Vol 2: Number 1 Winter 2013

Did You Know a Stream Flows under the Lower Parking Lot?
In the Messenger issued the week of October 14, 1967, the finance committee asked members to help raise $5,000 on or before November 15th to be used “to create a ‘parking lot’ on the property adjoining the Pastorium.” Most of the funds were needed to purchase and install pipe to carry away “the water of a live stream flowing across the property.”  The stone and dirt necessary to fill the gully was donated by the Piedmont Mining Company at a “conservative” estimated value of $5,000.  Members were asked to sign a pledge card printed in the Messenger and turn in “THIS SUNDAY.”  By doing so, the committee would not have to make personal solicitations.  An aerial photograph of Hillsborough taken in 1955 shows the gulley and stream mentioned in the article.

 Captain John Berry’s Slaves
During its first decade, the church received slaves (colored, servants) as members.  Captain John Berry, a local builder who finished building our sanctuary in 1868, was a slave holder.  In an article written for the Wake Forest Magazine in February 1965, Dr. Henry S. Stroupe notes that “Berry’s attention to careful craftsmanship and painstaking detail has become a legend. The story is often told that he trained Negro slaves until they became fine craftsmen. In his Will, for example, he mentions "Joseph my carpenter" and "Ned my Tinner {tinsmith} valued at $2,000."  Minutes of a church conference held on October 16, 1859 read as follows: “At a called meeting Ned, servant of Capt John Berry related his Christian Experience and was received and baptized.”  Although other servants of Berry are listed in the minutes, no mention is made of Joseph who is buried in a derelict, abandoned family cemetery located at 101 East Corbin Street, his residence after being freed from slavery. 

Interesting Tidbits about Former Pastors – Biographies have been written for 16 former pastors who served between 1853 and 1907.  Additional biographies are being written for the remaining pastors.
Andrew Cleveland Hamby (pastor 1904-1906) was born on August 28, 1876 in Wilkes County. He grew up on a family farm, but at age 17 left the farm to attend Bethel Hill Institute. The Institute was founded by Reverend John Alexander Beam in 1888 and was located north of Roxboro, Person County, NC.  In 1901, Hamby became the editor of the Blue Ridge Baptist paper. The paper was established the prior year by Rev. W. R. Bradshaw and F. B. Hendren in Wilkesboro but moved to North Wilkesboro when Hamby became editor. A historian notes that “The Baptist is a clean religious paper and speaks well for its young editor and manager.”  Hamby and his wife, Nannie Gertrude Lynch, had three children, two daughters and one son. One of the daughters, Lucille, married Harry Lake Brown of Hillsborough. Mrs. Brown was the organist at First Baptist Hillsborough for many years, active in the Women’s Missionary Union and involved in home missions.
A Vintage Photograph Comes Alive
Kent Murray is not only a highly acclaimed photographer but is also very adept at restoring vintage photographs.  He “cleaned up” this photograph taken in 1952 of the congregation and Dr. Charles Maddry {white suit on left} at the ground breaking ceremony held to begin work on the “new” education building.  Working from a 1953 membership list, Geralene Champion and Clarene Bennett have identified most individuals in the photograph.  Thanks to Lynn Roberts and funds donated by the diaconate, the photograph has been framed and now hangs in the church for everyone to view.  The photograph with names of members can be found as an exhibit on the church’s website.

First Baptist Church Hillsborough NC
201 W. King Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278