A BRIEF HISTORY of SANDY GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
By unknown author - Transcribed by Darryl Black
The Scotch people began coming to America in the late 1600's after trouble with the King of England.
A Presbytery was formed in Philadelphia in 1706. Scotch cam along the Cape Fear River area in 1729.
After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, many others came to this area, after taking an oath not to fight
In 1756 the Reverend Hugh McArden came from Pennsylvania and churches were formed at Long Street, Bluff
and Barbecue. The Reverend James Campbell came from Pennsylvania in 1757 as minister of these churches.
Sandy Grove was an offshoot of Long Street as people moved west. The first services were preached in
homes and in 1852 funds were raised to build a church. Presbytery was petitioned in 1854. There were
20 members of the church. The first elders were Peter Monroe, Archibald McLeod and John L. Campbell.
The Reverend Duncan McLean was the first supply pastor for six months in 1855. The Reverend James
McQueen was supply from 1855-1858 and the regular pastor from 1858 to 1865.
During the Civil War there was not much activity at the church. There was no pastor for two years.
Early records were destroyed by Sherman's Army.
In 1866 the Reverend R.S. Graves preached for 12 days and 30 people joined the church. In 1867 the
Reverend J.B. McKinnon was pastor, but he was killed by lightning in 1868.
Other pastors were Reverend J.P. McPherson 1868-1872; the Reverend Neill McKay 1872-1874; Reverend
Kenneth McDonald in 1874. The Reverend David Fairley was stated supply from 1893-1912.
In 1894 there were 120 members and in 1905 only 43 members. Many people moved to Raeford and other
places so that their children could attend schools.
There were many pastors at the church from 1912 to 1925. They included the Reverend Watson Fairley,
son of the Reverend David Fairley. From 1916 to 1923 the Reverend Eugene Alexander was pastor. The
church was repaired during this time and money came from many old members. Over $1,300 was raised.
Preaching was on the first and third Sundays. Other supply pastors were: Kenneth M. McIntyre, R.W.
Alexander, W.R. Coppedge, M.N. McIver, J.A. Callegan, T.F. Haney, W.C. Brown and J.D.A. Brown.
The Army started purchasing land in 1918. Some people resisted, but in 1922 the court condemned
the land in the reservation. Services continued until 1923.
The Reverend A.D. Carswell preached every fifth Sunday until 1925. After that Homecomings were
held once a year in the fall. They ceased in the 1930's.
Register of Elders: Peter Monroe, Archibald McLeod, John L. Campbell, William J. Currie, Dugald
Monroe, John A. Gillis, Duncan K. McDuffie, Neill S. Blue, John P. Monroe, Duncan J. Gillis, Murdock
McLeod, D. J. Patterson, A.C. Monroe, J.J. McFadyen, M.A. Patterson, Samuel J. Cameron, H.J. Rogers
and Lonnie Currie.
Register of Deacons: John M. Graham, Alexander D. McLeod, Daniel C. McCaskill, William Bethune,
John Blue, Duncan Gillis, Duncan J. Patterson, Murdock A. Gillis, D.B. Campbell, Samuel J. Cameron,
D.H. Leslie, E.W. Cameron and A.B. Cameron.
The Army maintains the church and the cemetery and people can still be buried here with permission.
Presbytery still appoints trustees for the church. The present trustees are J.B. McLeod, Sam C.
Morris and Ruth Phillips.
Sandy Grove Presbyterian Church
Congregation Organized 1855
Purchased by the U.S. Government 1922
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