During the year of 1816, the pioneers of Henderson County and residents of Howard Gap Road formed a church in the Clear Creek community. George Allen donated 2 1/2 acres and the church was completed in 1817.
Early church leaders were members of the McMinn, Blythe, Shipman, Holbert, Fletcher, Corn and Allen families.
The first church building was built of logs. It was located across Howard Gap Road from the present church, where a section of the cemetery is now located.
In 1852, there were 44 male members, 64 female members and eight black members. It must be noted that in pre-Civil War Baptist churches free blacks and slaves attended the white churches.
On March 17, 1900, John Collins and his wife donated land to build a new church. This second building, built of wood, was across the road from the log church. Coal and wood were used for heat and kerosene lamps were used to light the building until electricity became available. The first service was held Aug. 19, 1900.
In 1940, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Buckner bought the property of Ebenezer School, 2 1/2 acres from the Henderson County Board of Education and donated it to Ebenezer to build the third church building. A building fund was started to build a church building. This church was a brick structure.
In August 1969, ground was broken for an interim sanctuary and additional education space. In 1981, a new sanctuary building was completed. In 2001, a building was built for offices, education and fellowship.
Many Baptist churches throughout Henderson County, particularly in the Edneyville community, were formed from Ebenenzer Baptist Church.
Ebenezer Baptist Church was the fifth Baptist church organized in Henderson County.
The cemetery located next to the church and across the Howard Gap Road contains the graves of two Revolutionary War veterans – John Peter Corn and Jacob Shipman.
The lower section of the cemetery contains the graves of slaves and many of their descendants. The slaves belonged to the McMinn, Allen, Drake and possibly Shipman, Love and Featherstone families. Several were formerly slaves of the Mills and Edney families.
See the article on the black history of the Clear Creek community under “Communities” on this web site.
The cemetery contains the graves of early settlers and descendants of people who lived in the Clear Creek community: Allen, Hill, Shipman, McMinn, Glaspy, Stepp, Featherstone, Love, Corn, Holbert, Drake, Maxwell, Greene, Dermid, Garren, Collins, Dill, Thompson, Mintz, Williams, Lancaster, Newman, Wright, Jackson, Phillips and many others.
Revolutionary War Veterans
Jacob Shipman was born in 1744 in Brunswick County, Va. He owned land on Sandy Run in Rutherford County. He married Sarah Kuykendall, daughter of Abraham Kuykendall in Rutherford County.
Shipman enlisted July 20, 1778, in Quinn’s Co., 10th N.C. Regiment with Col. Abraham Sheppard commanding. He died sometime after November 1794, when he wrote his will. His will was “proved” in Rutherford County in January 1795.
Legend states that his body was brought to what later became Henderson County. Some of his children had moved to this section prior to his death. The problem with the old legend is that Ebenezer Baptist Church was not established at the time of the death of Jacob Shipman.
“His older sons, Edward and John, were living in Henderson County,” wrote descendant James B. King in the Heritage of Henderson County. “His body was carried by wagon by his sons to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was buried, a trip that took three days.”
The Shipman family is noted on the 1790 census in Rutherford County. Two sons moved into what is today Henderson County prior to 1794. But, Jacob Shipman never lived in today’s Henderson County.
It is possible that he is not buried at the site and the stone is a memorial monument.
John Peter Corn said in his pension application of 1832 that he was born in 1752 in Albemarle County, Va. He enlisted Feb. 8, 1776, in the Revolutionary War for two years. He was under the command of Col. Dangerfield. The soldiers moved into Pennsylvania and Corn was wounded near Philadelphia in a skirmish against the British guard.
Afterwards, he went to Valley Forge to take up winter quarters, where he suffered from exposure and almost starved during the winter of 1777. After his discharge, he married and lived in Virginia for 12 or 13 years. He went from there to Surry County, N.C., for five years, to Wilkes County for five years and then to Old Buncombe, today’s Henderson County.
He lived in the Green River community of today’s Henderson County for several years. In 1830, he sold this land and bought a tract of 500 acres on Devil’s Fork near the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he lived until his death at the age of 92.
Two grandsons, George Henry Corn and Jesse Marion Corn, described the funeral, where two companies of soldiers conducted a military service: “They stepped forward with the drum, fife and bugle playing as the infantry marched by the grave, half on each side of the grave. Each man fired blank cartridges into the grave. The calvary in double file marched by also, firing their guns into the grave.”
Other early pioneers
The cemetery also contains the graves of members of the McMinn family. The family is noted on the 1790 census in Rutherford County. Jane Kuykendall, daughter of Abraham Kuykendall, married Robert McMinn. After her husband’s death, she bought land in today’s Henderson County. Several of the McMinn children were living in the Clear Creek community about 1800.
George Allen lived on the Howard Gap Road where he had a drovers’ stop. He gave the land for Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1816.
The Allen family is noted on the census report of 1790 and in the 1810 census in Old Buncombe County. In 1808, George Allen purchased land from Daniel Case in the area of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
The grave site of one of Hendersonville’s police chiefs, who served from 1906 to 1906, William “Bill” Hill, is located in the cemetery.
Veterans killed in action
Three men who were killed in action during the nation’s wars and conflicts have grave sites at the church cemetery.
John “Johnny” W. Clayton was killed in action during World War II in 1944 during a bombing raid on Hamburg, Germany. He was a sergeant with the Army Air Corps, 730th Bomb Squadron, 452nd Bomb Group (11), 8th Air Force.
