
are remembered for their good deeds. Hold Thou them in blessed 
memory, for days shall be when none shall remember but Thee. 

Grant, O Holy Lord, the day may never come when the con- 
gregation of Jarvis Memorial fails to honor and serve Thee faith- 
fully; may there always be a godly man to stand in her pulpit; and 
sainted men and women in her pews. May her people be freed 



195 



from spite and heresy, but be joined in Christian concord to serve 
Thee and to seek each other's weal. Call her sons and daughters 
to Thy service and raise up in every generation great and good 
men in her membership. 

Men of old, before our time, heard their God speak from 
burning bush and history's awful scroll and there they built a 
shrine and dedicated stone as a memorial forever. But in our day 
men have set their brain and hand to serve the God whose 
imperious voice speaks out of silences or in deep, impassioned 
stresses and Who imprints upon the heart the longing to serve 
and adore Him. 

Here we leave ourselves in blessed dependency upon God, till 
He vouchsafe us to lie down in peace and to be raised in resur- 
rection in the Kingdom which He hath prepared for those who 
love and serve Him. 

The Blessed mercy of God the Father, the constant com- 
panionship of Christ our Lord, and the never-failing comfort of 
the Holy Spirit be ours, and all men's today and always. 



The following names should be added to the names in Appendix 
B, p. 188, of Jarvis Memorial members who have gone into the 
ministry (these additional names are not indexed): 



Amen 



ADDENDUM 



Date 



Jennie Congleton 

Lill Wilson 

Dora Kendall . . . 



1919 



1920 
1922 



196 



James, Charlie, 112 
James, Mrs. Georgia Harrison, 53 
James, James B. (Dink), 56, 88, 112, 114 
James, Mrs. J. B. (Nina Cherry), 53 
James, Rev. T. B., 189 

Jarvis, Gov. Thomas Jordan, 33-34, 68, 73, 
88-89, 90, 93, 94, 96, 97, 102, 106, 194, 
Plate 4 

Jarvis, Mrs. T. J., 96 

Jefferson, Rev. James H., 189 

Jensen, Rev. Jens, 76 

John, Rev. R. B., 66-71, 78, 108, 189 

Johnson, Rev. Clarence Reginald, 188 

Johnson, Rev. Jeremiah, 35, 189 

Johnson, Stephen, 28 

Johnston, F. V., 24 

Jones, Rev. John, 189 

Jones, Rev. L. B., 120, 121, 122, 190 

Jones, Mrs. T. R., 194 

Jordan, F. J., 109 

Jordan, Rev. W. M., 22, 188 

Jyman, Dolph, 53 

Kavanaugh, Mrs. Charles, 194 
Kilgo, Dr. J. C, 92, 93, 96, 98 
Kilgo, Jack L., 92 

Kittrell, Mrs. J. B., Sr. (Elizabeth Hinton), v, 
115, 146, 158, 194 

Lane, Rev. Daniel, 103, 190 
Leatch, Reverend, 66 
Lee, I. F., 145 
Legates, Dr., 176 

Little, J. L., 79, 82, 87, 108, 112, 131 
Loftis, Rev. Thomas E., 176, 180, 190 
Long, Rev. Benjamin F., 30, 189 
Long, James, 45 
Long, Rev. John S., 31, 32, 189 

MacDowell, Bishop, 134 
Mann, James, 53 
Martin, Eddie, 164 
Martin, M. G., 194 
Martin, Rev. Washington L., 189 
Mason, Rev. Thomas, 16 
Massey, Mrs. M. B. (Gertrude Taft), 47 
May, Reynolds, 118 
McCall, Rev. J. C, 73, 74, 189 
McCoy, Bishop J. H., 107 
McGinnis, Dr. Howard J., 130, 131, 146, 159, 
163 



McKenzie, Rev. Robert, 165, 172, 190 

McLamb, Rev. H. R., 170, 190 

McNeil, Dr. Bessie, 173 

Messick, Dr. John D., 158 

Miller, Rev. John A., 15, 21, 188 

Moore, Mrs. Adriana Ernul, 19, 44, 53, 88 

Moore, Mrs. Anna Elviro Tucker, Plate 8 

Moore, Rev. W. H., 27, 28, 32, 189 

Moore, W. P., Sr., Plate 8 

Moorman, Rev. H. J., 72 

Mott, John R., 139 

Moye, Jesse H., 73, 82, 87, 112 

Munford, C. T., 73, 79, 82, 108, 112 

Munford, Mrs. C. T., 89 

Nash, Rev. L. L., 40-59, 60, 62, 72, 79, 108, 

133, 189 
Ned, 56 

Nelson, Mrs. Ed., 24 
Nobles, Allen D., 17 
Nobles, Simon, 17 
Norman, W. G., 112 
Norris, Key, 112 

Olds, S. P., 24 
Ormand, H. C, 79 
Overton, D. D., 112 
Overton, Johnnie, 74, 144 
Overton, J. W., 144 
Owens, Rev. Malloy, 164 

Pace, K. B., 109 
Pace, Mrs. K. B., v 

Patten, Rev. Walter, 113-114, 116, 190 

Patterson, Mrs. H. T. (Lois), 172 

Pearce, B. C, 40, 41 

Pearce, Mrs. B. C. (Anne), 32, 41, 47 

Pearce, Joe, 32 

Pearce, Rev. Samuel, 189 

Peele, Bishop W. W., 148-149 

Pender, L. H., 73, 82, 83, 87, 108, 112, 194 

Perry, Rev. George W., 136, 140, 141, 190 

Person, T. A., 87, 112 

Person, Mrs. T. A., 99, 115 

Pettigrew, Mrs. Ebineezer, 6 

Phillips, Mr., 109 

Plyler, Rev. M. T., 25, 28, 35, 92, 96-99, 100, 
189 

Powell, Margaret Rose, 136 
Pritchard, George S., 194 
Proctor, Mrs. J. Knott, Jr., 194 



199 



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