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Home North Carolina Lenoir County City of Kinston Historical Markers Wheat Swamp Church

Wheat Swamp Church

US 258 at Institute Road, Kinston, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 20' 39.588", -77° 39' 35.7948"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Disciples of Christ since 1843. Organized about 1760 as Free Will Baptist. Part of present church built in 1858. One mile northwest."
     Joseph Parker founded Wheat Swamp as a Free Will Baptist church around 1760. It was later reorganized as a Disciples of Christ Christian church in 1843, making it North Carolina’s oldest Christian church. Annual state meetings of the Disciples were held at the church in 1853, 1858, and 1884. (Several annual meetings of the Baptists’ Bethel Conference were also held at Wheat Swamp, prior to the split).

     The Disciples movement in the early nineteenth century was based on renouncing all human creeds, and appealing to the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice. It was often known as the Reformation or Stone-Campbell movement, after founders Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell (former Presbyterian ministers in Kentucky and Pennsylvania). The separate but like-minded movements of Stone and Campbell were merged in 1832. The organization retained the names of both wings: Christian Church (for Stone’s) and Disciples of Christ (for Campbell’s). The movement spread quickly, and within a decade had found a following at Wheat Swamp in Lenoir County.

     The first church at Wheat Swamp had sand floors; a second building was completed in 1858. Early preachers at Wheat Swamp included Benjamin Parrott, Robert Bond, John P. Dunn, and John T. Walsh. The Disciples’ statewide women’s missionary work—resulting in the later-named Christian Women’s Fellowship—was initiated at Wheat Swamp in 1876. By 1889, the church was operating a school. The church was refurbished in the 1940s and expanded in the 1960s.

Charles Crossfield Ware, Hookerton History (1960)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) website: http://www.disciples.org

Wheat Swamp Church Historical Marker Location Map, Kinston, North Carolina