Universalist Church  

Submitted by Sloan Mason

"Coastal Plain & Fancy" by M. Ruth LITTLE p.174 "At the northestern edge of Kinston's commercial district, at 613 North McLewean St., stands the former Universalist Church. This church, also built circa 1910, has both Romanesque Revival and Gothic Revival features; the heavy massing of the building is balanced by the crenellated crossing tower (now altered) and the lancet arch widows.

Isaac ROCHELLE, a local contractor who developed a good deal of the early twentieth century Grainger Hll neighborhood was one of the Universalist Church's builders. He had the help of a patented cement block machine, which made blocks on site."

From Records of the Universalist Church, donated by Carol Rouse SIMMONS to Lenoir Community College---- During the year 1909, Rev. William O. BODELL, who preached at Woodington; came to Kinston one night each month in the Knights of Harmony Hall and then held services on the third floor of the Whitaker Building. The Universalist Church of Kinston was organized Sunday night, April 3rd, 1910 with 33 charter members; several of these came from the Woodington Church: which was 7 miles distance. Since 1903, the ladies Mission Circle had been organized at the home of Mrs. Zaccheous RHODES; and due to their organization they raised $750 and purchased the lot on the South East corner of McLewean and Lenoir Streets. This lot was 60 x 140 feet. The lot was paid for in monthly installments of $5.00 per month. Mrs. RHODES son in law, Isaac ROCHELLE, was the builder. The church was finished in 1914. Fire damaged the church in Sept. 1941. Isaac ROCHELLE, again rebuilt the church and added 3 more rooms by 1947.

Charter members: Zacheous RHODES and wife, Mary Elizabeth James RHODES Franklin P. OUTLAW and wife Ella Gray OUTLAW John E. WILLIAMS and wife Lizzie Ford WILLIAMS W. J. LANGSTON and wife Della Rhodes LANGSTON Isaac Sloan ROCHELLE and wife, Lena Rhodes ROCHELLE Emmett HASKINS and wife Maude Rhodes HASKINS Mrs. Mollie Rhodes HAYNES Mrs. Chellie FORD Miss Addie FORD Simpson SMITH Miss Fannie SMITH E. G. TYNDALL W. E. JOHNSON Mrs. Carrie Hill JOHNSON.

Rev. William O. BODELL

Preacher Chapman and Wife

Laying the Stones

11 May 1847
Kinston, N.C.

Today we laid the stone: engraved thereon, name of builder, I. S. ROCHELLE, and also the Minister Thos. TURRELL, while members of the board stood by: the CROOMS, MITCHELLS, ROUSES, and GRADYS. Mrs. F. GURLEY-the Moderator, was away for the day in Baltimore. Ald also assisting us there was His Honor-the Mayor: Guy ELLIOT; friends, relatives-from far and near, old acquaintances (an occasional tear.) And honored guest for the luncheon, "Old Ike" at 75, who with punch & congratulations, we toasted, and more: for we wished him "another score." And God's blue skies shone over all-His benediction on every mortal, standing there; who in passing higher, shall join their witness to the Invisible Choir.

Yesterday, May 11th, 1947; was a sunny day-suitable to the happy occasion; the Annual Home Coming Service, and also the laying of the corner stone in the New Annex of the Universalist Church. While Mr. ROCHELLE, "Old Ike" celebrated his 75th birthday. There was a goodly gathering of genial folk-old and young, from near and far. A report of the occasion will be found in the Free Press files of this week, and a picture of the corner stone laying ceremony int he issue of May 26. After the morning service the congregation led by the choir, went outdoors to participate in teh ritual, when the pastor, Rev. Thos. TURRELL, was assisted by Mayor Guy ELLIOT, a charming and loveable man. Mr. Guy LANGSTON joined the Church during this ceremony; making public "confession of the Faith" Mr. Ike ROCHELLE, builder of the Church, and Annex, was afterwards feted-receiving a birthday gift, as a token of love and esteem and recognition of his faithfulness as a veteran Universalist. We are happy to state that the Annex was paid for at its Dedication; thanks to the State Convention which assisted in generous manner; to friends and members of the Church-contributing in cash and kind, in service and labor.

Trustee board:Mrs. Foster GURLEY-Moderator
Mrs. George CROOM-Sec. Treasurer
Mr. George CROOM-Church School
Mr. Ike ROCHELLE-Builder, etc.
Mrs. W. C. GRADY-A.U. W. President
Rev. Thos. TURRELL, Ex. Official
Mrs. ROUSE-E. Bright ST.

(Please note--in the picture are Ike ROCHELLE with his 2 great grandchildren: Dillion ROCHELLE & Bill SPENCE.)

Photographs-Buildings & Places