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Faith

Faith has always been a critical part of the life of Chapel Hill/Carrboro’s Black community. Prior to emancipation, enslaved people people worshiped in segregated sections of Chapel of the Cross, University Baptist Church, and other churches run by white residents. But Black church-goers quickly moved to found their own congregations where they could worship independently as soon as possible. Chapel Hill’s first Black church, St. Paul AME Church, was founded in 1864, closely followed by First Baptist Church in 1865. Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1877 and St. Joseph CME Church was founded in 1898. Other churches sprang up over time to serve different geographic areas and theological beliefs. These include Abundant Life Faith Ministry, Barbee’s Chapel Harvest Word Church, Cathedral of Hope Mission Church, Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love International Church, First Church of God Christian Fellowship, Hamlet Chapel CME Church, Haw River Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, O’Bryant Chapel AME Zion Church, Second Baptist Church, Staunton Memorial CME Church, Terrell’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church, and White Rock Holy United Church.

While the ministers of these congregations are often their most celebrated church leaders, they should not overshadow the many laypeople who make each church a spiritual home for its members. Stewards, stewardesses, deacons, deaconesses, trustees, ushers, elders, youth program ministers, choir directors, and committee members all work tirelessly to keep Black churches thriving. From vacation Bible schools to Easter pageants and Christmas goodie bags, church events that run on the efforts of lay leadership and church members bring people together in celebrations of faith and community.

Over the years churches have provided spiritual nourishment and fellowship, but have also been critical to community activism and community caregiving. Black churches raised funds to bail out Civil Rights activists and provided space for activist meetings and preparations. Many photos from marches and protests in Chapel Hill began with a rallying point in front of St. Joseph CME. Today, the Heavenly Groceries ministry at St. Joseph CME has fed hundreds of people and First Baptist Church has a thriving prison minsitry. The annual St. Paul Village Community Walk and 5k Run encourages exercise while raising funds for St. Paul Village, a mixed use development combining a new worship space, community amenities, and senior and affordable housing. Informally, local Black churches have offered prayer and care for members dealing with deaths in their families, illness, and other hardships and have led community efforts to care for people who are unhoused or hungry, and for those who are incarcerated.

Today, new neighbors in Northside, Pine Knolls, Tin Top and other historically Black neighborhoods bring their own faith traditions to the community. While many neighbors flock to Christian churches each Sunday, others celebrate their faiths in synagogues, mosques, temples, and other spaces, bringing diversity and new beliefs to the long-standing tradition of faith in community.

To learn more...

"Academic Center To Be Named For Dr. Chambers"

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. This newspaper article from The Metro Forum in Lafayette, Tennessee discusses a proposal to rename the academic center at Lane College after Dr. Chambers. Dr. Chambers served as the eighth president of the college. Photo…

"Lane to discuss new leader; Chambers 'vision, zeal' cited"

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. This article from The Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tennessee details Dr. Chambers funeral services. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

"President of Lane dies"

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. This newspaper article announcing his passing lists his accomplishments while serving as President of Lane College. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

"Putting the Past in Focus" - The "Gray Ladies" of N.C. Memorial Hospital

This newspaper article from The Chapel Hill Herald discusses Chapel Hill's "Gray Ladies," who volunteered their caregiving services in hospitals. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 1999 Hoyt Family Thanksgiving

Ocie Hoyt, wife of Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, holds her granddaughter Ayanna on Thanksgiving in 1999. The family is at the Bishop's former secretary's house. Also in attendance is John, a friend of his sister-in-law. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Abundant Life Faith Ministry

Abundant Life Faith Ministry is located on Farrington Point Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Albert and Eloise Williams - On community, faith, race, and being a firefighter

Rev. Albert Williams is the minister at Staunton Memorial CME Church in Pittsboro. He is a lifetime resident of the area and was the first African American firefighter in Chapel Hill and a native son of St. Joseph CME. Mrs. Williams is also a lifetime resident and active member of Staunton…

 Albert Simms Williams - On his life, family, community, and faith

Rev. Albert Williams is the minister at Staunton Memorial CME Church in Pittsboro. He is a lifetime resident of the area and was the first African American firefighter in Chapel Hill. This interview was conducted as part of the Jackson Center’s local life history series. Topics include: childhood…

 Albert Washington - On his business, church, and growing up in Northside

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Oral History Trust. Albert (Bruce) Washington, III grew up in Chatham County with his mother and in Northside with his father and extended family. He was an only child, but grew up in the context of many cousins, aunts, and uncles who cared…

 Amanda Ashley - On food during her childhood and learning to cook

Amanda Ashley describes her experiences with food in her childhood as the interviewer introduces the Food Ministry. Amanda shares how her mother’s occupation as a nutrition teacher influenced her food intake. Food in her household was less processed. Amanda describes her learning experiences in…