Army Pfc. Edgar L. Green was killed in action Feb. 13, 1951, near Hoengsong, South Korea, during the Korean War.
Marine Joe Herbert Webb died during military action on May 12, 1965, in the Dominican Republic.
Two men, who served with the all-black 3rd N.C. Volunteer Infantry, Co. K, during the Spanish-American War have grave sites in the cemetery: Mark Allen and Charles Featherstone.
Graves of two other men who served in the Philippine-American War are located in the cemetery: William Jefferson G. Hill and Jesse Bishop Wright.
There are 14 Confederate veterans with graves in the historic cemetery.
Joseph Peyton Capps enlisted in the 64th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. B, on 7-12-1862. He deserted 3-24-1863. He enlisted in the 56th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. G, Henderson Blues, on 4-9-1863, was wounded 5-27-1864 at the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek (Bethesda Church, Crumps Creek, Shady Grove Road, Hanovertown) in Virginia, was listed as a deserter, but was probably captured, on 8-24-1864, confined at Knoxville, Tenn., transferred 4-10-1865 to Louisville, Ky., and released on or about the same time. He died in 1922.
John Collins enlisted in the 64th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. B, on 7-12-1862. He deserted 7-30-1862. He was born about 1837, according to the military records. He died in 1911.
Avery Powell Corn enlisted in the 9th Regiment N.C. Troops (1st Regiment N.C. Cavalry), Co. G, on 5-20-1861. He was captured 6-9-1863 at Stevensburg, Va., on the same day as the Battle of Brandy Station (Fleetwood Hill) during the Gettysburg Campaign, exchanged 6-30-1863, and served out the war. He died in 1901.
Henry Clay Corn enlisted in the 1st Battalion N.C. Junior Reserves, Co. C, on 4-30-1864 at the age of 17. He was sent to Goldsboro 1-12-1865. The unit to which he was transferred was not reported. He died in 1918.
John P. Corn enlisted in the 56th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. G, Henderson Blues, on 4-12-1862. Pension records indicate that he was wounded in 1865 at Drewry’s Bluff, Va. The specific date was not reported, but it was probably at the Battle of Fort Stedman. He died in 1915. His gravesite is at this cemetery, according to his death certificate. The grave is not marked.
George Washington Couch enlisted in the 60th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. D, Henderson Rangers, on 7-10-1862. He was discharged 2-2-1864 by reason of “great debility following cerobrospinal irritation.” He died in 1909.
Lemuel Trader Dermid enlisted in the 7th Battalion N.C. Cavalry on 5-1-1863. On 8-3-1863, this battalion was consolidated into the 65th Regiment N.C. Troops (6th Regiment N.C. Cavalry). He deserted 9-1-1863. There are no further military records. He died in 1908.
Calvin R. Featherstone enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. A, Edney’s Greys, on 5-15-1861. He was wounded 7-1-1861 at the Battle of Malvern Hill during the Seven Days Battles in Virginia, captured 6-4-1864 during the Siege of Petersburg, a prisoner at Point Lookout, Md., and Elmira, N.Y., and released 5-29-1865. Some legends, stories, and written local material indicate that he deserted to the enemy, but that is impossible given the fact that he was confined in Union prisons until after the end of the war. He died after 1910.
John H. Fletcher enlisted in the 16th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. I, Henderson Guards, on 5-5-1861. He was elected third lieutenant 4-10-1862 and later promoted to second lieutenant. He was wounded 5-31-1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines during the Peninsula Campaign. His left eye was shot out 8-29-1862 at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas). He was reported absent wounded until retired to the Invalid Corps 3-31-1865. He died in 1908.
Thomas W. Gilbert enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. A, Edney’s Greys, on 1-5-1862. He was discharged 7-16-1862 by reason of being over age. He enlisted in the 56th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. G, Henderson Blues, on 9-7-1863. He deserted 12-6-1863. He died in 1866. His gravesite is not known, but it may be an unmarked site near his wife at this cemetery.
Jonathan Andrew Maxwell enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. A, Edney’s Greys, on 5-15-1861. He was discharged 7-16-1862 by reason of being over age. Some local records indicate he served later in the 64th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. H; however, records of that regiment do not indicate that he served. He died in 1921.
James Newton McMinn enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. H, Cane Creek Rifles, on 7-15-1861. He transferred to Co. A, Edney’s Greys, on 11-28-1861 in exchange for George W. Davis. He was discharged 7-16-1862 under the provisions of the Conscription Act. He died in 1873.
Edward J. Shipman enlisted in the 60th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. D, Henderson Rangers, on 7-10-1862. He was discharged 8-1-1862. The reason for the discharge was not reported. He enlisted in the 7th Battalion N.C. Cavalry on 5-1-1863. On 8-3-1863, this battalion was consolidated into the 65th Regiment N.C. Troops (6th Regiment N.C. Cavalry). He served through the war. He died in 1889.
Thomas Jefferson Shipman enlisted in the 1st Regiment N.C. Infantry, Co. E, (Six Months) on 4-24-1861. He was mustered out 11-13-1861. He enlisted in the 60th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. D, Henderson Rangers, on 7-10-1862. He was appointed third lieutenant at the time of his enlistment. He was in command of the company from November 1862 through February 1863. He was captured 11-25-1863 at the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the Chattanooga Campaign, a prisoner at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, and released 6-13-1865. He died in 1934.