Scuppernong Church of Christ
1871 - 2001
In the early years of the nineteenth century there arose men from several areas of the country who felt that the American religious situation was one of division and confusion. They felt that this was not in keeping with God's will and they wondered, "Why not eliminate the creeds and practices introduced by men that divided us, and go back to the New Testament pattern of the church." So they did, and began a movement of restoration of the apostolic church in doctrine and practice.
The clarion cry of "Back to the Bible" came to North Carolina in the 1830's and by the 1850's was preached and heard by the people of Washington county with a church established at Christian Hope prior to the Civil War. The second church to be established after this order was Free Chapel in 1871, or as we know it today, the Scuppernong Church of Christ. A Free Chapel was established in the village of Scuppernong in the year 1824 on land given by Jordan Davenport. How many years the idea of restoring the church was accepted in the minds of individuals in this community is not known, but by 1871 in the month of October a congregation of 106 was organized as the Church of Christ, and was at that time enrolled with the North Carolina Convention off Disciples of Christ. The congregation has also been known as White Chapel.
In September 1897 a new building was dedicated by B. H. Melton, State Evangelist, and the congregation changed its name to the Scuppernong church of Christ. It was named for the village in which it was located. The name Scuppernong is an Indian name which was given by those earliest Americans to the river that flows by Columbia in Tyrrell County and means "Crooked water or stick." The exact meaning is obscure.
Our source states that the Scuppernong church had one of the first eight Bible Schools in North Carolina in 1872. Another source says that a ten-month school was begun in 1887 with 82 students and teachers. Probably both accounts are correct, with the 1887 date referring to a re-starting of the school.
Many changes have taken place in the community in the past one hundred and thirty years. The village of Scuppernong in 1867 boasted four stores, a post office, a lawyer and doctor. Later a sawmill, a cotton gin, and a millenary shop were added. Today the community is a quiet residential and farm area.
How has the church changed? Physically, it has changed a great deal. Some of the original family names are gone, but many still are found here. For many years the church employed quarter - time preaching, then in 1948 half - time preaching was begun and in November of 1952 a full time minister was called to the field.
The present building was dedicated during the ministry of John Boyd Jones in 1897. It too has changed. In 1947 six Bible School rooms were added; in 1959 the vestibule with rest rooms was built; and in 1961 two additional Bible School rooms were added to make a total of eight. Since that time AC-Heat units, carpet, pews and pulpit furniture have been installed to add to the beauty and comfort of the building. In 1972 the church again completed a building project that enlarged the auditorium and installed a baptistery. In 1980 a Fellowship Hall was completed behind the church.
A parsonage was completed in 1953, with an extra room and bath added on to it later to make a very nice house of seven rooms. This parsonage was sold to Mark A. Woolard in 1995. Several members of the congregation in grateful gratitude and appreciation for approximately 40 plus years of dedicated service to Scuppernong Church of Christ as its minister donated the money to purchase the parsonage. In 1995 the Church purchased the Holton house and property which now serves as our present parsonage. At the present time the church is in the process adding two bedrooms and a bath to it. The Church began in 1954 a cemetery program designed to give better care to the cemetery, although individual care of graves was largely left to the involved families. On February 25, 1996 the church established a new cemetery on the Holton property which is now called, "Cemetery Two," with the work completed in 2000. The church appointed a Cemetery Board of Trustees that have taken over the responsibility of overseeing the care of both cemeteries.
In 1956 an annual Homecoming Day was begun. Homecoming is truly a time of glad reunion as old friends gather to feed the body and soul under the stately trees on the second Lord's Day in October.
Scuppernong Church of Christ exist because we hope to worship God through Jesus Christ according to the pattern set forth on the Day of Pentecost in A. D. 30, more than one hundred years ago men and women of this community who were tired of division and uncertainty were made aware of their awesome responsibility to serve Jesus Christ according to His commands. These brave souls took to step forward and founded a congregation dedicated to the restoration of New Testament Christianity. The church still stands on these principles. Twice in the past the church has turned aside from organized fellowship and conventions which sought to impose unscriptural regulations upon them. They offer fellowship to all who wish to stand upon the Bible alone. They refuse all doctrine and practices that are foreign to the Bible. The officers and membership believe without reservation that the Bible is the unique Word of God, and that Jesus Christ is the crucified, resurrected, only begotten Son of God, and the Savior and King of mankind.
Scuppernong feels great pride in its past, but also realizes the great task that lies ahead. The church looks forward to a victorious life and eternal rest through Jesus Christ. This is our humble hope in the One Who died for us all and gave us our reason for being.
Most of the above information was copied from the 1971 "Our Centennial Anniversary" booklet. Other information from the Scuppernong Church of Christ Board minutes.