I can prove that all the leading "Primitive Baptist" associations in North Carolina (and in other states too) believed in the gospel means position till near the end of the 19th century. Let me mention these leading associations: The Kehukee Association, The Little River Association, The Bear Creek Association.
Consider that each of the associations were affiliated with "The Primitive Baptist" periodical from about 1838 till the late 1860s and that the writers for this paper were often of men from the above mentioned associations. The leaders in support of that periodical were Elders James Osbourn, Joshua Lawrence, C.B. Hassell, Mark Bennett, John Clark, Burwell Temple, Hosea Preslar, John Watson, etc., all who were in fellowship with the above named associations. These all taught that all the elect would be born again by hearing the gospel.
Even if we look at the second generation Hardshells, at the end of the Civil War, who can doubt that Elder P. D. Gold was the leading spokesman for the Hardshells of the latter part of the 19th century? He preached frequently in the above name associations and he believed that the new birth was gospel conversion.
Elder Temple also was a leader in the Little River Association of Primitive Baptists (which I once attended as a young preacher). So, the Little River was first a believer in gospel means till about the beginning of the 20th century.