Monday, October 10, 2011

Early Stages of Forming a Reconstruction Church & Social History

When I first began my search for histories of the local churches in eastern Craven County, North Carolina I had very little to go on. 

Beginning with the Hezekiah Carter Timeline: 1874-1922, I started filling in the gaps with bits of religious history I came across. According to the online history of Piney Grove AME Zion Church, Rev. James Walker Hood arrived in New Bern, NC on January 20, 1864.

In order to learn more about this period, I first read the book, For God and Race: The Religious and Political Leadership of AMEZ Bishop James Walker Hood, by Sandy Dwayne Martin. The biography divides Hood's life into six parts, starting at 1831 and ending with 1918. 

I focused my attention on Part II: Chapter Two: Hood's Religious Activities in the South, 1864-1872. Martin's attention, however, is fixed on the first two AMEZ churches established in New Bern and Beaufort, NC. No mention is made of visits inland to the forested areas of North Harlowe and Havelock. 

The question remains:
As a missionary, did Hood preach in the rural areas of the county, or did representatives of the community go to the city to hear him preach and then report back to their church family? 


  1. That is an interesting question Debra. Did you enjoy the book, and do you suggest this book for those studying Black families in this area?

  2. The book gives very little for those wanting a more generalized understanding of their ancestors. It is primarily a biography of Hood, and marks his rise to becoming the most prominent and political Bishop to help his people forge ahead as a race in areas of education and social equality.