First Church of Barbecue

I have made many references on this blog about worshipping in the church of the divine swine, but I have never actually prayed at the Barbecue Church. One of these days I just might.  The town of Sanford is home to 250-plus year old Barbecue Presbyterian Church, located at 124 Barbecue Church Road. The church was founded by Scottish settlers in 1758 and originally spelled its name as “Barbeque.”  Barbecue Presbyterian Church is located adjacent to the tiny town (hamlet?) of, you guessed it, Barbecue, North Carolina. The town, in turn, is located near a creek named none other than… Barbecue Creek.  But why a creek named Barbecue?

According to an interesting online history of the church, “During the Revolutionary War, General Cornwallis and his troops camped on the creek near the church. It is told that as the soldiers watched the fog roll in one morning, one said it reminded him of smoke rising from the barbecue pits, thus the name Barbecue Creek; Barbecue Church was named because of her location so near the creek. However, noted historian, Malcolm Fowler, points out that there are land grants in early 1753 on record naming Barbecue Creek.”  Thus, it seems to remain a mystery exactly why this area first got the name Barbecue.