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History of Myers Park 

Presbyterian Church 

1926 — 1966 

History of Myers Park 

Presbyterian Church 

1926— 1966 

Thomas F. Qlark 

Copyright 1966 by 

Myers Park Presbyterian Church 

Charlotte, North Carolina 


1^1 r . -^ 


Forty years ago a group of men and women dreamed a 
dream. With all their energy and enthusiasm they worked to- 
ward the fulfillment of that dream. Thus, on Sunday, Novem- 
ber 7, 1926, the Myers Park Presbyterian Church was organ- 
ized on the campus of Queens College. 

Within the pages of this volume are chronicled what even- 
tuated from that memorable occasion. Church histories have 
a wide reputation for being exceedingly dry. More often than 
not they are merely a recitation of dates and places and names. 
They are volumes to be placed upon a shelf for future genera- 

When the writing of this history was conceived of, the 
underlying thought was that the undertaking should convev 
to the reader something of the spirit which has pervaded the 
Myers Park Church throughout her life. The perspective of 
those w^ho worked to bring this Church into being was that 
of a spirit of adventure. Here was a task to be undertaken for 
the Kingdom. The way ahead lay fresh and uncharted. But, 
with God's help, the work could be done. 

This history has not been written to glory in the past, to 
engage in self-praise, nor to say that our task is done. Rather 
the volume has been WTitten to review what this Church has 
sought to do for the Kingdom in these four decades of pil- 
grimage on the Way. It has been written to capture that spirit 
of adventure that has ever been a part of our congregation's 
life. It has been written to indicate that through the Church's 
life the Hand of God has been at work. It has been written 
to show our gratitude for the privilege of serving the Lord 

What Sir Winston Churchill said after a victorius phase 
of World War II may be applied to the Myers Park Church : 



"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. 
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." 

Hosts of people have contributed to the preparation of this 
history. However, special acknowledgment and appreciation 
should be offered to the author. Dr. Thomas F. Clark, Asso- 
ciate Professor of Bible in the faculty of Davidson College, 
who painstakingly researched countless records and patiently 
interviewed countless folk preparatory to the writing. To Miss 
Thelma Albright of Queens College for her editorial work, 
to Mrs. William F. MuUiss for typing the manuscript, to 
Mr. A. C. Summerville and Mr. Robert Welsh for providing 
illustrative material, genuine gratitude is expressed. 

During these long months the History Committee has 
worked with quiet and enthusiastic efficiency. Deep gratitude 
is expressed to Mrs. T. M. Plonk, Chairman; Mrs. A. A. 
Barron, Mrs. Whitefoord Smith, Mrs. George E. Wilson, Jr., 
and Mr. Hunter Marshall for service far beyond the call of 
duty. Special mention should be made of the tireless work of 
Mr. A. J. Beall, a member of the Committee who was called 
into his Father's House while the volume was being written. 

May this history challenge each reader afresh to the high 
calling of serving God in his own generation. 

James E. Fogartie, Minister 

The Study 

Myers Park Presbyterian Church 

September, 1966 





Providence Road and Oxford Place 

Church Telephone, Hemlock 8144 






Residence, 508 Queens Road ; Telephone, Jackson 345 

Residence, 231 Briarwood Road; Telephone, Jackson 508 R 


i»^^ ■'■■■": •^<.:: 


'i m'^' 




The Scotsmen who found their way up the Cape Fear, across the 
Piedmont and into the prairie valleys of the Catawba Indians, were 
Presbyterian for the most part. They were not greeted on their 
arrival by any welcome wagons or ministers from neighborhood 
churches. They were on their own. Some of the settlers lived close 
enough together to establish small churches along the Rocky River 
and the creeks called Steele and Sugaw. In a grove outside the 
present city of Concord, Presbyterians who had been worshipping 
in a tent organized their "Poplar Tent" Church. And not too many 
miles from Captain Davidson's farm (from which nearly 500 acres 
were carved for a small college), another community of Presbyte- 
rians from a wide radius came together at the center and called 
themselves the Center Church. One of their ministers, Dr. Thomp- 
son, did a bit of Home Mission work in the mid-eighteenth century 
and conducted services in what was later to be called Charlotte. One 
account says that "he preached in the grove by the Presbyterian 
Blacksmith Shop." 

In 1765 a tract of 360 acres from Lord Selwyn's land grant was 
donated to the Commissioners of Mecklenburg County for a court- 
house, stock and prison. Three years later, the town of Charlotte 
was laid off on this tract, and the planning began for a comfortable 
sized lot to be designated as the location for a church, on "Church 
Street" no less, across from the Courthouse. Rev. S. C. Caldwell, 
pastor of Sugaw Creek Church had been preaching to the folk In 
Charlotte nearly twenty years in the early part of the nineteenth 
century, and so he was chosen the first minister of the little non- 
denominational church which was completed In 1823. A debt on the 
church of $1,500 was actually like a grain of sand in the oyster 
shell, for the Presbyterians In the congregation arranged the pay- 
ment of the debt In return for the City's granting them the property 
and thus leading to the establishment of their own church. Thus, 
the "pearl" emerged: the Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, organ- 
ized by Sugaw Creek's new minister. Rev. R. H. Morrison, on the 
fourth Sunday in August, 1832, with thirty-six members. 

The small building was adequate when the village of Charlotte 
consisted of but three hundred souls, but twenty years later plans 



had to be made for a larger structure. It was built in 1857, the 
front portion of which still constitutes the present First Presbyte- 
rian Church building. 

Though it was not as yet called the "First" Church, it soon 
accepted the role of "parent" which that name implies. A mission 
Sunday School was begun on Mint and Hill Streets for the "poor 
white children," while a Sunday School for Negro children was 
conducted in the basement of the church many years after the War 
between the States; this same basement served as the meeting place 
for the Ku Klux Klan in the 1870's. 

By 1873 the church had lost all elbow room as it crowded two 
hundred and eighty members into the Sanctuary and three hundred 
pupils into the Sunday School. All of the pews with their high backs 
and doors were owned, and newcomers were unable to buy a deed 
for a pew unless someone died or left the city. Either a larger 
building had to be erected or a new church would have to be 
started. Being a wise "parent" the church asked the three-year-old 
Mecklenburg Presbytery to form a second Presbyterian Church in 
the growing town of five thousand persons.^ 

On the third Sunday in October of 1873, the Second Presbyte- 
rian Church of Charlotte was solemnly organized. The twenty-five 
names on the roll of charter members were representative of strong 
Presbyterian families: Alexander, Young, Phillips, Phifer, Hous- 
ton, and others. Worshipping first in the old courthouse, the mem- 
bers completed in 1875, their $10,000 building on the east side of 
North Tryon Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. It was not 
many years before the "child" had grown taller than its "parent" 
two blocks away. 

Equally distinguished in membership and ministers, each church 
proudly remembers the persons, now passed away, who gave of 

I. Mary Alves Long's HIGH TIME TO TELL IT, Duke University 
Press, Durham, 1950, page 74, tells the following account, which appears 
highly questionable, inasmuch as General Barringer was not a charter member 
of Second Church: 'Another cousin's husband, Rufus Barringer, a general in 
the Confederate Army and a brother-in-law of Stonewall Jackson, after be- 
coming a Republican had actually been refused communion in the First Pres- 
byterian Church of Charlotte, by another brother-in-law, D. H. Hill, also a 
prominent Confederate general, who considering a Republican unfit to sit at 
the Lord's table refused to pass him the bread and wine. This caused a split in 
the church, as my cousin's husband, a fine honorable man of great influence, 
left the First Church and started the Second Presbyterian Church, which 
equaled in importance the one from which he separated." 


themselves that their church might be a citadel to Christianity in 
the growing city. At First Presbyterian Church, some of those who 
climbed the stairs to the high pulpit were Dr. Alexander M. Sin- 
clair pastor during the 1864 General Assembly of the South- 
ern Presbyterian Church meeting in that church; Dr. A. W. Miller, 
whose pastorate was the longest ( 1865-92) ; Dr. John A Preston ; 
Dr. J. R. Howerton, a Moderator of the General Assembly; Dr. 
Wm. Morris Kincaid, Dr. D. H. Rolston, and Dr. Albert Sydney 

At Second Church, the first minister was Dr. E. H. Harding, 
whose granddaughter was the wife of the eighth minister, Archi- 
bald A. McGeachy. All eleven of their ministers have been men of 
colorful personality and exceptional ministerial ability. The congre- 
gation delighted in seeing Dr. Martin D. Hardin (1903—07) rid- 
ing through the streets on his beautiful Kentucky thoroughbred 
horse. Not so venturesome was his wife, the daughter of Vice- 
President Adlai Stevenson. 

Both congregations continued to have growing pains, and new 
structures were added. The Second Church was not yet twenty 
years old when, in 1892, they had to construct a new building to 
accomodate their nearly seven hundred members. It was 19 16 be- 
fore the First Church engaged in another building program; this 
time it was a Sunday School unit primarily provided for by a gift 
from Mr. J. C. Burroughs, an elder. 

But through the years both congregations exhibited an active 
Interest in church extension service. The women of the First Church 
started "a little home for poor boys" immediately after the War of 
the eighteen sixties. The house on Ninth Street near the railroad 
became too small for the operation. The Mecklenburg Presbytery 
took charge of It, enlarging the home and re-establishing it near 
Statesville as the Barium Springs Orphanage In 1891. Together 
with the Second Church, these two congregations were almost 
wholly instrumental in converting the old Charlotte Female Insti- 
tute (1857) Into the Presbyterian College for Women (1896) — 
now Queens College (1912). Even Davidson College Is much In- 
debted to the First Church for its liberal contribution, not the least 
of which was the giving up of their first pastor, Robert Hall Morri- 
son, to become the first President of Davidson College. 

A Rescue Home for aged women and a few orphan children was 
begun by the Ladles' Societies of both First and Second Churches. 
As more and more children were brought In, it became evident that 



the work must be expanded. Mr. R. B. Alexander was attracted to 
this work, and contributed a site and a building in 1894, located on 
the corner of McDowell and Third Streets. The worthwhileness of 
this project was so evident that soon all the Presbyterian Churches 
of the city were donating time and talents to it; and in honor of 
their first major benefactor, the name was changed to Alexander 

The Second Church was particularly active in "presenting grand- 
children" to their parent church. Colonel Rankin's two daughters 
were instrumental in starting Tenth Avenue Presbyterian Church; 
the St. Paul's Presbyterian Church began as a Sunday School under 
the direction of two Second Church Elders, J. G. Ross and George 
M. Phifer. Even Westminister Church was begun as a Sunday 
School by the Second Church, and the first gift toward their church 
building was a part of a legacy left to the downtown congregation. 
When Mr. J. A. Jamison and others from the session got a strong 
Sunday School started at the intersection of Cedar and West Trade 
Streets, they took their letters and became charter members of the 
West Avenue Church. Even North Charlotte and Plaza Churches 
owe their beginning to the work of members of Second Church who 
were sent out to begin Sunday Schools in those neighborhoods. 

Little wonder then, that these two great churches should be 
watching the development of homes in the Myers Park residential 
section. Surely a Presbyterian Church would be needed soon. 

Where did the idea begin? There is no way of determining, but 
one of its chief advocates was Miss Annie Wilson, a former Presi- 
dent of the Woman's Auxiliary at First Church. "Ham," she would 
say to the young Dr. McKay, a cousin living in her home, "You 
young people ought to have a church out here in Myers Park—" 
Nor was he the only one to hear her prodding; her brother, George 
E. Wilson, Jr. and her sister, Mrs. John Tate, and their friends 
also listened and began to ponder her words. 

It was beginning to appear in the mid-twenties that the Myers 
Park suburb was ready for its own Presbyterian congregation. 




INTRODUCTION: Presbyterian Beginnings 

in Charlotte ix 



II. THE FIRST MINISTER: 1927-1939 .... 17 

Tlie First Building Program 25 

The Church Services 33 

The Church Officers 37 

Elders 37 

Deacons 45 

The Sunday School 51 

"The Queens College Class" 52 

"The Lockhart — Gammon Class" ... 54 

"The Men's Bible Class" 57 

The Young People's Work 59 

Concluding Years of Dr. Gammon's Ministry . . 65 

The Interim: 1939 71 

III. THE SECOND MINISTER :i939-i955 . ... 77 

The War Years 85 

The Second Building Program 89 

The Church Staff 93 

The Youth Workers 93 

The Children's Workers 99 

The Outreach of the Church 105 

Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church . . . 105 

Trinity Presbyterian Church 106 

Oaklawn Community Center 109 

The Rotary System for Officers 113 

The Church Divided into Zones 117 

Women's Work 119 

Reappraisal After Twenty Years 131 

World Missions Supported 133 



The First Associate Minister 139 

The Minister's Service for the General Assembly . 143 

Dr. Jones' Concluding Years at Myers Park . . 149 

IV. THE THIRD MINISTER: 1955- .... 157 

The Call Extended 157 

The Interim Period 161 

The Worship Services 165 

The Church Music Program 169 

Activating the Membership 175 

Emphasis on Financial Stewardship . . . 177 

The Church Treasurers 179 

The Staff 183 

Youth Work 187 


Children's Work 193 

Men's Work 195 

The Church's Communication Media .... 199 

Planning for Expansion 201 

1959 Building Program 205 

40th Anniversary Fund 211 




History of Myers Park 

Presbyterian Church 

1926 —1966 


Organizing T'he (^Myers T^ark 
T^resbyterian Qhurch: ig26 

Churches are usually born in session rooms of established 
congregations. They are usually referred to as the "child" or 
"mission" of the parent church. Like ships and colleges, they 
are personified in female form and referred to as "she." 

