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'iredell county'

Dec 23

African American Church History in Iredell County

Posted to Local History Notes on December 23, 2019 at 1:56 PM by Jenny Levins

Church records can be a wonderful source of information. I have found Moravian records mentioning my ancestors as early as 1771 and again the Baptist records of the Three Forks Baptist church in 1790 Watauga County. These records can paint a picture of these people and the times they lived in. Brother George Soelle was an ordained Moravian minister of the Unity of Brethren. In his diaries he describes going on horseback to minister to the non-Moravian settlers living on the frontier west of Salem. He often stopped at the home of “old father Ries” who had taken refuge in Bethania during the French and Indian War. Of Jacob Ries and his son Valentine, Soelle says, “The people about here are wild, and Valentine has a good deal to endure from their jeers, because of his religious tendencies.” These same wild people though would travel for miles by foot to fill up Jacob’s house to hear Soelle preach and to have their children baptized.

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