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Spring 2009 Newsletter

Still Witnessing a Proud Heritage
Longstreet and Sandy Grove on the Fort Bragg Reservation

Friday-Saturday, April 18-19

Register now for the meeting!

Our Spring Tour this year will begin early Friday afternoon, April 17, with an excursion into Fort Bragg to visit two historic churches and their cemeteries. Longstreet and Sandy Grove were closed when the surrounding farms were bought in 1918-1922 by the federal government to form a tract large enough for an Artillery School. However, the buildings and cemeteries have been faithfully preserved by the U.S. Army. Friday we will carpool from our motel promptly at 12:30 p.m. and will be met at the entrance to Ft. Bragg by Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton, Curator and Archaeologist for Fort Bragg’s Cultural Resources Program. For security reasons, you will need a photo ID.

Photo of Longstreet Church
Longstreet Presbyterian Church

Longstreet, Bluff, and Barbecue were the first Presbyterian churches to be established by the Highland Scots who settled in Cumberland Co. in the years following 1739. Hugh McAden held services at these locations in 1756, and in 1758 the Rev. James Campbell was sent to organize the three congregations and to preach in Gaelic. He served alone until the Rev. James MacLeod arrived in 1770. The present structure at Longstreet was built in 1847, and the cemetery goes back well before that time.

Sandy Grove is a daughter of Longstreet, and the beautiful frame church by the plank road was built in 1854, a year before the congregation was organized. Unfortunately their early records were destroyed by Sherman’s troops.

Photo of MacPherson Church
MacPherson Presbyterian Church

MacPherson Presbyterian will be our host church on Friday evening. Services here were held as early as 1793, and the congregation was organized by 1800. Their first minister, Angus McDiarmid, preached a sermon in English and one in Gaelic at each service. In 1867 members of the congregation built the present sanctuary with bricks from the Fayetteville Arsenal, which Union troops had razed to the ground.

Our speaker Friday evening will be the Historic Properties Manager for the City of Fayetteville, Bruce Daws. He is an enthusiastic local historian and the commanding officer of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry, a militia company organized in 1793.

Saturday morning we will first visit another active congregation founded by Highlanders, Big Rockfish church outside Hope Mills. The present building was constructed in 1855 in the Greek Revival style, with brick chimneys.

Our attention will then turn to the town at the center of these Scottish settlements. After Cross Creek and Campbellton merged in 1778, the name was changed to Fayetteville in 1783. It was the first town named for the Marquis de Lafayette, and the only one he visited in 1825. It sat at the head of navigation on the Cape Fear River and at the center of wagon roads leading into the countryside. After the Revolution, with no permanent state capital, the legislature met in Fayetteville several times, and a State House was built to accommodate them. In 1789 a state convention met there and finally ratified the U.S. Constitution. The same convention also chartered the University of North Carolina, America's oldest state university. The State House was the first meeting place for Presbyterians in Fayetteville.

In 1831 a disastrous fire swept through Fayetteville, destroying over 600 buildings, including the State House. The city was soon rebuilt, however, and continued to be an important commercial center. In the 19th century, steamboats plied between Wilmington and Fayetteville, and plank roads allowed goods to be transported in all weathers. The U.S. government built an arsenal there, which was taken over by the Confederate government and then was burned and flattened by Sherman’s troops.

In Fayetteville on Saturday we will meet again with historian Bruce Daws, who will take us to some of the more interesting historic sites within a small area of downtown. We will visit St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was formed in 1817 and rebuilt after the great fire. We will also see the Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion church, founded in 1796 by Henry Evans, a free black preacher from Virginia. One of the highlights will be a historical tour of the Market House, built in 1832 on the site of the old State House.

After lunch we will have the presentation of awards for excellence in publications or other projects on church history. The afternoon will be free for members to visit Cross Creek Cemetery, which dates from 1785, or return home, or visit museums or other historic sites in the area. These include the Museum of the Cape Fear and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.

Despite our initial advertising, we are not able to include Galatia Presbyterian Church in our tour this year. If anyone would like to drive there to see the cemetery, we will provide directions. A listing of the burials at this and many other Cumberland Co. cemeteries can be found at the following website:

Register now for the meeting!


