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Fall 2007 Newsletter

In the Forks of the Yadkin: Mocksville and Davie County
Saturday, October 13

Our one-day meeting this fall will be in and around Mocksville, the lovely county seat of Davie County. Near the Great Wagon Road, it was settled by many Scotch-Irish Presbyterians migrating from Pennsylvania and Virginia. The First Presbyterian Church in Mocksville traces its history to 1767, when a group of Presbyterians from the Forks of the Yadkin petitioned the Synod of Philadelphia and New York for a supply minister. One of our long-time members, Mr. James Wall, wrote the history of the county and also the history of First Presbyterian. He will be with us on the 13th to share this very interesting history with us.

On the edge of town is the beautiful old cemetery of Joppa Church, the predecessor of First Presbyterian. It is there that Daniel Boone’s parents and other early settlers are buried. The Boone family moved to the Yadkin River area about 1752, when Daniel was around seventeen years old. On August 14, 1756, he married Rebecca Bryan, whose family came to the Yadkin in 1748. Squire Boone, who was justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. Daniel and Rebecca lived for about 10 years near Farmington.

Cemetery Preservation
We will go out to Joppa Cemetery with one of our newest members, Mrs. Cyrette Sanford. When she and her husband returned to Davie County and First Presbyterian Church a few years ago, Cyrette took on responsibility for the old cemetery. Parts were overgrown, and many stones had been knocked over or broken. Not wanting to do more harm than good, she began to read everything she could find on the preservation and restoration of old cemeteries. Joppa Cemetery is largely restored now, but there are still some unresolved issues. Since there are so many church cemeteries and family cemeteries with similar problems, Cyrette has agreed to talk to us about the challenges she faced and her search for the best solutions. We hope there will be a good discussion and exchange of ideas on this very important topic.

We will also be visiting Second Presbyterian Church, formed after the Civil War to serve the African-American Presbyterians in Mocksville. Their ancestors were buried at Joppa as well, but in unmarked graves.

After lunch we will have our annual business meeting to elect officers and make plans for future events. Our experience of Davie County will end with an optional visit to the Fulton United Methodist Church, a beautiful Gothic-style building located not far from Mocksville.

Detailed information and the registration form can be found on the last page of this newsletter.


Report on the Spring ’07 Tour of Hillsborough and Alamance by Col. John Wray, Program Chairman

On April 13-14 our Spring Tour was based in Hillsborough but covered an area of Orange and Alamance counties.

On Friday the tour began with an extended lecture and tour at the old Burwell (Presbyterian) School, followed by a tour of Historic Hillsborough (the Hughes Academy, site of the hanging and burial of the Regulators, historic residences and churches, the old Masonic Lodge, and the county museum). We were then treated to a talk on the history of the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church and a guided tour of the historic town graveyard. All of this was followed by a dinner at the Church. Our evening speaker was Dr. George Troxler of Elon University, who gave a very interesting talk on the background to the Second Great Awakening. It started in Kentucky in 1800 and spread to NC via Cross Roads and Hawfields Presbyterian churches. New Hope Presbyterian Church

Saturday we visited the New Hope Presbyterian Church near Chapel Hill and heard about its close links with the university. Then at the Alamance Battleground we saw a presentation on the causes and results of the War of the Regulation (1768-1771), a precursor to the American Revolution in which a large number of Presbyterians were involved. We also looked at some historic structures and toured the battlefield. Afterward we visited the Hawfields Presbyterian Church, where we had lunch and heard about the church and its history. A visit to the Cross Roads Presbyterian Church wrapped up the 2007 Spring Tour.


President’s Column

Dear NCPHS Members:

The months have flown since our successful spring meeting in Hillsborough, the first time we have scheduled our two-day tour in the spring. Many thanks to John Wray for the advance planning, and to all those who hosted us on that weekend.

We will meet this fall in Mocksville (further information appears elsewhere) for our business meeting. Thanks to the by-laws changes that went into effect at the last meeting, we will elect officers and conduct other business there, as well as enjoy a program.

Our policies state that we will meet for the spring on the first weekend after Easter, but in Hillsborough we decided to meet on April 18-19, 2008, on the assumption that the weather will be better at that point than it would likely be at the end of March (Easter next year is on March 23, almost as early as it is possible to celebrate the holiday). Further discussion and planning for the tour will take place between now and the October 13 meeting.

I hope you will persuade as many of your friends as possible to join us in October. We have been assured of a very welcome reception in Mocksville, not a bad drive for most of our membership. It has been my pleasure to serve as your president the past two and half years (my term was extended as a result of the by-laws changes) and I look forward to continuing the close relationship I have had with many of you and with the Society for many years now.