 Anita Spring Council and Annette “Neecy” Council - On Their Family History and Family Businesses

"Yeah our friends would be going to the ball games and going here and then we had to go to work. But then when it came down to going to McDonald’s or whatever we had the money to buy it and they didn’t, so that was the good part about it." - Annette "Neecy" Council Anita Spring Council and Annette…

 Arminta Foushee - On St. Paul AME Church

"After the announcements were said I had this motto I would state, every Sunday I would say, "We are so happy to have you worshiping with us, we hope you would come back again." And St. Paul’s motto was: "visitors are strangers but once."" - Arminta Foushee Aminta Foushee shares photographs and a…

 Arminta Foushee and Christian Foushee-Green

 Arminta Foushee, Christian Foushee-Green, and Dolores Eunice Farrington at St. Paul AME Church

Barbee's Chapel Harvest Word Church

Barbee's Chapel Harvest Word Church is located at 5916 Barbee's Chapel Road.

 Betty Baldwin Geer - On her family, work experiences, and gentrification

"Thirteen years old and I gave my hand over to God. I've been in church ever since. Of course when you go off to college, you kind of drift away, but you always come back. I loved it. It was a good experience for me. It has always been a good experience for me." - Betty Baldwin Geer This interview…

 Betty King - On growing up in Chapel Hill, family, and Lincoln High School

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. at the Empowerment Banquet

Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. holds William Graves, III (Bishop Graves grandson) at the Empowerment Banquet in November 1999. The banquet took place at the Ramada Inn Motel in Tupelo, Mississippi. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 Bishops' Wives at Bishop Henry C. Bunton's Funeral

This is a photo of the wives of Bishops in the CME church at Bishop Henry C. Bunton's funeral in Memphis, Tennessee. The funeral took place in September 1999. From left to wife the women are: Yvonne Gilmore (Dallas, TX), Elizabeth Coleman (Retired), Ocie H. Hoyt (Shreveport, LA), Wylene Broomfield…

 Brenda Jackson - On family, church, and community

History of family at St. Joseph; Mr. Henry Baldwin donating to church; changes in church; fast pace nature of new generation; church’s role in community and individual’s role in church; meaning and power of singing and why singing is such a big part of St. Joseph; feeling of gratitude among…

 Brentton Harrison - On growing up in Northside, Heavenly Groceries, and the Jackson Center

This interview provides Brentton Harrison’s early biographical information, reflections on his father’s life as a Reverend and his life growing up in Northside including participation in a band while in high school. He shares his involvement with Heavenly Grocery, overseeing the Pancake Jamboree at…

 Brian Toomey - On his outreach work and services of the health center

Brian Toomey majored in History and wanted to teach after graduation. He moved to Carrboro in 2010 from Massachusetts. He speaks in detail about the services of the health center he works at and the outreach work for the Northside Neighborhood. Toomey notes that one of the difficulties of reaching…

 Burnice Hackney - On family, school integration, and inequality in Chapel Hill

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

Cathedral of Hope Mission Church

Cathedral of Hope Mission Church is located at 100-A Hillview Street in Carrboro, NC.

 Charlene Smith - On her childhood, parents, education, student behavior, school integration

“What we had students don’t get now as easily. There’s something missing now for many of the kids…when I attended Lincoln there were Black role models around me everywhere…there were Black people around you, which you always had a sense of family, and a sense of community, a sense of safety, and a…

 Charles Alston and Lewis Atwater

“But the main thing I wanted you to recognize was that, that was our haven. The Black haven - Graham Street, Merritt Mill Road, and Roberson Street - because why? That’s where a lot of us lived on Roberson Street.” “Right, right. That was the Black neighborhood.” - Charles Alston and Lewis…

 Christian Foushee-Green at St. Paul AME Church

 Civil Rights Story Circle - On their experiences in Chapel Hill in the 1960s

Freedom fighters Euyvonne Cotton, James Foushee, William Carter, Linda Brown, Keith Edwards, and Marion Phillips gathered upstairs at St. Joseph C.M.E. to talk about their experiences as young people in the freedom movement in Chapel Hill 1960-1964. Spurred by the recent publication of Courage in…

 Clayton Weaver - On his parents, education, and Northside

“I tell you young people, stay up with your peers. Never lose track of them.” - Clayton Weaver Weaver was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC on Cameron Avenue. His great-uncle bought their family home in 1929 for $3000. He went to school at Northside Elementary. Weaver provides background on who…

 Cleo Caldwell - On her family's musical talent, growing up in Northside, and returning to the neighborhood

In this interview, Cleo Caldwell, 53, discusses growing up in the Northside neighborhood surrounded by extended family and, in particular, her cousins who became policemen and civil rights activists. Cleo’s mother and sisters were known for their musical talents—her mother played piano and her…

 Clyde Perry - On his childhood, family, education, and integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Congregation at St. Paul AME Church

 Cotton Chapel CME Church

Before the construction of St. Joseph CME Church, congregants worshipped at Cotton Chapel CME Church. Cotton Chapel CME Church was named after Mr. Henry Cotton, a devoted member and leader in forming the congregation. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 Darrell Foushee, Easter 1992

Darrell Foushee stands in front of St. Paul AME Church on Easter Sunday in 1992. Photo courtesy of Arminta Foushee.

