In buggies, horse carts, and walking they came! Cartwright Schoolhouse was the meeting place, on Sunday afternoons, for a Sunday School in the year of 1876. Sunday School was not like Sunday School today. There was Bible Study but also spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic were taught for adults and children alike. As early as 1885 there were thirty females, thirty-five males, and two visitors present.
In August of 1891, Corinth Baptist Church was organized, as a need for a Baptist Church in the local community was recognized. The nearest Baptist churches were First Baptist in downtown Elizabeth City, Berea on Newland Road, and Woodville Baptist in Perquimans County. Some interested in the new church donated land across the road for the school, and the building was moved, so the church could use that site for the construction of the new church.
The first building was a one-room sanctuary. First Baptist had just completed their new brick building, and offered to sell the timbers in their old building to Corinth. An agreement could not be reached, as some felt the price was too high, especially as some of their fathers had helped build that building. First Baptist had a change of heart and gave the new church the timbers, which are still a part of the present sanctuary building. The new sanctuary was dedicated in May of 1892. There were forty-three Charter Members. In this same year the church became a part of the Chowan Baptist Association.
Times were hard for the new church. Total monies for the year of 1894 amounted to $22.42. Expenses for that year were $25.00, leaving a debt of $3.57 at the end of the year. In 1895 the congregation voted to purchase 100 hymnals, but had to cut the order to 60 as sufficient funds couldn’t be raised. In the same year, the first communion set was purchased for $20.00. Services were increased to two times a month, and the pastor was paid $250.00 per year. Previously services were held once a month, and the pastor was paid $150.00
Corinth, from the beginning, was interested in missions, with $19.45 given for State Missions in 1912. In 1917, the church pledged $12.00 for a House of Worship at Kennedy Home. In the year of 2004, contributions to missions exceeded those of any previous years. Many of our people have served in short term missions in recent years.
Through the years, the church has grown in membership, having now reached over 1,000. The church is widely known as a very friendly congregation, with two morning worship services, a Sunday evening service, and with Wednesday evening prayer services. Nurseries are provided for each of the worship services, and Preschool and Children’s Church (age 4 through grade 2) is held during both morning services. Music has always played a vital part in worship. There are choirs for people of all ages from Senior Adults to the very young. In addition, there are some special instrumental and vocal groups, including handbell choirs.
Sunday School was being held in 1876, some fifteen years before the church was started, and has always been a “strong arm” of the church. Sunday School is held at 10:00 a.m. between the early and late morning Worship Services. Classes are available for every age group, plus choices for adults, such as discussion classes, couples, young singles, ladies and men. Bible study is a very important part of Corinth Church, and we welcome you to come and study with us.
The many organizations of the church include a fully organized Women’s Missionary Union, including Women on Missions, Acteens, Girls in Action, and Mission Friends. Baptist Men, High School Baptist Young Men, and groups for boys in grades 7-9, grades 4-6, and grades 1-3 are in service. Basketball for both boys and girls is offered. It is interesting to note that a WMU had been meeting for at least six months prior to the organizing of the church.
Youth activities play an important role with the youth, meeting on Sunday nights. Special study classes are also available for adults on Sunday evenings prior to Worship Service.
Over the years, enlargement and renovations of our facilities have been made, and still plans are underway for the addition of another building. We are proud of our past and excited about our future! To God be the Glory — great things He has done and taught us, and He is not through with us yet!
— compiled by Bernice Long, former Church Clerk & Historian
Corinth was enlarged in 1926. This is how it looked in the 1950s.
Corinth was remodeled and bricked in 1968; an education building was added to the right of the sanctuary in 1957; and a gym was added to the right of the education building in 1994.