Myers Park Presbyterian has never been a church that 
could be categorized as "usual." It began on its own, with only 
one parent: God. It was never the daughter of a mother 
church, finally introduced into society at the proper debutante 
age. Rather it had more of the character of an orphan begin- 
ning to support himself alone. 

The conception of this church cannot be pin-pointed as to 
this time or that, this person or that one. Yet, something sig- 
nificant took place on May 5, 1926. A group of young men 
began to assemble for a meeting in the Chamber of Commerce 
building. The casual observer might have noted the promi- 
nence of these men, and he may well have wondered who was 
taking care of the health of Charlotte while Doctors King, 
McKay, Barron, White, and Sparrow were out of their ofHces. 
After all, who could have imagined that the formation of a 
church was about to be discussed in the offices of the Chamber 
of Commerce. 

Committee meetings of this sort were "old hat" to this 

Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

group of quick-thinking executives, but the topic of discussion 
was not. These twenty-nine men had doubtless shared often 
their golf scores or business tips or gardening skills, but they 
were less familiar with each other's church interests. How- 
ever, it appeared (as one said later) that they had been vacci- 
nated religiously and it had not taken. The fact that they could 
be drawn to a meeting such as this one indicated that they 
honestly wanted to become interested in the building and 
maintenance of a suburban Presbyterian Church. 

What was to be the first step? B. Rush Lee was elected 
chairman of the meeting and then drew from the men their 
reasons for (or objections to) forming a church near their 
homes. The idealism of the project didn't obscure the more 
practical steps to be taken. Questions kept cropping up. 
Would enough people be interested in such a church? Where 
would they build it? What would it look like? Whom could 
they get for the minister? Where would he live? 

These were all vital questions, but most of them were pre- 
mature. The first question was the basic one. Was there a need 
felt among enough people to justify another Presbyterian 
Church in the city? Why, yes; they felt that there was. But 
"feelings" were not enough to go on in such a venture. They 
must know. 

Rush Lee and Tom Henderson, the permanent and tempo- 
rary chairmen, were instructed by the group ^ to form a com- 
mittee for working out the preliminaries of the "dream." This 
was still the "thinking" stage of the work; the "talking" 
couldn't begin in earnest until the need was well defined. 

Summertime is not the ideal season for getting projects 
started in an affluent suburban community. There are too 
many pleasant interruptions and distractions, too many diver- 
gent schedules and routines. The heat of the summer can easily 

2. Five of the twenty-nine never joined the Church at Myers Park; five 
others moved from Charlotte over the subsequent years. Ten years after this 
meeting, eighteen of the original group were still in the congregation, eight of 
whom were officers. Three had died. 

History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

dry up small streams. This stream — the thought of a neighbor- 
hood church — continued to flow, for its hidden spring was in 
the mind of God. By the time of the early fall rains, this 
stream was beginning to swell into a branch and run swiftly. 

Mr. Lee summoned a few men to his home on September 
10, 1926 and reminded them that they were the committee to 
do the preliminary work for the proposed church. They 
scarcely needed reminding. Dr. McKay had with him some 
forms to be signed by prospective members asking Mecklen- 
burg Presbytery for permission to start a new church. He 
passed copies of the forms to Norman Pease, Tom Henderson, 
Walter Lambeth and Rush Lee. They realized that they held 
in their hands the beginning or the end of a new church. They 
had to get the support of many people. Already they had 
obtained the blessings of the local Presbyterian ministers. But 
they were looking for more than blessings from their neigh- 
bors. They had to find others who could grasp the same ambi- 
tious vision that they had. 

A week later the activity quickened. More men gathered at 
Lee's home, this time as the Organization Committee. Now 
the planning was directed toward securing the names of per- 
sons in the Myers Park area who would support a new Presby- 
terian Church. How was it to be done? The New Testament 
pattern of two-by-two was certainly not out dated ; so they 
formed visiting teams to make the survey. 

Caldwell McDonald and Norman Pease were to canvass 
the homes from the gate of Queens Road to Hermitage. From 
that point on to Providence Road, George Wilson and J. T. 
Wardlaw would make their calls. Ham McKay and Tom 
Henderson chose the area from Morehead Street to Provi- 
dence, leaving Queens Road down as far as the College to 
Rush Lee and W. B. Huntington. Walter Lambeth and Irwin 
Henderson were to complete the squad with their assigned 
route of all points south of Queens College. "Don't forget the 
adjacent streets" someone added. 

And they didn't forget. The evenings of the next six days 

Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

were filled with the ringing of doorbells by this group. Two of 
the men had barely begun their route when they approached 
the home of one of their friends. The windows reflected the 
warm light of a party inside. The hostess opened the door and 
cheerfully greeted the two men. 

"What a pleasant surprise." 

"Thank you. Our visit has a semi-business purpose." 

"What on earth could that be?" 

"Well, it's about a church. You see, we're anxious to have a 
Presbyterian Church right here in our neighborhood of 
Myers Park. Would you be interested in helping to organize 

"Why . . . no. But it's so nice to see you both . . . come 
on in and join the party." 

The hospitality was declined, but their invitation to help 
start a church was not declined by several other friends whom 
they visited. None of the persons visited appeared to be atheis- 
tic or militantly anti-church. Indeed, many of them were chil- 
dren of the manse, possessors of Sunday School attendance 
medals and reciters of the catechism. Most of them had been 
reared in homes that were intensely religious in character. 
When they settled in the new surburban development, they 
did not rebel against the faith of their fathers. 

It was difficult to get the young children ready for Sunday 
School and drive into town for services. Also it was discourag- 
ing to contribute to a big downtown church already well 
stocked with leadership. The fact was that many of these 
young people didn't feel needed in those larger congregations. 
Their own lives were filling up with business cares and child- 
tending. The rush of their weekdays made a "day of rest" 
more appealing and a "day of worship" more difficult to ar- 
range. And so, like men on prolonged fasts, they were starved 
for corporate worship. As time went on, however, spiritual 
food appeared less and less necessary. 

What metaphors apply to the religious atmosphere of this 

History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

group? A spiritual drought? Cancer of the soul? Erosion of 
the faith? Describe it as you may, it took no meteorologist or 
physician or agriculturalist to determine their condition. 
Rather, it was the work of God's spirit that shook a handful of 
these residents and said, "Awake." 

By the middle of September it was evident that there was 
enough interest in forming a church for men to be optimistic. 
They had met with some indifference, of course, but in many 
cases they were able to see that the indifference was in itself a 
manifestation of a need for their church in the midst of their 
neighbors. Already ministers of the Presbyterian congrega- 
tions in town had encouraged them in their efforts. So perhaps 
the time truly was fulfilled when the Myers Park Church was 
to be born. 

The red-brick campus of Queens-Chicora College (as it 
was known then) is only a few blocks from the major intersec- 
tion of Myers Park. Charlotte Presbyterians owe much to this 
campus and their staff for the inspiration and influence of its 
presence in their midst. The members of Myers Park Presby- 
terian owe Queens more than most of their fellow churchmen 
in the city, for this campus was the first shelter of the young 
congregation destined to be their neighbor. 

On Sunday morning of October 9, 1926, a service was begun 
in the Queens auditorium. Other than its starting a little late 
(11 :i5 am) and being held in a college building, the service 
was not noticeably different from that of any other Presbyte- 
rian service being held simultaneously in the strongest Presby- 
tery of the General Assembly. 

Everyone had been interested in looking around to see who 
the others were that had come to the service. There were well 
over a hundred, perhaps two hundred, persons present that 
fall morning. 

The congregation rose to its feet when the pianist began 
playing the doxology. A small choir of Queens girls and some 
of their teachers encouraged the singing of the gathering. 

Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

Then, still standing, the congregation grew quiet and dropped 
their heads as the Rev. C. C. Beam prayerfully invoked God's 
blessing upon them. Standing together and singing together 
had the effect of generating a fellow^ship among them that vs^as 
good. When they began praying together, the fellowship was 
transformed into a "brotherhood." "Our Father, who art in 
heaven, hallowed be. . . ." 

The sermon drew to a close, but there was no clicking of 
pocketbooks or adjusting of coats. A major part of the service 
was yet to come. Mr. Beam announced that the group was 
invited to remain to consider the signing of a petition to 
Mecklenburg Presbytery, requesting the right to establish a 
new church. 

The men who had been most involved in the preparation of 
this meeting were immediately involved in the actions that 
followed. Walter Lambeth moved that George Wilson be 
elected chairman of the meeting. Hamilton McKay seconded 
the motion. Norman Pease moved the nominations be closed. 
Rush Lee seconded. Wilson was elected unanimously by the 
118 who voted. Then the chairman immediately appointed 
Tom Henderson to act as secretary. 

The floor was given to Dr. McKay, who stood up holding 
some legal-sized pages in his hand. These were the petitions to 
be signed by all who were willing to take this "leap of faith." 
By signing this letter to be presented to the Presbytery, many 
of these people would be pledging themselves to leave the 
church of their ancestry and join with a fledgling group com- 
pletely devoid of tradition. This was no small step. Dr. 
McKay began reading the petition : 

"Dear Brethren : 

The undersigned, being members of the churches oppo- 
site their names, petition you to set them off and organize 
them into a Presbyterian Church within the limits of 
Myers Park, to be known as Church." 

No name had yet been selected. The concern of this group had 
rightly been centered on the need and nature of the congrega- 

History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

tion. A name could be chosen later. One wonders what sug- 
gestions might have been offered had they been called for. 
Perhaps ''Queens Road Presbyterian," but the location of the 
building had not been selected. Should it be called "Third 
Presbyterian"? In actual fact, there were then 21 Charlotte 
Presbyterian Churches so perhaps "Twenty Second Presbyte- 
rian" would have been the more appropriate name. 
The petition continued : 

"There are residing within the vicinity of the proposed 
location of this church, a large number of Presbyterians 
who will find it much more convenient to attend the 
church of their denomination closer to their place of 

Furthermore, this section of the city is rapidly devel- 
oping and other denominations are taking their places 
therein, and in order to keep place as a denomination, we 
feel it urgently important that the Presbyterian Church 
should organize." 

This desire to keep pace with the growth of the city was 
demonstrated by Mecklenburg Presbytery time and again 
during the next decades. In the fall of 1926, the only major 
denominations represented in the Myers Park area were the 
Myers Park Moravian Church and the Myers Park Method- 
ist Church, (which did not complete its present sanctuary 
until 1929). 

The letter concluded with a short preface to their signa- 

"In testimony of our interest in this movement, and 
our desire to have this petition granted, we have attached 
hereto our names." ^ 

The sheets of paper were passed to the front of the assembly 
from hand to hand. They were collected by Dr. McKay who 

3. The churches represented on the petition were: First Presbyterian, Cald- 
well Memorial, Sharon Presbyterian, Westminster Presbyterian, 2nd Presby- 
terian, and First A.R.P. all of Charlotte; First Congregational Church of 
Evanston, Illinois; First Presbyterian of Binghampton, New York; First 
Presbyterian of Charleston, West Va. ; The Lutheran Church of Winston- 
Salem ; First Baptist of Athens, Georgia. 

Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

handled them like a loving physician examining a new-born 
baby. His eyes swept down the signatures written in varying 
shades of ink. Then the announcement: The petition had been 
signed by eighty two persons. 

The formal petition was to be presented to the Presbytery 
meeting on October 26, at Bethel Presbyterian Church. There 
were many signs of encouragement that their petition would 
be accepted. There was no evident opposition within the Pres- 
byterian family of that area that could be ascertained. One 
gentleman in the auditorium raised his hand and asked to 
speak. They saw that it was Mr. R. A. Dunn, an elder in the 
First Presbyterian Church. That congregation was well rep- 
resented in the Queens Chapel at that hour. Many of those 
would be much needed by that venerable institution for her 
future leadership. Doubtless the sessions of the down-town 
churches were cognizant of the fact that as a congregation 
ages it needs transfusions of fresh blood. It can sorely afford 
to be drained of its own resources. Thus, when Mr. Dunn 
began to address the assembly, there could justifiably have 
been some trepidation in the hearts of many that he would 
wish to discourage their aims. 

His remarks reflected a genuine concern for the growth of 
the Kingdom within this young group. Then, as the secretary 
quickly scribbled in the minutes, he assured the new church of 
the cooperation of the First Presbyterian Church. There was a 
noticeable expression of joy on the faces of many of those who 
currently belonged to his church. 

