Updated May 17, 2013.
May 30, 2010 THE ISLANDERS. Interviews concerning Island Churches.
November 29, 2010 CHURCH LIFE from the Knotts Island Diary written by Sue Fentress Austin
January 15, 2011 TALES OF KNOTTS ISLAND by Henry Beasley Ansell.
February 15, 2013 BAPTIST
May 17, 2013 METHODIST
August 30, 2010. Comment - Jimmy Waterfield: LIGHTNING AND THE BAPTIST CHURCH. I am going to share a little story told to me by both of my grandmothers who happened to be present. +- 1900, the island experienced a serious drought. Gardens and fields were burning up. At this time, Sunday was a social occasion with maybe some worship. People attended the Methodist Church in the morning. At 12, they all ate a shared lunch,and gossiped, talked etc. At 2, They all walked to the Baptist Church to suffer through another sermon. To set the stage, it had not rained in several months. They were desperate. The sermon was given by a fire-eating visiting preacher from Gibbs Woods. The preacher was working the congregation into a frenzy at which point they engaged in a loud verbal prayer session. Suddenly, they hear faint thunder. It continued into a huge thunderstorm with violent lightening. All of a sudden, fire moved all over the church. Lightning had struck the church. My grandmothers claimed that people were jumping from windows in a driving rain. Pandemonium had taken over. Nobody was hurt but, 2 horses tied to a rail attached to the church were stone dead. My grandmother Annie Spratt(1876-1967) made the following statement about her fellow islanders. "that's one day I saw them move!
June 6, 2011. Comment - Jimmy Waterfield: We are leaving out a third church. It was a Church of Christ which maintained the old cemetery by Arnold Cason near the old fire station. A group pulled out of the Methodist church in the 1860s and formed a church that took the bible literally. They were bible thumpers that rolled around in the aisles speaking in tongues. My great uncle Calvin Cone Waterfield said it was a 3 ring circus. He couldn't sit through a service without laughing. It posed a threat to the methodist church and got quite big with Samuel Devaney Waterfield as minister. Uncle Calvin said Devaney was his father's cousin. Devaney was also in charge of maintaining the roads with mandatory labor. The church's abandoned cemetery is still there. Dissension among the holy rollers and dissension in the methodist church led to the forming of the Baptist church in 1876. They were originally fire eating staunch Baptist. I was told about this church by both my grandmas and other great aunts and uncles
May 14, 2011. Comment - Jane Brumley: Well, I guess there
was an "off shoot" of some Methodist who were not too happy. It is
reported in Ansell's writings. What I find most interesting is the
mention of a "Chapel" which I have determined was at the South End
of KI. (Information gathered in Will of Currituck Co. pertaining
to KI.). Izola Bonney who just had her 90th birthday said she
always heard about a Church at the South End that was of a very
early time. This is prior to the Revolutionary War. Since I have
been researching early inhabitants of KI and lower PA county
(early Lower Norfolk Co) I find this most interesting. I do
remember my grandmother (Mary Pat Bowden Miller) talking about a
"Church" that folks attended that they took their own chairs when
they went to services. It was known as the Church of Christ. I
think after the Revolutionary War and with the Methodist movement
folks found the "freedom of worship" quite liberating. And then
there was the Baptist influence. My great grandmother, Sally Ann
Ansell Bowden, was a founding member of Knotts Island Baptist
Church. This was established from Oak Grove Baptist Church which
is one of the oldest in Princess Anne County. Knotts Island
Baptist Church was established in June 1875. I do remember my
grandmother (Pat Bowden Miller) saying the "Reformed Church" was
south of where we lived (near the current Methodist Church) and
near the "Fentress Property". ? Did they later become Baptist? Not
sure?? I do know that folks in North Carolina were advocates of
religious freedom and that is why they were not so inclined to
join the "Church of England". Of course, the Revolutionary War
change all that with freedom of worship of one's choice.