Posts Tagged ‘churches’

First Baptist Church of Hampton — Founded in 1863

Several Black churches were established in Hampton during the Civil War era: First Baptist Church (1863), Zion Baptist Church (1863), Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (1864), and Queen Street Baptist Church (1865).

Robert F. Engs. Freedom’s First Generation: Black Hampton, Virginia, 1861-1890. New York: Fordham University Press, 2004

Colita Nichols Fairfax. Hampton, Virginia. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2005

Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander. An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads. Charleston: The History Press, 2010

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“Zion Baptist Church, among the oldest of the African-American congregations in Portsmouth, was organized in 1865, some two years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves was signed by President Lincoln. The original pioneers, numbering 318, having known a basement form of worship, were amicably granted a letter of separation from the White mother church, Court Street Baptist.”
— Zion Baptist Church, “Church History,” accessed September 13, 2021

Court Street Baptist Church was founded in 1789, burned down and was rebuilt in 1901. Two photographs accompany Virginia Historical Inventory survey report: VHIR/19/0219 which has been digitized and is available at the Library of Virginia.

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This photograph of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (2015) was contributed to FindAGrave.com by a person who goes by ‘AGraveStory.’

“[Shiloh Baptist Church] was organized in 1865, during the last tumultuous year of the Civil War by a small group of ex-slaves. They started worshipping God in a log cabin called Bethel near Cross Keys…. Eventually Bethel was moved to its present location at 30188 Shiloh Road and renamed Shiloh Baptist Church….Shiloh has birthed many pastors, preachers, teachers, deacons, clerks and trustees and helped grow five branches — Bryants, Odom Chapel, Zoar, Galilee and New Bethel Baptist churches.”

The complete article by Rev. Dr. William A. Scott is online at “Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church helped grow other congregations,” The Tidewater News, 16 February 2013 (blog) accessed 22 November 2020.

There’s more information about Shiloh Baptist Church on FindAGrave.com. A person called ‘AGraveStory’ contributed this photograph in 2015. The image features the older part of the building and a brief note explains that there are cemetery sections behind the church and across the road in front of the church.
The post is on Find A Grave at https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2139288/shiloh-missionary-baptist-church-cemetery, accessed November 22, 2020.

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Shiloh Baptist Church, the oldest African American Baptist church in Accomack County, is the mother church of three other congregations.

“Shiloh Baptist Church is the oldest African American Baptist Church in Accomack County. Founded in 1875, the congregation of Shiloh Baptist Church grew out of the “Colored Membership” of the Hollies Baptist Church in Keller, VA.

“The first church edifice was constructed in 1875, and, after twice being destroyed by fire, the second edifice was rebuilt in 1904. The current church building was completed in 1907, and a Building Fund drive is currently under way to raise money for a new church home.

“Under the leadership of thirteen pastors over a period of 131 years, Shiloh Baptist Church has grown and flourished, adding new souls to the congregation every year. Shiloh Baptist Church birthed three other congregations: the New Mount Zion Baptist Church of Painter, Virginia in 1881, the Holy Trinity Baptist Church of Pungoteague, Virginia in 1905 and the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Wardtown, Virginia in 1909.”

The complete article is online at Shiloh Baptist Church, Accomack County, Virginia ( http://shilohbaptistva.org/our-family/ ) accessed October 26, 2020.


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Witnesses from Accomack County, Virginia spoke of a wedding and a funeral, health and employment, a benevolent society and a farm property. 

Invalid — 634,939 / 665,486
Widow — 895,178 / 681,407, Jane Collins

Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, James Collins, Sr., 2 January 1887 
65 years old; residence, Accomack…. post-office address, Pungoteague, Va.;  discharged at Hampton, on or about 3d day of June 1865, by reason of disability … treated at hospital near Hampton, Va. …. Also personally appeared R.W. Blackstone and John H. Joynes”

General Affidavit, James Martin, 16 October 1889
56 years old; occupation, farmer; residence, near Pungoteague, Va.; post-office address, Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va.
“That he knew James Collins, Sr. before he enlisted in the army and has been intimately acquainted with him ever since his discharge; that  he has  lived upon on average within two miles of him each year from 1865 to 1885, and for the last four years has lived within 1/2 a mile of him; … that he has seen and conversed with said Collins upon on average 2 to 3 times a month from 1865 to 1885, and since then to the present time 3 or 4 times a week….that he has employed said Collins to work for him at different times for the last 12 years, and that he is sure said Collins cannot perform more than 1/2 so much manual labor as a healthy, strong man can.”

