University Baptist Church Records, 1854-1973

Creator: University Baptist Church (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Collection number:
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Abstract: Church records, including minutes, financial records, bulletins, photographs, and other materials relating to the University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Volume 1 (1854-1889) of the University Baptist Church Meeting Minutes contain several mentions of enslaved and free African Americans. Pages 14 – 17 of the volume list the names of the male and female African American members of the church. There are several mentions of “colored conferences” or religious services specifically for enslaved African Americans. Page 38 contains reference to a baptism for African Americans; page 120 (25 Oct 1862) also records a baptism for enslaved members, including their names.

Particularly significant is an entry made in the Annual Report of 1865, after the end of the Civil War (on page 154). In September, the report notes, the African American members of the church were “allowed” to leave to create their own church. Initially called the Colored Baptist Church, it is now called the First Baptist Church of Chapel Hill.