“An Isenhower family building – Chester, Fairfield and York Counties.”
12090 Highway 321
City Directories and History: The Concord Presbyterian Church is significant as an intact, early-nineteenth century simple church building. The congregation of Concord Presbyterian Church is said to have worshiped at the present site of the church as early as 1796. This building was reportedly constructed ca. 1818. The church is a one-story, brick, gable-roofed building with a meeting house floor plan and a small, rectangular, gable-roofed rear extension. The gable ends have boxed cornices with returns and a stringcourse. The façade has a central entrance flanked by single six-over-six windows. The side elevations have shuttered, six-over-six windows. The
foundation is granite. There is a cemetery with a cast-iron fence and gates to the left of the church. Listed in the National Register December 6, 1984. [SCDAH] The church walls are 18″ thick and site of a stone foundation.
This building as well as Mount Olivet are reported to have been constructed by members of the Isenhower family of Chester – Fairfield County, SC. Members of that family are listed as mechanics as well as carpenters in the mid 19th century following the period when perhaps their father’s generation would have constructed these two
churches. Many members of the extended Isenhower family are buried at Mount Olivet church near what is today Isenhower Crossroads. Jim Brice, a long-term resident of Woodward and a lifetime member of the church also stated that it was John Cork, Jr. of the community, who built the pews for the church.
…….Concord church was organized by Rev. Robt. B. Walker of South Carolina Presbytery, and enrolled April, 1796. There is a tradition that it was organized in 1790, but it is only a tradition. As no roll is found previous to 1836, the number and names of the original members are not known. The first elders were James Arter, James Caldwell, James Hindman and Abraham Miller. During 1796 there were added to the eldership John Stirling, James Robinson and James McKeown. Rev. Robt. Walker, pastor of Bethesda church, supplied the church for one year. From 1797 the church was occasionally supplied until September 1800. Rev. Wm. G. Roseboro was the first pastor, serving Horeb and Concord churches from September 1800, until his death, May 5, 1810. His remains were laid in old Lebanon graveyard. From 1810 to 1813 Rev. Francis H. Porter, of Purity congregation, supplied the church occasionally. In 1813 Rev. Robt. McCullough, of Catholic church, supplied the church for one-fourth of the time, and in 1814 for one-half. This arrangement continued until the death of Mr. McCullough, August 7, 1824. “The last time Mr. McCullough preached at Concord an incident occurred, while of little historic importance, yet, from its rarity, we venture to record it. While he was in the midst of his services, a night-bird of ill omen came in broad day and perched itself in the window, by the side of the pulpit, and there began its plaintive song, “Whip-poor-extraordinary and ominous that all prognosticators were ready to give us their interpretation of it-‘Something is going to happen to Mr. McCullough, And, strange to tell, it so proved: this was his last visit and sermon at Concord. He died August 7, 1824.” (See History of Purity Church, by Rev. Jno. Douglass.) His remains lie in Catholic graveyard.
The church seems to have prospered during this period. The present brick church was built about 1817 and 1818. Five elders were ordained and installed during this pastorate, viz: Samuel Penney, Samuel Banks, Samuel McCullough, James Douglass and Hugh Thompson. James B. Stafford, a licentiate under care of Hanover Presbytery, Va. was called to the joint pastorate of Purity and Concord churches, and was ordained and installed June 7, 1825. He was a native of North Carolina. This pastorate continued until 1834. In 1825 Concord was taken into the Bethel Presbytery, which had been formed October 9, 1824. The congregation had considerable agitation during these years. Mr. Stafford introduced Watt’s Psalms and Hymns in the place of Rouse’s Version of the Psalms. This caused a division, and weakened the church and diminished its members. Stirling, or the Covenanter church, was perhaps formed about this time, located about two miles south of Concord. John Stirling, an elder of Concord, becoming dissatisfied on account of the adoption of Watt’s Version of Psalms and Hymns (some say because of his antislavery views) withdrew and with others formed this church, which lasted but a few years.
Some political trouble was bearing against the pastor in Purity congregation. He (Mr. Stafford) resigned the pastorate in these churches for the peace and welfare of Zion, and removed to Mississippi in 1834. The session was increased during this pastorate by the selection of Robt. Caldwell, John Banks and Wm. Wilson. The church was vacant for two years, when Mr. John Douglas, a licentiate of Bethel Presbytery and a native of South Carolina, was called. He became pastor of Purity and Concord April 30, 1836. During this year John McCullough, Alexander N. Hindman and Henry Moore were made elders. At this time there were sixty-four members, sixty white and four coloreds. This is the first roll that is found. The church must have made rapid progress during the next ten years. In 1841 the roll had increased to ninetyfour; and in 1849 to one hundred and thirty five. Mr. Douglass continued his labors as pastor until 1846, at which time he removed to James’ Island, near Charleston, S.C. The Psalm question continued to be a cause of dissatisfaction.
1846 to 1847 the church had no regular supply. Rev. James Saye, appointed by Bethel Presbytery, held a meeting the 4th Sabbath in April, 1847. At which time five were received on examination. Rev. James A. Wallace preached one- half his time to this church in 1847 and 1848. The other half was given to a mission point near Halselville, where Mizpah church now stands. Rev. James R. Gilland labored in Concord and Mt. Olivet churches (the latter in Harmony Presbytery) from 1848 till 1853, when he became professor in Davidson College, N.C. From 1841 to 1851 the church lost several efficient elders. Robt. Caldwell died in 1841, John Banks removed in 1847, Henry Moore went West in 1849, and Samuel Banks died in 1851. Quite a tender tribute is written in memory of Mr. Banks by George H. Miller, clerk of session. Coming from Scotland when twenty-five years old, he married, settled near Concord, and raised ten children. He was made elder in Concord and for thirty-six years was eminently useful. Before his death he was permitted to see his five sons and five daughters unite with the church, and to heart son Wm. preach the gospel, at Catholic church, in one day. Two more were made elders in the Presbyterian Church and one a deacon in the Baptist church. He gave a large copy of the Bible to each child, and provided in his will that each grandchild, forty-seven in number, should receive a copy. From 1844 to 1848 we find on the roll the names of two who became ministers of the gospel.’ These were Wm. Banks and Douglass Harrison. James Carlisle and Geo. H. Miller were installed elders in 1849. Rev. W. J. McCormick was installed pastor of Concord and Mt. Olivet in October 1853 and continued till 1858 when he removed to Florida. At this time many moved West, and the church increased little in numbers. April 1857, John Neil and Thomas Carlisle were added to the session. John Neil was a man of intelligence and great piety, and being a school teacher gave promise of great usefulness, but was called to his reward October 1858. The church was vacant till 1859 when Rev. G. W. Boggs was secured for several months.
Rev. T. W. Ervin became pastor in 1859. He was the longest pastorate Concord has ever had, continuing seventeen years. It was during his ministry the ravages of the civil war spread gloom and poverty over the country. In the midst of other distresses, death claimed four of her elders- James Carlisle, William Wilson, John McCullough, and Alexander Hindman entered into their rest. The last three were venerable men and had served the church long and well. During all these adverse circumstances the pastor remained and preached, receiving what the congregation in its impoverished condition could give him. It is said that in some cases he returned to the contributors money given, saying they could not spare it without entailing suffering on their families. Having a small farm he worked as others had to do and continued preaching…….. A HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CONCORD CHURCH By Rev. M. R. Kirkpatrick – Pastor. (Submitted by Mary Dickey Boulware)
(Information courtesy of and from: CDGHS Bulletin)
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