Hon. Robert W. Scott, 1929-2009
Governor, 1969-1973
President of NCPHS, 1976-1978

When Gov. Bob Scott died on January 23rd, the NC Presbyterian Historical Society lost a very good friend, a life member, and a former president of the society. He was born in Alamance County where his Scotch-Irish and Scottish ancestors had farmed for generations, and he worshipped whenever he could at historic Hawfields Presbyterian Church, even on those Sundays when he was governor. He arranged for Hawfields to host our society’s fall tours in 1981 and 1994. In 1981 he and his wife, Jessie Rae, graciously invited our tour group to have lunch in their home — a detail that brought the largest number we’ve ever had on a tour! Scott loved history, supported our society, and often came to our meetings. He had hoped to join us for lunch when we visited Hawfields in 2007, but was unable to do so.

During his term as governor, he was a staunch advocate of civil rights and once had a cross burned on his lawn. True to his Presbyterian roots, he was also a strong supporter of improvements in the state’s educational system. He oversaw the creation of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, and he successfully lobbied for the state’s first cigarette tax to pave the way for public school kinder-gartens statewide. He served on the state board for community colleges and later was president of the N.C. Community College System for 12 years. His passion for history led among other things to preservation of the State Capitol and renovation of the Governor’s Mansion.

His funeral was at the Hawfields church where he was baptized, married his third-grade sweetheart, served as a deacon, and taught Sunday school. His casket, draped in a state flag, was placed on a horse-drawn caisson and pulled across to the cemetery, where a lone bagpiper played “Going Home.” We will all miss him.

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

Tony Brewer, Program Chair
915 Evans Dr., Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: (919) 776-8091

Arthur H. Burgess, Jr., Treasurer
P.O. Box 2587, Hickory, NC 28603
Phone: (828) 322-2720

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


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

Need a Ride?
We may not be able to help, but if you need a ride, please call our secretary, Brenda Spence, at 919-498-2159. It is possible that someone who is planning to go would be able to take you. She could give you the names of some people to ask.

Membership News
Our society lost another long-time member with the death of Tom McPherson on Dec. 23rd. He was born in Mebane, graduated from NCSU, married Lib Parker of Raeford, served in the Korean War, and returned to the family dairy farm. He was deacon in the Mebane Presbyterian Church and then an elder and clerk of Session in Yanceyville. He and his wife and son restored the historic Woodside Inn, Gen. Stephen Ramseur’s home built in 1836. Some of our members may remember our lunch at Woodside in 1997 and the beautiful stair rail and mantles carved by Thomas Day.

Tom and Lib shared a lively interest in local history and Presbyterian history, and they often attended our meetings. We send Lib our heartfelt sympathy for her loss.

If you know of a recently published church history or a completed history project that you feel is worthy of consideration for an award, please send the book or a description of the project to Awards Chairman Mrs. Ann Myhre, 1005 Park Avenue, Garner, NC 27529, by Monday, March 16. Her contact information is in the previous column.

Program — Davidson in October!
Our plans to meet at Davidson this spring had to be changed because of the large numbers expected in the area for the Loch Norman games on the weekend of our spring meeting. So we decided instead to hold our fall meeting at Davidson College on Saturday, October 10. Davidson has had a special place in the hearts of North Carolina Presbyterians since its founding in 1837. The Old Quad has dormitories dating from 1836, and the halls of the literary and debating societies have been beautifully restored. However, we will also learn about the very modern college of today, offering an excellent education within the Reformed tradition. We will also visit the two Presbyterian churches in Davidson. Put the date on your calendar!

Update on the Montreat Collection at Columbia Theological Seminary
Ms. Chris Paton, the Special Collections archivist at Columbia, reports that they now have on-line a list of the presbyteries that chose to send their records to Columbia. They have been working for some time on a list of the congregational records that were transferred to them, and that list will available before long. At present they are migrating data into their own system from the database used by PHS to describe the Montreat materials. This will enable them to generate catalog records and eventually put them on-line. Meanwhile, they respond to questions by telephone, email, or letter, but they may be visited only on Fridays by appointment.

In last summer’s newsletter, I erroneously stated that the vertical files on congregations had been transferred from Montreat to Columbia. They are in fact at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, and they are listed in an on-line vertical files index, along with files for churches across the US. Their contents are not described, but in general they contain such items as brief histories, bulletins, photographs, and clippings.

Philadelphia’s on-line finding aid CALVIN now contains descriptions of the Pamphlet Collection from Montreat and some of the microfilmed church records.

New Scottish Heritage Center at St. Andrews
St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg has prepared a new home for their Scottish Heritage Center. Synod’s Career and Personal Counseling Center was moved to Charlotte several years ago, and that building has now been renovated for the SHC. Along with a new roof, a high-quality HVAC system was added to maintain constant temperature and humidity control. The extra space will allow for more exhibits as well as room to accept more materials from individuals and clan societies. The award-winning books from our society will have their own bookcase. The ribbon cutting will take place at the beginning of this year’s Scottish Heritage Symposium, being held March 20-22.

The symposium’s Flora MacDonald Award will this year go jointly to Mrs. Betty Holmes, retired librarian of St. Andrews, and Mrs. Pinny Geffert, retired archivist at the Scottish Heritage Center. These two have contributed enormously to the appreciation and preservation of our Scottish heritage in North Carolina. The brochure for this event can be found at

Minutes from our Fall Meeting in Valdese
The Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society was held on Saturday, October 11, 2008, hosted by the Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese. After registration and beautiful refreshments provided by the church, President Don Saunders gave the welcome and opening prayer. The group was then given a tour of the Waldensian Museum, followed by an address by Dr. John Bleynat on the history of the Waldensians and the Presbyterian Church in Valdese. After our luncheon, President Don Saunders called the annual meeting of the NCPHS to order.

The first item of business was a report by Dr. Saunders on the Presbyterian Heritage Center at Montreat, as he is now serving on their board of directors. He explained that the center has a complex legal arrangement with the Mountain Retreat Association, which owns the older part of the former Historical Foundation building where they are located. The Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia took what they wanted, sent some to Columbia, and left what they didn’t want, leaving the premises in poor condition. However, Dr. Saunders reported that Director Ron Vinson has been doing a fantastic job. They are rebuilding the collection, with a library focusing on reformed theology and history and providing resources for genealogy. The museum currently displays visual presentations and exhibits on the 100th anniversary of the great revival in Korea and the history of Montreat. In 2009 they will have an exhibit marking the 500th anniversary of John Calvin. Visitation to the center is four times what it was during the last years of the Montreat branch of the Historical Society. They also have an excellent website, The building includes a substantial educational facility and space for archival material as well as books and microfilm. Their greatest need is money for their endowment. They receive no support from the PCUSA denomination but can receive donations from congregations and presbyteries. Saunders also reported that the Associate Reformed Presbyterian records were sent to Erskine Seminary.

He then announced that, since the PHC at Montreat is now accepting archival materials, the Board of Directors of NCPHS voted this morning to send the our organizational records to the PHC.

The next item of business was a report by Treasurer Earl Fitzgerald, who announced that he is resigning his office but will continue to help as assistant treasurer. Our current checking balance is $1,328. Our funds have been considerably affected by the downturn in the economy. Since our annual meeting last year, the value of the Dudley Fund has dropped from $65,159 to $59,483 on June 30 to $46,368 now, and the New Covenant Balanced Growth Fund has dropped from $13,457 last year to $12,284 on June 30 to $9,576 now. Don Saunders called for a vote of thanks to Earl for his 8 years of excellent service as treasurer, and the vote was unanimously given.

The Membership Chairman, Sally MacLeod Owens, reported that our society has 39 family memberships and 85 individual memberships. The latter includes 40 life members and 3 complimentary memberships given to last year’s award winners.

Barbara Cain of the Program Committee reported that the spring meeting will be held in Davidson on Friday and Saturday, April 18-19, the weekend after Easter. It was pointed out that the Loch Norman Highland Games are also on that weekend, at Huntersville near Davidson. Don Saunders, who is helping to arrange the meeting, said it would be difficult to change the date. The location of the fall meeting has not yet been decided, and suggestions are welcome. Barbara also reported that the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland has been invited to bring a group over to one of our meetings and to take a tour of some of the Scotch-Irish churches and historic sites in our state, but nothing definite has been agreed.

Awards Chair Ann Myhre asked that names of books or projects be sent to her. Awards will be presented at our spring meeting in Davidson.

