This week in history: July 31

July 29, 2013 

Former East Wake High School football coach Jimmy Williams gets a point across to his players in 2003.


Our eastern Wake County newspaper archives are great resources for taking a glimpse, or three, into the past. Each week we pull clips of the local news that made headlines 10, 25 and 50 years ago.

This week in 2003, the Town of Wendell was looking into annexing the current intersection of U.S. 64/264 (the Knightdale Bypass) and U.S. 64 Business. In 1988, it was announced a Wendell-native movie star would lead the town’s annual folk festival. And in 1963, the Zebulon Baptist Church congregation was shocked by the unexpected resignation of its pastor.


Wendell was exploring its opportunities to expand its corporate limits to the west this week 10 years ago.

The town is especially interested in the interchange of U.S. 64 and the upcoming U.S. 64 Bypass, which is also gaining Knightdale’s attention.

Wendell is researching the possibilities to eventually annex the interchange, which is expected to house several new businesses in the future. The town hired Benchmark Inc. to find out what Wendell could legally try to annex along Wendell Boulevard, N.C. 97 and Edgemont Road, and the firm presented its findings to the Town Board July 28.

“We asked Benchmark to tell us what we could legally annex, and later we can hire the firm to research if the annexation would be beneficial to Wendell,” Planning Director Teresa Piner said.

Wendell’s corporate limits end at the Food Lion shopping center on Wendell Boulevard, and the town’s current extraterritorial jurisdiction area does not go farther than to the South Ag’s property along the same thoroughfare, Piner said, but she added the town has made some satellite annexations closer to the interchange.

Benchmark’s presentation to the Town Board embraced an area of about 200 acres stretching from Food Lion along Wendell Boulevard to N.C. 97 and Edgemont Road, including Bridgegate subdivision.


This week 25 years ago, the Wendell Chamber of Commerce’s annual Bright Leaf Folk Festival had drawn in a piece of Hollywood from its own backyard.

The three-day festival, slated for Sept. 16-18 at the J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, will feature native son and actor Gregory Walcott as the grand marshal of the “Fireman’s Day Parade,” in addition to the usual festival fare of music, crafts, cloggers and food.

“We’re all excited, and I think it’s going to be a super festival,” said Jean Roberts, executive director of the chamber. “It’s going to be one of the best and biggest festivals we’ve ever had.”

The festival received a big boost with the announcement the Wendell-Holmes Volunteer Fire Department would be sponsoring a coinciding parade on Sept. 17.

Walcott, who was known as Bernard Mattox before he began a career that has included major roles in over 300 television shows and 60 motion pictures, was born in Wendell. He has several relatives still living in Wendell.


A Zebulon Record article from this week, 50 years back, used the word “stunned” to describe the reaction of the Zebulon Baptist Church congregation as its pastor unexpectedly resigned during the July 28 morning worship service.

The Rev. David Daniel stated his resignation will become effective Sept. 1. On Sept. 2, he joins the faculty of Louisburg College, teaching in the departments of religion and sociology.

“My decision is not made without a great deal of personal anguish,” the minister said. “We have made many friends here, and you have been more than gracious to us but I pray that you will understand that we feel the Lord has led us in this direction.”

At the Methodist College, located in the county seat of Franklin County and only 22 miles from Zebulon, the Rev. Mr. Daniel will teach two classes of New Testament and two classes of sociology, he said.

He will have other duties at the college. He indicated that he will be working mainly with young people of college level “who need to have a positive influence toward religion.”

The Rev. Mr. Daniel accepted the pastorate of Zebulon Baptist Church in July, 1961. He is married and the father of one child, a son.

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