HISTORY OF MARKS CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
To date, October 1944 by Mrs. J. D. McRae, Church Historian
Marks Creek Church was first organized March 3rd, 1820 at a point one mile south
of where the town of Hamlet is now located. For some time before the Civil War the church
was inactive or dissolved. The records are not very clear about this phase of our church
history. Several of the Charter members who came into the church when it was moved and reorganized
at the place it now stands attended services at the original Marks Creek Church.
This period of time through which the church was disorganized was brought about by families moving to
other parts of the country, possibly to Florida. The late Dr. Lynn R. Walker pastor of the Hamlet
Presbyterian Church in the 1930 period and who held services for us at one time, said that he felt at
home at Marks Creek because so many of the family names in our congregation were the same as those of
a church he served in Florida and whose members said their forefathers came from North Carolina. (page
.persons; Rev. Archie McQueen, Rev. Andrew McMillian with Ruling Elders, J. McNeill to organize
Marks Creek Presbyterian Church at the present site.
On November 2nd 1861 this commission met and the church was organized with the following members by letter
from Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Sara McSween and two servants Jenny and Penny McSween. Received
upon profession of faith Mrs. Catherine McLean, Mrs. Katie Currie, Miss Cynthia Ann Currie, Miss Mary E.
Currie, Miss Margaret McLeod, Miss Martha Priest, Mr. Randolph McDonald, Mr. Angus McLean, Miss Catherine
J. McDonald, Mr. Daniel W. Campbell. Received by certificate, Miss Nancy Wilkes, Mr. George W. Wilkes,
Miss Mary Jane Wilkes, Mr. John Wilkes, Mrs. Christian C. Wilkes, Mrs. Mary Wilkes, Mrs. Isabelle Campbell,
Mr. Angus A. Campbell, Miss Jane Smith, Eliza Taylor, Daniel Currie, Mr. John Allan McDonald, Mrs. Mary
McDonald, Mary Ann McCormac, Mr. Malcom J. Morrison, Dorothea McLean, John McLean, Ailsey Morrison, Daniel
Morrison. Total Charter members numbered thirty four. Mr. Randolph McDonald was elected Ruling Elder.
Rev. A. T. Taylor and Mrs. Janie Taylor made at Montreat July 1934.
"This is our beloved Pastor in whom we are well pleased."
Ministers serving the
Rev. Andrew McMillian was pastor supply, 1861 - 1875
Rev. A. N. Ferguson, 1875 - 1880
Rev. S. C. Alexander, 1880 - 1883
Rev. Andrew McMillian, 1883 - 1884
Rev. A. N. Ferguson, 1884 - 1885
Rev. John H. Coble, 1885 - Mar. 1886
Rev. J. H. Colton, Mar. 1886 - 1887
Rev. Andrew McMillian, Mar. 1887 - 1888
Rev. A. Currie, May 1888 - 1889
Rev. M. F. McIver, 1890 - 1892
Rev. D. W. Fox, Sept. 1892 - 1893
Rev. M. F. McIver, Jan. 1894 - 1902
Rev. P. R. Law, 1902 - 1904
Rev. M. F. McIver, 1904 - 1906
Dr. W. R. Coppedge, 1906 - July 1928
Dr. Lynn R. Walker preached for the congregation during the interval
between Dr. Coppedge and Mr. McIntyre. Rev. J. A. McIntyre supplied
the church from 1927 to October 1928. Dr. Lynn R. Walker, Pastor of
Hamlet Presbyterian Church preached for the congregation from October
1928 - April 1929. Rev. A. T. Taylor has been pastor of the church
since April 1, 1929.
It is interesting to notice that the majority of the congregation of Marks Creek Church
today are descendants of these charter members of 1861 and that most of these first members
as well as members of their families are buried in the large cemetery belonging to the church.
Here in the quiet and peaceof a church burying ground lie the remains of members of the McDonalds,
Campbells, Wilkes, Curries, McLeans,Morrisons, Smiths, McDuffies and numerous others who were
related by birth or marriage to the brave and God-fearing people who had the courage, even through
our country was torn by bloody Civil War, and grief and hardship was the portion of all, to build
with their own hands a church in which they and their childrenand their children's children could
worship. God in "Spirit and in Truth."