Immediately after Mr. Dunn concluded his remarks, Peter 
S. Gilchrist and J. Arthur Henderson, elders of Westminster 
and Second Church respectively, added the encouragement of 
their own sessions. 


Myers Park Church, With 250 Members 
Names List of Officers" 

—CHARLOTTE NEWS, Nov. 8, 1926 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

From eighty-two to two-hundred and fifty names * indicates 
that a great deal of footwork, head work and prayer work took 
place in the month between that first meeting and the formal 
organizational meeting in the Queens Chapel on November 7. 
Enthusiasm bred enthusiasm, and the list of petitioners in- 
creased to 140 persons by the time the letter was presented to 
the Presbytery. That body of officers promptly gave their per- 
mission for the church to be formed. The next order of busi- 
ness was to appoint a commission responsible for carrying out 
the ritual prescribed in the Book of Church Order. 

Dr. W. H. Frazer, president of Queens College, preached 
the sermon at the 1 1 AM service. Afterwards, the Presbytery 
commission began its work of questioning the congregation. 
Rev. C. C. Beam, the manager of the Presbyterian Hospital, 
was especially happy to be on the commission since he had 
been in fact the first man to have led this particular group in 
worship. The congregations of Caldwell Memorial, First 
Church and Second Church were represented on the commis- 
sion by Dr. G. F. Bell, R. A. Dunn and J. Arthur Henderson 

The congregation was questioned in the prescribed manner 
and they affirmed in unison their faith and their allegiance to 
the government of the denomination. The final roll was then 
taken, and the church began with two hundred and thirty-nine 
persons, ranking it immediately 15 in size among the 92 Pres- 
byterian Churches in Mecklenburg Presbytery. 

The next order of business was to elect officers. The average 
church of such a size would have as many as twenty men 
serving as deacons and elders. But to elect so many so soon 
would have been unwise. They did not yet have a clear picture 
of all the work that was needed to be done. And certainly it 
takes wise deliberation and appreciation of one another's char- 
acter and ability before electing officers to these responsible 

4. See list of charter members in Appendix 

Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

positions. It is to the credit of the church that throughout its 
forty years it has maintained the highest respect for the offices 
of elder and deacon. Local legend has it that the charter mem- 
bers were babes in the faith and totally ignorant of how to 
operate a church. But the facts and decisions in those early 
months seem to belie this. The organization grew cautiously 
and surely. The first two elders elected were men who had 
previously been ordained into that office in another congrega- 
tion, Mr. Thomas McPheeters Glasgow and Mr. Hunter 
Marshall. The church has been unusually blessed by having 
the continued leadership and concern of these two men from 
that day to this. 

For the office of deacon, the congregation elected two men 
who had previously served in that capacity elsewhere. Eddie 
E. Jones was elected despite the fact that he was out of town 
that day. The election of John A. Tate came as a double 
blessing to his household, as earlier in the morning service his 
son, John Jr., had been the first person received into the Myers 
Park Church on profession of faith. 

And so the church was underway. Granted, there was still 
no minister or Sunday School or Wednesday night prayer 
meeting, but just give them time. 

The fact is, however, that they didn't give themselves much 
time to contemplate their new status; nor did the membership 
sit and leave all the work to the four new officers. 

On Tuesday, a group of the men had lunch together in the 
dining room of Ivey's. This was a location which through the 
years has provided shelter for many a discussion of Myers 
Park Presbyterian projects. At this particular November 
meeting, Mr. J. W. Thompson brought up the matter of soon 
choosing a name for the congregation. The decision to choose 
the name of "Myers Park" was apparently an agreeable one, 
for record of its choice by the session or the congregation was 
never given in the church documents. 

Eddie Jones spoke to the luncheon group of nine men of the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

need for three additional elders and five more deacons. This 
was to be acted on in later months, but the most urgent matter 
for the church at this point was the selection of a minister. 

The Presbyterian method of obtaining a preacher for an 
individual church has often puzzled and perplexed many out- 
side and some within the denomination. While the Methodists 
have the easiest "method," by allowing individuals of position 
to make the appointments, the Presbyterians appear to depend 
almost too much on "predestination." A pulpit committee will 
say that they have "been led" to a certain minister, while he 
will reflect on whether or not he has been "called" to that 
certain church. 

It must be noted that our young leaders in the new church in 
Myers Park were fully appreciative of the nature of a "call" 
to a minister. However, they were men skilled in business and 
decision making. Consequently it was natural that they would 
go about seeking a man to work with them in their church in a 
highly efficient manner. 

The nine men seated at the Ivey's dining table that Tuesday 
in November decided there should be a pulpit committee 
composed of persons from the congregation, appointed by the 
officers to act jointly with the secretary of their group (in this 
case, Tom Henderson) and the four newly elected church 
officers. This pulpit committee was duly selected the follow- 
ing Sunday. The men elected to serve with the officers were 
Dr. Hamilton McKay, J. T. Wardlaw, Dr. Yates Faison, 
George Wilson, Jr. and Charles P. Moody. 

Whom should they choose as their pastor? A similar young 
church starting out in the 1960's would probably seek the 
advice of the Field Work Directors of the Seminaries and 
then hope to secure a recent graduate who would be interested 
in working with their church. The Myers Park Presbyterians 
took a different approach. They felt that their need was for a 
minister already mature in the work of the church. It must be 
someone who could take them more quickly over the hurdles 


Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

of organization and into the greater program of the Kingdom. 
Their first step was to inquire of prominent churchmen as to 
whom they might suggest as suitable men for serving their 

When the pulpit committee gathered for lunch at Ivey's on 
the next Wednesday, they had a special guest. Dr. Walter 
Lingle, president of The Assembly's Training School in Rich- 
mond, shared with the group information regarding several 
ministers whom they had under consideration. This contribu- 
tion of Dr. Lingle's was only one of many that he was to 
render the church in the coming years. When he became Pres- 
ident of Davidson College in 1929, he was a neighbor in deed 
as well as in fact, for he preached in the Myers Park Presbyte- 
rian pulpit more than a dozen times during the next two dec- 

Perhaps it will not be indelicate to list the names of some of 
the persons whom Dr. Lingle suggested to that fledgling com- 
mittee. The names are so illustrous that one can only gasp at 
the presumption of a brand-new church considering these 

James J. Murray of Lexington, Virginia 
Samuel Glasgow of Knoxville, Tennessee 
James J. Fowle of St. Louis, Missouri 
Stuart Ogden of Mobile, Alabama 
John R. Cunningham of Gainesville, Florida 
John H. McSween of Anderson, South Carolina 

To the outsider, consideration of such personalities would 
appear in the same light as the hiring of J. Edgar Hoover to 
be the corner policeman. But that would be to mistake the 
aims of this unusual congregation. They were seeking an ex- 
ceptional man not because they felt themselves to be excep- 
tional persons, but because they felt their needs and opportu- 
nities to be exceptional. 

The first person on their list was Dr. Taliaferro Thompson, 
a professor at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. The 
very name of "Dr. Tolly" will stir within the memories of 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

many readers a fond recollection of one who looked and lived 
the life of a saint. A more loved-filled servant of the Lord 
v^ould be difficult to recall. 

Dr. Thompson journeyed to Charlotte and preached for the 
church on December 5. Though he felt it best to continue his 
teaching in Richmond, he never lost a feeling of kinship for 
this congregation. He returned to that pulpit practically every 
fall and was the unanimous choice of the session to lead the 
service commemorating the church's tenth anniversary in 

On the second Sunday in that December of '26, Dr. Melton 
Clark began serving the church as interim preacher until a 
minister was called. Dr. Clark was professor of English Bible 
and Religious Education at Columbia Seminary in Columbia, 
South Carolina. He was a noted preacher, having served pas- 
torates in Florence, S. C, the First Presbyterian in Greens- 
boro and the Second Presbyterian in Charleston, S. C. Be- 
sides his homiletic ability, he was gratefully received by the 
members for his wisdom in counseling and his charming per- 
sonality. Little wonder, then, that it was to Dr. Clark that the 
pulpit committee turned next. He surely must have appre- 
ciated their inquiry into his availability, but like Dr. Thomp- 
son he too was in the midst of an extremely productive period 
in his teaching ministry. He later became Vice-President of 
the Seminary and eventually served as acting President of the 
Seminary during an interim period. 

One of the men whom Dr. Lingle had suggested was quite 
well known to several of those on the pulpit committee. This 
was Dr. Glasgow of First Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. 
He was a preacher of rich evangelistic talent. Doubtless, the 
committee felt that it had an excellent chance of persuading 
him to accept this charge, since his brother was one of their 
elders. So confident were they, that on December 19 the con- 
gregation officially extended a call to Dr. Glasgow. 

"The church of Myers Park being on sufficient 
grounds well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of 


Organizing The Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926 

you, Rev. S. M. Glasgow D. D., and having good hopes 
from our knowledge of your labors that your ministra- 
tions in the gospel will be profitable to our spiritual inter- 
est, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office 
in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of 
your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obe- 
dience in the Lord; and that you may be free from 
worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and 
oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of Six Thousand 
Dollars ($6000.00) a year in regular monthly payments 
during the time of your being and continuing the regular 
pastor of this church." 

What reaction Dr. Glasgov^ had to the call we do not know. 
It lay before him nearly three weeks. Then, on January 9, 
1927 Eddie Jones had the woeful task of announcing to the 
congregation that Dr. Glasgow had concluded he could not 
accept their invitation. 

And so the search began anew. 

The committee was not simply going down the list, no mat- 
ter how exalted the reputation of the persons named, no in- 
deed, for they had made an effort to analyze the type of man 
for whom they were searching. He should be between the ages 
of 35 and 45, making him a contemporary of the majority of 
the church leadership. Hopefully, he would have a personal- 
ity which would enable him to mingle well with the people of 
their congregation, and the committee emphasized that he 
should be thoroughly orthodox in all his beliefs. 

They made a small list of the traits which they were seeking 
in the order of their preference. First, he should be spiritually 
minded. Second, he would need to have ability as a leader. 
There was so much organizing and leading to do. Third, he 
must have a pastor's heart for his people. And finally in the 
words of their minutes, he must have "the usual qualifications 
of a good preacher." 

With such traits in mind, one can easily see why the com- 
mittee quickly turned to Drs. Thompson, Glasgow and Clark. 
And also, one is struck with how aptly these traits apply to the 
one who did become their shepherd. 





T'he yirst rJ)(Cinister: 

Like many of the charter members of Myers Park Presbyte- 
rian, Edgar G. Gammon, the first minister, was a son of the 
manse. Maybe the mountain air of his birthplace, Asheville, 
North Carolina, gave him the zest for vigorous living. Where- 
ever its source, it remained with him all 78 years of his life. 

How attractive he must have been as a young man! One can 
well imagine the flock of admiring young boys who idealized 
the Hampden-Sydney student who was captain of both the 
football and baseball teams, and lo-second track star. If asked, 
he probably would have said that he majored in "people," 
substantiated by his activities in his social fraternity (Beta 
Theta Phi), Literary Society, Dramatica, and leadership on 
the campus (ODK). But then it would be typical of him to 
underplay his scholarship. In actuality, he was a good student 
and after graduation he even taught Latin at Blackstone 

However, there is no denying that his first interest was defi- 
nitely in people. And this love for his fellowman motivated 
his teaching and coaching at the School for the Blind and 
Deaf in Staunton (1907). He then decided to enter the min- 
istry and upon attainment of his B.D. in 191 1 he went to the 
dusty banks of the Rio Grande to do Home Mission work. 


The First Minister: 1927-1939 

While he worked for the Lord and for $50 a month in Texas, 
the Lord richly rewarded him with an introduction to a hand- 
some young lady of Austin, Miss Bessie Cochran. They were 
married in 19 14, when he was thirty years old. Three years 
later, in the midst of the war, he accepted a position "back 
home" as YMCA secretary and pastor in Hampden-Sydney, 

By 1923, the post-war world had begun to relax, and "Rip" 
Gammon accepted a call to be the pastor of an old and revered 
church, the First Presbyterian of Selma, Alabama. Again his 
insatiable heart opened to receive hundreds of new friends. 

The Selma Church had an imposing plant and a full pro- 
gram. He was finding himself completely caught up in the 
work and lives of the people therein. Knowing and loving 
each member so well, it was easy for Dr. Gammon to spot the 
four strangers in the congregation one Sunday morning in 
January of 1927. He knew to expect visitors, for he had re- 
cently received a telegram from a church completely 
unknown to him, Myers Park Presbyterian in Charlotte, in- 
quiring whether or not he would be in his pulpit on a particu- 
lar Sunday. 

After the service that day, the four men made an appoint- 
ment to see Dr. Gammon at the manse. They were a youthful 
group. Dr. Hamilton McKay, George Wilson Jr., Tom Glas- 
gow and Tom Henderson. Dr. Gammon later wrote of this 
experience, saying, "They were an attractive looking group, 
not the least unsure of themselves and in high good humor." 
There was not the faintest ecclesiastical suggestion about them 
but rather a committee to select a football coach." 

