REV. EUGENE ALEXANDER
(Abstracted from pgs 49-55 History of Sandy Grove)
Rev. Alexander, who began his pastorate in June of 1916 wrote of the members of Sandy Grove.
"They were Scotch, loyal, sincere
dependable and cordial It was easy to make friends with a people like this, although they were reserved in word
and deed. There was a sincerity and cordiality in this people that is unsurpassed in
any people with whom the writer has come in contact, and his lot so far has been in pleasant places."
"Although not a huntsman by nature, nor a good shot, it was a most pleasant recreation to
go "deer driving" over the hills and streams with the Camerons and Blues and Rays. It was a
good day's work to follow Mr. Sam Cameron, age seventy-five, from sun-up till two or three o'clock
on a deer hunt. Another deer hunter of no mean reputation was Mr. David J. Ray, who used "Old Never Miss"
with unerring accuracy. "Old Never Miss" was a 42 inch barrel muzzle loader. And those hunts
were not always fruitless, as the rugs on our floor will testify. In fact, a turkey hunt
with Mr. H. J. Rogers, on a bird hunt with Ed, Alex or John Cameron or any of those good
hunters in that section was a treat"
It seemed strange that there was little interest in Sunday School in this church. There
were, however, comparatively few children in the congregation. The only explanation
found was in the great distances many of the people had to travel to get to the church.
The roads were the ordinary sand rut variety. A high compliment to the desire for public worship
on the part of some of the families was that they start early and walk five to seven miles
to the church, summer or winter.
Late in the winter of 1916-17 a movement was begun to repair and remodel the church, which
met with a hearty response, not only from the membership of the church, but among
the former members of Sandy Grove, living other places, as far away as Alabama, Florida
and Georgia. The pulpit was erected at the other end of the building, with less elevation
new windows were placed and a small vestibule with a steeple was added at the front. The
seats were rearranged and flues and stoves added, and a new roof was put on. This work
was done under the direction of the late Mr. C. E. Brown, son-in-law of M. A. Gillis, and a
member of the church. After these improvements were completed and paid for the church was
painted inside and out. It is a neat attractive house of worship with seating capacity of about
250. The cost of these improvements was over $1,300. Today it stand as a landmark amid the
round pine timber that has been preserved on the ten acres of land that the church once owned.
It is a shrine in the hearts and minds of a devoted and loyal people that are now scattered,
not only over North Carolina, but over many states in this great nation.
Some of those who first worshipped God at this old church are now citizens of Virginia, Georgia,
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma.
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