During the 1700’s and 1800’s many
White churches provided designated places for their non-white slaves and
neighbors who had no church of their own. 
With the turbulent times of civil war, many of these churches denied
further worship of their non-White parishioners within the White church.  As a result, Blacks and Indians chose to
build their own places of worship.  On
October 2, 1877 twelve men and eight women met to organize Burnt Swamp Baptist
Church.  They had previously worshiped
within the Raft Swamp and Clyburn Baptist Churches.  Among the charter members were Archie and
Peggy Oxendine, Cary and Sally Wilkins, and their son John S. Wilkins.  These members were affiliated with the Cape
Fear Baptist Association in Cumberland County. 
The first pastor was Reverend David Caswell, who was at that time,
serving as pastor of Raft Swamp Baptist Church.


The first site of the church was
located in the Union Chapel Community in Burnt Swamp Township, hence the church
name.  Early churches were often named
for townships, creeks, or rivers.  The
old Burnt Swamp Baptist Church was located approximately three miles from its
present location on land donated by Archie Oxendine.  The church remained in its original setting
from 1877 until 1902, a total of twenty-five years.  Today, the remains of several leaders of this
early church are located in a cemetery to the rear of the original church site.


The old church was dismantled in
1902 and moved to its present location in Raft Swamp Township, approximately
one-half mile off North Carolina Highway #72 on Evergreen Church Road.  A two-acre track of land, one for the church
and one for the cemetery was donated by Joseph and Laura Locklear and Floyd and
Mary Ellen Locklear*.  From 1912 until
1929, there was a controversy within the association and Burnt Swamp withdrew
as a member, remaining independent until it’s reconciliation with the
association in 1930.  Under the
leadership of Reverend Welton Lowry, in 1947 six classrooms were added to the
existing building at a cost of four thousand dollars.  Reverend Archie Lockee became pastor in 1961
and led Burnt Swamp until 1977.  Under
his leadership, extensive remodeling of the interior of the church
occurred.  New pews, carpet, and flooring
were added at the cost of $15,050 and three thousand, respectively, were added
in 1966.  A thirty-by-sixty feet block
fellowship hall was erected in 1968.  It
contained a kitchen restroom, and a dining hall.  The cost of this venture was $25,000.  In 1969, the Biggs family of Lumberton, North
Carolina donated an additional one and one-half acre tract of land.


In 1976, Burnt Swamp members
agreed repairs to the old building would be too expensive due to the extent of
internal damaged to the foundation and the general structure of the last one
hundred years.  Therefore, plans were
drawn up and in June 1979 the church held a ground breaking ceremony with the
following officiating:  Pastor Tilford
Locklear, Chairman Deacon William Maynor, Vice Chairman Hubert Locklear, Building
Committee Chairman Billy R. Maynor, and Fundraising Chairperson Lyne Paul.  Reverend Tony Brewington, Director of
Missions for the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association, turned the first shovel of


On August 19, 1977, Burnt Swamp
observed it’s Centennial (1877-1877) with an all day service.  Mr. John L. Carter, Association Clerk of the
Burnt Swamp Baptist Association, gave a History of the church and it’s
leadership in the foundation of the Burnt Swamp Association, which at that time
numbered fifty-one churches.


In June 1982, two years after
beginning construction, the congregation moved into the new church.  It included a sanctuary with a seating
capacity for three hundred and seven classrooms, Pastor’s study, and a baptismal
pool.  The total cost of construction and
furnishing was $120,000.  The Burnt Swamp
Baptist Association agreed to move and restore the old church building onto a
site donated by the Baptist State Convention, located behind the Baptist building
in Pembroke, North Carolina, as a historical religious museum for the
Association.  To house the church marquee
and the seventy-year-old cast iron church bell, in 1984 a Bell tower was
constructed on the site where the old building head stood for eighty-two years.


In 1987, an additional one-acre
tract of land was purchased from the Biggs family by the A.A. Lockee family and
Hubert Locklear family for further expansion at a cost of $2,000.  In June 1990, ground-breaking services were
held for a six thousand square feet addition that included classrooms, rest
rooms, and a fellowship hall.  Deacon
Douglas Campbell was the overseer of this project.  In May 1992, the congregation moved into this
new facility.  The fellowship hall
includes a fully equipped kitchen, a dining hall with a searing capacity for
two hundred and fifty, four classrooms, bathroom facilities for adults as well
as toddlers, and a multi-purpose room, which serves as a library and conference
room.  The total cost of the addition and
furnishings was $130,000.  In 1998, new
carpet was installed in the rear of the older portion of the church building at
a cost of $5,000. 


The history of Burnt Swamp
Baptist Church has been filled with highs and lows, as well as, great success
since that humble beginning over one hundred and twenty-two years ago. At
present, it is working toward future expansion by obtaining land for a
playground, paving our parking lot, and purchasing a van.  General beautification of the church ground
and the construction of a monument in the cemetery are also in the planning


Under the leadership of Reverend
William Gary Locklear and Assistant Pastor Reverend Keith Long, Burnt Swamp
Baptist Church is entering the new millennium anticipating great works and
continuous growth in the Twenty-first Century. 
By the Grace of God, the comfort and influence of the Holy Spirit, Burnt
Swamp Baptist Church will succeed.

Burnt Swamp Baptist Church

216 Evergreen Church Rd.

Lumberton, NC 28360

Rev. Keith Long

 Sunday School 9:45am / Worship 11:00 am

 Phone: 739-0085