In this cemetery are the graves of several Confederate soldiers; one, Mr. John Wilkes was a
member of Stonewall Jackson's Brigade on that tragic night, when in the darkness and confusion
of battle the General was mortally wounded.
Here are World War I Veterans, and in 1940 Mrs. Frances McDonald 100 years old was buried here.
Also in this cemetery lie some "Wayfarers far from Home." A Federal Officer in the "War between the
States" was Mr. Joseph Dickerson from Dover, New Jersey, who with his wife are sleeping their last
sleep in this old church-yard. Parents of one of our members, Miss Emma Dickerson.
The grave of Mr. Norman Campbell who so generously gave the
Here also lies another father, dear in the memory of a
wife and several children and grand children who are
members of this church. Mr. Edward Burke Boyle, born in
a small town in County Donegal, Ireland Jan 6th,1857,
coming to this country at the age of eighteen years, died
August, 1936. Having truly found a resting place in this
quiet spot nearly four thousand miles from his native land.
In this cemetery are buried several strangers, who, without
any connection with the people or the church found in this,
their last earthly need a welcome and a home among our own
dead in "God's Acre."
The land for the church and cemetery were given to the congregation by Mr. Norman Campbell
who was Ruling Elder and Clerk of the Session for many years.
For a good while we had felt the need of more room than our old church afforded. We needed
Sunday School class rooms and a larger auditorium, and the old church was in need of some
repairs so the question of a new building was discussed. In 1932 a building committee was
elected at a congregational meeting. This committee was composed of the following members:
Mr. W. A. Wilkes; Mr. H. C. McRae; Mr. A. P. Williams; Mr. J. D. McRae; Mrs. J. D. McRae.
This committee was to decide upon the plans and materials and size and location of the church.
The plans were delayed for two or three years but in November 1935 the foundation was laid and
a start was made. Not much was done through until the spring of 1936 when the work moved forward
The John Belk Memorial Brick Fund donated all the brick we needed, for which we are deeply grateful,
and members of the congregation gave trees for lumber. These were Mr. Robert Gibson, John D. McRae,
A. P. Williams and C. D. McDonald.
Side view of the new church.
Members helped in various ways by giving money and work.
Most of the labor was donated except the brick mason. Special
mention should be made of Mr. W. A. Wilkes who laid all the
foundation and erected the frame work with very little help.
Also credit should go to Mr. H. C. McRae who gave a great deal
of time and work to finishing up the building, but everyone,
including friends of the church helped in some way.
Mr. O. W. Doster, a dealer in tombs and monuments from
Rockingham presented the church with a beautiful corner-
stone all inscribed as we wanted it. Another friend from
Rockingham Mr. B. L. Finch gave us a good used heatrola, which we are still using in the church.
At last our new church was finished. A large auditorium with five large classrooms for the Sunday School
and by 1939 all debts were paid off against the building and we were able to dedicate it. Dr. Charles R.
Nisbet, Pastor of Caldwell Memorial Church, Charlotte, N.C. preached the dedicatory sermon July 23rd, 1939.
Now at last we felt that we really had a new church and that it was truly ours. We can still thank our
Heavenly Father for helping made this new building possible.
Mr. W. A. Wilkes and Rev. and Mrs. A. T. Taylor made at the
home of Mr. & Mrs. S. W. McRae April 26, 1942 on the occasion of their 49th Wedding Anniversary
At this writing (1944) Rev. A. T. Taylor is still our pastor. The session
is composed of the following officers: Elders: W. A. Wilkes, Clerk
of Session; J. D. McRae, Son of S. W. McRae; A. P. Williams, Son
of C. V. Williams; Robert Gibson, from Beaver Dam Community. (D. O.
