Hannah’s Creek Baptist Church
Origins and History
Hannah’s Creek Primitive Baptist Church originated in September 1817 as a branch of the Old Mill Creek Church of Johnston County. According to an old record, Hannah’s Creek was:
“constituted by Elder George Nance (of Wake county) and Elder Nathan Gulley on the 3rd Saturday in September 1817 upon the following Articles of Faith, viz: Believers in baptism by immersion; justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ; the final perseverance of the saints through grace unto eternal life; that the saints have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ; the righteous, who we believe is eternal, and that the love of God to us through this mediator was the only and entire cause that we were ever brought to experience his favour; that all men are fallen and in unbelief which is inherent in the human family, and is the primary cause of condemnation; that we are called from that state of unbelief with a holy calling of God, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which he hath given us in Christ Jesus from before the world was; who in due time reveals these things to our minds by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, together with the resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment, and an endless duration of happiness or misery”.
The formation of the Primitive Baptist Church was the result of a split among American Baptists; specifically between the Particular Baptists and the General Baptists, in the 18th century. The predecessors to the Primitive Baptists were known as “Old School Baptists”.
By 1834, under the Pastor-ship of Lewis Cordell, the Hannah’s Creek congregation was well established. Interestingly, the first Hannah’s Creek Church during this period was a log building.
From it’s beginning in 1817 Hannah’s Creek Baptist Church (HCBC) has had a reputation of “high spiritual standards” and “long unbroken service” from it’s Pastors. This is witnessed by an article from the Smithfield Herald in 1938 which stated: “The activities of this church been of no great outstanding importance as the world regards human events, but always Hannah’s Creek Church has been a power for good and has served and is still serving a real need in the life of the community. It has been a source of comfort and inspiration to bereaved hearts and has aided in guiding the lives of many families, helping untold individuals along the path into the great unknown realms of eternity”.
In the fall of 1990 Mrs. Carol Goss (a member since 1939), with the help of Linda Harris Edmisten of Raleigh, submitted an application to the U.S. Department of the Interior to have Hannah’s Creek placed on the “National Register of Historic Places”. The application was accepted in early 1991 including Hannah’s Creek on the register.
On August 14, 2005, after not having a service for 15 years, Hannah’s Creek reopened for services under the leadership of Pastor Mike Courtney. The only two surviving members of the congregation, Della Weaver of Dunn and Leola Allen of Dunn, donated the church to the new congregation in March of that year. From that time on Pastor Mike Courtney and about 35 volunteers spent those months from March to August restoring and preparing the church to have services once again. Some of the obstacles that were overcome were a termite infestation, a floor (and pulpit) that had fallen in, a leaky roof, broken windows and refurbishing the 100 year old plus pews. Since that time a Sunday School has also been adding that is behind the church.
List of Pastors
Elder Lewis Cordell
Elder George Nance
Elder James H. Barber
Elder James Lassiter
Elder James Wilson 1848 (26 years)
Elder Joe Bright Parker 1874 (16 years)
Elder J.E. Adams 1891
L.P. Adams 1892 (15 years)
J.H. Johnson 1908-1916
Xure Lee (22 years) 1916-1945
Elder Frank H. Nordan 1945-195?
Elder Shepard Langdon 195?-1963
Elder David Esacar (D.E.) Parker 1963-1983
Elder Curtis Parrish 1983-?
Pastor Mike Courtney 2005-Present
Article, “Hannah’s Creek Church named to Register of Historic Places”, Smithfield Herald – March 22, 1991
Article, “Historic Church Host to Meeting”, Unknown Paper – donated by Horace T. Britt
Article, “Hannah’s Creek Church Founded 121 Years Ago”, Smithfield Herald – September 20, 1938
“Summary Documents” from Miss Stella Creech (pre-1938) and Lillie Parker Waever (post-1938)