Historical Markers StoppingPoints.com Historical Markers, Sightseeing & Points of Interest Scenic Roads & Points of Interest
About Us | Photo Gallery | Free Widgets | Featured States | Search Site
Home North Carolina Randolph County City of Melancton Historical Markers Sandy Creek Baptist Church

Sandy Creek Baptist Church

Old Liberty Road and Ramseur-Julian Road, Melancton, NC, USA
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Mother of Separate Baptist churches across the South. Founded by Shubal Stearns, 1755. His grave is two miles south."
     Shubal Stearns (1706-1771), native of Boston, early identified with the Congregationalists but, stirred by George Whitefields’s preaching, left that sect to create the “Separate Baptist” church in 1751. He resolved to move southward but, finding backcountry Virginia inhospitable, settled on rural Sandy Creek in 1755. From those beginnings sprang the Sandy Creek Association, organized in 1758. The church soon grew from sixteen to 606 communicants. Stearns travelled widely, establishing new congregations. Soon Separate Baptists in South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia could identify Sandy Creek as the “mother church.” The Separate Baptists respected ardor over order; their increased numbers heralded the rise of revivalistic evangelicalism in the South.

     Henry S. Stroupe, historian at Wake Forest University, called the founding of Sandy Creek “the most significant landmark in North Carolina Baptist history in the eighteenth century.” Samuel S. Hill, historian of religion in the South, writes that the Sandy Creek Baptists “were everywhere, it seemed, converting, revitalizing, and starting new Separate Baptist churches.” Today two churches, Primitive Baptist and Missionary Baptist, stand alongside the site of the original church and share ownership and maintenance of the grave of Shubal Stearns.

George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, I (1930)
Henry S. Stroupe, “Shubal Stearns, Sandy Creek’s Separate Baptist Leader,” in History of Sandy Creek, 1858-1958 (1958)
William L. Lumpkin, “Separate Baptists,” in Samuel S. Hill, ed., Encyclopedia of Southern Religion (1984)
Samuel S. Hill, One Name but Several Faces: Variety in Popular Christian Denominations in Southern History (1996)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, V, 430—sketch by David T. Morgan