Cameron, died 1943)
Deacons: E. W. Terry, Senior Deacon; John McLean, lives at Addor;
H. C. McRae, son of S. W. McRae; Martin Proveaux, youngest Deacon;
J. H. McDuffie and J. L. Williams died within the last two years.
The church has around 135 members.
For many years we have had a good Sunday School at Marks Creek with
an enrollment of around 85. Since 1928 Mr. J. D. McRae has been Supt.
Mr. Arthur Williams is and has been for some time the very able teacher
of the adult class. Mrs. J. D. McRae, teacher of the young people.
Miss Nancy McRae has charge of the intermediates, Mrs. W. E. Samuels
the juniors and Mrs. Robert Norton (Mary Campbell), primary.
We feel that this Sunday School has been a blessing to our church.
Through it the children have acquired the church going habit as well
as get instruction in the Bible.
January 22nd, 1928 the women of Marks Creek Church were organized into a Woman's Auxiliary
by Mrs. A. A. Walker who was at that time President of Mecklenburg Presbyterial. There were
thirty six members enrolled. They were divided into two circles of eighteen members each.
The General officers of this first organization were as follows. Mrs. J. D. McRae, President;
Mrs. A. P. Williams, Vice President; Mrs. John McLean, Treasurer; and Miss Bertha Williams,
Elders: J. D. McRae and A. P. Williams (center)
Deacons: H. C. McRae (right) and Martin Proveaux (left).
We have loved this organization and feel that it has been a blessing
to us through it we have had Bible Study with our beloved Mrs. Taylor
teaching programs on all causes of the church.
We have learned to know each other better and to love each other more
by beingbound together in a good work. The following ladies have served
as President in this order. Mrs. J. D. McRae, Mrs. A. P. Williams, Mrs.
C. F. Odom, Mrs. H. C. McRae, Mrs. W. E. Samuels, Mrs. A. P. Williams,
Mrs. C. R. Williams. Mrs. D. M. Wilkes, Mrs. S. W. McRae and Mrs. C. V.
Williams. These dear ladies have contributed so much to the life and
progress of the church, that we must mention them.
From time to time there have been gifts to the church by members and
friends. A beautiful pulpit Bible by Fred and Scott Williams. Some
smaller Bibles by Miss Emma Dickerson, a collection plate by Ruth Williams
and one from Raymond Williams. J. D. McRae gave the lamps for the new
church and H. C. McRae made and donated the pulpit also tables for the
Through their own services the loyalty of their husbands and the works of their large families
of children this church must indeed be the richer in useful service for their having lived in
its membership. Mrs. and Mrs Finch a heatrola and several people gave the price of a new bench
which was $15.00. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Huguelet gave a lamp for the pulpit and Mrs. Hartman a
set of lovely white flower vases for the church.
Mrs. D. M. Wilkes, Mrs. S. W. McRae and Mrs. C. V. Williams.
Every year there is a Homecoming held at Marks Creek.
This is a very special occasion to all old and new
friends and members of the church. The pastor always
preaches the morning sermon and some other minister
is invited for the afternoon service. It is interesting
to remember that the first visiting minister to preach
on Home coming day in the new church was one very near
and dear to several members of the congregation and well
known to all. Rev. W. P. Boyle of Hamer, S.C., son of
Mrs. E. B. Boyle, who is a member of this church.
Each year a Vacation Bible School is held for the children
of the community. This work is under the direction of the
pastor with teachers helping him. This is a worthwhile
undertaking and one whose value cannot be estimated in terms
of time or money.
Click on the picture below and identify members of the first (1938) Bible School Class
Rev.W. P. Boyle, Pastor of Kentyre Church. Mrs. Boyle,
Cornelia, Nancy and Patsy who preached the first Homecoming afternoon Sermon in the new church, 1938.
Only the Master Teacher who said, "Suffer the little children to
come unto me and forbid them not," can measure the good that this
intensive training will do in moulding the lives and characters of
these future citizens and church leaders.
The first wedding to take place in the new church was that of Miss
Sara Williams and Mr. Harvey Smith. Sara, daughter of Mr. J. L.
Williams and Harvey, son of Mr. Albert Smith of Rockingham.
