Church and Family History Research Assistance for Martin County, North Carolina



This church is situated near a swamp, from which it dervies its name, near the Pitt County line, and was formerly in Pitt County. About the year 1766 the Spirit of the Lord began to breathe upon some of the dry bones in the valley of Flat Swamp, and the Conetoe settlement, and several persons were seriously impressed with a sense of their lost condition and a desire for salvation; accordingly, Elder Jonathan Thomas (pastor of the church at Toisnot, now called Wilson, Edgecombe County) visited them. His labors were greatly blessed, and they became a branch of the Toisnot (Wilson) Church. In 1771 Elder Thomas informed them they were ripe for constitution, but his unexpected death, resulted in a deay until the year 1776, when Elder John Page was ordained and took the pastoral care. Shortly afterwards a branch of this church was established at Skewarkey, another at Great Swamp, another at Conoho, and another at Little Conetoe. Elder Joseph Biggs served the church through a period of leanness, and the church was revived in the year 1800, which continued for two years. Elder Biggs was followed by Elders Luke Ward, William W. K. Philpot, John L. Ross, and David House.


Skewarkey Church is the oldest active church of any faith in Martin County. The present building, built in 1853, is the third meeting house used by the church during its history.

CONOHO (1794)

This church was formerly a branch of the church at Flat Swamp. She was dismissed from that body and constituted in 1794. Shortly thereafter Elder Amos Harrell became pastor. He was followed by Elders Benjamin Joyner, and Elder Jonathan Cherry. Still later, Elders William Hyman, Elder Blount Cooper, William F. Bell, John W. Purvis, and M. T. Lawrence served as pastor. They have a well-built and spacious meeting house, seven miles west of Hamilton.


This church is situated in Martin County, about seven miles southwest of Williamston. She was for several years a branch of the church at Skewarkey. A meeting house was built by the brethren and neighbors not far from a water course by the name of Bear Grass, from which the church name was derived. Conferences were held and gospel ordinances administered for several years by Elder Joseph Biggs, pastor of the church at Skewarkey. In the year 1829 the members of the church at Skewarkey, convenient to this place, petitioned for dismission to form a constitution, which was granted, and Elders Joseph Bigs and Jeremiah Biggs and Jeremiah Leggett constituted the church at this place with thirty members. She then called on Elder Biggs, who consented to serve her as occasional pastor, and did so until 1832, when from age and infirmity he declined. After this time Elder JohN Ward served as occasional pastor for several years. In 1833 William Whitaker was licensed, and in 1838 ordained to the ministry, and called to the pastoral care, which he did until his death in 1874. The church then chose Elder Levi Rogerson. During this period of time, the church also enjoyed the occasional labors and visits of Elders C. B. Hassell, Thomas Biggs, Henry Peal, William Gray, David House, William A. Ross, John L. Ross, and others.



This church was originally called Picot, and the meeting house stood on the road leading from Williamston to Jamesville, about seven miles from Williamston. The body was for some years a branch of the church at Skewarkey, and was attended by Elder Joseph Biggs. In 1827 she petitioned for dismission, and was constituted by Elders James Ross and Joseph Biggs, with upwards of fifty members, and joined the Kehukee Association the same year. Elder Biggs served as pastor until 1831. He was followed by Elders Micajah Perry, John Ward, Humphrey Stallings, Clayton Moore, William B. Perry, and Joshua T. Rowe. Deacons included Joshua Robertson, Kenneth Lanier, Septimus B. Williams, James Ward, William B. Perry, William Jones, Hoyt N. Waters, Martin Jackson, and James Williams. Clerks included: John G. Smithwick, William B. Perry, John R. Mizell, and John Reddick.


Smithwick's Creek Church, near Williamston, was organized in 1803.


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