Thousands of delegates are coming to Kinston for a meeting of Baptists that takes place only once every three years.
The Free Press of Kinston reports that more than 2,000 members of the United American Free Will Baptists are expected for the denomination's weeklong session.
The group of black Christians traces its history to 1867, when its founding members met in nearby Snow Hill after becoming dissatisfied with treatment they were receiving in other churches.
The denomination now numbers more than 50,000 members, mostly in the southeastern U.S.
Bishop J.E. Reddick says the gathering is a chance to bring members of far-flung churches together.
An exhibition on the history of the denomination will be on display at the Kinston Community Council for the Arts through June 25.