Tour slated for Baptist ‘mother church’
    September 21 2015 by Liz Tablazon, Biblical Recorder

    Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) annual meeting will have a chance to visit what historians regard as the most significant landmark in North Carolina Baptist history. The Historical Committee invites participants to see the Sandy Creek Baptist Church log meeting house, which was built in 1802, on Monday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. The committee will offer a tour, a short lecture and a Q&A at the site at no cost.
     
    The existing building is the third on the site and still holds the original pulpit and a few original benches. The first meeting house was built in 1762 but burned down in 1785.
     
    The second was destroyed in a storm. Great Awakening preacher Shubal Stearns and 15 other individuals constituted themselves into what was originally Sandy Creek Separate Baptist Church in November 1755. Stearns came to the area after friends informed him of its need of evangelism. By 1758 more than 900 people were baptized. By 1771, 42 churches and 125 ministers came out of the parent church.
     
    Don Wright, a member of the Historical Committee and First Baptist Church in Cary, said Sandy Creek became the center of the Separate Baptists in the South.

     
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    Image courtesy of the N.C. Office of Archives and History
    This is believed to be the first meeting house where Sandy Creek Baptist Church was located.

    “It’s from that church that Separate Baptists multiplied both of their congregations and their membership to the point that in 1771, the Baptists dominated the backcountry of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and subsequently entered Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky as the predominant religious denomination in the South,” Wright said.
     
    Wright called Sandy Creek “the mother church of the Spirit-filled, evangelistic Baptists. Even today, Baptist theologians and Baptist leaders often describe themselves ... as being of the Sandy Creek tradition.”
     
    According to the BSC Bylaws, the Historical Committee recommends “which historic sites, including buildings, should be properly marked and preserved when these are related to Baptist history.”
     
    Wright said that marking preserved sites is no good unless people go to them. “As part of the preservation of sites, we’re encouraging Baptists to visit these sites to learn about them,” he said. “The more people visit and enjoy them, the easier it is to preserve that site and other sites.”
     
    Wright hopes the visit will encourage people to be excited about Baptist history. “The current Southern Baptist church at Sandy Creek is almost finished building a new sanctuary. Although it’s old, it’s healthy, it’s glowing,” he said. “The idea that just because you’re old and historical means that you’re dull and dead – that’s not so.”
     
    The tour group will leave from the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro at 2 p.m. and will return by 5 p.m. in time for the annual meeting’s scheduled events.
     
    Contact Norma Jean Johnson in the BSC Business Services office at (800) 395-5102, ext. 5618.

    9/21/2015 1:48:33 PM by Liz Tablazon, Biblical Recorder | with 0 comments
    Filed under: annual meeting, BSC, Sandy Creek




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