Davis, NC Churches

Davis Shore Baptist Church

Atlantic Association

Davis Shore was first inhabited by a family named Davis, from a territory in the British Isles named Wales. This was a remarkable family in a great many respects. The first preacher that visited Davis Shore was a man by the name of Garento from New River, in 1836.

The first Missionary Baptist who did a good work on Davis Shore was George W. Wallace. He preached during the years 1840-44. During this time he held some glorious meetings in Kilby Styron House, and in the grove. He baptized twenty five in one day, this was the first baptizing on the Shore. Daniel Davis, Hettie Davis and Sabra Davis were among the number who were baptized that day. Some of that 25, or nearly all of them, have gone home to live in the mansions above,; a few have been left to tell the glad news on that good day long ago.

From 1844 to 1867, they had no church organization on Davis Shore. The people held their membership at Smyrna but would have their meetings in private houses on the Shore.

In 1844 to ‘46 Elwell preached fro them on the Shore.
Askew from 1846-48.
Mantague and Baldwin from 1848-1952.
Jones in 1854, Rayfield in 1855.

The members soon saw the necessity of a church house and began to build the first house in 1855. It was for all denominations except the Roman Catholics. The house was finished in 1857, during James L. Warren’s administration.
J. L. Warren did the preaching from 1857 to 1865, Kingsbury in 1867, G. W. Sanderlin in 1866. During these good old times they sang such songs as “Father I stretch my hands to thee,” “Show Pity Lord,” “Hark from the Tombs,” “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand,” etc. The preacher would usually line them out.

While Reverend James L. Warren was preaching he organized a Bible Baptist Church but it did not last long. Its days were few and full of trouble.

While Askew and Baldwin were preaching at A. B. Davis’ the first subscription was made towards building a house of worship. The first house was built by the community.

In 1867 Elders Jacob Utley and T. J. Leary came upon the scene and held a good meeting, baptizing quite a number and on the 10th of August, 1867, organized the first Missionary Baptist Church on Davis Shore. The presbytery was composed of Jacob Utley and T. J. Leary. The sermon was preached by t. J. Leary from John 15:4. In September the church applied for admission in the Eastern Association.

A. B. Davis and L. W. Styron were appointed as deacons and I. F. Willis was the church clerk. This was the first organized effort to bring the people of Davis Shore to Christ.

The church then elected Rev. T. J. Leary as its first pastor. He served the church from 1867 to 1891, a period of 24 years. During this period untold good was accomplished. Among a great many deeds he did was to build a good house of worship.
In 1881, thirty men took their axes and went three miles into the forest and cut and carted the lumber out. T. J. Leary led the way. They sawed the lumber up with saws brought up from Habor Island. The brethren would work on the building while Bro. Leary would go off and solicit contributions. The old church was built for all denominations except the Catholics, but the new church was built for the Missionary Baptists. During the 24 years that Bro. Leary was pastor many turned to the Lord. But one day a cohort from Heaven heaved in sight flying nearer and nearer and soon it was to the earth and carried the Sainted Leary nearer and nearer towards his mansion above, until with a great clang the gates hoist and with an embrace wild with ecstacy of heaven, he enters the place of infinite and eternal sociality. The sooner the last hour comes, the better, if we are fitted for entrance in the celestial world.
Rev. B. W. Spilman was pastor in 1892 and did a good work. During this year, a Missionary meeting was held in which Ford, Dennie, McLeod, Spilman and Matthews took part. Blakely H. Mathews was pastor in ‘93.

The church was dedicated and good meeting was held by the pastor and J. B. Moore, then pastor at Beaufort, in which quite a number were added to the church.

E. C. Bobbit served the church in ‘94. Rev. R. D. Carroll is the present pastor and is leading the host of God on to great victory. The spark of love for God that was kindled in the hearts of the few that worshiped in Kilby Styron’s dwelling house in 1839 has grown into large proportions, now the church has 95 members.

Some of the brethren who have stood faithfully by the cause during the years are: Samuel Bobbitt, R. L. Paul, Alfred Davis, Capt. Isaiah Wade, Isaiah Davis and their excellent companions and many others.

The true church is a prophecy for good. Before that imperial carriage in which Napoleon rode, the pride of all France, a dozen epauleted and bespangled soldiers proudly walked, holding brilliant flambeaux above their heads. More imperial is that lordly conqueror before whose mighty chariot you and I walk. The church of Davis is proud to proclaim such a prince and conqueror.
The church will stand as a mighty tower on the storm washed coast, warning and rescuing men, until earth’s last storm is over and earth’s last soul is redeemed.

Source: Carrying the Torch: 135th Anniversary of Davis First Baptist Church, Editor: Thelma Pittman. Title: Church History: Davis Shore Baptist Church by Rev. Blakely H. Mathews, written in 1893.

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