Eno Meeting House / Eno Primitive Baptist Church

36.038444289389, -78.886378555453

Cross Street
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Eno Primitive Baptist Church, January 2023.
Eno Primitive Baptist Church, January 2023 (N. Levy).

Organized in 1773 as Eno Meeting House, this was one of the earliest congregations established in what became Durham County. As documented by Jean Bradley Anderson, the will of Richard Rhodes and property records from Orange County as far back as the 1790s indicate land at this same location was set aside for this purpose. The name of the congregation changed at some point in the 19th century, though it is unclear if that reflects a change in its affiliation. Newspaper references dating to 1840 make it clear that the church was affiliated with Baptist conventions by that time, while the present name - Eno Primitive Baptist Church - has been in use since at least the 1880s.

1887 map fragment showing Eno Primitive Baptist location.
Fragment of 1887 Johnson Map of Durham County showing church near center as "Eno P.B." (full map online via Library of Congress).

The earliest log structures on this site are said to have burned and been replaced prior to the Civil War. Some portion of the present, brick-veneered structure - modified as recently as 1976 - is believed to date to that era.

Dedication stone for Eno Primitive Baptist Church.
Dedication stone on the front of Eno Primitive Baptist Church, referencing the date of the congregation's founding and its most recent renovation (N. Levy, January 2023).

Included in over four acres of church property between Danube Lane and Old Oxford Road is also one of the county's oldest continuously operating cemeteries. Cemetery Census suggests it contains the graves of many enslaved people and their descendants - perhaps indicating African Americans were members of the congregation prior to Emancipation. Indeed, this seems to be one of relatively few burial grounds in which both White and Black Durhamites rest side-by-side (albeit apparently in segregated sections).

Eno Primitive Baptist Cemetery, June 2021.
View southwest across part of Eno Primitive Baptist cemetery. Danube Lane runs across the right background (N. Levy, June 2021).


I have a book dating back to 1773 which is a handwritten record of the members of the church. It tells of The Church at Eno in Conference. There are 179 pages in the book mostly from 1820 to 1838. I wish I knew if this is the same church mentioned. 

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