 David Mason, Jr. - On Black communities in Chapel Hill

This interview provides an overview of Black communities in Chapel Hill during Mason's life. He notes the consequences of having segregated communities and outdated infrastructures. His employment was at UNC Chapel Hill and he was employed at an early age at several local restaurants. He talks about…

Deed to St. Joseph CME Church

While the land that St. Joseph CME Church sits on was originally allocated for Lincoln High School, the town made the decision that the site was too small to serve all of the Black high school students in Orange County. Trustees of St. Joseph worked together, some even mortgaging their homes, to…

 Delaine Norwood - On her childhood, family, and education

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Dennis Farrington - On his family, education, and work experiences

Dennis Farrington spent the first part of his life in the Northside area of Chapel Hill before moving to a home off of NC Hwy 54, and he has deep roots in Chatham County, North Carolina. He attended Chapel Hill High School after it was newly integrated. He spent most of his working career at UNC…

 Dolores Clark - On the history of Black builders in her family

This interview is part of a series on Black builders in Orange County. Dolores Clark, a long-term resident of Chapel Hill, explains how her family has a history of building several structures, including university buildings, homes, and churches in the Chapel Hill area. Clark describes how her…

 Doris Wilson - On racial inequality, education, and faith

Doris Wilson was born in 1936 in Robeson County, North Carolina and moved to Chapel Hill in the mid 1950s. She has lived in her same home on Church St. in Chapel Hill ever since. In the interview, she discusses the transition to Chapel Hill when she was college-aged and the first times she…

 Doug Clark, Sr. - On growing up in Chapel Hill and high school

Doug Clark, Sr., a musician, was born in Chapel Hill in 1936, where he lived in a close-knit Black neighborhood and attended Orange County Training School, which became Lincoln High School. He reflects on his family life and experiences growing up, such as seeing lines of Black children walk to…

 Drawing of Dr. Alex Chambers

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 Edric Cotton

This interview is primarily concerned with political figures (Dr. MLK, Jr, Dr. Benjamin Mays, Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, and George Washington Carver) and personal spheres of influence such as his mother, great-great-grandmother, and Paul Robeson. Additionally, Cotton speaks on love and…

 Edwin Caldwell - On the events leading up to school integration

“One of the most difficult times I had was looking [after] and protecting teachers. I felt like that was my job. Man, you know, teachers need to have some independence to be able to do what they need to do, and I let them know that I was going to protect them. That’s why teachers came to me when I…

 Elizabeth Carter - On growing up in Carrboro and school integration

“Because usually it ended up, truly, even though the schools were integrated, the classrooms were segregated, because whites were on one side and Blacks were on the other. Same typical thing, if you think about now, if you go into integrated situations, that people tend to migrate toward people that…

 Emma Fowler - On growing up in Chapel Hill and Northside

This interview provides into Fowler's life growing up in Chapel Hill, her church attendance, and her education at Northside Elementary School. She goes into the neighborhood and family dynamics as well. She shares that her father worked for UNC. She spends her leisure time playing music and learning…

 Euzelle and R.D. Smith - On food and cooking

R.D. and Euzelle Smith have lived in Pottersfield in Chapel Hill since the 1940s. Both worked as educators in Chapel Hill for decades, and R.D. served as a member of the Town Council. They then became the namesakes for Smith Middle School when it was constructed. This interview was done as part of…

 Everett Goldston - On teaching before and after school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love International Church

Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love International Church is located on Rogers Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church was organized in 1865 out of what is now University Baptist Church. It started in the Quaker school building on Franklin Street and eventually grew and expanded to its current site on Roberson Street in 1946. First Baptist has had six pastors in its long history, and its motto…

First Church of God Christian Fellowship

First Church of God Christian Fellowship is located at 102 Boyd Street in Carrboro, NC.

