St. Pauls Presbyterian Church - Second Building


St. Pauls Presbyterian Church - Third Building

Early Elders

[In preparation of the 1899 Centennial of the St. Pauls Presbyterian Church the following sketches were written by John Daniel McGeachy. This list from Mable Lovin of Red Springs, North Carolina was taken from a handwritten copy located at the North Carolina State Archives.]

Duncan McNair was a native of Scotland, Kintyre, Argyleshire. He came here with Kattie McCallum his bonnie bride and settled on south side of Little Marsh about one mile below the Stage Road where he lived and died. We are reminded of the text in Scripture "The one shall be taken, the other left" in the way and manner of his death. He was cutting tops and came to a hill that had two stalks. He cut one and fell dead – left the other there. He had sons and daughters born to him – Malcom who was made an Elder later on, John so also made an Elder, Robert and Duncan. Robert married Betsy Patterson and went to live on the Carthage Road near McLean crossroad and raised a large family of boys. Daniel died after reaching manhood. John studied medicine and now lives in S. C. Dougald moved out to Ashpole. Evander studied theology and is now a minister with the title of D.D. in Kentucky or Mo. Robert, the youngest son is till living on the old place. Duncan, the youngest son of the Elder Duncan, in fact was born after he died – went to live out on Ashpole and married Elizabeth McNair. To this union was born Malcolm who was a teacher of vocal music before the Civil War when he raised a company of volunteers, The Scotch Greys, and served in the 40th Regt. N.C.T. at Fort Caswell. Duncan became a railroad engineer. Robert is still living near Maxton. The Elder had two daughters Polly and Catherine. Polly married Neill McArthur who was an Elder later on. Catherine married Neill McGeachy who was one of the first trustees of St. Pauls Church and was till he died. The Elder must have died before 1819 as the register does not show his name and his wife is still there a widow who died Sept. 14, 1844.

John Malloy was a native of Scotland, Kintyre, Argyleshire. He was married there to Catherine McCallum and came here in 1804 bringing with him four sons Duncan, Archibald, Edward and Neill who was four years old. The Elder was a devoted Christian and sent much of his time in reading his Bible and in fasting and prayer especially on the Sabbath with Archibald McMillan who was a good singer. He would go to the neighbors’ houses on the Sabbath when there was no service at the church and conduct "readings", i.e. read the Bible, have prayer and singing. His sons all settled round him. Neill never married and lived to good old age. Edward married Mary McMillan and died suddenly. Archibald was crossing the Gallberry during a storm and was killed by a falling limb. Duncan was married to Euphemia McMillan and raised a large family. Archie was made an Elder later on. Edward died off in the war a Confederate Soldier. Daniel, who was an unfortunate, died in hospital in Wilmington, N.C. Mary, one of his daughters, died some years ago. Flora is still living at Parkton, N.C. None of his children ever married. The Elder John Malloy died January 23, 1839.

James Stevens was a native of Scotland and came here from Galloway before the Revolutionary War. He was married to Mary Dalrymple of Buffalo, Moore, who had also come from Scotland. His father was a minister in the established church and it was his wish to give his son a good education but not allowed to do so. By the father’s death the care of the family came on James who was the oldest. Still he had a fair education for he taught school, was a surveyor and general advisor to the people where he lived. He came to us and settled on the south side of Big Marsh on what was known as the Duncan Crawford place, later on the property of the heirs of Rev. E. D. Johnson. He had three daughters born to him: Margaret, Ann and Elizabeth. Margaret married Alexander Johnson who was made an Elder later on. Ann married Thomas Harrington and moved to Moore County. By intermarriage with the McIvers and others her people are connected with some of the best of the land, viz. Rev. John Harrington of Harmony Presbytery, S. C., of the wife of Rev. A. Baker and Rev. W. W. Wilson, of Rev. A. L. Crawford, and grandmother of the wife of Rev. Dr. Mack. Elizabeth married first Dougal McLauchlin, Jr., who soon died. She then married William D. Harrington, a cousin of Thomas. Then she died leaving no children. The Elder Stevens died before the register was made for it shows Mary Stevens a widow who died June 12th 1826.

Thomas McMillan was an Elder 1810 and lived on the stage road near to what is now Roslin, Cumberland County. He was married to Miss Graham of Bluff Church. He was the father of Squire Billie McMillan and the grandfather of Hamilton McMillan a lawyer of Red Springs who has several terms represented Robeson County in the Legislature of N.C. One of his daughters married Neil Sinclair who was made an Elder later on. The Elder McMillan, like all the old Scotch, was a quite good man. He was dismissed to Rockfish when that was organized. Died Feb. 20th 1862.

