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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 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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Cokesbury School

by James W. Wall, 2006

The Cokesbury School, the first Methodist-sponsored school in North Carolina, was built near Aquila Phelps's horse ford on the Yadkin River in eastern Rowan (now Davie) County in about 1790. It was named for the first two Methodist bishops, Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. Asbury wrote in 1793 that the school stood "on a beautiful eminence and overlooked the low-lands and river Yadkin." He described the building as "twenty feet square, two stories and well set out with doors and windows." Minister and teacher James Parks was the school's principal. Asbury visited the school again in 1794, but in 1799, when he preached there, he noted in his journal that the schoolhouse was "now a house for God." The exact date of the closing or removal of the school is unknown.


Elmer T. Clark, Methodism in Western North Carolina (1966).

James W. Wall, History of Davie County (1969).

Additional Resources:

The Cokesbury School, NC Highway Historical Marker M-44:

Early Methodism in the Carolinas, by Abel McKee Chreitzberg

Origin - location: