According to the "History of Rainbow Church," a new circuit called Contentnea (then spelled Contentney) was formed in 1790. It encompassed portions of Greene (then Dobbs), Wayne, Craven, Lenoir, and Pitt Counties. The list is verbatim, but I rephrased the text. From the History of Rainbow Church comes the following list of preachers who served during the 1790 -1830 time period.
First, I think it is interesting to see where the name "Rainbow" comes from.
- 1790 Rev. John Baldwin
- 1791 Rev. Aquilla Sugg & Rufus Wiley
- 1793 Rev. William Bellamy
- 1794 Rev. Samuel Ansley
- 1795 Rev. Jonathan Bird
- 1796 Rev. Lawrence Mansfield
- 1797 Rev. William Lambeth
- 1798 Rev. William Kenyon
- 1799 Rev. Benjamin Matthews
- 1800 Rev. John King
- 1801 Rev. John Gamewell
- 1802 Rev. James Chappell
- 1803 Rev. John Gibbons
- 1804 Rev. John Gamewell & James Jennings.It is now Goshen and ContentneaCircuit
- 1805 Rev. James Boyd It is this year Trent, Goshen & Contentney & Goshen
- 1806 Revs. Wm. Barnes, J. E. Glen & B. Arendall. This year Trent
- 1807 Revs. Edmond, William Murphrey & H. E. Hall
- 1808 Revs. John C. Ballew & Nathan Weedon. This year it is Trent circuit.
- 1809 Rev. John Owen, Rev. William Floyd & Rev. T. J. Cook
- 1810 Rev. Caleb W. Bell. It is called New River circuit now.
- 1811 Rev. Robert Burns
- 1812 Rev. Edmund Wright
- 1813 Rev. James Morris
- 1814 Rev. James Thomas
- 1815 Rev. John Doyle
- 1816 Rev. Elijah Sparks
- 1817 Rev. William H. Starr
- 1818 Rev. Wm. D. Barrett and Russell Browder
- 1819 Rev. George Burnett
- 1820 Rev. Archibald Robinson
- 1821 Rev. Thompson Garrard
- 1822 Rev. Thompson Garrard & David Ellis
- 1823 Rev. Benton Freld
- 1824 Rev. Rufus Wiley. It is Trent circuit again.
- 1825 Rev. Curtis Hooks
- 1826 Rev. Curtis Hooks
- 1827 Revs. William Jones and John Carson
- 1828 Revs. David Roberts & John I. Head
- 1829 Revs. Wilson Barcliff and V. Eskridge
- This information came from the Church Records of Rainbow Methodist Church
- located in Snow Hill, NC....Greene County
More Names From Rainbow Church History
"The first preacher chose well the site for a church, then a well wooded hillside, spring of sparkling water flowing at the foot of the hill and a stream running in rainbow circle nearby, called Rainbow Creek, possibly so named by the Indians because of its resemblance to the rainbow."
Samuel C. Hooker lived a short distance southeast of the site and, although he was not a member of the congregation, he rode all over the community and gathered the neighbors together while the preacher preached to them in his barn. Later, he did become a member of the church.
The Rev. William Ormand, the founder of Ormond's Chapel, in his diary speaks of hearing Rev. Mr. Whatcoat (later Bishop Whatcoat) hold services at Rainbow Church as early as 1796.
West of the Church a few miles away lived Rev. John Gibbons who son, Rev. Henry H. Gibbons and grandson Rev. Lemuel Gibbons were both honored members of the NC Conference. Rev. Henry H.Gibbons' first charge in 1850 was the Snow Hill circuit which included Rainbow Church. A great grandson of Henry Gibbons is Henry Rouark who is also a minister.
Also a few miles away lived William H. Cunninggim (a local preacher) and his eldest son, W.H. Cunninggim, Jr. and son-in-law, Rev. Levi Branson. Jesse A. Cunninggim, the second son was an itinerant preacher. Four grandsons of W.H. Cunninggim, Sr.....William L and Jesse Lee Cunninggim, and Allison L. and J. Marvin Ormond all were preachers. A great granddaughter of W.H. Cunninggim, Sr was the wife of Rev. T.M. Grant. She was also the great, great granddaughter of Samuel C. Hooker....no name was given for her.