They spoke about their church, their membership and their 
spiritual need. They said that they liked him and wanted him 
to accept a call to come to them. It was as simple as that, and as 
surprising as that to Dr. Gammon. Had he more time to think 
on this, he might have said "no" to them at that moment. But 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

the suddenness of this invitation from this unknown church 
caused the minister to pause. 

By arrangement, Dr. Gammon came to Charlotte on Febru- 
ary II, 1927 on his first visit to the Queen city. He v^as gener- 
ously, and graciously entertained by members of the church. 
Then he conducted their mid-week prayer meeting for them. 
The group there gathered must have realized that this 
friendly man was no timid soul in the pulpit, for he chose as 
his topic no less a sharply-aimed passage for their hearing 
than "The Rich Young Ruler." 

Having seen the beautiful suburban streets and met the "de- 
lightful group of men and women, the gayest ever," Dr. Gam- 
mon then sat down to talk with the pulpit committee about 
their prospectus for the church. He learned that they con- 
ceived of their church as being a place for them and their 
friends to learn afresh about the things of the Spirit. (Too 
exclusive a viewpoint, thought Dr. Gammon). They spoke of 
their plans to raise as much as $125,000.00 to build Sunday 
School quarters while continuing to worship in the Queens 
College Chapel. This seemed quite ambitious to them, and the 
procedure of the Educational building before the Sanctuary 
was that followed by nearly every other beginning congrega- 

But this was not a church like "every other" one. At least, 
Dr. Gammon did not see it as such. He saw a charming so- 
phisticated group of people who did not need a place for 
recreation, for they belonged to the Country Clubs. They did 
not need a place for the women to hold sewing-bees, for they 
were already engaged in many community projects and socie- 
ties. No, what they truly needed was a place that would com- 
mend itself for corporate worship, a place that would not be 
aesthetically inferior to the standards of any of the worship- 
pers. Believing this to be their primary need. Dr. Gammon 
surprised the group by telling them that their goals were 


The First Minister: 1927-1939 

neither correctly evaluated nor high enough. They should be 
aiming for $250,000.00 or more. 

Do not think that Dr. Gammon over-estimated the financial 
assets of the small church. He was often fond of saying that his 
pastoral visits were made on mortgage-rows. He knew that 
what wealth was represented in the church belonged to a few. 
He also recognized that these were persons of great potential 
in service and in success. And when great demands are made, 
great ends are achieved. 

However, it seemed too much to ask of them, and so the 
congregation indicated to Dr. Gammon that his vision was 
excessive. So be it. Dr. Gammon felt he must reject their call, 
and thus, returned to Selma. 

On his return, he dictated a letter to Mr. George Wilson. It 
was a difficult letter to write, and it lay on his desk for several 
days before being mailed. In it he wrote : 

"As my telegram indicated, I made my decision in regard 
to the two fields open to me only after most conscientious 
consideration. It was a most trying one to make. The 
work you men offered me went straight to the mark. I 
feel sure that I saw it clearly, perhaps too much so. There 
were many things most attractive to me. It goes without 
saying, however, that I had to face the just claims of my 
work here, and when I looked at them honestly and faith- 
fully, I was forced to feel that I should remain here. 

"You will remember that I said In the beginning that 
there would have to be some vital reason here or there 
for any change. There was no such reason here. The fact 
is, the call revealed a situation here that was compelling 
In the other direction. While my trip to Charlotte made 
me see without difficulty the real and great opportunity 
there, I have been unable to feel that the need of me was 
as great there as It seems to be here. 

"The strain of this thing has been very great, but in spite 
of all that, I would not have missed the experience of 
knowing you and the men and the work. Let me tell you 
again how much personal pleasure it gives me to know 
you and your family, and how I appreciate your Interest 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

and your kindness. It is things like that that made my 
decision so difficult to make. 

"With warm regards from Mrs. Gammon and myself, I 

Sincerely yours, 
(Edgar G. Gammon) 

That appeared to end the matter; certainly it did as far as 
Dr. Gammon was concerned. 

The pulpit committee then resumed its deliberations with 
the list in hand. Still, their thoughts kept coming back to Dr. 
Gammon and to what he had said to them of their aims. 
Perhaps he was right; perhaps they were really aiming too 
low. After all, they certainly shouldn't have a limited concept 
of their church. It should be planned for a congregation 
greater in size and potential than that which they now had. 
And his idea of starting with a sanctuary — "corporate wor- 
ship" at the center of their work — was a revelatory idea. 

In the spring, Dr. Gammon returned to Charlotte but not to 
see the people of Myers Park Presbyterian Church. Rather, 
he was fulfilling a previously scheduled committment to 
preach at the Sunday evening vesper service at Davidson Col- 
lege. When the pulpit committee learned that Dr. Gammon 
was in town, they immediately sought to get in touch with 
him. There was a telephone call made to the home where he 
was staying. 

Could they come by to talk with him? 

No, that didn't seem wise since he had already made his 

Well, would he object to their being in the congregation 
when he spoke at Davidson? 

Certainly not. 

Then would he allow time for them to spend a few minutes 
in a friendly social visit afterwards? 

That would be most pleasant. 

The men whom George Wilson had quickly rounded up got 


The First Minister: 1927-1939 

into Charles Moody's Cadillac for the forty-minute ride to 
Davidson. Mr. Moody was the chairman of the pulpit com- 
mittee, and he was certainly the oldest one in the group. They 
sat in the chapel with the students, then afterwards came for- 
ward to greet Dr. Gammon. As they walked with him to the 
College Inn, they exchanged pleasantries and re-established 
the warm relationship which was so easy in Dr. Gammon's 

When they settled in the parlor of the Inn, the conversation 
soon turned from "social" to "business" — the business of the 
Myers Park Presbyterian Church. The men did the talking, 
explaining their new willingness to build a church plant of a 
quarter of a million dollars. They also elaborated on their 
deeper understanding of the nature of the church. Their con- 
cluding statement was a simple and direct one : "We want you 
as our minister, Dr. Gammon." 

The trip back to Selma must have been a thought-filled one 
for the minister torn between two fields of service. When he 
returned home, he received the following telegram from 
Hunter Marshall, Jr. 


His decision was made. He sat down in his church ofHce 
and placed a sheet of stationery into the typewriter. Then, 
quickly he began writing a letter to Eddie Jones : 

"I feel that I am now prepared to write you definitely 
about the work up there. 

"It is my intention to offer my resignation here just as 
soon as the proper way can be arranged. I will ask the 
Session to call a congregational meeting Sunday. This 
will take two weeks, then there will be a called meeting of 
Presbytery; so it will be around the latter part of May 
before I can get away. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

"Of course, this has cost me no little. But the last call 
from the church, presented in the way and spirit that you 
men presented it, has made me feel that I should do my 
best to aid you in the work there. I shall come with the 
ardent prayer that we are doing the Lord's will, and in 
the firm belief that you men are ready to go the limit with 
me to do a real piece of work for Him there. Boy, when 
we do go, let's GO. God grant that we may have His 
presence every minute, and with Him to help us we sim- 
ply cannot lose." 

The nev^s spread rapidly through the congregation. "We're 
getting a Preacher." It had taken nearly six months, but some- 
one was coming who had the enthusiasm and the ability to get 
them started in the work of the Kingdom. 

The officers were jubilant at the prospect of having Dr. 
Gammon as their teaching elder. Tom Glasgow was in Chi- 
cago when he learned the news. Quickly he sent a telegram to 
Hunter Marshall. 



MINISTER 1927-1939 





T'he yirst "building "Program 

The church directory issued in 1965 indicated that the staff 
is responsible "for the preaching of the Word, the visitation of 
the sick, the orderly operation of the affairs of the church, the 
keeping of all proper records, etc." 

There was no "staff" in 1927 other than Dr. Gammon and 
his part-time secretary. Yet the interesting feature of this is 
that the basic concept of the responsibilites of the preacher 
has not changed from the first days of Gammon's ministry to 
the present time. Despite the fact that the church had to be 
planned and built and the finances secured, the session assured 
Dr. Gammon that his work was pastoral, not architectural or 
financial. Dr. Gammon never hesitated to acknowledge that 
this was much to their credit and to his benefit. 

Of course, his interest in the progress of the building com- 
mittee was most keen, but the decision-making and footwork 
was not his responsibility. Indeed, a great deal of preparatory 
work had already begun before Dr. Gammon arrived in Char- 
lotte in the early summer of 1927. 

Back in February when the pulpit committee was still ago- 
nizing over finding a minister, the congregation elected a 
building and a lot committee. Those responsible for locating 
the site on which to build found several possibilities, which in 
fact made their task more difficult rather than easier. 

Tom Henderson, chairman of the Lot Committee, reported 


The First Building Program 

to the congregation in the spring that there were several loca- 
tions which seemed attractive. A lot at the intersection of 
Queens Road and Providence Road was available, as was the 
lot at the intersection of Briarwood Road and Beverly Way. 
The congregation was more favorably inclined toward the 
first, which was later purchased by the Myers Park Methodist 
Church. Serious consideration of three particular lots was un- 
derway by April. 

On Selwyn Avenue there were two attractive sites, one just a 
block down from Queens College and the other was two 
blocks below that one. These were priced at $33,500 and 
$27,500 respectively. There was a lot two blocks from the 
intersection of Queens Road and Providence which was sell- 
ing for $25,000.^ This was certainly more in the price-range 
which the committee contemplated. After proper delibera- 
tion, this lot of three acres was purchased in mid-April. 

So the address was to be "Providence Road and Burnham 
Place." Somehow this didn't seem consistent with their antici- 
pated dignity, so the City Fathers were petitioned to change 
the name to the more scholarly one of "Oxford Place." 

Reporting on the Myers Park Church in November of 

1927, the CHRISTIAN OBSERVER said, "The lot is well 
elevated with certain parts densely wooded while other parts 
slope gently to the streets, with an opening here and there 
through the trees which will give an attractive view of the 
buildings." Dr. Gammon first saw it as a field only suitable for 
growing broomstraw. 

But beauty was in the eye of the beholders, and the "behold- 
ers" on the Building Committee began working toward mak- 
ing real their vision of what could be. 

What an exciting task was placed in the hands of the com- 
mittee! They began with four, with David Ovens as chairman, 

5. A 100 foot lot adjoining the original purchase was bought in January 

1928. This was called the Sampson Property. Its 100 foot width faced on 
Providence Road and sold for $6600. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

that remarkable individual so linked with the success of Ivey's 
Department store. It soon became evident that this number 
was not enough to handle the full responsibility of building 
and contracting the church. And so the number was increased 
to seven. Two ladies, Mrs. Rush Lee and Mrs. Charles 
Lambeth, joined five men in selecting an architect, preparing 
a scheme of development and drawing up plans and specifica- 
tion for the building. 

Frank Lloyd Wright would have approved the initial deci- 
sions of the committee, for they followed two of his prime 
maxims in planning the building. The church was to be well 
placed on the land, and the materials used were to be native to 
the area. 

With three acres at their disposal, the committee wisely 
decided to locate the sanctuary on the apex of the property and 
far enough from Providence Road to allow for a graceful 
approach and a minimum of traffic disturbance. Then for the 
materials, it went no further from the site then the edge of the 
Myers Park Country Club where an old quarry was re-acti- 
vated to yield the soft blue-gray stone that was used to build 
the English-Gothic edifice. 

Deciding on the size of the building was no easy assign- 
ment. It is generally believed by church architects that the 
Sanctuary actually need seat only one half of the total con- 
gregation, for the average attendance of most Protestant 
Churches in the South is approximately one third of the total 
membership. If the Myers Park Church had stuck to such a 
theory, the young congregation might have built a sanctuary 
with a seating capacity of 175. The architectural firms of J. 
M. McMichael, Inc. of Charlotte and Mayer and Mathieu of 
New York doubtless soon discovered this was not an "aver- 
age" congregation. This church had their sights on the future, 
not on the present enrollment. And so, a Sanctuary was 
planned with a seating capacity of seven hundred. This was to 
be called "Unit # I." 


The First Building Program 

This initial unit would also contain the two towers, an al- 
cove for the organ, the Pastor's study and the Sunday School 
offices, the heating plant and boilers. A "turn key" job for this 
would cost an estimated $133,724. 

With that figure in mind, we might insert here a word about 
the financial status of this church. Because of its location in 
the finest residential section of the city (and because it has 
often had ambitious financial programs) the Myers Park 
Presbyterian Church had the reputation of being a wealthy 
church. It would be more truthful to say that it has established 
itself as a generous church. Dr. Gammon realized that most of 
those in his "flock" were young people just getting started in 
their business or profession. But they had the large vision for 
their church, and they were prepared to make sacrifices to see 
that the building aspect of this vision was completed. 