Don Saunders


Put on Your Thinking Cap!

At our business meeting, we will elect officers and make plans for future events. Come with ideas for places to go, topics to consider, speakers to invite, projects to undertake! What would you like to learn about? or to share with others? This is YOUR society! Let’s keep it fun and interesting!


Report on the NCPHS Historical Tour of Northern Ireland, Mar. 12-20 by Robert J. Cain

In March, thirteen Presbyterians from Wilmington to Burnsville (as well as Pennsylvania and Colorado!) spent nine days in Northern Ireland, thanks in part to an invitation from the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland (PHSI) to take part in the centennial commemoration of its founding. Armed with a resolution of congratulations from our North Carolina PHS, as well as gifts of several books on the Scotch-Irish and Presbyterianism in NC, the group gathered in Belfast on March 12.

At the Centre for Migration Studies. Front row: a staff member, Margaret Griffith, Mary Helen Uffman, Barbara Cain, Abby Redman, Jackie Thompson, another staff member. Second row: Dale Edmonds, Bob Cain, Leigh Gillis, Doris Foster, Ernest Thompson, Julia Kalan, Elaine Thompson.

Our principal host/organizer was Rev. Jim Campbell, a recently retired minister who has made speaking tours across North Carolina several times. Jim found hosts for the group, and he and Barbara Cain worked out the itinerary. The first evening’s orientation session included a presentation by Rev. Doug Baker, a PCUSA mission worker in Northern Ireland, on recent developments in the peace process. [Since then a government has been established in Northern Ireland in which power is shared between unionists and nationalists, thus ending (everyone fervently hopes and prays) almost forty years of often savage violence in the province.]

The following day was crammed with activities in central Belfast. First, a tour of the library and museum of the PHSI in Church House, the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland. Next came a visit to Rosemary Street Church, the oldest Presbyterian church in Belfast. In addition to being welcomed to an historic and beautiful church building, we learned that it belonged to a branch of Presbyterianism known as “Non-Subscribing.” We discovered further that the term was coined for clergy who refused (and continue to refuse) to subscribe to the Westminster Confession, thereby allowing a range of beliefs about the nature of Christ—from trinitarian to unitarian. Then we toured the Linenhall Library, a venerable research library whose name reflects the historic importance of the linen trade to Ulster.

General Assembly meeting Bob Cain, with Dr. Gordon Brown, room, Church House receiving plaque from the High Sheriff

The day was rounded off with the society’s centenary dinner at the Theological College of Queen’s University. The moderators of the three main Presbyterian churches (Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Non-Subscribing, and Reformed) were in attendance, and the North Carolina delegation were made very welcome. Bob Cain delivered a talk on historical links between Ulster and North Carolina, and Barbara presented the gift books to the society and the theological college. The books were Foote’s Sketches; the history of Orange Presbytery; the brief survey From Ulster to Carolina; and the first volume of Ernest Trice Thompson’s history of Presbyterianism in the South. It was especially fitting that Ernest Trice Thompson, Jr., was one of our group. Bob read the resolution of congratulations from the NCPHS to the Northern Ireland society. The gifts and resolution were well received, and the Carolinians were made to feel very welcome.

The next day we were treated to an introductory tour of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the national archives of Ulster. Then off to the magnificent Belfast City Hall for a tour and refreshments in the reception room, hosted by the high sheriff, who presented the NCPHS with a handsome plaque bearing the arms of the City of Belfast. A short drive outside Belfast brought the group to the town of Carrickfergus, a historic stronghold with a famous castle. The next stop was Castle Dobbs, ancestral home of Arthur Dobbs, governor of North Carolina from 1752 to 1765. Here we were greeted by a current member of the family, Nigel Dobbs. The last stop was Ballycarry, where the first Presbyterian minister in Ulster served from 1613 to his death in 1636. We visited both the Nonsubscribing and the PCI churches there, as well as the graveyard and ruins of the much older church. After an excellent meal there, we heard a lecture on transatlantic connections by Dr. David Hume, archivist for the Orange Order.

Dobbs Castle, Carrickfergus High Cross outside Down Cathedral

Thursday saw the group spending quality time on our bus, visiting Knockbracken Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Reformed seminary; Saul Church on the site of St. Patrick’s first church; Down Cathedral, in the churchyard of which is the reputed burial place of St. Patrick; and a museum in Downpatrick. A further drive took us to Newcastle, where the beautiful Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. On the way back to Belfast, we stopped at the ruins of Inch Abbey on the shores of Strangford Lough. Then back to Belfast for a lecture by the Rev. Dr. Godfrey Brown, honorary secretary of the PHSI.