Affidavit, James Collins, Sr., 14 July 1890
70 years old; residence, near Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va. … private … Company I, 1st regiment of the USC Cavry commanded by Capt. Howard, and was honorably discharged at Hampton, Va., on or about the 1st day of June, 1865 by reason of being incapacitated for further duty by illness … Also personally appeared George Hack, residing in Pungoteague, Virginia, and John Hack, residing [in Pungoteague, Virginia]”

Questionnaire (Form 3-056a), Jane Collins, 15 May 1897
[When did you first see soldier after the war?] “In April 1866 we met at a Loving Charity [sic] meeting which started among us 31 years ago.”
[“Love and Charity” was a benevolent society founded after the Civil War. I’ve seen it mentioned in Freedman’s Bank passbooks and in obituaries published as late as the 1960s. More research! — Leslie]

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), James Collins, Sr., 4 June 1898
[married] Jane Collins, Jane Dennis
[when, where, by whom] 1885, month & date do not remember, near Pungoteague, Va., Rev. T. W. Nettles
[record] in clerk’s office
[previously married] Margaret Weeks died 1875 near Pungoteague, Va.
[living children] Nancie [?] born 1852; Sarah born 1855; John born 1860; Lauranette [?] 1857; Rachel 1862; Lelia, 1865; Maggie, 1867; James, 1869; Ella, 1870

Origin of Disability in the Service, James Collins, Sr., 1 June 1900
87 years old; post-office address, Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va.
“That it is impossible to furnish the evidence of a commissioned officer of my regiment as none of them now resides in the county in which I live nor can I furnish the affidavit of a doctor that treated me in the service as they do not reside in this county. I was treated in McClennan Hospital in Hampton near Hampton, Va. and by Doctor Gray at Camp Lincoln, Va. I served under Lieutenant Gray. I do not know of a comrade living in my county that served in my regiment with me. Sergeant Reed residing in Norfolk, Va. is the last officer that I know anything of. I am very old and cannot go far from my home.”

Origin of Disability in the Service, John Major, 18 January 1901
69 years old; post-office address, Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va.
“I have been acquainted with the claimant Jas. Collins from boyhood. We were raised together. We enlisted in the same regiment but assigned different companies. He was in Co. I and I in Co. F.”

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Jane Collins, 14 May 1908
58 years old; residence, near Nandua, Accomack County, Virginia; post-office, Nandua, Accomack County, Virginia
“That she was married under the name of Jane Dennis to said soldier at her home [in 1885 or 1886] by Rev. T.W. Nettles …. That the said soldier died April, 1907, at home … Left no children under 16 years of age … Also personally appeared A.S. West, residing near Nandua, Va. and George W. Hash, residing near Nandua, Va. … their acquaintance with her of 30 years and 15 years, respectively”

Memorandum, Clerk of Circuit Court, John D. Grant, 20 March 1909
Accomack County, Virginia; I, John D. Grant, Clerk of the Circuit Court for the County of Accomack, in the State of Virginia, do hereby certify that it appears recorded in the ‘Register of Marriages,’ a record book in the Clerk’s Office of the said Court, that James Collins and Jane Dennis were married at Shiloh Baptist Church, in said County, on the 17th day of November, A.D., 1885, by Rev. T.W. Nettles. In testimony thereof, I hereunto set my hand, and annex the seal of the said Court, this 20th day of March, A.D. 1909.”

General Affidavit, Jane Collins, 31 March 1909
about 60 years old; post-office address, Nandua, Va.
“James Collins was married once before he and I were married and his wife died several years before we were married. I had never been married before I married James Collins and I have not married since his death.”

General Affidavit, George E. Hatton, 31 March 1909
53 years old; residence, Pungoteague, Va.
“We have no public records in our State that tells when a person dies. And in regard to the death of James Collins I know that he died April 1907 and was buried in the Baptist church burying ground near Pegueyville [sic], Va.  I was present at his burial.
“I know that James Collins and Jane Collins lived together as man and wife since Nov. 1885, at the time they were married, I was present at their marriage and have lived neighbor to them most of the time up to his death.”

General Affidavit, Augustus S. West, 31 March 1909
47 years old; post-office address, Nandua, Va.
“No public records of deaths are kept in my county. To my knowledge he has been dead nearly two years and was buried in the Baptist Church Cemetery near my home … claimant (Jane Collins) lives near me at present …. No doctor attended [James Collins] in his last illness.”

General Affidavit, Sarah Walker, 15 April 1909
55 years old; post-office address, Craddockville, Va.
“That she is the daughter of James Collins, dec’d, by his first wife and that she (his first wife) died on the 30th day of April 1876. She died near Pungoteague, Va. on the farm known as Shepperd Plains, and she further testifies that James Collins died on the 23rd day of April 1907.”

General Affidavit, James A. Collins,15 April 1909
44 years old; post-office address, Craddockville, Va.
“That James Collins late pensioner of the U.S. died on the 23rd day of April 1907. The reason why he knows the date of James Collins’ death so well is that he is a son of James Collins dec’d.”

General Affidavit, Louis Duncan, 1 May 1909
68 years old; post-office address, Craddockville, Va.
“That Margaret Collins is the first wife of James Collins (late pensioner of the U.S.) died on the 30th day of April 1876. She died on the farm known as ‘Shepherd’s Plains‘ near Pungoteague, Va.
“I know of the facts in this case because I was living in the same neighborhood at the time of her death. and what makes me recollect it so well I had an aunt to die about the same time, only about a week before her death.”

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