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Jan 24, 2018

First Baptist Church and a Vertical File Provide Further Documentation of Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966) and His Wife

Retired Art Professor Helen Chick, 84, Enjoys Oil Painting (Staff Photo by Marcus Castro)
My husband and I went to Watch Night like we had planned after I found out about First Baptist hosting one, when I posted “Documenting the Newspaper Obituary of Dr. Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966)”


I also checked the vertical file in the Cumberland County Library where I was pleased to learn more about Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966) and Helen Thomas Chick (1906-1997).


First Baptist Church (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)
First Baptist Church (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)


The Watch Night Service at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville downtown on Moore St. on Sunday, December 31, 2017 was a great chance to meet people who remembered Clarence and Helen Chick, and we were glad to attend because they celebrated their 150th Anniversary. The church started in 1868 in a member’s home.

I also found out that this was a new building. Helen would have attended here, but not Clarence. I need to find where the old site is on Franklin St. The church has members, and items they left behind that will take time to look at.


First Baptist Church (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)
First Baptist Church (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)


The Sesquicentennial Watch Night Service reminded everyone how their parents and ancestors came together to be with the Lord as they ushered out the old year and welcomed the dawning of the new year. They reflected upon the words of the litany: 

“Our slave ancestors watched that night long ago for the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lord, keep us awake and alert as we follow in the light of Your Word, searching for the good news of the gospel, and comforting signs of your love in this world.”

They too gave praise to “God through Jesus Christ their risen Savior and Lord.”

Rev. Dr. C. R. Edwards

They had the Lighting of Memorial Candles for the people who passed on this year. One of those who passed this year was Rev. Dr. C. R. Edwards who led the funeral services for Clarence Adam Chick back in 1966. I was amazed.

“KNIGHTDALE – Rev. Dr. Chancy R. Edwards, age 92, of Knightdale, NC, and formerly of Fayetteville, NC, died Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, NC. Funeral services will be held on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 12:00 noon at First Baptist Church Fayetteville, 302 Moore Street in Fayetteville, NC with Rev. Dr. Cureton Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in Rockfish Memorial Park. Public viewing will be on Sunday, August 27, 2017 from 5-7 p.m. at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel and on Monday, August 28, 2017 at First Baptist Church Fayetteville from 10 -11:45 a.m. The family will assemble at his residence in Knightdale on Monday at 7:45 a.m. for the procession to the church. Direct condolences to Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, Inc. 805 Nash Street East in Wilson, NC 27893.”  The Fayetteville Observer, 27 Aug 2017.

A more complete obituary can be found at Edwards Funeral Home Services.  I will compare his life with Clarence’s to determine how close they were. I can see right away that they were buried in the same place, Rockfish Memorial Park. 


First Baptist Church (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)
First Baptist Church (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)


Pastor Cureton L. Johnson gave the evening message during Watch Night after Rev. Floyd Wicker, Jr. read “A Celebration of Freedom.” He preached about “Think on These Things.” The greatest thing he said was that you do not get anything worthwhile without hard work. We must go through trials.


Candles for Lighting Ceremony (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)
Candles for Lighting Ceremony (Photo by Robin Foster 2018)


We were given 150 Anniversary Candles to be lit and carried from the sanctuary. We have our candles as a reminder of Watch Night. I look forward to visiting them again for their 150th Anniversary activities and to see what they may have at the church on Clarence and Helen.

Helen T. Chick Building

When I went to the Cumberland Genealogical Society Meeting on January 13, I decided to check the vertical file for Chesnutt Library. In the file I found the article, Fayetteville State Library to Be Named For Retired Teacher. I knew this was a story about my aunt Helen, the wife of Clarence Adam Chick.


Retired Art Professor Helen Chick, 84, Enjoys Oil Painting (Staff Photo by Marcus Castro)
Retired Art Professor Helen Chick, 84, Enjoys Oil Painting (Staff Photo by Marcus Castro, Fayetteville Observer, 4 Apr 1991)


This article was done after Helen T. Chick was retired from Fayetteville State University for 23 years. She had not slowed down though. She still loved oil painting, sewing dresses, and writing books. She had been with FSU for 51 years and, they would always remember her by renaming the Old Chesnutt Library after her.

Leo Edwards, who was director of Math and Sciences and acting dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, said “She was one of my favorite teachers. She was an inspiration for the kind teacher I’d like to become.”

“To have a building named after her, I think, is quite fitting. She spent so much of her life on this campus. And still does,” he said.

“She feels she has one reason to be happy. In 1942, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She thought she would die, but she beat the disease. While she was in the hospital recovering from the cancer, her husband the late Clarence Adam Chick built the house she still lives in.”

“It was paid off the day I walked in the door,” she said proudly.

This article can be seen in its entirety by visiting the Local & Family History Room upstairs at Cumberland County Library, downtown Fayetteville, NC. The source citation for the article is Oriole, K. (1991). “Fayetteville State Library to Be Renamed for Retired Teacher.” Fayetteville Observer/Times, 4 Apr 1991, p. 1B.

I could never have imagined finding so much on this couple. I still am not finished. I have entered two generations on Helen’s line, her parents and grandparents and their siblings. More later.

Sharpen the Saw

Try to visit the church where your ancestor worshipped. If you do not know the church look for the names of churches in the obituaries in your family. Next, check out the vertical file in the library where your ancestor lived. Look under clubs, schools, churches, and military for clues. Let us know what you found out on the Facebook Group.