From Friday to Monday we ventured well outside Belfast. Our destination was the walled city of Derry (or Londonderry, as unionists prefer to call it)—a place much in the news for decades during the time of “the Troubles,” the period of conflict lasting from 1969 until just a few years ago. One of the most famous incidents of that sad time took place there in 1971: “Bloody Sunday,” when 13 unarmed Catholic demonstrators were shot dead by British paratroopers. Our bus took us first, however, to Ballycastle on the North Antrim coast, where we heard a talk by Rev. Gordon Gray, an accomplished photographer, about his book of photographs of every Presbyterian church building in Ireland. Next came a ride past stunning scenery and a bracing visit to a marvel of nature, the renowned Giant’s Causeway. The group then visited the Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, before arriving in Derry.

The following day, St. Patrick’s Day, brought a walking tour on the historic walls of Derry and a visit to the museum there. Some of the group went again to the Folk Park, this time to tour the historic buildings brought in from various parts of the island. Others elected to remain in Derry to see the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Both groups experienced a soggy day, a departure from the generally good weather we had enjoyed to that point. In a decided change of pace for those who elected to go to the Folk Park, our driver took us into the republican/Catholic area known as The Bogside, past “Free Derry” Corner.

Sunday we braved the elements, departing in snow flurries for a visit over the border into County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Our destination was Ramelton, the pretty town on the banks of the River Leannan that was the birthplace of the “father of American Presbyterianism,” Rev. Francis Makemie. Our skilful driver kept the bus from coming to grief, and on the way we drove up the Inishowen Peninsula to see the very old high cross at Carndonagh. We arrived in Ramelton in time for Sunday worship in the present church, a large building constructed well past the time of Makemie. The meeting house in which Makemie worshipped as a youth is now the town library, and unfortunately was not open for a tour. We did, however, get a sense of the place from which our faith migrated westward to our shores. Our ever-obliging bus driver took us past yet more spectacularly beautiful coast and countryside, but with more snow falling, we headed back to Derry.

Old Meeting House, Ramelton Ballymastocker Bay, Co. Donegal

On Monday, the last full day of our tour, we made a brief stop at the home of Tyrone Crystal and traveled on to Armagh, a city for many centuries invested with ecclesiastical importance for all of Ireland. The primates, or heads, of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland (the Irish equivalent of our Episcopal Church) have their seats here. We had a guide for both cathedrals, and also a tour of First Presbyterian Church conducted by the minister. Back in Belfast, we and our host families, along with the current moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr. David Clarke, had dinner and good fellowship at Cooke Centenary Church, from which Jim Campbell retired as minister last year. Early next morning we took final leave of our hosts and departed for home or further travels.

This tour was very interesting and enjoyable, thanks in large part to the dedicated work of Jim Campbell. His unselfish expenditure of time and effort in locating hosts and hostesses for our group, making the arrangements for the tour, and ensuring that we didn’t stray too far off our schedules, were labors of love for which we are very grateful. Since Jim and Ruth were formerly missionaries in Malawi and have been raising funds for the children’s hospital ward there, we expressed our thanks to them with a donation to the fund. The hospitality of our host families could not have been warmer, and numerous friendships have been forged. The opportunity to explore the history and to experience firsthand the land and people with whom we share so much in Presbyterian heritage was a rich blessing indeed.

[Note: While we were there, a number of members of the Presbyterian Historical Society in Ireland expressed a keen interest in visiting North Carolina sometime, to see churches and communities that were established by Ulster Scots. If you are interested in helping to organize such a visit or in hosting one or two visitors from Northern Ireland, please let us know at the meeting in Mocksville or contact Bob or Barbara Cain or one of the officers listed below.]



