Between the years of 1721 and 1765, a number of churches had been instituted, and the vast area involved called for greater organized cooperation and unified effort. In 1765, the leaders and committees met in conference at the Kehukee Baptist Church, Kehukee, in Halifax County, NC and organized the first Baptist Association in North Carolina and Virginia, and named it the Kehukee Association in honor of the church and town in which it was organized. In 1790, a new association was separated for the Virginia churches and named the Virginia Portsmouth Association.
The Kehukee Baptist Association was the fourth oldest in the United States, and the group to which all eastern Carolina Baptist Churches belonged until 1806.
Chowan Association was organized at Salem Meeting House on Newbiggin Creek, Pasquotank County, NC, A. D. 1806, May 16, 17, 18. The introductory sermon was preached by elder John Wall, from the text, "Peace be unto you."
Delegates were in attendance from 18 churches, representing the counties of Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank, Perquimans--to which have since been added Dare, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell, Washington, and, for a short time, Halifax.
After the reading of the letters and enrolling the delegates, 3 in number, of whom 8 were Elders, the association was organized by the appointment of Brother George Outlaw, Moderator; Elder Lemuel Burkitt, Clerk; Elder James Ross, Assistant Clerk.
The following resolution was unanimously adopted: Resolved, that this association be known by the name of the North Carolina Chowan Baptist Association. A Constitution and Rules of Decorum were adopted.
The Chowan and West Chowan divided in 1884 and now each association has approximately 60 churches each.
Directors of Missions in the Chowan Association were: D. P. Brooks, 1946-47; L. H. Dawson, 1949-51; G. M. Singletary, 1952-56; Don Pryor, 1958-61; Robert Harrell, 1962-65; Ralph W. Knight, Interim, 1986-90; E. Lamar Eiland, 1990-2000; Jim Pollard 2002-2006; Don English, Interim, 2006-2008; Rob Roberts, 2008-2014; James Harrington, 2015-present.