City Directories and History: New Hope A.R.P. Church and Session House were constructed ca. 1886. This church, with its decorated belfry and its intact session house, is significant as an interesting example of local interpretation of stylistic elements of religious architecture. The meeting house form church is a one-story, weather boarded, frame church with an …., narthex pavilion. A bracketed belfry with bellcast roof, gablets, and finial surmounts the front-gabled roof. The gable end features a boxed cornice with returns and a blind oculus. Façade fenestration with shelf architraves has a double-leaf door surmounted by a ten-light transom flanked by single, large-paned, four-over-four, shuttered windows. Side elevations have windows identical to those of the façade. The interior walls are plastered above narrow-beaded-board wainscoting. The rear balcony displays a turned balustrade. Alterations include a 1970 left wing and the front steps. The session house is a ten by twelve foot weatherboarded frame building with a gable end roof with boxed cornices. Listed in the National Register December 6, 1984. [Courtesy of the S.C. Dept. of Archives and History]
This is one of the quaintest churches to be found in the Piedmont region. Constructed at a time when the this area of Fairfield County was once again prospering after Reconstruction, the church building reflects the inspired and learned view of its congregation, who thought their church should be a direct outpouring of their belief. Thus no expense was spared in building this handsome structure that has lasted one hundred and twenty-five years.
It was formally organized on Sept. 19, 1796, and was supplied by Revs. Blackstock, Mushat and Hemphill. The Rev. John Hemphill was the first pastor, and preached here until his death in 1832. He was succeeded by the Rev. James Boyce, who was installed in connection with the Brick Church in Dec., of 1832. The congregation has erected three church building on this location. The first in circa 1790, the second in 1830, and the current handsome church was built in 1886.
The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of today traces its roots to the Synod of the South, formed in 1803 by Rev. Lindsay, Rev. Finney, Rev. Stafford Currie Millen, Dr. Pressly, Dr. Isaac Grier, Dr. Boyce, Rev. McCutchen and a handful other early ARP ministers. Almost immediately after forming the Synod of the South, the ministers looked into forming a seminary closer to home for the education of the ministry and the growth of the church. Many of the ministers were traveling for more than thirty days on horseback to attend Synod meetings in the North. While they were gone, the churches and the congregations suffered in their absence. The solution they agreed to work towards was an academy called the Clarke and Erskine Seminary, which later became known as Erskine College and Seminary. [Wikipedia Entry]
*** The address is approximate.
Click on the More Information > link to find additional data – A Fairfield County Sketchbook, by J.S. Bolick, 2000 (Courtesy of the FCHS)
“New Hope (1796), Fairfield County. The New Hope field was in the beginning part of the area served by the Hopewell church. The name “New Hope” (although symbolical; see Head F) seems to have been prompted by the early relationship of the New Hope congregation to the Hopewell church. In Virginia, for instance, a somewhat similar situation occurs: The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Old Providence is in the vicinity of the Southern Presbyterian Church New Providence.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
A stop on the Little White Church Jaunt – A Driving Tour
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