The John Chavis Historical Society's Mission
We believe in the basic beliefs upon which our great country, America, was founded “That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” John Chavis whom we honor among other famous African Americans believed in this principle. Private John Chavis was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, having served three years successfully under Captain Carrington Mayo. He was educated at Princeton University by Dr. John Witherspoon, President and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was graduated in 1802 from Washington College, which was later named Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He was the first African American to graduate from Washington College. He returned to North Carolina to preach as the first ordained African American preacher for the Presbyterian Church, where he preached to white and black congregations. In various counties in North Carolina he taught the sons and daughters of prominent white leaders and free black children before the American Civil War. He wrote and published the famous sermon Letter Upon the Doctrine of the Extent of the Atonement of Christ in 1837. In his sermon he declares that humanity should know the truth about God’s infinite love for all human kind and that there is “a demonstrative evidence of the fatal and dangerous effects of prejudice – that it blinds the mind and forbids free and open investigation of the truth.”

All people should know their true history. An understanding of one’s history, whether noble or ignoble, should guide us and assist us in improving our present and future possibilities. We believe in the dignity of men, women, the young, the elderly, and children, regardless of their gender, ethnic, class, or social circumstances. Our membership is interracial and multicultural, as we strive to uncover the mysteries of our African American and African heritage, not only of John Chavis but also of other famous African Americans.

We also strive to uplift society and to contribute to literacy, so that people may improve their socio-economic, cultural, physical, mental, and spiritual lives.