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The History of Graham Chapel Church
Present day Graham Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church located in East Arcadia, North Carolina originated in the year 1874 under the name Graham Chapel Church. Research is underway to determine if Graham Chapel Church was formed under another denomination and later joined the AME Zion Conference or whether it began as an AME Zion Church. Older family members have indicated that as long as they can remember the church has always been an AME Zion Church, but; based upon the original land deed dated January 1874, the name AME Zion is not mentioned. At this time, the exact date in which the church joined the AME Zion denomination is not clear. It is clearly documented that in January 1874, Beverley L. Daniel and his wife Sarah Walker-Daniel sold one acre of land for the purpose of building Graham Chapel Church for $10.00 to its original trustees, James Graham, Moses Young, and John Blanks.
The History of Tabernacle Believers Holiness Church
Tabernacle Believers Holiness Church was established in the early 1900’s in the Zara-Brighten Community in Council/Riegelwood North Carolina. Early history mention the church first name as Mason Hall Holiness Church and later changed to True Believers Holiness Church and now known as Tabernacle Believers Holiness Church.
Tradition credits the church’s founding to Reverend John Nicholas Rhodes born (1857-1912), a member of Carvers Creek AME Zion Church. Many of Tabernacle Believers Holiness Church earlier members came from both Graham Chapel AME Zion Church and Carvers Creek AME Zion Church.
Written records did not survive to tell the exact date of acquisition of the church’s first land or for the date of construction of the “old” Tabernacle church. According to an early 1980’s church history, a deed of trust for the first one acre of church property existed before 1910 and was signed by John Nicholas Rhodes, his brother Charles Rhodes and Henry Graham Sr.
Henry Graham Sr. born 1830 was the husband of Lucy Blanks-Graham born 1831 and the son of William Graham (abt. 1785) and Sarah Jacob-Graham (abt. 1787) and the brother of James Graham (1824) one of the founders of Graham Chapel AME Zion Church.
(Please note: Credits are given to Tabernacle Believers Holiness Church 100 Year Anniversary Celebration (1904-2004) booklet, some history information was used for this church history)
The History of Pleasant Union Baptist Church
Present day Pleasant Union Baptist Church came out of Cheerful Hope Baptist Church located on Highway 87 & Kennedy Store Road near the East Arcadia/San Domingo Community. In the early 1900’s some members decided to start a new church closer to the population of their members and with that in mind, one acre of land was secured from David Troy (1839-1930).
Shortly after getting the land, construction was started and soon after a new community church was completed. Knowing that Cheerful Hope was still an active church the newly built church needed a name. Deacon James Steward Dixon (1897-1964) a grandson in- law to James Graham (1824-1884) offered the name Pleasant Union to the church’s leadership and quickly it was accepted.
281 Grand Road
Clarkton, North Carolina 28433
New Graham Tabernacle Fire Baptized Holiness Church