Archibald Little was an Elder in 1810 and lived on the north side of Little Marsh on land now owned by A. H. Perry and J. W. Carver. He married a daughter of Archibald McMillan and was the father of Major John Little who married a Miss Thompson and in after years went to Texas. He was the father of a winsome daughter 14 years whom Duncan McMillan had gained her love and consent to marry. So when they were going away McMillan said, "Take care of Peggy and save her for me." Maj. Little replied, "If you want Peggie, take her and save her yourself." Which he gladly did and they together built a quiet home by Buckhorn and lived long and happy and raised a large family of girls and one boy and today not only our own church but Lumberton, Mr. Tabor, Lumber Bridge, and Rockfish are blessed by their descendents.

Duncan Crawford was the only native of Ireland that was in our session. He was an Elder (in) 1810 and, like all the first settlers of this country, spoke the Gaelic language but his brogue and dialect told where he was from. He married a Miss Sinclair and was the father of Peter and Neill. Peter married a Miss McNish and for the most part his children have left our communion and gone some to the Methodist – some to the Baptist. Neill married a Miss McMillan (aunt to corn Billie) and raised a large family of boys and girls who are with us yet to bless the community in which they live. The register shows its first members the name of Widow Crawford died 1830.

Neill McAlpin lived and was at one time the owner of the town of Rennert. He was married to Miss Little who lived near the McGoogan Bridge on the Big Marsh. He was the father of Duncan McAlpin who was a noted schoolteacher in his day and of Neill McAlpin who was sheriff of Robeson County and was drowned while bathing in Lumber River at Lumberton. Also of James McAlpin who was a noted surveyor. One of his daughters married Rev. Jordon Cobb of Lumber Bridge and their son Stephen was not only a Confederate Soldier but was Captain of a company of Volunteers 2nd Regt. N. C. Troops in the war with Spain.

John Matthews was an Elder in 1810 and lived on the Lumberton and Fayetteville road south of the Mercer Branch. He was a good man and lived and died on the old homestead. He never married.

Alexander McGeachy was a native of Scotland, Kintyre, Argyleshire, and was at one time stable boy to the Duke of Argyle. He came to this country after the Revolutionary War and the first money he earned after coming here was for poling flats from Wilmington to Cross Creek on Cape Fear River afterwards called Campbelltown later Fayetteville, N. C. He settled between the marshes four miles above St. Pauls. He was an Elder in 1810. He was married to Catherine McCoulskey, Brown Marsh, Bladen County, and to this union was born Neill, Ronald, Peter, Alexander and Jannett who died in childhood. The Elder McGeachy gathered a large estate of land and negroes and lived and died on the old homestead and is buried there. He was the great grandfather of A. A. McGeachy of Hulton, Mo., also D. P. McGeachy of Burgaw, N. C. There were nine of his grandsons who went through the war as Confederate Soldiers. Two were in the 6th Regt. Florida. Six were in the 24th Regt. N. C. T. and one in the 51st Regt. All of them served under Lee in Va. And all came back home none broken in health nor badly wounded. Sandie received a slight wound in the face, Pat a slight wound in the leg. Robert was struck with a spent ball during the siege of Petersburgh that did no harm. An Elder in 1810. The Elder died March 24th 1844.

Jessie Jackson was born May 28th 1770, and lived on Willis Creek, Cumberland County. When he was a lad hauling sawlogs for his father he was captured by the British who kept him one day and night and then let him go home. He was married to Miss Emma Ellwell and built the old Jackson Mill on Willis Creek. There he died and is buried on the old homestead. He was the son of a minister of the Baptist Church. His great grandchildren are still with us – the Gilmores of St. Pauls, the Pattersons of Bethcar and the Aldemans of Fayetteville. An Elder 1818. Died Nov 21st 1840.

Malcolm McNair was son of the Elder Duncan McNair and lived near where his father died on south side of Little Marsh half mile below the stage road. He was married to Peggie Dalrymple of Buffalo, Moore County and to this union was born Archibald who was for many years the loved physician for all this section of country and died 1858, John Calvin who studied theology and died in Edinborrough, Scotland, Catherine who married John McKinnon who was made an Elder later on, Mary Ann who first married Malcolm McIver of Moore and is the mother of A. A. McIver, Capt. Co. G, 24th Regt. N. C. T. – also of M. N. McIver, Presbyterian minister of Rockingham. She next married James Burns of Moore and their son William is now one of the deacons of our church. An Elder 1818. Died Sept 9th 1823.

