The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

April 26, 2013

Presbyterian Historical Society held its Spring Tour of Historic Churches


PRINCEVILLE — PRINCEVILLE — The N.C. Presbyterian Historical Society held its Spring Tour of Historic Churches April 19-20. Registration for the event was at Princeville Museum and Visitors Center.

The event also included tours at Cobb Memorial and Howard Memorial Presbyterian churches in Tarboro and a walking tour of the Tarboro Historic District. They also visited William and Mary Hart Presbyterian Church, in Leggett and Nahalah Presbyterian in Scotland Neck.

One of purposes of the organization is to study history of the church of Presbyterian faith and the areas that surround them. The organization program director, Sam Martin, said they chose Princeville to hold the registration because of its rich history.

"When I became program director, I produced a map that showed where we had been," Martin said. "We saw that we had not been in this area so we chose Princeville because of it history — the first (chartered) African American town in the United States. We wanted to see Princville along with the other historical sites and churches in Tarboro."

Martin said they also chose Princeville to get a first hand glimpse at how it had rebuilt from the raft of Hurricane Floyd. In 1999 Floyd's floodwater covered the entire town for about three weeks. After many local, state and federal leader urged the town not to rebuild, town officials chose to keep Princeville's charter.

Edgecombe County Historian, Rudolph Knight acted as the curator for the Princeville Museum. Knight called the visit monumental towards human relations.

"I was very pleased that this North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society, and all white group requested to come to this black museum based on lives and experience of black people," he said. "We need to build more of these bridges to let the world know that all of our history should be conclusive of everyone. If we do we will find out that we are more alike than we are different."