FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH HISTORY
EFFORTS TO START A BAPTIST CHURCH in New Bern date back to well before the Revolutionary War. In 1741, 35 years before the Declaration of Independence, James Brinson, William Fulcher and Nicholas Purifoy petitioned the court to be licensed to build a Baptist church here. Instead of having their application granted, they were publicly whipped, jailed, required to post bond and had to take an oath before they were released.
FOUNDED MAY 11, 1809
SANCTUARY DEDICATED July 2, 1848
Our church was organized in 1809. This is the second church building (house of worship). It was completed in 1848 and dedicated July 2 of that year. These red brick walls are 18 inches thick. It is the gothic revival style of architecture. One of the founders, Mr. Elijah Clark, went by boat to New York City and obtained a modified plan of a Madison Avenue Baptist Church from the firm of Thomas & Son.
It was built at a cost of $12,000. The lot was purchased three years before in 1845 for $1,000. The acoustics are excellent and musicians who come here often mention that fact.
This historic building is listed in the national register of historic buildings.
The First Baptist Church was organized May 11, 1809 in the home of Elijah Clark by Mr. Clark, Mr. John Brinson and Mrs. Mary Willis Mitchell. The house is located at the junction of Middle and Craven Streets. It is a rare Georgian-style gambrel roofed house. It has been in use as a residence through the years. It was restored in 1970’s.