|Bethel Baptist (1913-1975) on Mills Ave. in Brevard|
in Transylvania County attended church at Cathey’s Creek Baptist or other white
churches in the area. As slaves, they were not
allowed to take part in the service but had to sit in the back and care for the
children of their owners.
received their freedom they started their own churches. The first African –American church in
Transylvania County was Bethel Baptist founded in 1865. The church got its start in a small one-room
house in Brevard. For several years they
moved around to various facilities before purchasing property from Frank
Jenkins between the railroad tracks and Mills Avenue in 1901. In 1913 they once again relocated, this time to the other
side of Mills Avenue to be further from the noise of the railroad. Here they built a traditional wooden white
church that served as their home until 1975 when the current brick church was
|New French Broad Baptist Church
off Everett Farm Rd. in the Little River area.
Little River area French Broad Baptist Church was organized in 1866. Members first met in a blacksmith shop. The congregation built a small church but it
was destroyed by fire within a year. After
that they held services in the schoolhouse deeded to them by Mr. Allison while
they erected a new church. Around 1910
heavy snows caused the collapse of the church roof. Once again the congregation rebuilt.
of the French Broad Church who lived in the Glade Creek area decided to form
their own church at that time. For
several years they held services in the Glade Creek School until they were able
to buy property and construct a church of their own in 1913. The two congregations have maintained a
strong bond through the years.
African-American churches include Shady Grove which was organized around 1868,
Mills Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion formed in 1896, The Fire Baptized
Holiness Church of God organized in 1919 and Bethel “A” Baptist which split
from Bethel Baptist in 1919.
Grove Church was located in the Cathey’s Creek area west of Brevard. The other three churches were all located in
the Rosenwald Community. Bethel “A”
Baptist remains an active church today.
also several African-American cemeteries dating to the mid-to-late 1800s located
in Transylvania County. Bailey’s
Cemetery, off West Probart St., has a couple dozen graves. Cooper’s Cemetery, off Country Club Rd.,
contains close to 200 graves. There is a
cemetery on Buena Vista Dr. where the old Shady Grove Church was located with
numerous unmarked graves and a few marked stones. There is also a cemetery at the New French
Broad Baptist Church. In addition a number
of early African-American Transylvania County residents are buried at Cathey’s
Creek and Davidson River Cemeteries.
Photographs and information for this column are provided
by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.
Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more
about our history and see additional photographs. For more information,
comments or suggestions contact Marcy
at [email protected] or 828-884-3151 X242.