Vol 1: Number 2 Summer 2012

Sanctuary Dedication October 27, 1868
– An important missing date in our church’s history has been found thanks to an article printed in the Biblical Recorder on November 4, 1868. Until this summer, the date for the completion and dedication of our sanctuary was unknown; never recorded in the church conference minutes.  This changed when a search of the Biblical Recorder Archives* found this article printed in part below: 
“ Dedication of Hillsboro Church – The new house of worship is finished.  It looks comfortable, neat, sweet, and solemn.  It is built of brick in Gothic style.  The roof is securely sustained by five handsomely carved braces extending from one wall to the other.  There are eleven windows of stained glass.  They contribute to the pleasure of the eye and to the comfort of the house.  A gallery extends across the end and is reached by a “winding stair” in a tower, the top of which is a belfry.
The house seats comfortably 250 people.  The choir sits in the gallery.  The ladies have sweet voices and the men give back bone to the body of music.  On the 27th of October, 1868 it was dedicated.”

The article goes on to describe the service that began at 8:00 PM with Dr. Pritchard reading a hymn “I love thy kingdom, Lord” followed by its signing.  The church’s pastor, Elder Gwaltney, read Second Chronicles 6.  Dr. Pritchard preached from Zachariah 6:13 emphasizing the temple, the builder and its glory.  A summary of the sermon is given by the article’s unknown author who finishes by saying, “This brief outline gives only a feeble idea of an able sermon, which ought to be and we hope will be repeated in every church in our land.” 
The earliest known photograph of the interior of the sanctuary was taken in 1909 during Charles Maddry’s marriage to Emma Parker of Hillsborough.  Maddry met Parker while serving as pastor of the church between 1901 and 1904. No slaves ever sat in the balcony (gallery), although it was designed for this purpose.  The sanctuary was not completed until after the War Between the States when slaves were freed.  We know from our church records that the African-American congregation voluntarily withdrew their fellowship to form a church of their own in 1868 the year of the sanctuary’s dedication.  From the Biblical Recorder article, it appears the balcony was used by the choir and as the photograph indicates there was no room for them to sit at the front of the church.
* Online archives can be searched at:  http://recorder.zsr.wfu.edu/Default/Skins/WakeforestA/Client.asp?skin=WakeforestA&AppName=2&AW=1349399076534

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.
  • Wade Dobbins Bostick (pastor 1899-) was born in Rutherford County, NC on Jan. 22, 1874 to Samuel Evans and Jane Price Suttle Bostick.  There were 16 children; three became missionaries to China; Wade, his older brother George Pleasant (G.P.) and their younger sister Attie Texas. Wade served in China from 1894-1931 before and after his marriage to Flora Holloway in 1901.  It appears that agricultural development and teaching husbandry skills were important work for Bostick at a Baptist school located in Anhwei Province, China.  He and Flora left China in 1931.
  • Edward Moses Baldwin (pastor 1857) was born in Richmond County, N.C. on December 4, 1825 - the third child and eldest son of Osborn and Mary Baldwin.  In addition to being a pastor, Baldwin was an educator.  A biographer noted that his students who went to college “usually stood high in their classes, and in the institutions which they attended” and “many of his former students, in addition to those who became intelligent farmers, have taken, and are taking a high stand in the ministry, in medicine, and in law.”

Rare Documents – Work was halted on the construction of the new church building because of poor workmanship.  The church withheld paying the brick mason and placed the money in the local bank for safekeeping.  The bank failed at the end of the Civil War.  In 1869, the brick mason took his case to court and arbitrators awarded him $1,107 for brick work done in 1862.  Church members could raise only $300.  Mrs. Susannah Washington Graham, wife of William Alexander Graham, a former Governor of North Carolina (1845-1849) wrote a letter appealing for assistance from the community to liquidate the balance.  In 1872, Mrs. Graham gave a verbal report to the church that the last dollar of the original church building debt was paid.  Mrs. Graham was a founding member of the church and highly regarded in the community and state.

Cradle of Congregations: Churches in Historic Hillsborough 1752-1918 is an exhibit that is on display at the Orange County Historical Museum. Our church is featured along with twelve other congregations that were created before 1918. The exhibit opened on August 31st and is to remain opened for viewing until December.  The Orange County Historical Museum is located in the Confederate Memorial Building at 201 N. Churton St.  Museum hours are 11am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1pm-4pm on Sundays.
First Baptist Church Hillsborough NC
201 W. King Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278