Andrew Sinclair lived up on the Lowery Road where Lumber Bridge now stands and Davises Bridge in Rockfish. He married a Miss McMillan an aunt of Torquil McNeill and Malcolm. One of his daughters married _____ McGoogan and his grandson, who is related to Angus Campbell on the mother’s side, is now a deacon in Lumber Bridge Presbyterian Church. McGoogan’s daughter married Daniel McLeod who is an Elder in Shannon Church. An Elder in 1819.

John McNair was the second son of the Elder Duncan McNair and lived on the stage road south of the Little Marsh. He was married to Mary Graham of Bluff Church and to this union was born Malcolm, Nathaniel, Duncan, and John G., Margaret, Catherine, Flora, Mary, Sarah, and Isabella. Malcolm had the misfortune to be crippled by white swelling in youth and went through life on a crutch, but became a good useful minister later on. Nathaniel moved to Ashpole and was made an Elder there. Duncan was made an Elder in our church. John Graham, the youngest son, was killed in the battle of Fredericksburg, Va., September 17, 1862. Margaret married John McGoogan who was an Elder in Lumber Bridge. Catherine married McCormic and their children and grandchildren are with us today. Flora married John McNeill of Mt. Tabor and their daughter is the wife of Rev. Joseph Evans of Melton, N. C. Mary married Duncan Bethune who was made an Elder later on. Sarah died when she was grown. Isabella married Archie Buie of Pee Dee, S. C. Elder 1837. Died May 1st 1873.

Neill McNeill came from Jura, Scotland, in 1792 and settled first on Little River and was married to Sallie Graham of Bluff about 1798 and then moved down in Cumberland County on the Chicken Road. On his passage here during a calm at sea, Weaver John McMillan fell overboard. Neill McNeill sprang after him and saved him for he could not swim a lick and thus was formed a friendship that will long last with his descendents. He was the father of Hector McNeill who was for many years sheriff of Cumberland County and is now one of our oldest most honored citizens. He was grandfather of Rev. A. McFadyen of Wilmington Presbytery and of Kenneth McDonald who recently died in that Presbytery – also of Angus McDonald, D. D. of Nashville, Tenn. and great grandfather of Rev. A. A. McGeachy, Fulton, Mo. Elder 1837. Died June 1st 1858.

Neill McArthur was a native born and married Polly McNair, daughter of the Elder. He lived first on Buckhorn on land now owned by John A. Ross. He moved up on Rockfish in the county of Cumberland and raised a large family of boys and girls. He is the father of Joseph McArthur who lives near McPhersons’s Church who was a lieutenant in Co. D., 61st Regt., N. C. T. And the grandfather of Joseph A. McArthur a B. A. Of Davidson College who is now and has been for several years principal of Lumber Bridge High School. An Elder 1837. Dismissed to Rockfish.

Archibald McDonald was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, on the same day that our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, i.e. July 4th 1776, and came to this country with his parents when one year old. He lived first on Big Swamp near Maysville, N. C. Then moved nearer to the Cape Fear on the Wilmington Road. He was married twice – first to Catherine McDonald – next to Sarrah McDonald. He left a large family of boys and girls who are still staunch Presbyterians – members of St. Pauls Church. He was a relation of General McDonald who was in command of the Tory forces on their march from Fayetteville to Wilmington, but he was sick and not on duty at the battle of Moores Creek Bridge – also to Flora McDonald who befriended "Royal Charlie" when _____ _____ in Scotland. His descendents say that she doesn’t deserve to much praise as she only did her duty as every Scotchman ought to do. Neill Malloy McDonald, a descendent and member of St. Pauls, has offered himself as a missionary to Korea and is teaching and going to school fitting himself for that place. An Elder 1837. Died June 2nd 1855.

Alexander Johnson came here from Cumberland County when a boy with his father and settled on the Big Swamp below where the Ten Mile empties in to it. He was married to Margaret Stevens, a daughter of the Elder and had three sons and one daughter. James Stevens was made a judge in Miss. Daniel was made a minister in Fayetteville Presbytery. William was made Judge High Chancellor in S. C. and is now living in Marion, S. C. The daughter Ann married a Mr. Lammon of St. Pauls and went to the state of Texas in 1854. The Elder Johnson was dismissed Dec. 10th 1843 to Big Swamp and was made an Elder there. The last years of his were spent near Lumber Bridge. He married second time to Nancy McNeill. An Elder 1837. Died 1867.