Dr. Donald B. Saunders, President
P.O. Box 1846, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone: (828) 295-8917

Brenda Spence, Secretary
294 Fairway Lane, Sanford, NC 27332
Phone:  (919)-498-2159

Ann Myhre, Awards Chair
1005 Park Ave., Garner, NC 27529
Phone:  (919) 772-5514

Sally MacLeod Owens, Membership Chair
710 North Person Street #204
Raleigh, NC  27604-1276
Phone:  (919)-835-0920

Col. John Wray, Program Chair
2113 Yorkgate Dr., Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: (919) 782-3384 or 787-9754

Earl Fitzgerald, Treasurer
2213 Foxhorn Road
Trent Woods, NC 28562
Phone: (919)876-6665

Barbara T. Cain, Newsletter Editor
1041 Shelley Road, Raleigh, NC  27609
Phone:  (919)-782-0944

Thomas K Spence, Past President
294 Fairway Lane, Sanford, NC 27332
Phone:  (919)-498-2159


NCPHS Book Awards 2007

At the spring meeting, we honored one of our own members, Walter H. Conser, Jr., for his recently published book, A Coat of Many Colors: Religion and Society along the Cape Fear River of North Carolina. This is an important book for anyone interested in the history of the Cape Fear. It shows the great religious diversity of the region from the time before the settlers to the beginning of the twenty-first century. This includes native beliefs, Presbyterians, Quakers, Baptists, and many others, all of which influenced the development of the eastern part of the state. In the conclusion, Dr. Conser quotes the Rev. John McDowell who stated in 1760 that the Cape Fear region was “inhabited by many sorts of people, of various nations and different opinions, customs, and manners.” The same is true today.

Two church histories also received certificates of merit. They were Red House Presbyterian Church: 1756-2006, written by Catherine C. Long, and The History of West Avenue Presbyterian Church: 1907-2004, written by the Historical Committee under the guidance of Roland Lanier.



The society’s year begins the first of January. If the membership date on your mailing label is earlier than 2007, please pay your current dues. Back dues are forgiven.  Dues and any address corrections may be included with your registration for the Fall Meeting or sent to Sally Owens, P.O. Box 20804, Raleigh, NC 27619-0804.

Annual Dues:
Individual: $ 10.00
Family: $ 15.00
Individual Life Membership: $100.00

One-year complimentary memberships are given to those honored for outstanding books or projects on Presbyterian church history.  PCUSA churches, colleges, seminaries, libraries, and church boards also receive complimentary memberships on a long-term basis.


Foote’s Sketches Sold Out!

For many years our society has been selling copies of Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers, by Rev. William Henry Foote, third edition, edited and published by Dr. Harold Dudley in 1965 for the Synod of North Carolina and the North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society. Besides Foote’s text, the edition contains Dr. Dudley’s preface, notes on errors in the original, a bibliography for further reading, and an excellent index.

This summer we sold the very last copy. However, the book is available in many family history libraries, and the original version (without Dr. Dudley’s additions) is accessible on the Internet. In a major digital publishing initiative called “Documenting the American South”, the University of North Carolina has produced electronic versions of thousands of primary source documents, literary and historical works, slave narratives and other oral histories, posters, etc. These have been transcribed and are fully searchable on-line. In searching for a word in Foote’s Sketches, however, one must look for any variant spellings he might have used, such as Pamlico and Pamtico. The website for Foote is

Other Reprints Still Available

With permission of the late Dr. Harold J. Dudley, the society is reprinting a speech he first gave in 1964 entitled “Toryism in North Carolina.” If you are interested in those who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution and if you would like a copy, please send $2.00 to Sally MacLeod Owens at her address on page 5.

Also available from her are copies of maps of the Great Wagon Road, for $1.00.  Many churches in central North Carolina have their roots in the Shenandoah Valley.  A reader aptly noted that the Great Wagon Road was the interstate highway of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Interstate 81 does indeed follow the center of the path the Scotch-Irish settlers followed.


The latest on the Historical Foundation at Montreat
Some of our members will have received this letter from the Friends of the Historical Foundation, but we are printing it for those who may not have seen it. We know there continues to be considerable interest in the efforts to maintain an historical center at Montreat. –Ed.

May 22, 2007
Dear Friends,

Much has happened since our last letter to you. As a result of negotiations between the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and the Mountain Retreat Association (MRA), MRA has purchased the Historical Foundation building at a very reasonable cost, with the understanding that many of the books and artifacts would remain in the building for future use and exhibit. The Friends Board, at its meeting on April 26, affirmed “that the purpose of the Friends of the Historical Foundation at Montreat will be fulfilled through the proposed Presbyterian Heritage Center, to be developed in cooperation with the Montreat Conference Center and Columbia Theological Seminary.” Further, the Friends Board agreed to ask MRA for the use of Spence Hall, the first part of the Historical Foundation building, as the location for the Presbyterian Heritage Center, and appointed a team to negotiate with MRA regarding space and cost.

In light of these developments, a financial campaign for the Center will be launched within the next few weeks. Already significant commitments have been received: the R.C. Anderson Foundation has pledged $100,000, and Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, Virginia has pledged $50,000 from its endowment fund. We sincerely hope that all those who previously made conditional pledges will renew those commitments so as to enable the Presbyterian Heritage Center to become a reality.