 Frances Hargraves - On childhood, family, education, and teaching

"I remember my mother always told me, 'Whatever job you must do, be sure you give it your best.' She said if it’s sweeping the floor, washing dishes, anything, do it your best. And as I grew, that was her philosophy - always give it your best. And I still carry that philosophy." - Frances…

 Francesina Jackson and Charlene Regester - On family, education, and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Fred Battle - On his childhood, education, sit-ins, and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Fred Battle - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

"I would always look as I would walk down the corridors of the hall in Lincoln, and I could still hear some of the teachers speaking now. Giving guidance, giving direction, giving praise, and all the motivation we would need to excel as students, excel as athletes." - Fred Battle Fred Battle was…

 Freda Andrews - On education, teaching, and the Freedom Movement

Freda Andrews is a daughter of the Northside. Notably, her primary and secondary school education transformed her life immeasurably. Her teachers, especially at Northside Elementary, created a classroom setting that directed individual attention to each student. Fostered by these nurturing teachers,…

 Front cover from Rev. Warren R. Foushee's Homegoing Service

Rev. Warren R. Foushee served as the pastor for St. Joseph CME Church from 1955-1964. Members of St. Joseph's congregation traveled to Columbia, South Carolina for Rev. Foushee's homegoing service in 1991, bringing back the cover from the order of service. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson…

Funeral Service Program for Mr. Brodie Edwards, Sr.

Mr. Brodie Edwards, Sr.'s funeral took place on October 24, 1975 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mr. Charlie N. Fearrington

Mr. Charlie N. Fearrington funeral took place on September 27, 1975 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mr. Ernest Earl Edwards

Mr. Ernest Earl Edwards' funeral took place on February 22, 1975 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mr. James Dooley

Mr. James Dooley's funeral took place on Februar 13, 1976 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mr. Walter "Rat" Farrington

Mr. Walter "Rat" Farrington's funeral took place on October 2, 1975 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mrs. Argusta G. Edwards

Mrs. Argusta G. Edwards' funeral took place on February 3, 1976 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mrs. Arvella Mae Sligh Briggs

Mrs. Arvella Mae Sligh Briggs' funeral took place on August 18, 1976 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mrs. Mary Jones Cotton

Mrs. Mary Jones Cotton's funeral took place on June 9, 1977 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mrs. Myrtle Farrington Bynum

Mrs. Myrtle Farrington Bynum's funeral took place on January 2, 1977 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Funeral Service Program for Mrs. Viola S. Fearrington

Mrs. Viola S. Fearrington's funeral took place on April 19, 1976 at St. Joseph CME Church. Rev. Wylie E. Wilson officiated the service. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 Gladys Pendergraph

 Gloria Warren - On growing up in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, family, and education

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Gracie Webb - On changes to the neighborhood and the effects on senior community members

In the interview Mrs. Webb discusses her neighborhood and describes how the house that she grew up in was demolished by the state in order to build a road in its place. Her parents did not want to move but believed that if they refused the state’s offer their home would have been condemned; thus,…

 Gracie Webb - On her family, growing up in Northside, and changes in Northside

“On Sundays everybody would come after church and come there and eat, the pastors and all [of them]. We weren’t the wealthiest, but we were always full.” - Gracie Webb Throughout Gracie Webb’s life she has seemingly always been in the Northside and Cedar Groves area of Chapel Hill-Carrboro.…

Hamlet Chapel CME Church

Hamlet Chapel CME Church is located in Pittsboro, NC.

Heavenly Groceries

"Reverend Harrison was seeing that they were throwing away the day-old food at the Food Lions and then it became, 'How is this happening? So much food is being wasted. Why are we not surplussing this food and giving it to the need for the community?' And that is how Heavenly Groceries started at St.…

Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church

Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church is a historically traditional black church that is located in the rural area of Chapel Hill. It has a rich history that began with just a few people in a one-room log cabin, with one window, no floor, yet our ancestors were honored to call that building...…

 Hilliard Caldwell - Speaking about his childhood, family, and race

I was president of my student body at Lincoln High from 1955-56. That was the first time that I'd ever ran for an office where people voted for you based on what you stood for. Having experienced that in an all Black high school was the driving point in getting me to want to run for public office…

History of Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church

History of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

This article is a brief history of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church from the CME Church calendar. Photos courtesy of Mrs. Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 James "Jim" Wallace - Speaking about the Civil Rights Movement and his photography

In this interview, Wallace speaks about Civil rights in Chapel Hill, resistance within the movement, and differences of thought. He also talks about Karen Parker, the first black Woman to graduate from UNC. The interview also includes discussion of Jim Wallace’s photos, photos used in schools to…

 James Foushee - On the Civil Rights Movement, family, and Northside

Foushee speaks on growing up in Northside which includes his educational experiences, and his family overview. He goes into the dynamics of his relationship with his aunt. Furthermore, he talks about his relationship with his neighbor. He takes the listener through the beginning and organization of…

 Judy Nunn Snipes and Gertrude Nunn - Speaking about the Rogers-Eubanks community

“I just have to say it was two proud families that basically loved the land and raised their families and contributed to the economy. There were lots of talents on both sides of the family- there was nothing her brothers couldn’t do.” - Judy Nunn Snipes This interview is part of an SOHP project…

 Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes - On family, faith, and the importance of heritage and land

“The connection is that the faith that backs me is my support and my strength. The you don’t give up. You keep fighting.” - Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes has been an important member and leader of Chapel Hill since growing up and living in the community for most of her life. She…

 Katherine Council - On education, changes in the community, and racial discrimination

“I really think with children, it didn’t matter. It was the adults that were having problems.” (In reference to integration) - Katherine "Mama Kat" Council Ms. Council, fondly known as Mama Kat, grew up on a farm in Chapel Hill down Jones Ferry Road and has lived in various places in the area her…

 Katherine Council - On taking care of her son

“All my children left. When they graduated, that was it. I told Bishop Hart - one day, he asked, ‘How’re the children doing?’ I said, ‘They scattered everywhere Bishop Hart. I don’t think I was a good mother. ‘Cause when everyone of them got out of school, they went different ways.’ He said, ‘That…

 Kathy Atwater - On home, community, and Northside

In the beginning of the interview, Ms. Atwater describes the history of her home, growing up in her neighborhood, and the significance of keeping her home in the family in order to continue an ongoing legacy. To Ms. Atwater, a home is more than a place of residence; it is a memorial, it is the…

 Kay Gattis - On her life as a caregiver and her faith

And that’s my life, it's all about Ms. Kay, and I’m still going to help until the day I die. If they need help, I’m going to do it. - Kay Gattis Ms. Kay Gattis describes her upbringing in Chapel Hill, with her parents and eight siblings. She described how she took on the role of the caregiver after…

 Keith Edwards - On growing up in Carrboro and the role of teachers

“The thing I remember the most coming up in the Black community, the Black community supported the schools, not only financially, but they also supported the schools by parents having involvement in the children’s schooling.” - Keith Edwards Keith Edwards was born in 1950 and grew up in Carrboro and…

 Keith Edwards - On the importance of food

“Sundays were always a special day. That whole day was made into just like a holiday. - Keith Edwards This interview includes Keith Edwards’s viewpoint on the importance of food in the home and in the community.  She recalls specific recipes in the interview. Edwards was born and raised in Carrboro…

 Mae McLendon - On motherhood and attending UNC

“I was a member of the Black Student Movement. It was like a year old when I got there so I was very active in that. I was the off-campus minister. We would go to the football games and not stand for the national anthem…as a form of protest.” - Mae McLendonr In this interview, Mae McLendon sits down…

 Marian Cheek Jackson

“We’ve had so many of the younger people feel like it’s unnecessary [the work getting St Joseph’s to where it is], but I keep telling them, just like we’ve said, without no past you have no future.” - Marian Cheek Jackson Marian Jackson discusses her participation in the civil rights movement and…

 Marian Cheek Jackson - On community history, family history. and the University of North Carolina

"You have to keep going." - Marian Cheek Jackson Mrs. Marian Cheek Jackson begins with a description of prominent Black businesses that used to exist in the African American community, (including Mason's grocery store); St. Joseph's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church's role in civil rights…

 Marie Mann and Kenneth Mann

“Everybody knew everybody, and it’s just like anywhere else, you could walk away from your house and not lock the door. You would know the neighbor would watch your house, and you would hook the screen in the back, and you go on downtown wherever you are going and come back, and your house is ok.…

 Mark Royster - On his family, community, and church

Rev. Mark Royster is the minister of Cedar Rock Missionary Baptist Church in New Hill, NC. He has spent decades working as a banker (VP of SunTrust), minister, school board member (leader of the Blue Ribbon Task Force), and community developer and activist in Orange County, and has strong ties to…

 Mark Royster - On his family, education, and school integration

This interview begins with the background of Mark Royster. Royster grew up on his father’s farm in Granville County which is north of Durham County. His father’s farm was government subsidized. He was the youngest of twelve children. His sister is the eldest and would be 100 years old at the time of…

 Marquette Costen - On moving to North Carolina and what makes a good neighbor

This interview was done as part of the Facing Our Neighbors project. It begins with Costen discussing his respect for Southern women, noting that they can be stronger than men. Costen was originally from Washington, D.C. and moved to North Carolina with his grandmother. He notes the social…

 Mary Manning - On her childhood, education, and segregation

“Church had a good influence on my life." - Mary Manning Mary Manning was born in Carrboro on Birch Street and moved to Chapel Hill. She reflects on her childhood and her life living in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. She mentions several memories of her growing up in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. She only…

 Mary Norwood Jones - On growing up in Carrboro and her experiences at North Carolina Central University

Mary Norwood Jones is a Chapel Hill Native that attended Lincoln High School while it was still Orange County Training School. She discusses her childhood in the Chapel Hill area around the time of World War II and how the community was close knit. She then goes on to talk about the school and how…

 Mary Norwood Jones - On her experiences at Orange County Training School

“First of all, I think that any person who comes to this community to teach in the school system should have a tour of Chapel Hill prior to teaching, so that they will know where the different neighborhoods are and what the neighborhoods are all about. They should know where the historical places…

 Minnie James with her daughter Dolores Eunice Farrington

Mrs. Minnie James sits in St. Paul AME Church with her daughter, Mrs. Dolores Eunice Farrington, at the church's 134th anniversary in 1998. Photo courtesy of Arminta Foushee

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Churches located in Chatham County, NC.