The first baby to be christened in the new church was Theresa
Huguelet, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Clinton Huguelet of Hamlet,
and granddaughter of Mr. Jules Huguelet who was an accomplished
There is a rather unusual fact connected with the first funeral
held in the new church, that of Mrs. Alice Webb, wife of Mr. Jim
Webb. Mr. Webb had died about two years prior to Mrs. Webb, and
his was the last funeral conducted in the old church building,
and in June 1939 Mrs. Webb died and her funeral was the first to
be conducted in the new church.
Rev. John Grier who held the first series of revival
services in the new church. 1938.
Theresa Huguelet, dau.
of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton
The Royal Class of the Sunday School, 1944.
Seated l to r:
Sarah Williams, ---, Ethel Proveaux, ---. Standing 1 to r: ---, ---, ---, Ruth Pate &
C. R. Huguelet, ---, George McRae?. Can you identify anyone here?
It is now 1944 and our country and all the world is at war. The world is full of anxiety
and grief as war takes its terrible toll of the lives of dear ones over the face of the earth.
On the Roll of Honor in our church are the names of seventeen fine young men who are members
of the church or whose families are members and who are now serving their country in various
branches of the service.
Death has already laid his hand upon one of these young men, Mr. Loyce Terry, but our hope
and prayer is that the remainder will be spared and returned to their families and loved ones,
and that wars shall cease and that "Peace shall cover the earth as waters cover the sea."
And so time marches on and history never ends, but is being made every moment, and even as we write
the present becomes the past and the future becomes the present, and so we hope that. "When time
who steals our years away; shall steal our pleasures too. The memory of the past will stay; and half
our joys renew." Mrs. J. D. McRae, Church Historian 1944.
Mrs. Janie Martin Taylor, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Angus McQueen Martin, was reared in old historic Fairview
Community near Fountain Inn, South Carolina. She is a graduate of Fountain Inn High School and of Chicora
College, Columbia, South Carolina. For three years following her graduation she taught in the public schools of S.C.
On October 22, 1925 she was married to the Rev. Arthur T. Taylor, who at that time was pastor at Atmore, Alabama.
They came to the Marston Group of churches in April 1929. Mrs. Taylor has been a faithful, efficient worker in all
phases of church work--in Bible teaching, in Sunday School teaching and in three of the churches has served as pianist.
She has also taken an active part in Auxiliary Work in each church - two of the auxiliaries--Rourk and McLean - having
been organized since she came to thie Pastorate. She is a beautiful example of Christian Womanhood, and an inspiration
to all with whom she comes in contact. The Honorary Life Membership was presented to her in October 1944 at Richmone
County Group Conference by the Group of Auxiliaries of Rourk, Marston, McLean and Marks Creek Churches.
Year of 1945 is a very momentous one for the world and our country in particular. April 1945 saw
the passing of a great statesman and leader. Our President Roosevelt died rather suddenly April 12
at his home in warm Springs, Georgia.
May 1945 the Germans surrendered and in August of the same year we have recorded the use of the
first atomic bomb dropped by the US Air Force on Hiroshima Japan, and soon afterward, Japan's
These events of course gave reason for great rejoicing and deep thankfulness that the terrible
conflict was over and our soldiers would soon be coming home.
Our church work continued to move along in a steady way. In June 1945 we enjoyed the biggest
Vacation Bible School that we had ever held in our church.
Our Sunday School attendance increased during the year as did our offerings and contributions.
The Auxiliary, under the leadership of Mrs. Colon Williams as President has held its own though
no increasing in attendance as much as we had hoped.
This year also has seen the reorganization of the Young Peoples Work under the direct supervision
of the Pastor, Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Taylor with Effie Ormsby as Chairman.
The end of war brought the boys back home from the far places of the world that the call of duty
had sent them. The servicemen from our church are as follows:
Hoyt Terry; Hilliard Terry; Loyce Terry; Detreese Latham; Laurence Dick; Leon Williams; W. C. Long;
Mike Byrd, Jr.; Eugene Ussery; Bill Smith; Wade McLean and James McLean.
