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Home North Carolina Halifax County City of Tillery Historical Markers Conoconnara Chapel

Conoconnara Chapel

NC-481, Tillery, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 14' 31.3404", -77° 29' 53.6352"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Established as Anglican 1747; James Moir first priest. Became Baptist 1783; inactive since 1933. Present building, 1849, moved 1 mi. S.W. in 1878."
     On August 18, 1747, Stephen Cade deeded three acres of land in Edgecombe County to churchwardens Col. John Haywood and William Kitchen for the use of the local parish of the Church of England. In 1749 the Rev. James Moire reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts that a church was “almost finished” on the property. The small Anglican Church that Moire led there took its name from the Conoconnara Swamp that lay nearby. As the area grew, new parishes and counties were established and Rev. Moire chose to serve a newer parish in 1759. At that time the Conoconnara churchwardens employed the Rev. Thomas Burges, who remained rector until the American Revolution. Following the Revolution, the Anglican Church lost its leaders and most of its followers, and the Conoconnara chapel building could be used by any congregation that needed it. It was, however, used exclusively by Baptists and in 1783 it was the meeting place for the Kehukee Baptist Association.

     The Primitive Baptist congregation at Conoconnara became inactive around 1815, and the second church building that had been constructed in 1810 eventually came to be used as a school. In 1833 the Conoconnara Baptist Church was reconstituted as Missionary Baptist, and was admitted to the Chowan Association the following year. A third chapel was erected at the original site near Tillery in 1849, and that building was moved to the Crowell community in 1878 to “better serve the convenience of the members thereof the congregation and the general public.” Conocannara Baptist Church remained active in various eastern North Carolina associations until 1933.

George Washington Paschal, History of the North Carolina Baptists, I (1930)
Stuart Hall Smith and Claiborne T. Smith Jr., The History of Trinity Parish, Scotland Neck, and Edgecombe Parish, Halifax County (1955)
Halifax County Deed Books, North Carolina State Archives
Cushing Biggs Hassell, History of the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association (1886)
James A. Delke, History of the Chowan Baptist Association, 1806-1881 (1882)
Conoconnara Chapel Historical Marker Location Map, Tillery, North Carolina