 Nate Davis - On the Hargraves Community Center

Nate Davis remembers that during his childhood, the Hargraves Community Center as a safe space to hang out and play sports with friends, and now, after years of working first part time and then full-time for the Center, he is the director. Davis tells the story of Hargraves starting in the 1940s. It…

New Vision Church of God of Prophecy

New Vision Church of God of Prophecy is located at 605 Church Street in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Norma Bell - On her family, marriage, and relatives' businesses

In this interview, Norma Bell describes her wedding experience and her rebelliousness towards perceived unfairness. She describes her personality as being fair, assertive, and opinionated. She also talks about her 44-year marriage to Thomas Bell and their children and grandchildren. Norma’s mother,…

O'Bryant Chapel AME Zion Church

O'Bryant Chapel AME Zion Church is located on Chapel Street in Chapel Hill, NC.

Order of Service from Rev. Alex A. Chamber's Service of Memory

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. His Service of Memory took place at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee on March 23, 1992. This pamphlet includes his obituary and information on the service. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME…

Pamphlet from The 1995 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture/Preaching Series

Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. was one of the featured speakers for the 1995 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture/Preaching Series. The series was presented by the Duke University Divinity School The Office of Black Church Affairs and the Black Seminarians Union. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and…

Partial notes about General Claims

This is the last page of notes from St. Joseph CME Church talking about paying General Claims under the leadership of Dr. LK Bennett. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Pastors of Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1947-1955

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1955-1967

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1967-1970

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1974-1983

 Paul Caldwell - On Northside, the Civil Rights Movement, and his work in the University Police at UNC

Paul Caldwell was the first African-American sergeant, lieutenant, and captain of University Police at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This interview includes Mr. Caldwell’s early life; The evolution of the Northside Neighborhood; Memories of growing up in Chapel Hill; Mr.…

 Photo of Mrs. Bennett and Ruby Jones

This photo shows Ruby Jones and Mrs. Bennett, wife of pastor Dr. L. Kenneth Bennett, in front of St. Joseph CME Church. Mrs. Jones is in the white dress and Mrs. Bennett is in the pink dress with the black fur trim. Mrs. Bennett's children, Cristopher Bennett and Leslie Bennett, are in front. Photo…

 Photo of Ruby Jones and Sonya

This photo shows Ruby Jones and Sonya in front of St. Joseph CME Church. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Poem on Northside by Jasmine (Juice) Farmer

I never truly understood the meaning of community until I witnessed The Northside.I knew the power of a village and the power of prayer,But I had never been a part of a community more powerful, more stronger, & a place that seeped resilience more than the northside.I only got to experience the…

 Polly McCauley - On growing up in Chapel Hill and her educational experiences

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Postcard of St. Joseph CME Church

 R. D. Smith - About his childhood, career in education, and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Regina Merritt and Mary Cole - On land ownership, integration, and racism

“My parents always taught us you know who you are, no matter what you say to me or what you call me, I know who I am. And that stayed with me for years. Because people are going to talk about you, you cannot stop people from talking. They can say what they want to say to you, but you know who you…

 Reginald Hildebrand - Coming to St. Paul AME Church (clip)

Reginald Hildebrand (RH): The other connection I have, I developed in Chapel Hill around that time the church. And how that developed, I was living in Durham and had really wanted to attend a church in Durham, to establish myself in that community. I visited the best known AME church in Durham,…

 Reginald Hildebrand - On St. Paul AME Church

"And that was another way that the church related to the community. Providing a place, a home to affirm, and to the degree we could, assist people who were members of the community whatever their particular situation might be, economically or educationally." - Dr. Reginald Hildebrand Dr. Reginald…

 Renowned, national activist, James Farmer, speaks at a civil rights gathering at First Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC.

In preparation for a Freedom March from Durham to Chapel Hill, demonstrators attended a rally at Chapel Hill's First Baptist Church to hear civil rights leader James Farmer speak. Rev. J. R. Manley, pastor at First Baptist for sixty-six years, sits in the background.

