Reynolds family holds 53rd annual reunion, picnic

Published 7:33 am Monday, June 12, 2023

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By Mark Bateman, President of Reynolds Family Reunion

The 53rd Annual Reynolds Family Reunion was held May 21, 2023 at the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church near Columbia, NC, with 31 members and guests in attendance. The event reunited the descendants of William Reynolds Jr. and his sister Matilda Jane Reynolds Spencer, both originally from Chelsea, England.  William Reynolds Jr. lived in Tyrrell County and became a Primitive Baptist preacher, while Matilda Jane Reynolds Spencer lived near Roper in Washington County and ran a local store. This was the first reunion held since 2019, due to COVID.

Family and guests began arriving at 10 a.m. and the official business meeting started at 10:30. Gail Reynolds of Columbia, NC opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Officers were elected for the next term: president Mark Bateman of Ledyard, CT; vice president Kurt Reynolds of Columbia, NC; secretary Susan Reynolds Forbes of Roper, NC; and treasurer Gail Reynolds of Columbia, NC.

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The minutes of the last meeting were read by the secretary Susan Reynolds Forbes of Roper, NC, and the treasurer’s report was given by Gail Reynolds of Columbia, NC. Next, a memorial service was led by the Amanda Reynolds Frymier of Plymouth, NC for the 12 family members who died during the past year.

The program featured was “A Refresher on Our First Reynolds Ancestors,” a brief review of our first Reynolds ancestors who immigrated here from England, and the first generations in America. Renee Boucher Arnold of Columbia, NC led this interactive skit with participation from lots of family members.

Dean Bateman was recognized as having traveled the farthest to attend, 850 miles from Starkville, MS. The youngest member was Thomas Baker, age 6-1/2, son of Steven and Kathryn Baker of Camden, NC. The oldest was Mrs. Virginia Voliva of Columbia, NC, age 100. Colorful award ribbons were presented to each of these people.

It was noted that the annual Primitive Baptist preaching service will be the second Sunday in September, at Bethlehem Church on September 10, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., led by Elder Johnny Ray Gardner. Also noted was that the next reunion will be held on the third Sunday, May 19, 2024.

The reunion meeting adjourned and everyone enjoyed a barbecue and covered-dish picnic lunch provided by the families, held outdoors in the yard of the church. A meeting of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church Preservation Society followed the picnic.