William R. Beach

Pastor FBC Hillsborough, 1922-1924
Church minutes of March 8, 1922 note that “Rev W R Beach accepted the call to this field and began work March 1st holding his first service with the church at Mars Hill Sunday March 5th.  On March 12th Beach, his wife, sons Ben, WR Jr. and daughters Susie, Ina and Bertha were received into membership by transfer of letter from Mt. Tabor Church.  The same month song books were ordered and Beach was granted permission to dig a new well on church property. On January 28, 1923, a committee was appointed to “establish line on west side of church and to find out if there had ever been a deed made for the church.”  On May 27th Trustees reported “that the records at the court house showed the lots now owned by Brown Gordon and Gaither Collins was bounded the east by the line of the church lot on the west.”  On September 23rd, Trustees reported that an attorney told them nothing more could be done that would give a better title to the church lot then a survey made by a county surveyor.  Once done, the church was advised “to have the survey recorded and let the other party bring suit if they care to!”  The church voted later to allow Gaither Collins “to continue to use the driveway until such time as the church saw fit to close it.”  On February 17, 1924 Beach tendered his resignation following the morning service.  Ten days later on February 27th, the church accepted “Bro Beach’s resignation with regret of his severing pastoral relations with the church and going to Duke Church.”1
 According to listings found in various proceedings of the annual meetings of the NC Baptist State Convention, Beach served pastorates at Kings Creek (1894-1897), Granite Falls (1901-1904), Elkin (19-04-1905), Raleigh, Olive Branch, Princeton and Cary (1905-1912), Moncure (1913), Marshall (1914-1915), Bryson City (1915), Kings Mountain and Grover Church (1916-1920), Tabor City (1920-1922), Hillsboro and Mars Hill (1922-1924),  Duke and Erwin (Little River Association 1924-1925), and Rowan (1928-1934).2 Mrs. Beach is listed as director of WMU at a number of different church locations served by her husband.  It appears that Beach and his wife founded Kings Creek School Academy in 1894 in Caldwell County.3 Reference is also made to Beach taking charge of a school in Elkin when he pastored the church there.  Moncure Baptist Church, Chatham County, was organized February 23, 1913 and Beach served as their first pastor.  In September 1926, Beach was hired as a field representative (agent) for the Biblical Recorder. The paper was losing money and needed to increase readership.  Beach was hired because he “is known to many people in all sections of the state as he has done special work for the Recorder at the association for several past years.”4 {Editor’s note:  He had served as a traveling agent for the Recorder in 1913 while living in Cary, NC.}
An appreciation of Beach appearing in the Biblical Recorder describes him as being progressive, urging his congregation on to those things pertaining to the Kingdom of God , yet conservative in his plans.  “He is truly a shepherd looking after his flock.  He and his noble wife have been valuable citizens who have won the confidence and love of those with whom they came into contact.”5  
Beach was born on July 6, 1872 in Kings Creek, Caldwell County NC near Lenoir.  According to NC birth records, he had a daughter, Olive Ruth, born in 1892 in Kings Creek.  Her mother is listed as Farie Jones born in Fergason N.C.6 However, another daughter, Agnes, is listed as being born in 1895 and dying in 1903 at age 8 and buried in Granite Falls, Caldwell County.  Her mother is Kate Coffey, born on June 11, 1873.7 Apparently, Beach’s first wife, Farie, died shortly after giving birth to Olive Ruth in 1892.  Beach and Kate had two sons and three daughters when they came to Hillsborough in 1922. 
By 1939, both Beach and his wife were in failing health. Kate died on September 7, 1944 and Beach died ten days later on September 17, 1944.  They are buried in the Kings Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Lenoir, Caldwell County, NC.9
  1. Minutes of First Baptist Church Hillsborough, NC from November 19, 1853 to December 2, 1953.
  2. Various Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention from 1880-1914. Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Presses of Edwards and Broughton, Raleigh, NC,  Accessed at: http://mirror12.archive.org/search.php?query=mediatype%3Atexts%20AND%20collection%3Ancmeetingsproceedingsconferencereports%20AND%20subject%3A%22Baptist%20State%20Convention%20Of%20North%20Carolina%22
  3. Hardy, Michael C. Caldwell County (NC) (Images of America).  Arcadia Publishing, SC. 2006
  4. Our Field Representative. (September 1, 1926) Biblical Recorder, p.7, Retrieved at:  http://recorder.zsr.wfu.edu/Default/Skins/WakeforestA/Client.asp?skin=WakeforestA&AW=1333247219577&AppName=2
  5. A word of appreciation.  (September 26, 1934) Biblical Recorder, p.147, Retrieved at:  http://recorder.zsr.wfu.edu/Default/Skins/WakeforestA/Client.asp?skin=WakeforestA&AW=1333247219577&AppName=2
  6. Family Search. NC Deaths 1931-1994. Accessed at: https://www.familysearch.org/
  7. Kate Coffey.  Find a Grave.  Accessed at: http://www.findagrave.com/index.html
  8. W R Beach. Find a Grave. Accessed at: http://www.findagrave.com/index.html 
* Photograph scanned from reference number 4 above and then retouched (poor definition).
Compiled by Reginald Carter, Historian, FBC Hillsborough
Last Updated: May 1, 2013