In mid-September of 1927, Mr. Ovens reported on the 
progress of the building committee. Using a watercolor per- 
spective and a map locating the building on the property, he 
stimulated the congregation with hopes of what was to be. At 
that same meeting, a unanimous vote was given for a resolu- 
tion empowering the trustees to "execute such notes or bonds 
representing such sums borrowed (not to exceed $100,000.) as 
they may consider necessary binding the church to the pay- 
ment thereof." 

Then the work began. Dr. Gammon had arrived in June 
and was living in a rented stucco house on Queens Road. He 
immediately went about his task (a word which he would 
never have used to describe his work) of meeting and knowing 
all members. The job of building the church was completely 
in the hands of the committee, and gratefully Dr. Gammon 
left it there. However, no day passed that did not find him at 
some time observing the workmen or chatting with Charles 
Ross, David Ovens, and Hunter Marshall as they walked 
about the construction. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Having planned the building in "units," it was intended 
that the First Unit would be completed before work would 
begin on the second. Meanwhile, the Sunday School would 
need temporary quarters which was estimated would cost 
$7500. When it was learned that the contractor would give 
them a discount of $6000 if he were to build Units # i and #2 
at the same time, the congregation determined to proceed with 
the building of both units. They estimated that their saving 
would be between $12,000 and $13,500. But where would the 
additional financial demands come from? Hopefully, they 
were going to rely upon increased subscription and pledges 
made by new members. Had the church not been growing so 
fast, the depression years would have been more of a hardship 
on the church program than they were. 

Some thought it unfortunate that Dr. Gammon's installa- 
tion service could not be held in the new church. Actually, the 
site of Queens Chapel was most appropriate. The college pres- 
ident, Dr. W. H. Frazer, presided and gave the charge to the 
congregation on September 18, 1927. He, it was, who had 
already done so much for the young group as they struggled to 
their feet. The sermon was delivered by the President of 
Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Dr. Benjamin Rice 
Lacy. This great friend of Myers Park Church was to preach 
on subsequent occasions a half-dozen times from Dr. Gam- 
mon's pulpit. Dr. Beam, the one who had preached their very 
first sermon, delivered the charge to the pastor. Completing 
the commission from the Presbytery were Dr. J. R. Bridges 
and George E. Wilson, Jr. 

An installation service is concerned with "God's people" 
and "God's man," thus the location of the service is not of 
primary importance. "God's house" was the center of atten- 
tion in April of 1928 when the corner-stone was laid. 

"The corner stone of a building," said Dr. Gammon on that 
occasion, "is just what its name indicates. It is a stone which 


The First Building Program 

unites two sites of the foundation, that part of any building 
that must be sure and steadfast, placed at the most prominent 
of the corners. It is a figure of the place that Christ occupies in 
His Church. In this building not made with hands. He is the 
'Corner Stone'. . . it is our right to do far more than lay the 
corner stone of a material building. It is our privilege in this 
service to turn this physical act into spiritual worship." 

Then, into the hollowed stone itself, were placed a copy of 
Dr. Gammon's remarks, the PRESBYTERIAN STAND- 
ARD of September 28, 1927 (which contained an article on 
the church written by Hunter Marshall), the floor plans of 
the building, a list of all officers in all areas of the church's 
program, and a list of the charter members. 

The lot began to be transformed as first the studding, then 
the stone work took shape. Like a young couple who appre- 
ciates the use of the big family house but who is anxious to 
move into their own home, so the young congregation watched 
their new church being built. Dr. Gammon left no doubt in 
their minds that the spirit of the church was not to be found in 
the establishment of a building. They understood this, cer- 
tainly, but it was a temptation to them, watching it grow stone 
by stone, to attach more love to the building itself than they 
should. They were proud of its beauty. Yet, they ever re- 
minded themselves that it was beauty built for the glory of 
God and not to their pride. 

On Sunday, April 7, 1929, at the Gammon home the three 
children divided the CHARLOTTE NEWS among them- 
selves, and then one called out for the family to hear what the 
newspaper had written about the church. 

"No congregation has ever started off in its earlier begin- 
nings toward a career of greater usefulness in Kingdom- 
promotion than that of the Myers Park Presbyterian 
Church which is today entering its new house of worship, 
a thing of exceeding beauty and a joy to the hearts of the 
members of this band as it ought to be a source of great 
pride to the community at large." 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

That was a privilege and a responsibility to bear, thought 
Dr. Gammon as he adjusted his cut-away coat in preparation 
for the morning service. 

"It has now one of the finest temples of worship in the 
Southland, an expensive creation of beauty and of con- 
vienence. It was spared the chagrin that the new congre- 
gation usually suffers in being forced to worship for a few 
years in some sort of a shack, often for many years in 
that sort." 

Mrs. Gammon commented to the family that Myers Park 
Presbyterian owed much to Queens College for their facilities 
so graciously lent. This was one of the several reasons why the 
church should concern itself with ministering to the students 
and faculty of that institution. Elizabeth Gammon read an- 
other paragraph from the paper : 

". . . here is a new influence in the Christian life of this 
community whose outreach is going to be distant and 
whose labors amazingly effective for the furtherance of 
popular interest in the great religion of Man of Galilee." 

What a challenge! 

There was a feeling of pride and reverence and apprecia- 
tion as well as many other emotions within the hearts of the 
480 members who worshipped for the first time in their new 
Church building that morning. The 350 new hymn books were 
quickly put to use as the congregation stood to sing together. 
Their voices sounded full and rich as they filled the sloping 
Sanctuary and resounded against the cathedral ceiling. Then 
they eased comfortably into the theatre-like seats with arms 
for each worshipper. The soft tan upholstery was pleasant to 
the eyes of all who looked up toward the central pulpit and the 
choir loft directly behind. Dr. Gammon was seated in one of 
the three pulpit chairs; the choir director could not be seen. 
Mrs. Charles A. Moseley, Jr. played the introduction to the 
offertory as the guest soloist stood up to sing. He was Joseph 
Mathieu of New York and his contribution to Myers Park 


The First Building Program 

was more than the rendition of this one song. He had in fact 
served as one of the consulting architects for this very build- 
ing. And now, his baritone voice began singing the first notes 
of "Open the Gates of the Temple." 

When Dr. Gammon led the worshipping community in 
prayer there was not one vv^ho did not say with conviction the 
"Amen" to his words asking that "This House of God ever be 
the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of Truth." 



T'he Qhurch Services 

As the church building began to be "home" to the congrega- 
tion, the program of the church increased correspondingly. 
Prior to this time, the activity of the membership was centered 
on the regular services and the initial meetings of the Wom- 
an's Auxiliary. 

After the first Sunday of their founding, the morning serv- 
ices were always held at 1 1 A.M. It has been noted how fortu- 
nate they were to have truly outstanding men in their pulpit 
during the eight months prior to Dr. Gammon's arrival. He 
himself was a preacher of unusual ability. 

Preaching did not come easily for him, however. He gave 
his friends to believe that there was never a time when he 
entered the pulpit with confidence and eagerness. Though he 
impressed the congregations with his sermons, it was not until 
August of 1935 that he even allowed a sermon topic to be 
noted in the bulletin. 

He was most concerned with being a pastor, and this 
showed in his sermons. St. Paul appeared to be his favorite 
Biblical author. To many in the congregation, he seemed to 
probe most often at their social activities. He was interested in 
their day-to-day Christian hopes and struggles. The sermon 
was to bolster them in the faith and aid them in getting "safely 
through another week." 

On surveying the bulletins, one detects that Dr. Gammon 


The Church Services 

had an appreciation for the "sentimental" values of the faith. 
He frequently quoted poems, and if they appealed to him they 
would be used over and over again. Twice in one month did he 
print the poem entitled "If we believed in God." He printed 
several times the capsule biography of Jesus which stressed 
His unsophisticated background. One came to expect that 
once every summer the bulletin would include the poem 
called "Why I go to Church in Hot Weather." 

Nor did Dr. Gammon ever fail to note on the second Sun- 
day of each June that it was his anniversary in the pulpit of 
the Myers Park Presbyterian Church. He seems to have 
treated it much like a wedding anniversary — an occasion for 
re-affirming his affection for them. 

He was a preacher more concerned with the persons listen- 
ing than with the words being heard. His effectiveness was 
attested to by the invitations which he received from so many 
other groups. He especially liked to speak to college audi- 
ences, and he did so with some regularity at Davidson and 
Hampden Sydney. He delivered the Baccalaureate sermons 
for Cullowhee, Darlington, Union Theological Seminary, 
Georgia Military Academy and several high schools in the 
area. While at Myers Park he also conducted services for 
Massanetta Young People's conferences, Sweet Briar, Long- 
wood, V. M. I. and Clemson colleges. 

"His style in preaching is unique in its directness," wrote 
Mr. Tom Glasgow "as he deals with the fundamentals of life 
and the Gospel with piercing frankness in a way that arrests, 
challenges and convicts. There is an absence of oratorical 
phrases, time-worn platitudes and forensic gestures, but in 
their place is the baring of his own soul and its problems as he 
shares his Savior's life, inspires and calls to those before him 
to follow in his Master's train." 

The Sunday evening service has long been an accepted fea- 
ture of the Reformation Church. Sunday being a day of rest 
and worship, it seemed only fitting that it begin and end with a 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

service of prayer and praise. Therefore, it was natural that the 
church would schedule such a vesper service at the beginning 
of its existence. 

But from the very beginning, it had problems! The services 
were suspended during the summer months in 1928. Then, 
they resumed in the fall to meet Sunday evening at 7:30 P.M. 
The attendance was low. At the first of the new year, the time 
for meeting was changed to 5 :oo o'clock. Attendance 
remained low. The time was then delayed to 5 130 P.M. Still, 
few persons attended. In March of 1929, they went back to 
7:30 P.M. This lasted until the services were again suspended 
in June. The next year saw the same amount of time-juggling 
in an attempt to accommodate a larger number of wor- 

Nothing seemed to work as a stimulus for attendance. The 
session rebuked itself for failing to support vesper services 
adequately. They pledged their full support in 193 1, but in a 
few months the attendance was back to its low average. Dr. 
Gammon was so concerned that he once noted in the church 
bulletin that the lack of congregational support might reflect a 
lack of real spirituality among them. 

". . . our evening congregation is nothing short of a 
reproach to our work. On last Sunday (May i, 1932) 
the attendance amounted to 75. If we have only appear- 
ances to go by, we could reach no other conclusion than 
that the congregation no longer desires this type of serv- 

This hint of the possible discontinuance of the evening service 
was the last unthinkable resort! 

In retrospect we can see something of the problems sur- 
rounding these early evening services. Certainly the frequent 
changes of time did not help to stabilize the service in the 
minds of the members, nor did their disbanding every summer 
and on occasions when conflicting special services were being 
held elsewhere in the city. It was also unfortunate that the 


The Church Services 

members felt the evening service to be more or less divinely 
ordained and thus to be supported regardless of its inconven- 
ience or lack of real significance to them. 

As the church matured, it came to see that a more varied 
program for dififerent groups v^ithin the church was to be 
desired on Sunday evenings. Once again, the exploring nature 
of the church rescued it from becoming tradition-bound to a 
program that v^as not reaching a maximum number of people. 

As was indicated when Dr. Gammon first insisted on their 
building a sanctuary before another portion of the plant, the 
worship services have been central to this congregation. Much 
emphasis was placed on the strength of worshipping together, 
strength for themselves individually and for the church col- 
lectively. "Don't stay at home for the big Sunday dinner" said 
a note in a 1933 bulletin, "get a fireless cooker!" The front 
page of the bulletin most frequently quoted Matthew 11 :28, 
"Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I 
will give you rest." ^ 

The lofty ceiling and comfortable seats doubtless contrib- 
uted to the pleasantness of worship experience, for complaints 
of temperature in the sanctuary were rare. Hot weather had 
some effect upon them, however, as the session noted in the 
summer of 1937. "The sentiment prevailed among the mem- 
bers of the Session that it would be entirely proper for anyone 
to remove his coat at church services if he so desired." Cold 
weather never seems to have affected attendance, except for a 
twelve inch snow in 1935 when only 27 persons appeared for 
Sunday School. The church records note this Sunday as the 
only time when the morning worship service was called off 
due to the weather. 

6. also used during the 1930's were Ps.ioo:4; Rev. 22 :i7 ; Jn.i2:32 


The Qhurch Officers 


"Christ has furnished others besides the Ministers of the 
Word with gifts and commission to govern when called 
thereunto, which offices are entitled Ruling Elders. They 
should cultivate . . . their aptness to teach the Bible 
and improve every opportunity of doing so . . . (and) 
they ought to be blameless in life and sound in faith 
... of wisdom and discretion, and by the holiness of 
their walk and conversation should be examples to the 


It has been pointed out that from the beginning, the Myers 
Park Presbyterian Church found itself "short" on ex- 
perienced leadership. Its first four officers were among the 
few in the congregation who had ever served as Church offi- 
cers previously. However, they were "long" on potential 
leadership! Forty years after its founding there were 142 men 
in the living congregation who were serving in active or re- 
tired capacity as officers of the Church, and this is but a frac- 
tion of the talent within the membership. 

