The Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church


As so often occurs, I get behind. Last summer I received an email from Carrie MC about the Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church. She had fresh information about the church’s status and some photos of the building that I haven’t had a chance to review, catalog, and incorporate into my genealogical files until now.  I had mentioned the church in my biographical sketch of Annie Deborah Long Hobbs, which she read. Then she contacted me as a person interested in Hamilton history and the Long family. My wife’s great-grandmother Annie Long was probably a church member when the church was built about 1888 and Annie remained friends with the people there even after she and her husband, James Ashley Hobbs, moved 13 miles away to Williamston.

Annie’s brother, Dr. Benjamin Long, built a house in Hamilton about 1885 and the church was built next to it, on Dr. Long’s property, about 1888, on Long Street. After the minister of the church died in 1913, Dr. Edgar Long (Dr. Benjamin Long’s son) sold the church to the Hamilton Colored Disciples. In 1939, the building was moved a few blocks away to South Street.[i]

Hamilton (NC) Primitive Baptist Church – Photo by Carrie MC

In 2004, Isabel Bernfeld of Hamilton purchased the church with the hope to restore the building.[ii] She apparently did some work. After her death, the building was purchased in 2016 by Carrie MC. Carrie hopes to return the church to its original location and hopes to restore the building. She and I have been in contact and she has let me know about some of the work that has been done including major tree trimming to reduce the risk of tree damage. She also sent a few photos of the church.[iii] The original louvered tower has been replaced with a tower with two louvered panels on each side instead of the original three louvers panels on each side.

It is so nice to see historic buildings restored. These old buildings are often places that had significant importance to our ancestors. They are just so precious to our history.

Finally, I’d like to mention, there is an interesting blog, “Generations Ago Blog” written by Dan Leigh, who is a 3rd cousin to Mary-Alice (Grandson of Edgar Miller Long). His article, “A Doctor in the Family”, is a beautiful description of his family line and what he learned at the Martin County Historical Society and about country doctors during the early 20th century.


[i] Boykin, Jacqueline R. 2006. Martin County’s historic churches: National Register and National Historic District churches. Williamston, N.C.: Martin County Historical Society. 
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] Email correspondence between Carrie MC and Don Taylor 30 July 2018. [Don’s files – Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church.

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