Former slaves brought faith and love of worship services with them to the Freedmen’s Colony. Haven Creek Church in Manteo began during the Civil War when Freedman’s Colonists gathered beneath a tree to worship. During the war, enslaved friends were sent word that if they would come across “the creek,” there was safe haven waiting. Many of the former slaves had escaped from areas where churches had slave galleries with locked doors to keep them from running away during the services. After the war, the formal church was built on property deeded to Richard Etheridge from local white farmer John B. Etheridge, and the congregation chose a name to serve as a reminder of those turbulent years.