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Celebrating The 250Th Anniversary Of Cane Creek Friends Meeting

Rep. Howard Coble

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Mr. Speaker, on October 7, 2001, the Sixth District of North Carolina will be celebrating with Cane Creek Friends Meeting its 250th anniversary. The Cane Creek Friends Meeting opened its doors for worship for the first time in 1751, when George Washington was just 19 years old.

The Cane Creek Friends Meeting is a Quaker Church that opened to serve 30 families. These families desired a place to worship near to their homes. It was two women, Abigail Pike and Rachel Wright, with some others, who traveled some 200 miles to the governing body of the Friends in Perquimans, North Carolina, to secure permission for the establishment of the Cane Creek Meeting. As you may have realized, this all happened before our great country had a Constitution or even its first President. Cane Creek Friends Meeting has witnessed every event in our proud history.

During the first 13 years of the Meeting's existence, it was located on a parcel of land, which was a part of the original grant of John Stanfield. Since 1764, Cane Creek Friends Meeting has been located on a 26-acre site donated by William Marshall.

The Meeting's Sesquibicentennial Committee, has planned and carried out several projects to celebrate this remarkable anniversary. Some of these projects include the publication of a pictorial history book, the design and stitching of a heritage quilt, and the construction of a memorial garden at the Meetinghouse.

Cane Creek Friends Meeting places a strong emphasis and takes great pride in its belief regarding the equality of women. Over the years there have been several female ministers, beginning with Abigail Pike in 1751. Furthermore, the Meeting prides itself on the fact that it has conducted many educational programs for children in the area.

Through the years, Quakers have had a very important input into the development of this country. Many elected officials have been Quakers. Indeed, despite the fact that I am a Presbyterian, I went to school at Guildford College in North Carolina, which is a Quaker institution, so Quakers have affected my upbringing and education as well.

On behalf of the Sixth District of North Carolina, I would like to wish Cane Creek Friends Meeting our congratulations on reaching this historic and momentous anniversary. Only a very small number of organizations in this country can claim to have been operating for 250 years. It is a truly remarkable achievement.