St. Lydia Baptist Church
(Photos taken by Kay Midgett Sheppard October 2001)
Mrs. Lydia Spencer was a person instrumental in administering to the needs of the church and the South Lake community where she lived. Her people thought of her as like a saint. Hence, the first church built in the area was called Saint Lydia in honor of Lydia Spencer. Subsequently, the community became known as St. Lydia.
St. Lydia Church was founded August 10, 1899 by the following people: Rev. Fred Long, pastor; Amos Spencer, Kenny Gibbs, and Thomas Spencer were the deacons; Liza Boomer, deaconess; John Gillam and Frank Selby, Trustees; and Aubrey Spencer, secretary. The first building was located near Highway 264. The present church, nearer the shore of Lake Mattamuskeet, is located on land purchased from lawyer S.S. Mann for five dollars.
The following information was obtained from older members of the present congregation who are not sure of the sequence of service of these persons: Rev. W.J.O. Boomer, Rev. James A. Mackey, Rev. A.B. Fulford, Rev. C.F. Cahoon, Rev. H.B. Midgette, and Rev. W.B. Moore, the present pastor. [The church sign indicates that the pastor as of 2001 is Robert L. Moore.]
Deacons were Dick Boomer, Alex Peterson, Thadaus Benson, Leanus Benson, Frank Selby, Claudus Shelton, and at present Marvin Benson, David Shelton, Emmit Murray, and Glenwood King, Jr. Deaconesses were Lizzie Boomer, Ann Weston, Helen Williams, Duck Gibbs, Lucy Mann, Elizabeth Lucas, and at present Ophelia Barber and Eula McClaud. Secretaries were Aubert Spencer, Pauline Gibbs, Sylvester Benson, Virginia McCullor, and at present Marie King. Sextons were Jiles Selby, Mitchell Benson and Emmit Shelton. Sunday School Superintendents were Marvin Benson, Alfred Dudley, Jr. and David Shelton; Sunday School teachers were Monnie Weston and David Shelton.
(Information taken from Hyde County History published by the Hyde Co. Historical Society in 1976.)
When I visited St. Lydia Baptist Church in October 2001 I noticed that most of the above named persons in this historical account are now dead and buried in the cemetery at the back of the church. I took as many photographs of the gravestones as was possible. Some of them had sunk into the ground so far that it was difficult to see the inscriptions. If you suspect that any of your kinfolks were buried here please let me know and I'll be glad to send you a photograph of the headstone via e-mail attachment--Kay Midgett Sheppard
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