north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     Founded in 1792 McBride Church, east of South Mills in the Pearceville community of Camden County, is the “mother church” of Methodism in northeastern North Carolina. The Moseley map of 1733 shows a chapel on the site (Forke Chappel). The site originally hosted a chapel belonging to the Church of England (in time Episcopalian). After the Revolution the fortunes of that chapel, not unlike that of other Anglican houses of worship, declined. Bishop Thomas Coke preached at the church on a number of occasions and Bishop Francis Asbury preached on the site in 1788.

     The name Forke Chapel continued to be used until 1800 when the present name was adopted, presumably for Elisha McBride, one of the founders. Prominent families associated with the church include members of the Halstead, Pearce, Taylor, Sawyer, Abbott, Forehand, Gordon, Jones, McCoy, McPherson, Spence, Whitehurst, and Williams families.

     The 1792 deed transferred a half-acre from Jeremiah Sexton to Elisha McBride and Joshua Gambling on behalf of the Methodists worshippers. The document took note of the “purpose of finishing and keeping in repair a house of worship for the joint use of the Methodist Society and the Episcopal Church of America.” The transfer terms called for Sexton and his heirs to receive “one grain of Indian corn” every year as payment. The present building was erected in 1837 and remodeled in 1882.

Camden County Deed Book F, page 79
William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina
Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina
Grady L. E. Carroll, ed., Francis Asbury in North Carolina: The North Carolina Portions of the Journal of Francis Asbury, vols. I and II (1965)
Location: County:

Original Date Cast:




north carolina highway historical marker program

McBride Church, image courtesy of Donna Stewart

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources