First Congregational Church.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
“History of the First Congregational Church of Dudley, North Carolina, Given by Mr. General Washington Simmons, born December 22, 1856.”
In 1867, after Emancipation, came the first school for Dudley, taught four months by a white confederate soldier, John P. Casey, who was paid by the community families. The only textbook was the “blue-back speller.”
George Washington Simmons, father of General W. Simmons, corresponded with Mr. James O’Hara in Wilmington, Delaware, though whom the services of another white friend, Miss Jane Allen of Delaware, were secured for another two months’ session. She, too was paid by families.
From Oberlin College in 1868, came D.C. Granison, 23 or 24 years of age, the first Negro teacher, who remained for two years, residing in the home of George Washington Simmons. … His correspondence with the A.M.A. brought visitors in 1870, among whom were many to be remembered, especially Rev. D.D. Dodge, at that time pastor of the First Congregational Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. With his guidance our first Sunday School was organized. After several visits, he sent Rev. John Scott of Naugatuck, Connecticut, who began work in 1870. …
Just after Rev. Scott’s ordination, the First Congregational Church of Dudley was organized in what is known as the old “mission home.” … Charter members of the church were George Washington Simmons, James King, Levi Winn Sr., Levi Winn Jr., Henry Winn, George Winn, and members of their families. The first converts were Charity Faison and Sylvania Simmons. They were baptized in the “Yellow Marsh Pond” just north of the cemetery. …
Volume II [of the church records] summarizes the history from March 9, 1870. … The list of members, dating from 1870, is divided by male and female. It includes the names of Frank Cobb, William Aldridge, Bryant Simmons (Sr. and Jr.), John Aldridge, Lewis Henderson, Levi Wynn, Richard Brunt, Amos Bowden, Charles Boseman, M.A. Manuel, Solomon Jacobs, George Washington Simmons, …
From the souvenir bulletin of the 100th Anniversary, First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 1870-1880.
Copy of bulletin in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.
In the 1860 census of Indian Springs, Wayne County: George Simmons, 40, wife Axey J., 38, and children Riley B., 19, Simon, 15, Susan A., 17, George R., 13, Zack, 10, Silvania, 9, Bryant, 7, H.B., 5, and Gen., 2.
In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp, Wayne County: James King, 47, wife Susan, 27, George, 9, James H., 8, Jerome, 4, John, 2 months, and Polly A., 2.
In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp, Wayne County: Levi Winn, 47, blacksmith, wife Elizabeth, 39, and children Henry, 21, David, 20, Pinkney, 19, George, 17, Charles, 15, Mary, 13, Martha, 11, John, 9, Elizabeth, 7, Susan, 5, and Levi, 3.
In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp, Wayne County: Matthew Aldridge, 50, wife Catharine, 28, and children William, 10, John H., 16, Frances, 7, Delia, 3, and Mary A., 1, with James Boseman, 26.
In the 1860 census of Westbrooks, Sampson County: Robert Aldridge, 32, farmer, wife Mary E., 27, and children George W.,7, John, 5, Amelia, 4, Matthew L., 3, David S., 2, and a one month-old infant.
In the 1860 census of Westbrooks, Sampson County: Lewis Henderson, 25, turpentine laborer, wife Margaret, 26, and children Lewis T., 4, James L., 3, and Isabella J., 4 mos.
In the 1860 census of Dismal, Sampson County: Faraba Manuel, 60, farmer (widow), and children Gidens, 33, Michael A., 23, Eden, 21, John, 19, William H., 16, Enoch, 14, and Nancy, 12, plus Lemuel Manuel, 60.
In the 1860 census of Honeycutts, Sampson County: Jesse Jacobs, 43, farmer, wife Abba, 41, and children Edward J., 14, Betsey A., 13, John R., 11, Martha, 8, Solomon, 6, Jesse, 4, and Abba J. Jacobs, 6, plus William, 10, Eliza, 8, and John Jacobs, 6.