One gathers from the minutes of the session and diaconate 
that there has never been any shyness on the part of the officers 
in seeking to do what was expected of them. All three minis- 
ters — Gammon, Jones and Fogartie — have commented on 
their having been impressed with the unassuming confidence 


The Church Officers 

of the officers whom they met before accepting their respec- 
tive calls to the church. It might possibly be assumed that such 
confidence comes naturally to men who spend six days a week 
in executive capacities. But this would only partly account for 
the trait. Besides that there is an unexplainable eagerness in 
the character of these men of Myers Park. Shyness is a luxury 
they could not afford. 

Dr. Gammon took the young James Jones aside on one occa- 
sion and said "These people are like a pack of horses; you try 
to guide them, but every now and then you just have to get out 
of their way." The analogy may not be a fortunate one, but Dr. 
Gammon simply was trying to testify in a humorous way that 
the church was full of energy and power, alert and aggressive 
in doing the work of the Kingdom. Dr. Jones enjoyed the 
description and passed it on to James Fogartie fifteen years 
later. He in turn proudly implies that if anything, the horse- 
power has increased ! 

So from the inception of the church, the officers have been 
zealous in exercising government and discipline over the con- 
gregation. Their duties recollecting in part the tasks of the 
apostles, are essentially spiritual in nature. The session meet- 
ings are opened and closed with prayer.^ The minister serves 
as Moderator, and the Clerk of the session (elected by that 
body) notes the attendance and reads the minutes of the last 
meeting. These meetings were, in the beginning, held on the 
first Monday night of each month.^ 

Joint meetings with the Deacons were usually held quar- 
terly. The place of meeting has often changed: sometimes in 
the pastor's study, sometimes in the home of an elder. Usually 

7. All minutes of the session are submitted to the Presbytery to be read for 
approval by that body. Frequently the Myers Park Presbyterian Church has 
been commended on her minutes. Only once was there a correction by the 
Presbytery, and that had to do with the omission of a prayer in one or two 

8. During World War II they were held on the same evening as the 
Men's Club meeting, for purposes of saving on gasoline. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

there has been a session meeting on Sunday morning, prima- 
rily for receiving new members or to prepare for Communion 
or Baptismal services. These "sessions" are short ones. Those 
of more lengthy duration have generally been the evening 
meetings. Though the memory of some officers might be oth- 
erwise, the minutes indicate that their meetings through the 
years have never been unduly long ones. Mr. Fogartie attrib- 
utes this to the executive ability of the members and the able 
preparation given by the executive committee. Since 1950, the 
Moderator has mailed the agenda together with a notice of the 
monthly session meeting to each officer. 

The responsibility of "exercising government and disci- 
pline" over the church is the first of the elder's duties as out- 
lined by the Book of Church Order. The session, taking this 
assignment quite seriously, has planned for and executed 
elections of officers every two years. The quality of men nomi- 
nated has always been high. In nominating and electing offi- 
cers, the congregation as a whole has used the qualifications 
stated by James A. Jones as a guide-line in their selections: 

(i) Reality of Christian Life 

( 2 ) Loyalty to the Church 

(3) Good judgment 

Through the years these men have "ridden herd" upon 
themselves, ever striving to set the proper example for all 
members of the congregation. In a resolution passed by the 
session in the spring of 1936, they pledged themselves to 

". . . guard, with scrupulous care, the good name of the 
church and the standing of that church as interpreted by 
the non-church world in the lives of those who have been 
elected to the position of officers. To that end, our secular 
activities should be above criticism, our social activities 
upon that high plane which would avoid the appearance 
of evil, and our observance of the Sabbath day in such a 
manner as will not bring discredit upon the Church of 
Jesus Christ . . ." 


The Church Officers 

The duty to "exercise discipline" may have been a promi- 
nent feature of the Reformation era and the days of the Puri- 
tan fathers, but the official records of Myers Park Presbyte- 
rian Church do not contain any cases of such actions. This is 
not to say that the Session has been uninterested in or insensi- 
tive to the doctrine and deeds of the members. Far from it! 
The session apparently has seen itself through the years as 
being concerned with "redemption" rather than "condemna- 
tion." The Christian message is one of Salvation, and the eld- 
ers have long sought to save and not waste their energies on 
damning. Never in the minutes are we told of a time when any 
members were summoned before that group to confess to or 
answer for their beliefs or actions. 

Overseeing the spiritual interest of the church is the central 
function of the session. At the beginning, they sought to fulfill 
this responsibility of scheduling the two Sunday services and 
the Wednesday night prayer meeting.® This responsibility is 
still in their hands. They approve the time and place of meet- 
ing, the scheduling of special services, even the order of wor- 

Having been reared in the land of Dwight L. Moody and 
Billy Sunday, of Massannetta and Montreat, it seemed most 
natural to the session to plan for religious re-consecration 
services of their own. Thus, once or twice a year, the church 
would set aside several days for special services. The men 
invited were always ones with reputations as excellent preach- 
ers. Most notable among those who conducted such services 

9. A mid-week meeting was immediately announced for November 17th, 
following the organizing of the church in 1926. Through the years this 
scheduled event has had attendance problems and adjusting of meeting times. 
Mr. A. J. Beall, one of the strongest advocates for this service, chairmaned a 
committee in 1947 that proposed the holding of District meetings to be held in 
each of the 14 districts at least once during the year. Family night suppers 
were held one Wednesday night a month at the church. Attendance was fair at 
the District meetings, but a number of members hoped for a return to the 
traditional Prayer meetings where, in the words of Mr. Glasgow, "the old 
loved hymns are sung and selected by those who attend." 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

during the years were: Charles R. Erdman (1936), James I. 
Vance (1932), George Buttrick (1955), John Sutherland 
Bonnell ( 1959) , James I. McCord ( i960) . 

As can be noted from the reading of these names, it was not 
enough to get a man who was a great preacher. The congrega- 
tion also wanted men who were intellectually stimulating. The 
vast majority of special speakers have been associated with 
educational institutions. 

But man does not live by intellectual stimulation alone, so 
realized the session. Consequently, some speakers were invited 
who were noted for the appeal of their presentation. One of 
the first (1927) to preach from the new pulpit was Gypsy 
Smith, Jr." He was warmly received by good sized congrega- 
tions made up of Myers Park members as well as visitors from 
several other churches in the community. There were other 
speakers who might be classified as stressing personal commit- 
ment. Some of the most memorable were Blanton Belk of 
Richmond and Samuel Glasgow of Savannah. 

When well-known preachers were holding services in other 
parts of the city, the session usually endorsed them with enthu- 
siasm. We find notices that the Sunday evening service was to 
be called off so that the congregation might have opportunity 
to hear Mordecai Ham," the YMCA meetings at the Carolina 
Theatre, the Jack Schuler Evangelistic services and the Billy 
Graham crusades. 

Gradually through the years, the session came to feel that 
such services were not as effective as hoped for. Perhaps it was 
the changing times and interests of people now more urban- 
ized than in the 1930's. More likely, the members of the con- 
gregation were not nearly as "starved" for outside speakers as 
their fathers had been. Being a conference-going church, 

10. The minutes and bulletins alternated in spelling his name Gypsy, Gipsy, 

11. Mordecai Ham delivered one of his sermons from the pulpit of the 
Myers Park Presbyterian Church during the Charlotte campaign that led to 
Billy Graham's conversion experience. 


The Church Officers 

large numbers of them heard many inspiring pulpiteers at 
Montreat, Youth Conferences, Leadership Schools, Men's 
Conventions and the like. Furthermore, the number of visitors 
to their own pulpit was quite large. During Dr. Gammon's 
last three or four years at the church, they averaged twelve 
Sundays a year when a guest speaker conducted the service. 
The average during Dr. Gammon's total ministry was higher 
than that during the time when Dr. Jones was the minister. 

With so many persons addressing them during the year, it is 
little wonder that interest in a series of services under yet 
another visitor was diminishing.^^ 

Some persons were obviously favorites and friends of the 
congregation. These returned to the pulpit with some regular- 
ity. Drs. Tolly Thompson and Ben Lacy were almost yearly 
visitors. Mr. Joe Johnston of Barium Springs often told of the 
work of the Orphanage during a morning service. The session 
tactfully rejected the ofifer of the Anti-Saloon League to send 
a representative to speak in 1930; but they never missed an 
opportunity to have such men as H. Wade DuBose, J. O. 
Mann, Robert Boyd (father of Mrs. James A. Jones), Ken- 
neth Foreman, C. Darby Fulton and many others. 

The method used for selecting the officers is not entirely 
unusual, although it is not the procedure used in the majority 
of Presbyterian churches. Myers Park Presbyterian choose a 
nominating committee to select their candidates. 

This nominating committee is charged with the responsi- 
bility of placing before the congregation the names of mem- 
bers whom in their considered opinion are ready, willing and 
able to serve as officers. Believing that the congregation as a 
whole has not the time nor the overall experience to study the 
membership with the aim of choosing candidates, the commit- 

12. In 1928, the first scale of compensation was set up. They paid $25 for 
morning services, $20 for evening services, $40 for the two, $10 for prayer 
meetings. In all cases, travel and hotel expenses were paid in addition to the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

tee is asked to do this for them. Two Elders are selected by the 
session to serve on the committee (one being designated as the 
Chairman) . The diaconate in turn selects two of their number 
for this responsibility. The congregation elects the remaining 
four members of the committee. More often than not, one or 
two ladies are the choice of the congregation. 

The committee reports its selections at a meeting of the 
congregation. Their voice is not the only one heard, however; 
there can be nominations from the floor and, indeed, many are 
traditionally made. The fact is, a church with such an embar- 
rassment of leadership talent can hardly go wrong regardless 
of who is elected. Often the congregation is not familiar with 
the activities of persons nominated and thus they are over- 

One example of this took place in the early thirties. A young 
man named John L. Payne was nominated for the office of 
deacon. When the ballots were counted, he was found to have 
polled very few votes. Later in the year he was asked by the 
session to become superintendent of the Sunday School which 
he willingly undertook to do. It was a difficult time for that 
work of the church, for the teachers and the classrooms still 
had a "temporary" aura about them. Mr. Payne found his 
responsibilities to be heavy, but he stuck with them much to 
the benefit of the Church School and the appreciation of the 

When it came time for additional officers to be elected in 
the church, John Payne was a natural candidate and was 
promptly elected to the session. Had he suddenly developed 
leadership qualities over the past few months? No, indeed. It 
was simply that the congregation had been able to observe his 
active love for the church, a love he had always possessed. 

This example is cited merely to explain why some persons 
have been elected and others have not. A politician may term 
it "exposure," and in many incidents that has been the case. 

In 1936, Mr. Norman Pease was concerned that the system 


The Church Officers 

was not the fairest one for electing officers. Thus he proposed 
that a general nominating ballot be used. A list of all the 
eligible members would be distributed and each person voting 
would circle the names of those whom he wanted to fill the 
positions at hand. Tellers would then count the ballots and 
select twice the number of officers needed, by highest ballot. 
These names would constitute the slate to be voted on by the 
congregation. It seemed like a good plan, one used by many 
churches in the General Assembly. 

Twenty-nine persons in the congregation voted for the 
"Pease Plan." However, 73 voted to maintain the old system 
which the church has continued to use for many years. 

When an individual joins the Presbyterian Church U. S. 
(Southern), he is required only to acknowledge his need for 
salvation and affirm that he has obtained this from his Lord, 
Jesus the Christ. He may well be instructed in the historical 
development of doctrinal interpretation in the Presbyterian 
tradition, but he does not have to commit himself on his ac- 
ceptance or denial of these interpretations. It is only as one 
becomes more involved in the life and official work of the 
church that a more elaborate credo is asked for. The young 
persons joining the church, then, in essence simply testifies to 
his or her Christian experience. 

On the other hand, when a person is elected to an office in 
the church, he makes some affirmation that he is in agreement 
with the system of government that orders the church. Not 
only that, but also it has been deemed wise for him to pledge 
himself to participate in the sacraments as celebrated and in 
the basic authority of the Scriptures as his rule of faith and 

The session, feeling heavily the responsibility of these vows, 
has for over thirty years questioned the elders-elect on doc- 
trine and government. The minutes testify that all elders have 
given good answers to their questions. It is heartening to note, 
however, that often the questions dealing with "God's Eternal 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Decrees" (i.e. Predestination) have prompted considerable 

Doctrinally speaking, it is impossible to classify neatly such 
a large congregation as "fundamentalists," "conservatives," 
"moderates" or "liberals." Mr. Fogartie, the present minister, 
says rather that the posture of the church is "progressive." 
Indeed, it appears that this is the term which has always ap- 
plied to Myers Park Presbyterian Church. Social action has 
walked hand-in-hand with evangelism. 

Attendance at session meetings has always been good. These 
men have possessed a strong sense of responsibility to their 
office. Once having committed themselves to fulfill the office, 
they will do what it requires. 

