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Built around 1775 as an Episcopal chapel, what was initially called Blount’s Chapel was named for the Rev. Nathaniel Blount, who had studied under Alexander Stewart in Bath, and in England where he was ordained in 1773. Blount was a cousin of John Gray Blount and lived on the approximate original site of WITN television station in Washington, N.C. Responsible for construction were local carpenters Giles Shute and John Harrington. The tiny building was enlarged in the early nineteenth century. “Parson” Blount was often a visiting minister across eastern North Carolina. Historian Sarah Lemmon credited him with keeping the Episcopal Church alive in North Carolina in otherwise inactive period. He preached often in private homes, schoolhouses, or in the open air. Blount served the chapel until his death in 1816.
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Renamed Trinity, the chapel was initially situated on “borrowed land.” In 1826 John B. Hagan donated a tract for the chapel, “one acre more or less it being the land on which the Chapel now stands,” on the Chocowinity-Greenville road. Trinity School, established by the chapel’s minister N. C. Hughes, operated alongside the church until 1908. A tract was donated in 1860 on the opposite side of road for use as a graveyard. Confederate General Bryan Grimes is buried in the church cemetery. Due its isolation and difficulty in preventing vandalism, the chapel was moved to its present site in Chocowinity in 1939. An old pipe organ was placed in the chapel in 1944.
C. Wingate Reed, Beaufort County: Two Centuries of Its History (1962)
Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, “Nathaniel Blount: Last Clergyman of the ‘Old Church,’” North Carolina Historical Review (Autumn 1973): 351-363
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 180—sketch of Nathaniel Blount by Sarah McCulloh Lemmon
Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996)
(Raleigh) News and Observer, October 3, 1954
Remarks by Edmund H. Harding, delivered at Trinity Homecoming, October 3, 1965, copy in Research Branch files, Office of Archives and History