The last item of business was the election of officers. President Don Saunders reported the following nominations: Tony Brewer to serve as First Vice-President (Program Chair); Ann Myhre to serve a second term as Third Vice-President (Awards Chair); and Arthur Burgess to serve as Treasurer. There being no further nominations from the floor, Sally moved and Barbara seconded that the proposed slate of officers be elected. The motion passed unanimously.

The president then announced that the Board of Directors had appointed Sam Martin to be chairman of the newly formed Publicity Committee. He will be responsible for promoting the society through the presbytery offices, on the website, and in other ways. He asked to be informed of major anniversaries of churches, so we can send them a certificate of recognition.

President Saunders thanked the Waldensian Presbyterian Church and the Waldensian Museum for hosting our meeting. The meeting was then adjourned. Members of the group were invited to tour the Trail of Faith and/or Waldensian Heritage Wines before leaving for home.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara T. Cain, Acting Secretary


Schedule and Registration for the Spring Meeting

Friday, April 17

11:45-12:20 Registration in lobby of the Innkeeper at Cross Creek Mall, 1720 Skibo Rd., Fayetteville

12:30 Assemble in lobby to carpool to Fort Bragg.

1:00 Arrive at Fort Bragg’s Randolph Street Gate, off Bragg Blvd. For entry to Fort Bragg you must have a driver’s license or other photo ID. Foreign nationals must have a passport. We will be met by Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton, Curator and Archaeologist for Fort Bragg’s Cultural Resources Program, who will lead us on a tour of Longstreet and Sandy Grove Presbyterian Churches and Cemeteries within the reservation. You may bring drinks and snacks. There are portable toilets at Longstreet.

5:00 Exit Fort Bragg at Plank Road on the south side of the base.

5:30 MacPherson Presbyterian Church, 3525 Cliffdale Road, Fayetteville. Late registration and refreshments.

6:00 Tour MacPherson Presbyterian Church and Cemetery.

7:00 Dinner in the church fellowship hall followed by evening program.
Guest speaker: Mr. Bruce Daws, City of Fayetteville Historian.

Saturday, April 18

8:30 Leave the motel to drive to Hope Mills.

9:00 Tour Big Rockfish Presbyterian Church and Cemetery.

10:30 Downtown Fayetteville tour led by Mr. Bruce Daws. Will include the Market House, St. John’s Episcopal Church and other landmark churches.

1:00 Lunch at a downtown restaurant. (Cost not included in the tour package.) Presentation of awards.

After lunch, depart for home, or explore other points of interest, such as:
Cross Creek Cemetery, Cool Spring and Grove Streets, Fayetteville.
Museum of the Cape Fear, 801 Arsenal Avenue, Fayetteville.
The Airborne & Special Operations Museum, 100 Bragg Blvd, Fayetteville.
Both museums are open until 5:00 p.m. Saturday.

Suggested accommodations and map are above. Registration: $19 per person.

Please send form below and check (payable to NCPHS) by Thursday, April 10 to our Treasurer, Arthur H. Burgess, P.O. Box 2587, Hickory, NC 28603 (Tel. 828-322-2720).

Registration Form



*Because of our visit to Fort Bragg, please let us know if anyone in your group is not a U.S. citizen, so the name can be cleared in advance.

Address: ________________________________________________________

Telephone: ______________________

Email: ______________________________________

No. of registrations ____ @ $19.00 ea= $ ___________

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

Total enclosed: $________

Please send this form with your check (made out to NCPHS) by April 10 to Arthur H. Burgess, PO Box 2587, Hickory, NC 28603.

Suggested accommodations:
Innkeeper at Cross Creek Mall, 1720 Skibo Road, Fayetteville, NC 28303. Rooms have been set aside for us until March 27 at the special price of $71.99 + tax. Telephone 910-867-7659 and tell them this is for the NCPHS meeting. This rate is good also for Thursday and Saturday nights, as well as Friday, should you wish to stay longer.

Discounted rooms are being held at the Innkeeper at Cross Creek Mall,

Also in the area:
Hampton Inn-Cross Creek, 1700 Skibo Road. Tel: 910-487-4006.
Holiday Inn Express, 1706 Skibo Road. Tel: 910-867-6777.

map to Innkeeper and MacPherson church

North Carolina Presbyterian Historical Society
P.O. Box 20804
Raleigh, NC 27619-0804

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