The fact is, the office requires more than just one or two 
meetings a month. It also requires attendance on occasion at 
conferences and at the church courts. 

In June of 1944, a "Church Court Committee" was set up. 
Composed of two members of the session, one was designated 
as the "official representative" to the meetings of Presbytery 
and Synod for one year. The other member served as "alter- 
nate representative" and became the official delegate during 
the following year when another Elder became his alternate. 
The Superintendent of the Sunday School and other members 
of the session involved in a weekly service were relieved of 
serving as representative. Anyone having attended these 
Church courts can appreciate the minor relief which this 
afiforded the Superintendent! 


Tending to the everyday operation of the group meetings 
got to be too much for the early apostles, and so they instigated 
the election of seven men in Jerusalem to perform operational 
tasks. These first "Seven" as they were called, kept the serving 
lines in order at the fellowship meals and they distributed the 


The Church Officers 

contributions made to the church. These men paved the way 
for the church office later established and called by St. Paul 

The Book of Church Order sets down general duties for the 
men elected to this position." The Myers Park Church out- 
lined in detail the duties of this office some ten years after they 
elected their first two deacons indicating nine areas of specific 
concern. More were added in the course of time. 

Prior to the Spring of 1939, the session served as the Trus- 
tees for the congregation. This being a duty of strictly a busi- 
ness character, it was transferred to the Diaconate at that time. 

As the church property increased in value and in complex- 
ity, the office of Trustee apparently was too much additional 
responsibility for such a large group to handle. Getting two or 
three dozen persons together for a trustee meeting was a diffi- 
cult assignment. Hence, in March of 1952, it was put to the 
congregation that they elect three persons as Trustees in 
whom, and their successors, shall be vested the title to all the 
property of the church, and "who shall act for and in its 
behalf when properly authorized by the congregation." 

This resolution was unanimously accepted, and three men 
were elected whose concern for the church had been visible to 
all of them over many years: John Cansler, E. O. Anderson, 
Jr. and R. L. Cherry. When Mr. Cherry moved from Char- 
lotte in 1959, Mr. A. J. Beall was elected to take his place. 

The Deacons set up the church budget, but as in the case of 
the U. S. House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate, the 
budget has to be approved by the governing body of the 
church. Likewise, should the session wish to designate special 
funds for some purpose, their request is presented to the Dea- 
cons. This channel-procedure was overlooked a few times in 
the 1930's. Consequently, a highly respected Deacon appeared 
before the session in 1939 to remind them to confer with the 

13. Two deacons in 1927, eighty-two in 1966. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Deacons before authorizing the expenditure of funds for 
causes not included in the current church budget. 

A condition of this sort was very rare. As long-time Treas- 
urer, Charles B. Ross, has pointed out if there was no allow- 
ance in the budget for a particular need that arose, he just 
"called on people to help out." And they did ! 

During one Sunday morning service in 1928, Dr. Gammon 
instructed the congregation to fill out the cards which they 
would find in the pews. As they reached for them, it was soon 
discovered that what they were about to participate in was the 
first Every Member Canvass taken by the Myers Park Church. 

As is well known, some churches subsist on voluntary con- 
tributions made each Sunday as the offering plate is passed. 
Others may have a small box at the door for a "token" offering 
because their expenses are paid with the income from an en- 
dowment. Our European forefathers were accustomed to be- 
ing taxed by the government to support the church ; thus an 
offering at the morning service seemed to them superfluous. 

Myers Park Presbyterian, like most of her sister Protestant 
congregations in Charlotte, has always placed the principle of 
stewardship behind its "giving" program. Each member has a 
share in the church's services and in her responsibilities. Each 
member, then, should plan for her financial needs in much the 
same manner that one would budget for one's own expenses. 
And so, every member is "canvassed" to determine what he 
wishes to give towards the financial needs of their church over 
the ensuing months. 

As some persons fiddled with the card in their fingers, Dr. 
Gammon announced that should any members not be ac- 
counted for when the cards were tabulated later in the day, 
those persons would be visited by the officers so they would 
have an opportunity to subscribe to their church's needs. That, 
of course, was by way of encouragement, not a threat! 

When the officer-teams fanned out over the Myers Park 
area they contacted more than three hundred persons in one 


The Church Officers 

day. These results were most encouraging for them. For a 
congregation of 351 communicant members in the early 
depression years of our country, total contributions of over 
$42,000 was a sizable amount for one year. This young 
church was paying its pastor a salary of $5695.00 in a pres- 
bytery where the average minister's salary was little more 
than $2000.00 a year. 

The benevolent budget in the early years of the church's 
life was allotted to three church areas primarily: Home 
Missions, Foreign Missions and Orphanages. There were oc- 
casional requests for aid from other groups. For instance, 
the Salvation Army was assisted in 1929, Ohio flood victims 
in 1937, Queens College on several occasions, the Bible in 
the Schools program, and often individual home mission 
churches in Mecklenburg Presbytery. 

The three areas cited above have remained central interests 
in this church throughout the past forty years. Barium 
Springs Orphanage has always been given special offerings." 

Not only Barium Springs but also the Alexander Home for 
Children in Charlotte has been the recipient of the church's 
generosity. Representatives of the Alexander Home appeared 
regularly before the congregation for ten-minute informative 
addresses once a year during the 1930's. 

One indication of the spirit of giving which was evident 
within the church was referred to in a church bulletin of 1933. 
Dr. C. Darby Fulton, Secretary of the Board of Foreign Mis- 
sions, submitted an excerpt from a letter to him. 

"Enclosed herewith please find my check for $1000.00, 
being a contribution by (his wife) and myself to the 
Foreign Mission Cause. We are among the multitudes 
who over the past few years have sustained financial 
losses. We have nothing to receipt for these losses save 

14. The session went on record in January of 1935 as favoring the giving of 
the offering on every fifth Sunday morning to Barium Springs. This policy 
continued for many years despite an effort on the part of some members in 
1939 to so designate the offerings of every fourth Sunday. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

worthless notes, defaulted bonds, or other memoranda of 
that which we once thought we possessed. Who knows 
but that a year hence we will have other such worthless 
receipts for that which has been left out of the wreckage? 
Therefore, while we still have it, I am sending this check 

desiring to make at least another investment which 

under no circumstances can depreciate, but which on the 
other hand cannot possibly fail to enhance in value not 
only this year, but each and every year to come." 



The Sunday School 

When 1928 drew to a close, the Sunday School secretary sat 
down to fill out a form requested by the General Assembly as a 
means of analyzing the religious educational work of the 
churches. This was a new experience for the Myers Park 
Church, and the information they could furnish was meager. 

Do you have teacher training? No. 

Do you have a missionary committee? No. 

Do you have a library? No. 

Do you have a Daily Vacation Bible School? No. 

In fact, the only items to which the young Sunday School 
could answer ''yes" were in regard to memory work required 
of the pupils (Bible verses and the child's Catechism) and 
affirming their use of Presbyterian literature. 

Granted, the questions were certainly not as incisive as the 
Board of Christian Education would ask in the 1960's, but 
they served to illustrate that the Sunday School program had 
barely begun. They had an enrollment of 348 pupils plus 55 
teachers, which was quite good. A closer look at the statistics 
reveals that the enrollment was bottom-heavy. The vast ma- 
jority of pupils were children! Indeed, Dr. Gammon used to 
comment that he seldom ran into his fellow ministers when 
visiting at the local hospitals. "Probably," he said, "it was 
because nearly all of my visits are paid to the Obstetrics 


The Sunday School 

Mr. J. William Thomson, Jr. was the Chairman of the 
Sunday School Committee in November of 1926. He, with the 
help of J. T. Wardlaw and Hunter Marshall, worked long 
and hard to round up teachers for the new classes. He encour- 
aged the "volunteers" to attend a training school at the Second 
Presbyterian Church; that was about all the preparation they 
got for their tasks. 

Several of the teachers had taught in their former church 
homes, so that was a great help. There were other problems 
in starting a Sunday School, many of them related to the lack 
of buildings and equipment during those early months of '27 
and '28. Where would they hold their classes? On what would 
they sit? What about materials, blackboards, desks, etc.? 

The first major "angel" of the church was Queens College. 
Already she was opening her auditorium to the church for 
their services; now she opened classrooms as well. The college 
janitor removed the usual furniture from the parlors with 
their thick rugs and long mirrors, and in came equipment for 
the Beginners and a Primary Department. What a transition 
in atmosphere from the usual sedateness of those dignified 
rooms. Dr. Frazer even loaned his President's office to a class 
of boys, who must have enjoyed their comfortable surround- 

As the enrollment increased and organization became more 
effective, the session authorized the Superintendent, John 
Payne, to have two assistants for the Primary and Junior De- 
partments, respectively. Some persons, accustomed to a small 
village church where several classes met in the Sanctuary, 
might well have wondered at such increased bureaucracy. 
Shades of things to come ; forty years later we find fifteen such 


Meeting as they did on the Queen's campus, one wonders 
what impression their presence made on the students of the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

college as they passed through the halls and saw dozens of 
children in the very rooms where they would be attending 
lectures in Science, Math and English on the very next morn- 
ing. Apparently the impression was slight. In fact, it came as 
something of a surprise to the Superintendent when one young 
college student appeared in the fall and asked where the 
Queens Class was. Miss Lula Boyd Beaty stated that she 
would like to enroll in that class and that she had brought two 
other Queens girls with her. That Sunday, they had to sit in 
with an adult class; but on the following Sunday when she 
again appeared (now with four other students), it was clear 
that a special class would have to be formed ! 

All through the spring. Miss Beaty brought in new stu- 
dents, she herself occasionally substituting for other teachers 
in the Church School and playing the piano when needed. 
The next fall, she returned with an even larger group of 
students in her wake. Such loyalty deserved the very best, and 
they got it! Mrs. Gammon became their teacher. Her knowl- 
edge of the Sunday School material plus her inspirational 
approach was imparted with a skill developed by her when 
she taught in Texas before her marriage. A "whiz" is how one 
member referred to Mrs. Gammon, who could write skits as 
well as exegete Bible passages. Because of her ability to teach 
and willingness to do so, she was in constant demand for other 
services besides the regular Sunday School Class. In a humor- 
ous moment she said of the hymn "Day of All the Week the 
Best" — "What a travesty!" Truly it was a day of heavy duty 
for her and her household. 

The Queens class grew with the years. When Mr. Ovens 
became their teacher in 1932, it bothered him that they had to 
meet in surroundings somewhat stale and uninspiring. Thus, 
he petitioned the session to allow him to build a "hut" on the 
Church grounds for use of this class and any other church 
group that desired it. This he did, equipping it in almost 
luxurious furnishings. True businessman that he was, the 
church was obligated to pay him a nominal rent for the 


The Sunday School 

"Ovens Hut." And true churchman that he was, the Hut and 
all rent that had been paid to him was returned to the church 
in accordance with his Will. 

The Queens girls came to the class in large numbers 
through the 30's and 40's. Whether it was due to the excellent 
teaching of such persons as C. W. Gilchrist, to the presence of 
visiting Davidson boys, or the college regulation requiring 
attendance at some Sunday School service, we will never 
know. Eventually, however, that regulation was dropped and 
the Queens students voiced a desire to merge their class with 
that of the Young Adults. 

Their church school class affiliation has varied through the 
years, but the interest of the church in these girls has never 
wavered. For several years it was customary to hold a picnic 
for the Freshmen students and special programs for the Pres- 
byterians in the student body. On occasion, the entire student 
body and faculty were invited to a tea sponsored by the church 
and held at the George Wilson home. 


In October of 1934, the Women's Class was christened the 
"Bessie Gammon Bible Class," a singular honor for their min- 
ister's wife in as much as she was not their regular teacher. 
Mrs. Pauline Allen and Mrs. Alston Morrison had been their 
first permanent teachers. 

Meeting in the pastor's study, the average attendance of 
twelve or fourteen found the environment of the little room 
under the tower quite conducive to a seminar-type of study. 
Mrs. Morrison used the International Sunday School lesson as 
the guide, but Peloubet's NOTES as her commentary in 
teaching the inspired classes that the ladies found so mean- 

That the "Bessie Gammon Bible Class" deserved a special 
note in the history is due in large part to its activities at other 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

times besides the Sunday morning study session. For one 
thing, the members were highly organized with committees 
for "hospital-sewing," "membership," "telephone," "sick," 
"birthday," and apparently additional committees for each 
month ("April Committee," "May Committee," etc.). These 
last ones were probably for furnishing flowers for the class- 
room. Gathering monthly for what they termed "social" 
meetings, more work than socializing took place as they 
made bureau scarves, kitchen towels, sheets, pillow cases, and 
numerous other items for White Cross and Alexander Home. 

In 1935 a number of the "younger" ladies began talking 
among themselves about wanting their own Sunday School 
Class. It remained just "talk" until Mrs. Floyd Harper 
rounded up some fifty or more women who were willing to 
support and attend the new class. That Mrs. Harper was a 
member of the Baptist Church at the time is but another 
illustration of how the congregation on Oxford Place was 
looked upon by so many as "our community church." 