One of these young men, Loyce Terry paid the supreme sacrifice of war. He was killed while in
the service and in line of duty.
The most outstanding event in the history of our church was attained this year of 1945 - 1946.
The Church with the help of the other churches of this group became self-supporting. We feel
that this was no more than our duty and what we should have done but still we are grateful that
we were able to take this forward step in our church work. Mrs. J. D. McRae
In the year 1946 we lost some of our oldest members. Mr. Ed Terry, a deacon, died in July 1946.
Mr. W. A. Wilkes an Elder died Nov. 1946. Mrs. Mary Hartman died in October and Mrs. E. B. Boyle
Dec. 28, 1946. During this year the church elected three addition elders and four new deacons.
In February 1947 the church decided to dispose of the old church building and it has been torn down,
the material in it to be used in a recreational building for use of the church.
Mrs. Mary Long is President of the Woman's Auxiliary serving 1946, 1947 and 1948. Mrs. A. P. Williams
is Vice-President. Mrs. Earl Ormsby, Sec. and Mrs. C. R. Williams Treasurer. March 1947. Mrs. J. D. McRae.
In June one of our number was married. Miss Winifred Williams was married to Mr. William Thrailkill on the
20th of June in a lovely church wedding, and later moved away to Robbins, NC to live.
During the summer Miss Nancy McRae a teacher in the Sunday School and pianist for several years resigned.
And as her successor the session of the church elected a gifted young music teacher of our Church, Mrs.
Leemon Ormsby who is proving a very able pianist and who is also a member of our Auxiliary.
Another young member of our church has recently married. Miss Annie Lathan, who is a graduate nurse of
Presbyterian Hospital Charlotte, was married to Charles Odom of the Marston Presbyterian Church March 12
at the Manse. The ceremony was performed by our pastor Mr. Taylor. We wish for these young people much
happiness and a long and useful life.
We are happy to record no deaths during the past year.
Mrs. Nan Boyle McRae, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Boyle, was born in Scotland County.
Mrs. McRae married John D. McRae, an elder in Marks Creek Presbyterian Church, on December 21, 1921.
She soon moved her membership from Naomi Church near Wagram to Marks Creek Church near Hamlet. In
January 1928, the Women of the Church was organized. Mrs. McRae was elected to serve as our first
President. She made a splendid President and served faithfully, succeeding herself. She has meant
much to Marks Creek Church in many ways. She has been teacher of the young people since 1928. She
is also Historian of the Church. We cannot say in words what her life has meant to our Church; only
time and eternity can echo the true meaning of her faithful services. In the words of our Master,
"He who would be great must be willing to serve." It is with a deep feeling of gratitude that we
present to Mrs. J. D. McRad the "Honorary Life Membership" from the Women of Marks Creek Church
December 20, 1949.
During the year of 1950 Mrs. E. E. Morrison, the former Miss Nellie Beck was President of the Women
of the Church. The work has gone forward under the new set-up or plan as adopted by the General Assembly.
The Fellowship Hall is open for use during this year and we are enjoying it very much. This year the
church received a very beautiful gift. A set of pulpit furniture by the family of Mr. And Mrs. C. V.
Williams as a memorial gift to the church in honor of their parents.
Circle number two of the Women of the Church gave new collection plates for use in the church, and
Miss Effie and Earline Ormsby gave a set of lovely scarves for the pulpit and table.
Rev. R. H. Stone held the meeting in September.
New babies this year were a daughter Lillie Ann, to Mr. And Mrs. Hilliard Terry. A son John Lee, to Mr.
and Mrs. Jesse Lisk. A daughter, Nancy Lois to Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Dick. A daughter, Katherine Rose
to Mr. And Mrs. Al. Erxlaben. A daughter Ruth, to Mr. And Mrs. James Dawkins, Jr.
A HISTORY OF MARKS CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - Hamlet, N.C.
Photograph taken 1956 of Bible School Group. How many can you name?
PHOTO OF MARKS CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GROUP
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