A suggested theme for the Presbyterian Heritage Center is “A New Vision for Presbyterian History at Montreat.” It will build upon the foundation laid by Dr. Samuel Mills Tenney in 1902, when he began “to collect, preserve and promote the use of materials which make possible the study of the history of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of the world.” The Center will also reclaim the vision of Dr. R.C. Anderson, first director of the Montreat Conference Center, who in 1927 provided the space for the Historical Foundation in Montreat’s Assembly Inn, then in 1954 provided the land for the first building of the Historical Foundation, Spence Hall. That building was named after Dr. Thomas Spence, the Historical Foundation’s Director who brought outstanding leadership to the Historical Foundation. The vision was further advanced when Dr. Paul Freeland, world mission leader, gave a large grant for the building of Freeland Hall, which greatly expanded the capacity of the Historical Foundation. In the spirit of those leaders, we now envision a Presbyterian Heritage Center that will instruct, educate and inspire Presbyterians of all ages about our Presbyterian heritage and its worldwide mission.

This summer’s Montreat conference season will provide an excellent opportunity to lift this vision before the thousands who come to Montreat. A very special occasion will be provided during the series of lectures that Columbia Seminary is sponsoring on “Religion in the South”, to be held in the Chapel of the Prodigal July 23 to 27. We hope that you will plan to attend.

We invite you to join our effort to ensure that Montreat will continue to be a place where our Presbyterian heritage is celebrated and our dedication is rekindled to the distinctive mission to which we as Presbyterians are called in Christ’s work and witness in the world.

Sincerely in Christ,
James A. Cogswell


Davie County

From I-40:
Hwy 158S becomes Main St. in Mocksville, and First Presbyterian Church is just past the court house, at 261 S. Main St.
Hwy 601S (Exit 170) and Hwy 64E (Exit 168) join up on the way into town and become Wilkesboro St., then Salisbury St. Following the highway signs, turn left onto Lexington Rd. After one block, turn left into First Presbyterian’s parking lot, behind the church.

From NC Hwy 64W: Hwy 64W becomes Lexington Rd. The church is at the junction of Lexington Road (Hwy 64) and Main St. (Hwy 158). You can park either in front of the church or behind it.

If you would like to stay overnight in Mocksville, there are two motels near the junction of I-40 with NC Hwy 601 (Exit 170):

Comfort Inn and Suites, 629 Madison Ave, Mocksville, NC 27028. 336-751-5966.
Quality Inn, 1500 Yadkinville Road, Mocksville, NC 27028. 336-751-7310.


North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society’s Fall Meeting
Mocksville and Davie County
October 13, 2007

Saturday, October 13
8:30 — Meeting of officers.
9:30 — Registration and Coffee, First Presbyterian Church, 261 S. Main St., Mocksville
10:00 — Morning Session
Brief History of Presbyterians in the Forks of the Yadkin, Mr. James W. Wall
• Joppa Cemetery, and Lessons Learned about Cemetery Preservation, Mrs. Cyrette Sanford
11:15 — Visit to Joppa Cemetery
12:00 — Second Presbyterian Church, Mocksville
1:00 — Lunch, First Presbyterian Church
Business Meeting
2:30 — Optional visit to Fulton United Methodist Church, Advance

Suggested accommodations and map are on the opposite page.

Registration: $15 per person. Please send form below and check (payable to NCPHS) by Friday, October 5th to our Treasurer, Earl Fitzgerald, 2213 Foxhorn Road, Trent Woods, NC 28562. Tel. (919)876-6665 E-mail:

If your mailing label has a date before 2007 and you are not a Life Member, or if you would like to join us, please include dues on the form below.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Registration: (Please print legibly)

Name(s): ________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________

Telephone: ______________________


No. of registrations ____ @ $15 = $ __________

Dues (Individual $10; Family $15; Individual Life Membership, $100): $__________

Total enclosed: $__________

Please send this form with your check (made out to NCPHS) by October 5th to Mr. Earl Fitzgerald, 2213 Foxhorn Road, Trent Woods, NC 28562. If you can do so, please put the following announcement in your church bulletin or newsletter:

The North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society will meet at the First Presbyterian Church in Mocksville Saturday, October 13, at 10 a.m. The program will be about the history of Presbyterians in Davie County, and about the practical problems in preserving old cemeteries. For more information, please contact John Wray, Program Chairman of NCPHS, at (919) 782-3384 or 787-9754.


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