Church at the Fair

Nestled just outside Heritage Circle is a 156-year-old chapel that the N.C. Campers on Mission ministry uses to meet the needs of fair workers and to evangelize to fairgoers.

On Sunday mornings during the fair, they hold worship services at 8:30 and 11 inside the historic chapel. If you want to attend, be on time — the service started promptly at 8:30. Speaking as someone who usually slides in during the first song at my own church’s early service,  I wouldn’t have wanted to be late at a service in this small chapel.

The service began with a welcome and prayer by Campers on Mission members, and then the congregation and choir sang “To God be the Glory” from the provided hymnals. Sarah McBride, wife of the visiting pastor, sang “I Know a Man Who Can” to the congregation.

The sermon was presented by Dr. John McBride of Mintz Baptist Church in Roseboro. Dr. McBride preached from the Gospel of Matthew on the miracles of Jesus. Most of us in the congregation did not have our Bibles, however. Sitting in a 156-year old chapel, with hard wooden pews and no heat or air-conditioning, many of us followed along with a Bible app on our smartphones. In the background during the service, you could hear the sputters and pops of the hit-and-miss engines from the John Deere Ice Cream booth in Heritage Circle. The sermon concluded with the congregation and Campers on Mission choir singing “Jesus Saves.”

Dr. John McBride and his wife, Sarah

Next Sunday at 8:30 and 11 a.m., Thomas Messick from Treasuring in Christ Church in downtown Raleigh will be preaching.

About the chapel:

The chapel was originally used as the sanctuary of the Ephesus Baptist Church. The one-room wooden structure served Ephesus from 1857 to 1927, and was first located across the highway from the present Ephesus church at 6767 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. This structure was transferred to the Lincolnville, A.M.E. congregation in 1927 and relocated on Nowell Road in Raleigh. The building served well until 1982, when Lincolnville constructed a new church building at 6300 Chapel Hill Road in Raleigh. In 1939, the present pews were transferred to Lincolnville by Ephesus. The pews were the original ones used in the old sanctuary. In August of 1983, this building was purchased and moved to the fairgrounds to be part of the Heritage Circle collection.




About Funhouse

On the blog I go by Fun House (AKA Heather Overton). At the Fair you'll find me checking out the blue ribbon winners or hanging out in Heritage Circle. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the Fair, but I can tell you one thing I hate - leaving it on the last day. I can't wait for opening day!

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