1837...Rev. Daniel Culbreth was a pastor 1866...Rev. J.B. Martin Paul Carraway, Joseph Wheeler, W.S. Chaffin, D.A. Watkins, James b. Baily and T.P. Ricuard served the Circuit at some time. 1874...Rev. M.C. Thomas 1875...J.P. Simpson 1878...W.H.Call 1881...John N. Andrews was on the charge for 2 years 1883-4 J.W. Jenkins 1884-8 Peter L. Herman 1889 ...J. E. Thompson 1890 ...J.T. Abernathy 1890 1891...W.J. Gay 1892...N.E. Coltrane 1893-6...D.L. Earnhardt 1897-8...L.J. Holden...died in 1899 August 1899-Dec. 1899 ...H.M. North 1900...C.W. Robinson 1901-4 E. Pope In 1903 the Snow Hill circuit was divided...the part called the Hookerton Circuit included Rainbow, Ormand's Chapel and Hookerton Churches...Later a church was built at Maury. Nov. 1903-Dec. 1906 Rev. J.P. Pate Dec. 1906-Dec. 1909 Rev. R.F.Taylor Nov. 1909-Dec. 1911 Rev. M.D. Giles Dec. 1911-Dec. 1913 Rev. W.E. Hocut Dec. 1913-Dec. 1917 Rev. J.W. Bradley Dec 1917-Nov. 1919 Rev. T. McGrant Nov. 1919-Nov. 1921 Rev. R.H. Broom Nov. 1921-Nov. 1925 Rev. R.R. Grant Nov. 1925-Nov. 1926 E.N. Harrison Nov. 1926-Nov 1929 Rev. R.J. Lough Nov. 1929-Nov. 1932 Rev. J.C. Humble Nov. 1932- Nov. 1936 Rev. J.G. Phillips Nov. 1936- May 1941 Rev. J. Herbert Miller May 1941-Nov. 1947 Rev. E.R. Shuller Nov. 1947-Nov. 1949 Rev. C.E. Vale Nov. 1949-Nov. 1952 Rev. C.T. Rogers Nov. 1952-Nov. 1954 Rev. Ben Boone Nov. 1954-June 1960 Rev.W.R. Crowder In 1890 one acre of land north of the Church grounds was donated by John W. Dixon, Jr. and wife, Mary F. Dixon to begin a cemetery.
Some of the ladies mentioned in the history during the 1920-30 time period were: Mrs. Harry L. Taylor, Mrs. Felix Moor, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards, Mrs. J.R. Tyndall, Mrs. Charlie Albritton.
At one time there were portraits of Rev. William H. Cunninggim, Sr., Rev. Henry H. Gibbons, Rev. Jesse A. Cunninggim, and Rev. Nathan A. Hooker. There was also a bronze tablet in memory of Samuel C. Hooker. A fire on January 25th, 1937 destroyed the Church and the portraits therein.
A sketch taken from the History of Rainbow Church, Greene county, NC (I am just taking the facts....dates, names, etc. from this document.) Born October 10, 1816 near Rainbow Church, Greene County...the son of James Wesley Hooker and Elizabeth House, grandson of Samuel C. Hooker and wife, a Miss Blanchard.
- Rev. Nathan Anderson Hooker
Joined the annual North Carolina conference at Mocksville in 1840 and was sent to the Mattamuskeet Circuit.
Married Catherine HAll Fulford of Carteret County. Was sent in 1861 as a missionary to a "colored" church in New Bern. It is said he commanded the esteem and respect of his charge and served them faithfully until he was sent away by Union authorities. He and his family moved to Kinston...along with a number of women and children...all refugees in his charge.
The capture of New Bern left him without a Church. His mother and his stepmother had died and his father and his sister Sallie and his Aunt Mary (Pollie) Hooker Lane, a widow lived together on a farm in the Rainbow section. He and his wife lived with this extended family. He took charge of a postoffice in Hookerton, took up shoemaking. After the war and reconstruction, he entered circuit work again.
He and his wife had 3 sons...all who died young, and four daughters. Mary Elizabeth attended Greensboro College, taught school and never married. Sue never married. Fannie married Ervin Whitehurst & Julia married Haywood McKinnie.
- Rev. William Henry Cunninggim
The name Cunninggim was originally Cunningham and was Scottish. The NC branch consisted of Jesse Cunninggim, the father of William Henry Cunninggim and they lived in the extreme southern part of Green County near Wheat Swamp, where with his wife Polly Moore Cunninggim reared a family of 2 sons and 4 daughters. William Henry was born August 5th, 1804. He married Edith Gibbons Edwards
- July 28th, 1825. They established their home 2 miles southwest of Rainbow Church. to this union were born:
- Elizabeth Hardy...married Blaney Pridgen
- William Henry, Jr. married Louisa Hardy
- Mary Cooper married William B. Hooker
- Marinda Gibbons married 1st Charles Hill
- 2nd Josiah Aldridge
- Jesse Anderson married Lucy Armfield
- John Wesley married Mary Jane Bryan
- Edith Ann Sarah married Rev. Levi Branson
- Nancy Jane married John J. Ormond
- Theodosia Margaret married Frederick G. Griffin
- Catherine Noble married Nathaniel S. Richardson
- Louisa Frances died in infancy
- Two sons became ministers...William Henry, Jr...became a local minister but Jesse Anderson chose the itinerancy. Two gransons were preachers...Rev. William L. Cunninggim and Rev. Allison L. Ormond.
- Two other grandsons are members of the NC Conference...Jesse L. CUnninggim, was President of Scarrett College and Rev. J. Marvin Ormond was an instructor at Duke. Four granddaughters and one great granddaughter "have blessed parsonage homes"..Addie Cunninggim McCullen, Lillian Branson Simmons, Fannie Cunninggim Bailey and Marie Hooker Grant in the NC Conference and Daisy Branson MArshman in the North Georgia Conference.
- His first wife died May 12, 1865.
- He married Mrs. Margaret McGowan Williams later.
- He died on Sept 22n, 1874
- (This concludes any genealogical material from the History Of Rainbow Church.)