 Rev. Warren R. Foushee

This photo shows Rev. Warren R. Foushee, who served as the pastor of St. Joseph CME Church from September 1955 to August 1964. Rev. Foushee was born and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church

 Robert Campbell - Speaking about community, faith, and activism

Min. Robert Campbell is a well-known local activist who was raised by his grandparents in the Northside neighborhood. He attended Northside and Lincoln and was in the first desegregated graduating class at Chapel Hill High School (Class of ’67). He moved to Rogers Road in the 1970s where he has been…

 Robert Lee Campbell - Speaking on his childhood, faith, and environmental justice

“All God's people coming together and then you hear the voice that said, "I went to the mountain top and what did I see?" I saw all God's people coming together, black, white, red, holding hands and chanting "peace and unity. What do you want? Justice!" And just to hear that echo and look around and…

 Rodney Taylor - On community involvement

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series.
Rodney Taylor Sr., a current member and trustee at Barbee’s Chapel Baptist Church, has had a lifelong passion for community involvement. Mr. Taylor was born on June 26, 1958 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His…

Roster of Ministers at St. Joseph CME Church

St. Joseph CME Church has maintained a roster of their ministers from 1932 to the present. Photos courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church

 Russell Edwards - On his family, faith, health, and upbringing

Russell Edwards grew up in Chapel Hill and has watched, as well as experienced, many situations that African-Americans dealt with both before, during, and after the civil rights movement took place. He resides in one of the historic African American communities of Chapel Hill and shares his opinions…

Second Baptist Church

Second Baptist Church is located at 114 S. Graham Street in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Sheila Florence - On her childhood, education, and school integration

“Lincoln High. That was the school back then. Everybody couldn’t wait to get to Lincoln High School.” - Sheila Florence Sheila Florence, a nurse lab technician, grew up in Chapel Hill during the 1950s and 60s. She reflects on her experiences growing up in the Northside district, attending Northside…

 Shirley Bradshaw - On her childhood, education, and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Shirley Pendergraph Davis - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill (Interview Two)

“Well I would say that [Black women] stood by the men and we also stood up for our rights. We knew a change had to come.” - Shirley Pendergraph Davis Civil rights activist, Shirley Pendergraph Davis, comments on the role of Black women in the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s. Ms. Davis…

St. Joseph C.M.E. Church

St. Joseph C.M.E. Church, located at 510 W. Rosemary in Chapel Hill, was founded in 1898. Its mother church was Hamlet Chapel CME Church, Pittsboro, NC and it started as Cotton Chapel C.M.E Church (named for the late Mr. Henry Cotton, a church founder). Pastor Troy Harrison at St. Joseph helped…

St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church

First imagined by worshippers of Black and Native American descent who gathered to worship under a grape vine arbor on December 29, 1864, St. Paul A.M.E. Church was accepted into the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1870. Its members built the first church, a log cabin, on Merritt Mill Road.…

 St. Paul AME Church 134th Anniversary

For St. Paul AME Church's 134th anniversary in 1998, the church organized a walk from Chapel of the Cross to St. Paul AME Church called Faith on Franklin. In the photo Mrs. Minnie James seated, surrounded by the great grandchildren of Mrs. Fannie Edwards. Photo courtesy of Arminta Foushee.

 St. Paul AME Church Congregation in 1949

Rev. Upshaw stands in front of St. Paul AME Church with his congregation in the summer of 1949. Photo courtesy of Arminta Foushee.

 St. Paul AME Church Men's Choir

 Stanley Vickers - On his childhood, family, and school integration

“I got the sense that it was more than just a job to them [teachers]. I really got the sense from my teachers that they cared about me.” - Stanley Vickers Stanley Vickers has been a member of the Chapel Hill community for a long time. He grew up in Carrboro and attended both Lincoln High School and…

Staunton Memorial CME Church

Staunton Memorial CME Church is located at 230 Credle Street in Pittsboro, NC.

 Stella Nickerson - On her childhood, family, and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Supporters of a Chapel Hill public accommodations ordinance pack the First Baptist Church.

The Chapel Hill Freedom Committee organized a thirteen-mile Freedom March on January 12, 1964, from Durham to Chapel Hill to support passage of a pending public accomodations ordinance in Chapel Hill that would forbid discrimination because of race (bill 4-2).The tall man standing second from the…

 Sylvester Hackney - On growing up in Chapel Hill and school integration

“For me, high school was a good experience because I had my friends. We were in this big environment, and we had to stick together. We learned to love each other and care about each other. We didn’t know it, but we were nurturing each other.” - Sylvester Hackney Sylvester Hackney, a native of rural…

 T.P. Duhart Board Christmas Gala

Minnie James, Helen Redd, and Grace Franklin celebrate together. Ms. Franklin hosted the T.P. Duhart Board Christmas Gala at her home on Lindsey Street.

