Updated June 6, 2013.



November 28, 2010 BAPTIST HISTORY By Sue Fentress Austin

September 28, 2012 BAPTIST RECORDS


June 6, 2013. From Jane Brumley. This is a 1939 picture of John Levy Miller & wife Mary Pat Bowden in front of the Knotts Island Baptist Church. They are my paternal grand- parents and were the caretakers of the Church for many years. This shows the Church front before the little vestibule was built. Pat's mother was Sarah Anne Ansell who was a charter member of KIBC and later married Jesse Bowden.

This is from the Service of Dedication bulletin on July 17, 1983.


The present Baptist Church began in June 1876 with J. T. Tuttle who became the first Pastor. Pastor Tuttle was commissioned by the State Missions Board of Virginia and the Portsmouth Baptist Association to begin a Mission in the area of Knotts Island.

In September 1876 with seventeen members the Church was constituted with Pastor N. M. Munden (Oak Grove), Pastor J. T. Tuttle, and members from Kempsville and Oak Grove Baptist Churches who composed the council.

In July of 1878 a new house of worship was erected on the property donated by Mr. Tully T. Capps. This deed is in Deed Book 34 page 5 dated September 1, 1877 at Currituck Courthouse, N.C. The Building was dedicated and after this service a series of meetings resulted in a revival.

The building was a single story one room structure. Heating was by coal or wood stoves. Electricity replaced the gas lighting. The original gas lighting fixtures were recently found in the attic and have been removed from the building.

Virginia Baptist Historical Society Records indicate that during the 1879 Portsmouth Baptist Association Minutes, page 10, September meeting held at Kempsville, Virginia, the Knotts Island Baptist Church composed of forty four members was admitted into the Association.

The addition of a front entranceway was made at a later date. The addition of a new Sunday School educational building on the back of the church began in April of 1953 by Mr. Fisk. In November of 1960 a new heating unit was installed. During 1961 in July sidewalks and walkways were laid in the front and back of the church.

On May 26, 1888, the land of Tully T. Capps was purchased by Mr. John W. Newman and recorded in Deed Book 39 pages 110 and 111 Currituck Courthouse, Currituck, N.C. On June 23, 1980, Knotts Island Baptist Church purchased approximately two acre tract of land about 1/2 mile south of the church and located next to the fire house for the purpose of building a new church. This deed dated August 15, 1980 may be found in Deed Book 170 on page 926. A corrected deed was made on March 5, 1981 in Deed Book 174 page 466. This piece of property was later resold in December of 1982.

The heirs of the estate of Dallie N. (Newman) Jones, she being the only daughter of John W. Newman, and Knotts Island Baptist Church was able to conclude the purchase of additional land surrounding Knotts Island Baptist Church. Through the efforts of Miss Sylvia Ewell, Esquire, her family and trustees of Knotts Island Baptist Church, Mr. Tilford Wade, Mr. Royal Hutchinson, Mr. Chester Blakeway, Mr. Wilton F. Walker, Jr., Esquire, and Mr. William Brumsey, III, Esquire, the land was purchased on June 14, 1982 for the new church. This deed may be found in Deed Book 181 on page 595 at Currituck Courthouse. We are indeed indebted unto those who made this possible. The land had been given specifically for a church as long as the church remained a functioning church. The deed now clearly gives full title to the Knotts Island Baptist Church.

During October of 1977, Pastor Fraley, a gospel singing group called the "Londonairs," and the congregation began a building fund drive. The third Sunday was set aside and all gifts and offerings went into that fund on that day. There were other gifts that followed and by November of 1979 the fund had over $11,000.00. The third Sunday is still set aside for Building Fund Day with over $115,000.00 in contributions, savings, gifts, memorials and offerings on this Dedication Day.

In early 1981 plans and drawings were viewed. Finally in December 1981, the congregation authorized employing Mr. StClair and the drawing of plans for a new church building. In February of 1982 a set of plans with minor changes was accepted.

The ground breaking ceremony was held on June 20, 1982. On August 9, a building permit was acquired. October 6, 1982, the congregation approved hiring of a Building Foreman, Mr. Way Hutchinson, Mr. Royal Hutchinson is General Contractor. On October 9th cement was poured for the footing, pads and foundation. Work continued through the winter months. The building committee composed of many areas of construction talents and the congregation accomplished most of the work. Carpenter helpers were hired as the block and brick work was subcontracted. Our prayers were that no serious accident would happen in the building of this new church building. God has honored that request.

Embedded within the four corners of the concrete foundation are four new Bibles within their original wrapping of plastic. Literally this House is "Built on the Word of God." Within the walls on the North side of the sanctuary are the names of those who donated the brick. Their names are written physically on the bricks as Christians names are spiritually embedded in God's Spiritual House called "The Church."

The congregation desired that their Pastor should hold the first service in the new building. With that thought in mind on May 15, 1983, a congregational dedication service was held at 11:00 a.m. This was the very first service in the new church building. Three conversions came from that service. Two of the new converts, Mrs. Roslie Delfenthal and Rose Ann Delfenthal followed our Lord in Baptism two weeks later on the 29th of May. Rose Ann was the first baptismal candidate in the new church building followed by her mother, Mrs. Delfenthal.

The first revival started on May 15, 1983, also with Evangelist Elzie Carter from Baxely, Georgia. We had a good revival with many rededications and renewals of faith in our Lord. That week we really gave God the glory and thanks for what He had done for us.

I serve as their Pastor and have since July 1980. I see a congregation who placed themselves into God's hands completely and indeed a miracle stands erected before their very eyes. "Ask and ye shall receive," "Where the people have no vision they perish." Unto God he the glory for his Creation. When the building fund was depleted people dipped into their savings, more confident of God's Kingdom than institutions of this world.

It would be most unfair if I did not mention our dear sisters and brothers of the local Methodist Church. They gave help in a time of need in 1976 to replace the old church building windows. The help they gave put off further decay and deterioration of God's House of Worship. Their kindness is rare indeed in the world of today. Your star shines bright in God's Kingdom.

Today is a day of dedication of this new worship house, a time of rejoicing and resting from our labors. May God Bless you for just being here and rejoicing with us.
Yours in Christ
Dr. T. E. Thieman, Pastor

Hutch with shovel at groundbreaking June 20, 1982.
Hutch at ground maintenance 1987

From the Sue Austin Collection. The Beacon December 2, 1982.

The Virginian-Pilot July 30, 1983

December 9, 2011.