Important Note about NC Baptist Church Records
The majority of our NC Baptist Church Records contain minutes of meetings, membership lists, and financial records. Historical data such as birth, baptism, and marriage records were normally kept by the minister performing the service and are usually not included in the official records of the church.
Take a look at this guide to the NCBHC to understand the types of records we hold.
The NC Baptist Historical Collection contains materials on Southern, Missionary, Primitive, African-American, Union, and Alliance of Baptist churches. These materials include over 16,000 books, periodicals, association annuals and other printed materials; church records; association minutes; and church vertical files. In addition, there are more than 1000 biographical folders containing information on and photographs of Baptist pastors and Wake Forest alumni.
The collection serves as a repository for records from North Carolina Baptist churches and institutions. The NCBHC is also the repository for the Alliance of Baptists and the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina archives.
In addition, a complete set of the print version of the Biblical Recorder, the official journal of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, published biweekly and in existence since 1833, is available in the NC Baptist Historical Collection. Access to the recently digitized and completely searchable Biblical Recorder is also available. The Biblical Recorder office also publishes an online version of the journal which varies slightly from the print version. To access the online version, or for more information about the history, subscription information, or staff information, you may visit biblicalrecorder.org.
The North Carolina Baptist Historical Collection’s church records collection is composed of original records (some dating back to the 1700s), photocopies of records, and microfilmed records.
We have digitized our paper finding aids and lists to assist researchers interested in our Baptist church records. Patrons can browse and search our collections by church name, association name, and county name. In addition, we have added lists of independent Baptist churches, information about African American Baptist churches and ministers, and alphabetical lists of obituary notices from the Biblical Recorder and obituary notices from the North Carolina State Baptist Convention.
We also have vertical files on almost all of the North Carolina churches which may contain: timelines of constitutional dates, Associational memberships, and any name changes, divisions, or mergers the church may have gone through; newspaper clippings; brief historical sketches; lists of former and current pastors; church directories; and photographs.
In some cases, we may have one of each of these types of records, and in other cases may only have a vertical file. In addition, some published church histories have been cataloged and can be found in the library’s online catalog.
Church history committees and individual researchers are welcome to visit the collection and view these church records. Visiting researchers are asked to make an appointment at least three business days in advance of a proposed visit. To make a research appointment, please use our request form or call the department at 336-758-6175.
Although the NCBHC no longer does in-house microfilming of church records, we purchase copies of all North Carolina church records microfilmed by the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. Churches are strongly encouraged to have their records microfilmed by the SBHLA. For information on the microfilming program, call 1-615-244-0344.