St. John’s at Colonial Williamsboro in Vance County

The church in 1961. Image from N.C. State University Libraries.

The church in 1961. Image from N.C. State University Libraries.

On September 30, 1956, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamsboro was reconsecrated by the Right Reverend Edwin A. Penick, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, following the building’s careful restoration.

The Anglican church building, constructed in 1773, is one of only three intact Colonial era churches remaining in North Carolina and the only one of frame construction.

The simple but well-crafted rectangular gable-front building rests on a Flemish bond brick foundation, is sheathed in molded weatherboards and features a modillion cornice and tall 16-pane-over-16-pane double-hung sash windows that illuminate the bright interior characteristic of the auditory Anglican church model.

The interior has an arched ceiling, original gallery with turned posts and boxed pews.

Master carpenter John Lynch built the church according to specifications drawn up in 1771, but it took two years of sporadic effort to complete. It originally was named Nutbush Church and was consecrated as St. John’s in 1825.

The small town of Williamsboro sprang up around the building at the heart of the wealthy plantation community in what would become northern Vance County.

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One response to “St. John’s at Colonial Williamsboro in Vance County”

  1. Jeff E. Dickens says :

    I’m curious. I assume that the church in Bath and Edenton are the other two colonial intact churches. I believe there to be a 4th that being Rocky Swamp Primitive Baptist Church in Halifax County. It is timber framed and still active. Built by Jesse Read possibly as early as 1770. It needs proper documentation that I intend on working towards. For years it has been overlooked but Read’s history is that of Baptist minister , author , Revolutionary patriot as being a captain in the Continental Army enduring being twice captured. Once at Charleston and the Eutaw Springs.

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