Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blackwell Missionary Baptist Church (Caswell County, North Carolina)

The Blackwell Missionary Baptist Church is located on US 158 a few miles southwest of Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina. The address is: 4777 US Highway 158W, Yanceyville, NC.

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 4 ("Blackwell Baptist Church" by Mary G. Paylor, Assistant Secretary):

The Blackwell Baptist Church had its humble beginning in 1888 when a deed for a plot of land 36 ft. long and 26 ft. wide was given by Henry Blackwell. The trustees who witnessed this gift were Henry Madden, Sonny Blackwell, and Lyndsy Kew. It was also noted that additional land was donated at this time by Mrs. Jenny Blackwell Kernoldly and her sister Mary Blackwell Palmer. At first a small log building was built on this property. This building served as the church and school until a frame building was built for the main purpose of worship.

Early ministers of the church were as follows: Rev. Tucker, Rev. Buck Harrelson, Rev. Alfred Graves, Rev. Ras Clark, Rev. Wash Johnson, Rev. J. W. Wiley, Rev. C. W. McBroom. Early deacons of the Blackwell Baptist Church were as follows: James Gwynn, Walter Pinchback, Tom Jones, Romulus Watlington, Ed Russell, Walter Turner, Earnest Turner, Harvey Gwynn. Later deacons included: Onza Russell, Lawrence Gwynn, Orlando Gwynn, Percy Willis, and Travis Bushnell. Sam Pinks Gwynn was the first Sunday School Superintendent. Early Mothers of the church were Minnie Vaughn and Senora Blackwell.

The first choir was organized under C. W. McBroom's pastorate. Officers of the first choir included President Robert Wiley, Vice President William Oliver, Secretary Frances Brown, Treasurer Lillie O. Gwynn. Early secretaries of the church were Bertha Palmer and Florida Willis. Early Ushers were Floyd Long and Tom King. Early pianists were Joshua Stephens, Eula Willis, and Cordia Bell Watlington. Rev. Harvey Gwynn was a licensed minister.

Pastor in 1985: Rev. G. H. Badgett of Reidsville (had held the position for thirty-three years).

Officers in 1985: Lucy M. Slade, Secretary; Mary G. Paylor, Assistant Secretary; Elizabeth Blackwell, Finance Secretary; John Blackwell, Treasurer; and Dorsey Wiley, Assistant Treasurer.

Trustees in 1985: Otis Totten, John Badgett, John Mims, Dorsey Wiley, and John Blackwell.

Sunday School Officers in 1985: Robert Wiley, Superintendent; John Badgett, Assistant Superintendent; Bessie Oliver, Secretary; Rebecca Merrill, Assistant Secretary; and Dorsey Wiley, Treasurer.

Senior Choir Officers in 1985: Lorraine Long, President; Mae Emma Gwynn, Treasurer; and Effie Williams, Secretary.

Junior Choir Officers in 1985: Carolyn Foster, President; Kathy Slade, Secretary; and Rena Chandler, Treasurer.

Queenie Willis served as pianist and manager for both senior and junior choirs.

Community Choir Officers in 1985: Margo Totten, Director; Robert Garrett, Pianist; Edith Totten, President; Margo Totten, Secretary; and Ross Gwynn, Treasurer.

Missionary Circle Officers in 1985: Sarah B. Johnson, President; Mary G. Paylor, Secretary; Lillie O. Gwynn, Treasurer; and Alvista Williams, Program Chairman.

Usher Board Officers in 1985: Henry Totten, President; John H. Blackwell, Vice President; Betty Graves, Secretary; and Maggie Long, Treasurer.

In 1985, the most recent licensed minister was Ellington Watlington, and the oldest members of the church were Pallie Watlington and Wilanna Gwynn.

For images of the gravestones in the Blackwell Missionary Baptist Church cemetery go to: Cemetery Census and Caswell County Photograph Collection.

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