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Home North Carolina Onslow County City of Richlands Historical Markers Lot Ballard House

Lot Ballard House

US 25 and NC-24, Richlands, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 34° 54' 18.2556", -77° 33' 28.1376"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Bishop Francis Asbury stopped here many times between 1799 and 1815 on visits to New River Chapel. House was 3/4 mi. W."
     Francis Asbury, pioneer of Methodism, arrived in America in 1771. For the next forty-five years he traveled about 6,000 miles per year, extending the Methodist faith from Maine to Georgia and west to Ohio. Asbury’s first visit to North Carolina was in 1780. He is believed to have traveled to the state seventy-two times. During his journeys, the renowned circuit rider was welcomed into the homes of followers. Asbury visited Onslow County twelve times, each time taking respite in the home of Lot Ballard. Many of those trips involved a preaching engagement at Richlands of New River Chapel, but on one visit he preached at the Ballard home and once he just stopped for a meal and a brief rest. In 1799 Asbury wrote of Ballard’s “here we are at home.”

     Lot Ballard has been described as the first Methodist in Onslow County. He undoubtedly was involved with the church prior to Asbury’s first visit. By 1802 Lot Ballard had moved his home “out among the woods,” having apparently moved his house and joined it with his father’s “old mansion.” On January 31, 1813, Asbury “preached and ordained Lot Ballard.” This could have been the man with whom Asbury stayed so often, but is likely his son. By that time both Lot Ballard Sr. and Lot Ballard Jr. can be found in Onslow County land records. The last time that Lot Ballard entertained the “Prophet of the Long Road” was January 23, 1816, when Asbury was seventy years old. The itinerant bishop died about a year later, having never returned to his native England from his missionary work in America. It is reassuring to know that Francis Asbury found places like Lot Ballard’s house to call home.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 50-51—sketch by Grady L. E. Carroll
Grady L. E. Carroll, Francis Asbury in North Carolina (1964)
Joseph Parsons Brown, The Commonwealth of Onslow (1960)
Onslow County Deeds and Secretary of State Land Grants, North Carolina State Archives
Lot Ballard House Historical Marker Location Map, Richlands, North Carolina