Letter to the Editor: Haven Creek Baptist Church anniversary celebrated – ‘Here’s to 160 more’
Published 7:50 am Thursday, December 22, 2022
To the Editor:
Antietam, the creation of the transcontinental railroad, the abolishment of slavery in the District of Columbia, the enlistment of Black soldiers in our armies, the establishment of public land grant colleges, the nation’s first diplomatic relations with Black republics in Haiti and Liberia, and Union Brig. Gen. Burnside’s successful expedition to Roanoke Island, what do all these historic events have in common?
They occurred 160 years ago in 1862, the same year as the founding of Manteo, North Carolina’s historic Haven Creek Baptist Church.
Members of the church, friends, families, well-wishers and Pastor Ray Hill and his wife gathered recently to mark the church’s founding at the island’s north end. For members of Roanoke Island’s African American community, starting a place of worship in the 1860’s in North Carolina was courageous, long delayed, and revolutionary. The families and community members who started Haven Creek were some of the area’s regionally acclaimed Freedmen’s Colony who “made it across the creek to find safe haven.”
Haven Creek members thank God and community for continuously blessing them with wonderful parishioners, pastors, and community, who have emphasized education, service and appreciation for local heritage to meet local needs and our future.
Here’s to 160 more.