Concordia Conference Minutes - 1858

Notes by Angela Cassidy, County Coordinator: Rev. Oliver Evans McKeown (my ancestor) was called upon
to help the people of Concord establish a church, and he was their first pastor. He was also the pastor
at Providence Baptist Church near Greensboro. He was a "circuit rider" preacher who made the rounds
between his churches. In these first minutes, you will see slaves of the white people being baptised.
"Esther belonging to Mr. Hand" is one, and "Mary belonging to Mr. Newman" was one. The slaves were
actually on the roll of the Concordia Baptist Church, but on a separate roll from the white people.
In all of the minutes during the years of slavery, there is never any mention that the slaves
participated in the services or were given any responsibilities in the church. I believe that the slaves
did attend services and probably were at the back of the church, or in the case of outside services, were
at the edge of the crowd of white people. The saying "J. Barber gave in at the water" means that he was
attending the baptismal services, which were held at the Ochlockonee River, and he was so moved by the
spirit of the Lord that he asked to be baptised himself. He may have already been baptised once, since
he is obviously a faithful and responsible member of the church, and this was a repeat baptism. Mr. Barber
in this case is Jordan Barber. You will see many instances in future minutes of people "giving in at the
water", so I wanted to explain it at the beginning.

September 11th 1858

The Baptist Church of Christ at Concord opened the door for reception of members. Sister Rebecca Bracken joined by letter. There being no further business dismissed in order.

E. B. Lane, C. Clk. P. T.(Church Clerk)

Oct. 16th 1858
Church of Christ at Concord

Opened conference for the election of officers when the following officers were elected

Brother O. E. McKeown, Pastor
Brothers Timmons & Hand, Deacons
Brother W. C. Hendry, Clerk
Brothers Timmons & Lane, Delegates
Brothers Bowen and Hendry, Alternates

Members received:
Martha Long, Matilda Vickers and G. W. Rich.
Sunday 17th J. Barber give in at the water.
Esther belonging to Mr. Hand.

                         E. B. Lane, C. C. P. T.

Mary belonging to Mr. Newnan was received Oct. 16th

Dec. 24th 1858
Church of Christ at Concord

Preaching by bro. O. E. McKeown.

                           W. C. Hendry, C. C.

 
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