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Bertie County NC  Church -  Lewiston Methodist Church


File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Molly Urquhart <>


From a pamphlet entitled, "The Aulander Circuit: A Directory of The

Aulander, Lewiston, and Ebenezer Methodist Churches.  Printed, circa



The Aulander, Lewiston(St. Frances Methodist Church)

 and Ebenezer Methodist Churches made up the Aulander Circuit,

and Lemuel Clegg was the pastor.


Private donations and legislative funds have made it possible for

Historic Woodville to renovate and move this abandoned (since 1990)

church back to its original cemetery site, part of the Woodville

Historic District, in November of this year.



Roll of Members:


Mrs. Beula Bazemore

T.S. Bazemore

C.S. Bazemore

Wiley Brown

Craig Brown

Mrs. Fannie Cherry

Robert Lee Cherry

Mrs. Elizabeth Clark

Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Clark

William Carr Clark

Amellia Clark

Helen Clark

Earl Clark

Frances Clark

Mrs. E.L. Edwards

Lawrence Edwards

Mrs. Minnie M. Eason

Luther Edwards

Mrs. Annie Edwards

Mrs. Florence Spivey Garriss

Mrs. Lillie Harrington

Mrs. Marianna Hoggard

Richard Norfleet Hoggard

Mrs. Lizzie Joyner

Maitland Joyner

Thelma Lawrence Joyner

Robert Glen Joyner

Ada King

Frank V. Mitchell

Mrs. Susan Mitchell

Mr. and Mrs. W. Frank Mitchell

Mrs. W.F. Mitchell

Elmore Mitchell

John Mitchell

Sallie R. Mitchell

Edna Rawls Parker

Robert W. Rawls

Mrs. W.T. Reece

Mrs. W.B. Reece

Edgar R. Reece

Mrs. Emma Simmonds

Starkie Simmonds

W.A. Saunders

J.B. Saunders

Mrs. Maggie Saunders

Henry C. Saunders

Lizzie Lee Saunders

Nellie Saunders

Ethel Ernestine Saunders

W. Grady Saunders

James Saunders

 Mrs. Lucy J. Spivey

Mary Grant Spivey

Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Welton




J.B. Saunders

W.T. Reece (steward)

W.W. Clark

W. Frank Mitchell (steward)



"The history of St. Frances dates from the year 1845.  On the 23rd day

of September 1845 Humphrey Hardy, a benevolent christian gentleman and

one of the most loyal Methodist of that day, desirous of promoting the

cause of religion among the citizens of Bertie county and particularly

of those residing near him, gave a tract of land lying in the town of

Woodville (where the old cemetery is now) for a church building.

Charles W. Jacobs, Humphrey Hardy, Zebulon Simmons, Thomas B. Webb, John

Webb, Jonathan B. Capehart, Joseph Seary, Jonathan J. Rhodes, and Samuel

Spruill were the first trustees.  Mrs. Frances Pugh, who lived in

Woodville and who was a member of Robbins Chapel at that time, gave the

sum of one thousand dollars for the erection of a house of worship.  The

name St. Frances was bestowed upon the church in honor of that saintly



Some of the noblest characters of Bertie County were members of this

church; among them were Dr. Charles Smallwood, Mrs. Simmia Garrett, Mr.

Humphry Hardy, Mrs. Helen Thompson, and others.


As a result of the Civil War, in 1871, the church was very weak and but

for the work of Mrs. Helen Clark Thompson would likely have been

discontinued as a church or merged with another congregation.  She came

into the church in that year and proved to be an inspiration.  The

spirit of the church was revived and it once more became a power.


As far as can be learned, the first pastor of the church was Rev. Joseph

Sear.  At that time the church was on a charge that was in the Virginia

Conference.  It was not until 1890 that the Lewiston church, with others

north of the Roanoke river, was placed in the North Carolina

Conference.  At that time the district in which the church belonged was

the Murfreesboro District.  For a great number of years St. Frances was

on the Harrellsville Circuit, for a few years on what was then known as

the Bertie Circuit, for one year on the Hobgood Circuit, for several

years on the Ahoskie Circuit, and in 1922 the conference voted to "Make

a new charge to be named Aulander Circuit, to be formed by taking

Aulander and Lewiston from the Ahoskie Circuit and Ebenezer from Bertie



The year 1896 was the date that the church was moved from the old site

at Woodville to its present location in Lewiston.  There was

considerable opposition to the move.  However, the move was voted and

ordered.  Rev. Dr. Black was presiding elder at that time and Rev. Rufus

Bradly, the pastor.


Rev. M.F. Hodges was the first pastor after the formation of the present

charge.  Rev. W.L. Clegg, the present pastor, succeeded Mr. Hodges."









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