Duncan Campbell came from the parish of Killmartin, Argyleshire, Scotland, when ten years old with his father Angus and mother Christian McLellan in 1804. The old folks certificate or church letter from the auld kirk is now in my possession, an honored relic of olden times. Duncan Campbell was married to Christian McKinnon, daughter of Kenneth McKinnon. They lived on south side of Big Marsh two or more miles above the church. There were no children born to this union and husband and wife lived to a good old age, honored, loved and respected by all who knew them. They sleep in the graveyard at the church. Elected and ordained an Elder May 13th 1843. Died September 18th 1881. An Elder 38 years.

John McKinnon was a native born and was the son of Kenneth McKinnon and lived just below the site of the new church. He was married to Miss Catherine McNair, daughter of Malcolm, and to this union was born a large family of boys and girls. Kenneth studied medicine and was a successful doctor located in Whiteville, N. C. Malcolm studies law and was located at Birmingham, Ala. His other sons became merchants and turpentine operators in S. C., Ga., and Ala. One daughter married Krider of Salisbury, N. C. – another Knox of Rowan County. Another married Cyrus McNeill of White Oak, Ga. And one married S. B. Tolar of Ga. Elected and ordained an Elder May 13th 1843. Died Oct 26th 1865.

John Caldwell came to our church by certificate 1840 and was married to Miss Ala McNeill. They lived on south side of Big Marsh and raised a large family of boys and girls who are still with us. The Elder Caldwell was a little eccentric in his way and manner but was true and loyal to his church, a good singer, a great Sunday School worker, always ready to be teacher or taught so the work was going forward. He died and is buried at the old homestead. Elected and ordained an Elder May 13th 1843. Died Jan 8th 1892. Elder 49 years.

Duncan Bethune was the son of John Bethune the Elder. He lived and died on the old homestead. He was married to Mary McNair, daughter to John McNair and to this union was born sons and daughters who are good and useful to the community in which they live. He was a modest, unassuming man, a good church worker, a Sunday School teacher who did much for the Master that the world may never know. He is buried in graveyard at the church. Elected and ordained an Elder Nov 17th 1867. Died Feb 19th 1896.

Duncan McNair was the son of John McNair and grandson of Duncan the Elder. He was married to Betha Jane Alford of Ashpole. To this union was born 4 sons and two daughters. His sons have all gone into mercantile business in various parts of the country all being very successful. One of his daughters married Dr. McClure, M. D. of Bishopville, S. C. He was made clerk of session in 1868 and served for 17 years. He was a good useful man. He is buried in graveyard at the church. Elected and ordained an Elder Nov 17th 1867. Died Sept 15th 1897.

Archie Malloy was the son of Duncan and grandson of John Malloy the Elder and lived and died on the old homestead. He was at one time Captain of Lumber Bridge Independent Company and was for a number of years County Commissioner for the county of Robeson. He was a Master Mason being initiated, passed and raised by Phoenix Lodge No. 8 at Fayetteville, N. C. He was a Confederate Soldier and on Big _____ in Western Va. his health failed and he was never strong again. He was a good man and true and was an Elder but a short while for he was gathered to his fathers and sleeps in family burying ground. Elected and ordained an Elder April 1879. Died Oct 30th 1884.

Neill Ronald McGeachy was the son of Ronald and the grandson of Alexander the Elder. He lived on the North side of Little Marsh on land once owned by Archibald Little. He was married to Sallie McFadyen of Rockfish and is the father of Rev. A. A. McGeachy of Fulton, Mo. He served St. Pauls long and well as a deacon and was promoted to Eldership which office he resigned and moved to Laurinburgh, N. C. where he still lives. Elected and ordained an Elder April 1879. Dismissed Oct 1882.

Daniel H. McMillan was the son of Neill and Dolly McMillan and lived down in B_____ Neck. He was married to Sarah M. Campbell, the daughter of Dougal. He first joined the Baptist Church and them came to St. Pauls. He was a good worker in Sunday School and prayer meeting and was made an Elder in our church. Moving to the factory on Rockfish, he was dismissed to that church. Elected and ordained an Elder Sept 3rd 1893. Dismissed March 6th 1898.







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