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Home North Carolina Onslow County City of Richlands Historical Markers Richlands Of New River Chapel

Richlands Of New River Chapel

US 258 and NC-24, Richlands, NC, USA
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Site of three successive Protestant congregations: Anglican until about 1758; Baptist until 1877; and Disciples of Christ since."
     The first church in Onslow County was established about 1731 in the “Rich Lands of New River.” The church, designated as St. John’s Parish in 1741 by Governor Gabriel Johnston, was served by Anglican preachers. Paul Palmer, who brought the Baptist faith to North Carolina in 1727, organized the church as a General Baptist congregation in 1743. At that time, it became known as New River Chapel; it was called Chapel Run from 1808 to 1842; from 1843 to 1850 it was Richlands Chapel; and in 1851 the congregation adopted the present name of Union Chapel.

     The congregation at New River remained Baptist for 134 years. During that time it was affiliated with diverse Baptist organizations as follows: 1743-1758—General Baptist; 1758-1788—Separate Baptist, in Sandy Creek Association; 1788-1793—United Baptist, in Kehukee Association; 1794-1805—United Baptist, in Neuse Association; 1806-1826—Regular Baptist, in Cape Fear Association; 1827-1843—Primitive Baptist, in Goshen Association; 1844-1864—Missionary Baptist, in Union Association; and 1865-1877—Missionary Baptist, in Eastern Association.

     In 1875 Cyrus Brown, a member of the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church), engaged an evangelist to promote his denomination at Union Chapel. On December 2, 1877, J. L. Burns organized Union Chapel as a Christian Church with forty-three members. The Disciples of Christ congregation is still active today. The chapel constructed in the late 1800s is still on the property of the present, modern brick church, about one mile north of the location of the original eighteenth century chapel.

Charles Crossfield Ware, “Onslow’s Oldest Church,” (Carolina Discipliana Society, 1956)
Joseph Parsons Brown, >i>The Commonwealth of Onslow (1960)
J. Daniel Pezzoni, The Architectural History of Onslow County (1998)