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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Rhame, Jeremiah

by Hugh Buckner Johnston, 1994

ca. 1733–1805

Jeremiah Rhame, colonial minister, was presumably the son of Peter Remm (Rhem, Rheam), who in 1740 received a power of attorney from the High German Church in Craven County. He afterwards settled on Catfish Creek near Latta (Dillon), S.C. Nothing is known of Jeremiah's youth, but in 1758 he bought a farm on Flat Swamp in Beaufort (now Pitt) County, and by 1761 he appears to have settled on a new patent near the north side of Little Contentnea Creek.

Having been converted to the Baptist faith in 1755, Rhame was ordained to the ministry on 20 Nov. 1758. He became the first pastor of the Red Banks Baptist Church, possibly on the same property near the Red Banks Landing on Tar River that was deeded by Archibald Parker to the Freewill Baptist Church of the same name on 1 Nov. 1834. Rhame represented his church at the Charleston Baptist Association (1760–62) and later became a charter member of the Kehukee Baptist Association at its founding on 6 Nov. 1769.

Elder Rhame continued to be active in farming and preaching in Pitt County and vicinity until his removal in 1771 to St. George's Parish in South Carolina. The last of his Pitt County property was sold in 1774. From 1778 to 1788 he served as pastor of the now-extinct Catfish Baptist Church in the Welsh Neck. He and one of his sons, Elder Bradley Rhame, helped to organize the Little Peedee Baptist Church in 1790 and brought it into the Charleston Baptist Association on 7 Nov. 1792, the same year that he himself began to serve as pastor of the Mount Pleasant (formerly Cashaway) Baptist Church.

Rhame married Elizabeth Bradley, daughter of John and Abigail Bradley of Craven County, N.C. He died testate in Sumter County, S.C., leaving five children: Abigail; Jeremiah, Jr., who served in the South Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War and later settled in Clarendon County; the Reverend Bradley, who served for many years after 1810 as the pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church; Ebenezer (b. 1760), who fought under General Francis Marion in the American Revolution and was subsequently a military pensioner; and Benoni.


Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association (1850).

Judith D. Ellison, comp., Index and Abstract of Deeds of Record of Pitt County, 2 vols. [1968].

Kehukee Baptist Association Minutes, 1769–78 (microfilm, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Frederick L. Weis, Colonial Clergy of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina (1955).

Additional Resources:

"Kehukee Primitive Baptist Church." N.C. Highway Historical Marker E-71, N.C. Office of Archives & History. (accessed August 21, 2014).

Townsend, Leah. South Carolina Baptists, 1670-1805. Florence, S.C.: The Florence printing company. 1935. (accessed August 21, 2014).