|2980 Kerr's Chapel Road|
North Carolina USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church was established in 1843. Reverend John Kerr, a native of Southern Caswell County, was the namesake of Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church. In the early 1800s a division developed among the Baptists on several issues. The Southern Baptists were in favor of missions, evangelism, and education, while the Primitive Baptists were opposed to this interpretation. Reverend Kerr believed in the Southern Baptist doctrine, and in the 1830s led the establishment of the Yanceyville Baptist Church. In 1840, some of the residents of Southwestern Caswell County left the Yanceyville Baptist Church to form the Trinity Baptist Church, which was nearer their homes.
On September 9, 1843, twenty-four members from Trinity Baptist Church organized a new church known as Sycamore Grove. The original meeting house was a log room built on a mill road adjoining the farm of Mr. Peter Somers, several miles west of the present church. A new church was built in 1844 near the present location and the Stoney Creek Post Office. The name was changed to Kerr's Chapel in memory of John Kerr. The original building was a frame construction with galleries on either side. About 1892, the galleries were removed. It was furnished with new pews in 1894. This old building was torn down in 1957.
Before the Civil War, black slaves were regular members of Kerr's Chapel, some of whom are buried in the cemetery. The cemetery was enclosed with a plank fence in 1873, and then a wire fence around it in the early 1900s. In 1925, an iron fence was built. Parts of this fence remained until the 1960s. Older members told of tying the horses used for transportation to the fence. In 1974, the cemetery fund was changed to Kerr's Chapel Memorial Trust Fund and the interest began to be used for the upkeep of the church grounds and cemetery.
Worship services have been held on a regular basis for 154 years at Kerr's Chapel except for the winter on 1918 and 1919. During these months a deadly Spanish influenza epidemic swept the area, and public meetings, including church services, were prohibited by law. Reverend D. W. Overby held many funerals in the church yard. Many of the dates of death on the headstones in the cemetery read 1918 or 1919.
The original tract of land was given by James Kerr. Alvis Lea and Dr. Floyd Scott's family donated additional property, and the church now owns 23 acres. On May 16, 1943, Kerr's Chapel Church celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Source: Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church history by Frances S. Scott