 T.P. Duhart Board Christmas Party

The T.P. Duhart Board gathered to celebrate Christmas together at Ms. Grace Franklin's house on Lindsey Street. From left to right: Ms. Coble, Ms. Drucilla Suggs, Ms. Doris Cotton, Ms. Maude Oldham, Ms. Louise Hargraves, Ms. Pearl Caldwell, Ms. Helen Redd, Ms. Grace Franklin, Ms. Coy Hargraves, and…

 Ted Stone - On his childhood, values, and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

Terrell’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church

Terrell’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church is located on Old Greensboro Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Thanksgiving Day with the Hoyt Family

Bishop Hoyt and his family spent Thanksgiving day in 1999 at the home of his former secretary, Mrs. Hogan. From left to right: Thomas L. Hoyt, III, Doria, Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., Harold (son-in-law), Mrs. Hogan (sitting in the background) Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph…

 The 1999 Annual Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

This is a photo from the 1999 Annual Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Front row (from left to right): Reverend Jenkins, Mrs. Jenkins, Rev. Flounoy, Daughter of Rev. Flounoy, Ocie H. Hoyt (Women Presiding Elder in a Mississippi district) Second row…

The Christian Index - Volume 120, No. 5

The Christian Index is the official publication of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. This edition from March 1, 1987 includes the inaugural address of Dr. Alex A. Chambers, the new president of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. Dr. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from…

 Thomas Bell - On growing up in Northside, involvement with the community, and the Civil Rights Movement

Thomas Bell, a long time Northside community member and employee at Hillsborough Prison, attended Lincoln High School immediately before the desegregation of Chapel Hill public schools. He reflects on growing up in the Northside (walking to high school football games in Carborro, playing at…

 Thurman Couch - On his childhood, family, and school integration

This interview with Thurman Couch covers growing up in Chapel Hill during high school in the 1950-60s. He attended Lincoln High School before it was shut down in 1962, and then he attended Chapel Hill High School. Couch reflects on his lifestyle, neighborhood, family, religion, school, football…

Timeline of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

This timeline details the history of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Photos courtesy of Mrs. Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

 Valerie P. Foushee

Senator Valerie Foushee discusses growing up in the Pine Knolls and Northside communities with her family. She details her family history, telling about the life stories of her grandparents and parents. Foushee recounts the relationships formed with other families in the Pine Knolls/Northside…

 Velma Perry - On the history and future of Northside

In the interview Ms. Perry discusses the early history of the Northside community going back to the founding of the University and the introduction of slaves to the area. She then goes on to describe her family history, including her grandfather’s work as an undertaker and a carpenter who built many…

 Vernelle Brooks Jones and Charles David Brooks - On their family history and business

"They had a very high reputation in the community. They did excellent work. One thing that my father always said, that when they finished their job, they didn’t have to go back…They did quality work, quality construction." -Vernelle Brooks Jones "I loved just doing things with my hands and then…

 Virginia Jones - Speaking about her education, career, and family

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series. Ms. Virginia has grown up in Chapel Hill and lived here her entire life. She was born on Mitchell Lane. She is the 10th of 10 children. Her mother worked at UNC at Chase Hall and her father worked within landscaping.…

 Walter Durham - On school integration, his childhood, and race

“[Lincoln] was a school that you could go in and… no paper on the school campus. Hallway shines like new money all the time. You could drink out of the commode in the bathroom. And it was kept just that clean.” - Walter Durham Walter Durham discusses growing up as part of a large family on his…

White Rock United Holy Church

White Rock United Holy Church is located on White Rock Church Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Willie "Brad" Bradshaw - On his childhood, education, and career coaching sports

“If you have good football teams, it permeates throughout the entire school and it helps the other things that you’re going to do come up to par, come up to snuff or whatever you want to call it. It cuts down on a lot of discipline problems. Kids want to do more in school, because they see the…

 Willis Farrington - On growing up in Northside, his ministry, and changes in Chapel Hill

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series. Reverend Willis Farrington, a leader of St. Joseph CME Church, was born in Chapel Hill and spent the entirety of his childhood running the streets of Northside and the Roberson Street Community Center. Reverend…

 Willis Farrington - On growing up in Northside, local businesses, and Northside neighbors

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series. Minister Willis Farrington, an associate pastor at S. Joseph CME Church, grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He grew up going to St. Joseph CME all his life and has never been a member of another church. In 1975 he…

Work and Labor

Working at the University has been a source of pride and resentment for Northside neighbors who built the early dorms, hospital, South Building, laid the brick walkways, hauled washing water from the “old well” to students in Old East, did copious amounts of laundry 7 days/week for $14 (which could…

 Young Arminta Foushee at St. Paul AME Church

Ms. Arminta Foushee as a child stands in St. Paul AME Church. The photo was taken in 1966. Photo courtesy of Arminta Foushee

 Young musicians at St. Paul AME Church

"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

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