Little River Baptist Church

Little River Baptist Church

Located in Little River Community, Transylvania County, N.C.

Little River Baptist Church was constituted on 15 November 1838.

Twenty-six members of Beulah Baptist church decided to form an “arm” thus becoming a new Church.

These twenty-six along with some other people living in Little River Valley, obtained three-fourths an acre of land from Charles Barnett on 10 September 1827. Epaphroditus Hightower, who was also a charter member of Beulah and Col. William Orr were made trustees.  Mr. Hightower represented the Baptist on the building committee and Col. Orr represented the other denominations.  These two along with other men of Little River built a meetinghouse to be used by The Methodist, Presbyterians and Baptists.  Little River continued to use this meetinghouse until 1851, when they erected their own church building.

The Beulah minutes of 21 October 1837 states, “The Church met in fellowship at the Little River Meeting House”. On 6 October 1837, “The Arm of Little River petitions for a letter of dismissal to become a separate Church”. On 3 November 1838, “Granted petition to form the Arm of Little River and for the Eldership of this church  (Beulah) to attend with them on Thursday (15 November 1838) before the third Sunday of this month”. Elder James Blythe of Beulah Church assisted in the constitution and was also called to be the first pastor.

The charter members were: Hesakeah Shipman, Hanner Shipman, Mary Shipman, C. Megaha (McGaha), Abigal Scoot (Scott), Mary Merrill, Alsey Sersa, Judy Sizemore, Megrady Johnston, Patsy Merrill, Lucy Hightower, William Merrill, Alexander Hamilton, Nancy Hefner, Rebeka Allison, E. Hightower (a deacon), Mariah Hightower, Ellizabeth Merrill, Alexander McCaule (McCall), James McCaule, Larkin Rise, John Allison, Richard Okelley, Nancy C. Hefner, Elizabeth Rise and Edward a black man belonging to William Merrill.

The people listed next were received at the arm of Little River, but they were not constituted in the Church there: Patsy Roberson, Charlotte Hefner, John Hamilton, Catherine Hefner, Joseph Shipman, Elizabeth Shipman, Lina a black woman, Alfred and Abraham black men.

Little River has built two other buildings on the land where the present church stands. On 8 September 1877, H.P. Moore and his wife deeded two acres of land to the trustees of Little River Church. The first building was built that fall. The second one was built circa 1906. The present building was built in January 1962. A new educational wing was completed in May 1970.

November 20, 2005: Little River Baptist Church dedicated a new Family Life Center.  The project took one year to complete. In addition to the fellowship hall, an educational wing was also completed adding an additional 16 classrooms and 14,000 square feet.

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