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The Transylvania Baptist Association held its first annual
meeting on October 16-18, 1863 at Little River Baptist Church.  Although there were eight churches
represented (Bethel, Cathey’s Creek, Little River, Boilston, East Fork,
Macedonia, Zion and Pleasant Grove) in this new Association only six attended
the initial meeting.  The others were
“prevented by high water.”

At this first meeting a Constitution was written, Rules of Order
were established and committees and church representatives were appointed.  J.H. Duckworth served as the Moderator; S.
Wilson was the Clerk and J. Osborn the Treasurer.  The minutes of this meeting contain a list of
ordained ministers including B.E. Chastain and J.H. Duckworth from Cathey’s
Creek, E. Allison from Davidson River, and G.W. Mace and J.B. Marsh from
Calhoun.  Licentiates were P.H.
Kennermore from Cherry Field, J.M. Hamblen from Cathey’s Creek and E.M.
Anderson from Calhoun.

The annual meetings
were held in mid-October at a different church each year.  By 1875 the Association consisted of 24
churches located in Transylvania County, western Henderson County and northern
Greenville County, SC.  However, by 1920
it was made up of only Transylvania County churches.

In 1918 the annual
meeting was cancelled after “the Board of Health for Transylvania County issued
an order prohibiting all public gatherings… for the purpose of preventing the
Spanish influenza from assuming an epidemical form.”  They did publish a report though.

Rocky Hill Baptist, 1896

The Library has copies of the reports from the meeting for
1863, 1864, 1865, 1875, 1886, 1889, 1892, 1893, 1895, 1896 and 1903-1946
(except 1905).  While there is not an
index to the reports there are a lot of names of church leaders, ordained
ministers and licentiates.   From 1907 through 1920 the names of church
members who had passed away during the year were listed, sometime there was
also a brief obituary.

The 1911 and 1916 minutes include a history of “The Founding
of the Baptist Cause” in Transylvania County.

General locations of churches, financial information, new
member churches and churches disbanding, church construction projects are
included.  There are reports from the Thomasville
Baptist Orphanage, the Temperance Committee, the Baptist Hospital (including a
few mentions of locals treated there) and the 
B.Y.P.U. (Baptist Young People’s Union).

Turkey Creek Baptist, Homecoming 1920

There are also random tidbits of information such as, “The
churches of Dunn’s Rock and Toxaway were dropped from the Association on
account of drunkenness in their members” in 1896.

For family researchers who ancestors were connected with one
of Transylvania’s early Baptist churches it may be worth digging through some
of these early reports.  Your grandfather
may have been a delegate, committee member or contributor.

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.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712