425 W. FRANKLIN ST. / ROCK HILL BAPTIST CHURCH

425 W. FRANKLIN ST. / ROCK HILL BAPTIST CHURCH

425
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1900
/ Modified in
1926
/ Demolished in
1953
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

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Last updated

  • Sat, 03/20/2021 - 3:24pm by SteveR

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425
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1900
/ Modified in
1926
/ Demolished in
1953
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

Rock Hill Baptist Church was located at 425 West Franklin Street. The church evolved from meetings held at the Quaker Freedmen's School and was organized in 1865.

The original church at this site was built circa 1880, and the second/final church structure was built in the early 1900s. Rock Hill was part of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Association.

Julian Carr donated money for the building of the second church, and apparently paid to have the church's cornerstone inscribed with a paternalistic statement that greatly perturbed most of the congregation (note: I wish I could re-find the reference!).

Reverend Edward H. Cole was the church's first pastor. Its next pastor was Reverend Eli Mitchell, who served for one year until Reverend Dr. Lewis H. Hackney became the church's permanent pastor in the late 1800s. 

June 1925 Sanborn map excerpt

 

The church was "thoroughly renovated" in mid-1926.

Elizabeth "Libba" Cotton attended the church in her youth, when Hackney was still pastor; he tried to dissuade her from playing music, which she apparently did for several years.

In the 1940s, the church was used as a meeting place for UNC workers' union State, County, and Municipal Workers of America (SCMWA) Local 403.

In 1953, the congregation moved to a new building on Roberson Street and was renamed the First Baptist Church, an act which apparently "stirred up the white community" in Chapel Hill. Rock Hill was demolished the and the lot sold soon afterwards. The site is currently a parking lot, located to the west of The Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill.

View south, 2019 (via Google Streetview)

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