BARLOW VISTA BAPTIST CHURCH
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH - 1869-1969
For a number of years before the church was organized services were held in the locality. Barlow, a blacksmith and wheelwright by trade, preached for some time in a little school house one mile east of the site where the church was later built on R. S. Atkinson's farm.
Later a small school house was built near the church building site and services were held there from the date of organization until 1894 when Barlow's Chapel Church was erected.
Brother Barlow walked from Wilmington, a distance of 26 miles, to preach to the people.
The building, completed in August 1894, was built at a cost of $733.20 including 39 pews. James Andrews, the first sexton, received a salary of $5 per year.
God looked with favor on the work and it prospered from the beginning.
Members walked woods paths, crossed creeks in boats, or rode in carts or buggies to get to services.
Vista Church was organized June 6, 1937.
The Vista Church was started by members of Barlow's Chapel, beginning as a branch Sunday School because of the difficulties of travel.
The Sunday School was carried on for several years in the school house before the church was organized. (Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Batson now have a home on this site.) Dewey Hobbs from Wilmington came out and assisted the Sunday School in its work for some time.
Barlow's Chapel and Vista Church Consolidate
In November 1952, under the leadership of Pastor R. Herman Lineberger, Barlow's Chapel and Vista Church voted to consolidate and build a new church.
A site was selected half way between the two churches.
Mr. and Mrs. Wayland Batson and Mrs. Ruth King donated the property.
A Building Committee was elected with Dennis Atkinson, Chairman, Pender Edens, Z. L. Thompson and Eugene Batts from Barlow's Chapel, and Alva Edens, Hill Groves, Clifton Howard and Ivey Lewis, Jr., from Vista.
$15,000 was borrowed from the Home Mission Board and a building program got under way.
It was in May 1953 that the wheels were started, and ground breaking ceremonies were held in September 1954. Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Sidbury were building fund treasurers. (The church building is now debt free.)