Dr. Malcolm Lockhart was recruited to be their teacher. 
He had come to Charlotte to direct one of the Fund Drives for 
Queens College. After the drive was completed, he remained 
in the Queen City where he had established himself as a man 
of spiritual leaning and learning. His dynamic personality 
fired that Sunday School class for four years, after which time 
he left Charlotte. ^^ Mrs. Hunter Blakely, wife of the new 
President of Queens College, succeeded him as their teacher. 

After Dr. Lockhart's death, the class honored his memory 
by changing its name from the "Young Matrons" to the 
"Lockhart Bible Class." Then, emulating its sister class in yet 
another manner, it too began a sewing gathering, which was 
held in the hut behind the church, and with the needs of 
wartime as added stimulation (this was 1942), it met all day 
one day a week. 

Midway in the decade when Mrs. Blakely taught them, the 

15. Dr. Lockhart died in Richmond, Virginia, on May 5, 1940. 


The Sunday School 

seventy to eighty member Lockhart Class was joined by the 
twenty-odd member Gammon Class. Thus, in 1944 the com- 
bined groups had added strength and fellowship for their 
Fourth-Monday-Afternoon meetings. Not only did they pos- 
sess much teaching talent (frequently drawn upon by the Sun- 
day School at large) but also exquisite taste which was never 
more obvious than at the colorful spring luncheons each year. 
Fortunately, they did not keep their decorating and culinary 
skills to themselves, for the husbands were able to enjoy their 
picnics which became an annual occurrence after September 
of 1954. The minister and his family have assured themselves 
of enjoying this class's annual Christmas tea by inviting them 
to hold it in the manse (as of 1963 on) . 

These ladies, already generous to the church budget, have 
enjoyed contributing "pin money" to a so-called Blessing Box 
each Sunday. The amount accumulates to nearly $1000 each 
year, and thus affords substantial gifts and furnishings to such 
institutions as the Presbyterian Hospital, Forest Hill Day 
School, Brookhill Church, Presbyterian Home for the Aged 
at High Point, and Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church. And 
not a few students have received scholarship aid from this 

Their teachers through the years have maintained a high 
standard of excellence. They have been especially fortunate in 
having their minister's wives as frequent teachers. Mrs. J. 
Cecil (Marjorie Gerber) Lawrence not only taught the class 
with some regularity for five years, but was also the author of 
the Devotional on the International Lesson sheet. The faith- 
fulness of the membership has been evident not only in the 
long tenure of the good teachers (Mrs. D. V. Shippey taught 
for seventeen years!) but also in the list of officers, many of 
whom have been willing to serve more than once. Mrs. 
Hunter Marshall was their first President and filled that office 
again thirty-three years later, a total of six years in the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

The pride of the Lockhart-Gammon Class is more than 
matched by the men for their Bible Class. This group has 
elicited a loyalty that comes dangerously close to making them 
a congregation within a congregation. 


Very loosely organized in the Spring of 1927, this was just a 
gathering of men during the Sunday School hour. No Presi- 
dent, no minutes, small membership, though of course they 
took up an offering ("Which stamped it as typically Presbyte- 
rian," said Mr. A. J. Beall, their historian) . 

In the new church building, the men were given a room on 
the second floor overlooking the driveway, which they soon 
found too small for seating and too formal for their tempera- 
ment. Bill Schrieber suggested they build a "hut" for them- 
selves. And so, with logs from Sam Alexander's farm and 
$2,000 they constructed their own classroom a few yards from 
the stone church edifice. They took to the informality of the 
building with real gusto. Mr. David Ovens and Judge Fred 
Helms were two of the early teachers whose ability encour- 
aged good attendance. Mr. Tom Glasgow was their revered 
teacher for many years ; the members still find it easy to visual- 
ize Mr. Glasgow turning over each page of his lesson manu- 
script and depositing it in the fireplace as he walked back and 
forth. The International Sunday School lesson was their 
guideline, and continued so during the time that Dr. Wilson 
McCutchan taught and on into the first years of Dr. Frontis 
W. Johnston's stint. In the early sixties, they adopted the Cov- 
enant Life Curriculum, but not to the extent that they could 
give up their stimulating lectures for "discussion" sessions. 

The strength of this class could be attributed to a number of 
things. Primarily, of course, there is the high level of teaching 
which they receive. Not to be discounted is the fellowship 
around the cofifee and doughnuts that precede the lesson (some 


The Sunday School 

of the children in the church look forward to scavenging for 
leftovers after Sunday School) . 

And the music! At first there was only the piano and the 
singing. Mrs. Charles N. Lavery played for them for a time, 
also Mrs. O. L. Miller. Then the men took over, with H. B. 
Keller playing, followed by Dr. James Hemphill. Roy 
Palmer brought his trumpet to the class one day in 1930 and 
began accompanying the pianist. The initial surprise gave 
way to delight, and soon more volunteers appeared with in- 
struments, often salvaged from the attic where they had been 
left after high school graduation. Soon the entire Church 
School anticipated hearing the sound of Hugh McManaway's 
violin and eventually a full-blown orchestra of sixteen pieces. 

Though the class sets its own format, has published its own 
weekly news bulletin ("The CLASSIC") and in general goes 
its own way, it nonetheless has been powerfully involved 
with the benevolences of the total church program. While the 
Junior Department was sending Bibles and toys to Dr. John 
Luke at the Ashe County Mission Field, the Men's Class was 
helping to pay the monthly salary of Dr. Luke's assistant. 
While the Beginners' Department was sending used books to 
Mexican and Chinese Mission Schools, the Primaries sending 
socks to war-stricken children of China, and the Junior De- 
partment purchasing Bibles for Brazilian children, the Men's 
Class raised enough money to buy a saw-mill outfit to be used 
by young boys in Korea. 

The class has always been attracted to vivid and personal 
projects in which they could see the Kingdom at work. 



The Toung TeopW s Work 

"In the beginning," commented one charter member of the 
church, "we needed no Young People's worker for we had no 
young people." Dr. Gammon in those days remarked to a 
fellow-minister, "I don't bury many, and I don't marry many, 
but I sure do baptize!" Truly enough, a glance at the Sunday 
School roll of the late 1920's shows a preponderance of chil- 
dren crowding the Queens College class rooms. The Senior 
High Young People were definitely a minority group. 

Still, they were a group about whom the church was con- 
cerned, and so the Session Committee on Church Societies 
(McKay and Glasgow) met with the ladies (presumably the 
ones most actively concerned about teenagers) to work out the 
Young People's meetings. That was in the Winter of 1927. The 
youthful group was begun, though only barely. In April, the 
Deacons were approached for an allotment of $50 to pay for 
the traveling expenses of a young person to a Youth Confer- 
ence in Montreat. The minutes indicate that the unused por- 
tion of this sum would go toward securing necessary literature 
for Young People's work in the church. 

In 1928, Dr. Gammon secured a secretary to help him in his 
correspondence and in doing some work with the Young Peo- 
ple. Dr. Gammon used to boast that he kept a "clean" desk. 
For a man whose letters reflect an enjoyment in writing, keep- 
ing up and even ahead of his mail must have required no little 


"The Young People's Work" 

work for his secretary. Miss Mary Howard Turlington, from 
Mooresville, took both her jobs seriously. She started a small 
library and inaugurated Leadership Training classes. She 
noted that a Girl's Circle had been organized by Mrs. E. Y. 
Keesler and was attracting some twenty girls to their meetings. 
But was this first effort outside the Sunday School enough to 
provide for the total youth of the church? She thought not. 

She requested Dr. Gammon that he allow her to organize a 
Youth Fellowship Group for all the youth, boys as well as 
girls! This pleased Dr. Gammon. In fact, one wonders if he 
did not half "volunteer" for the monthly Round Table dis- 
cussions which he delighted in holding with the teenagers. A 
man who always reveled in the fellowship of the young, he 
was in his element with this group. On the Sundays that he 
met with them, the crowd expanded. 

The subjects discussed were the ones ever popular with ev- 
ery young generation: Faith and Morals, Worship and Serv- 
ice, Courtship and Marriage. Apparently interest in this last 
subject was not limited to the group seated at Dr. Gammon's 
feet, for Miss Turlington soon resigned her position in 193 1 in 
order that she might marry the Rev. Donald Stewart, a minis- 
ter in Chapel Hill. 

As always, the church had to plan a program for peripatetic 
youth in the congregation. Many of them attended college or 
preparatory school. In the Fall of 1930, the bulletin listed 
sixteen schools being attended that year,^*' a list which reveals 
something more than was intended in the bulletin. It indicated 
that higher education was a usual, not unusual, fact of life 
for the majority of the youth in the church. Still, there was no 
College Class for them at this point; that was to come much 

There was a danger, perhaps, that the church forget that not 

16. University of North Carolina, Duke, Woman's College, State College, 
Sweet Briar, Peabody, Sarah Lawrence, Kingsmith Studio, Miss Price's Busi- 
ness School, Queens College, Woodberry Forest Preparatory School, Bailey 
Military Academy, McCallie School for Boys, Culver, Warrenton School, 
Robert's-Beach School. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

all her young people were so privileged. In November of that 
same year, the bulletin carried a notice for "Unemployed 
Girls," saying that the YWCA w^as offering free instruction in 
typing, shorthand, English, accounting, dressmaking and 
salesmanship. Whether this information was soon more avail- 
able through other means or the Myers Park members no 
longer had such needs, we do not know. However, no such 
item for the "unemployed" ever again appeared in the bulle- 
tins. X 

The youth meetings for those not away at school were being 
held in the hut each Sunday afternoon. The Session author- 
ized the Deacons to provide a refreshment fund for them. 
This was greeted with appreciation, but the group spirit and 
effectiveness was not high. They needed permanent leader- 
ship, someone with a youthful zest that could inspire them as 
Miss Turlington had. 

Miss Mary Bowers Mackorell served as Youth Director 
from September of 193 1 until June of the next year. The 
program went well during that time. In the following months 
several persons were considered for the job of Youth Worker, 
but in each case there was a lack of permanence implied which 
discouraged the session from hiring them. Dr. Ben Lacy rec- 
ommended a young Seminarian for the Summer of 1934 (at 
$100 for the three months) , who proved to be helpful. But the 
needs were still pressing when he left them in the fall. 

By December the Session had decided that they needed a 
Supply Pastor in addition to a lady to serve as secretary and 
Youth Worker. On the second Sunday of the month, a session 
committee met with a young lady who had come from Ken- 
tucky to be interviewed for the position. They recognized her 
good qualifications for the position (educated at Mary Bald- 
win and A.T.S., currently working at the First Presbyterian 
Church in Covington). They offered to pay her $125 a month 
for a period not to exceed six months, either party having the 
right to terminate the contract at the end of that period. 

Miss Margaret VanDevanter accepted the job on those con- 


"The Young People's Work" 

ditions. Her work proved so acceptable that the Session re- 
newed her contract less than three months after her arrival, 
and granted her a month's vacation that summer. 

With the guiding hand of Miss VanDevanter, the Youth 
Group moved ahead with a stronger program and more elabo- 
rate organization. The Kingdom Highway's Plan was used by 
the group that had just elected Jack Alexander as their first 
President. This highly pictorial plan presented to the young 
people several "highways" leading toward God's "Kingdom." 
There was a highway of worship, one of study, another of 
service and yet another devoted to recreation and fellowship. 
During periods when they were concentrating on service, they 
secured such missionary speakers as Dr. Charles Crane of 
Africa and Dr. Houston Patterson of China, Dr. Hoyt Miller 
of Africa, Mrs. H. H. Monroe of Japan, and Miss Louise 
Miller of Korea. We are not surprised to learn that nearly all 
of these persons had "kith and kin" in the Myers Park congre- 

During the late 1930's the young people became very inter- 
ested in service projects in and around Charlotte. It was diffi- 
cult to find time for concentrated programs during the school 
year, but in the summers with their increased attendance, 
something of moment and usefulness could be done by this 
group. The Vacation Bible Schools attracted their help first. 
Possibly because it was so difficult to secure teachers for this 
project, the young people were solicited by the church leaders. 
Fortunately, the idea of teaching younger children appealed 
to them, especially children who might not have any such 
school without their help. Two Negro churches received their 
volunteer help in 1936-38. The next year saw one of the ter- 
rifying summers of infantile paralysis, and so no Bible 
Schools were held. The fired-up young people were not to be 
deterred from some service project, however, and so they 
helped canvass for the Minister's Annuity Fund in the early 
Fall of 1939. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Miss VanDevanter found herself with a growing youth 
program and with more responsibilities than either she or the 
church could foresee when she first came to them. Her secre- 
tarial duties mounted as did her visitations among the congre- 
gations. The session gave her small salary raises (designated 
as aids in her automobile expenses) and was most concerned 
about her happiness in the church work. There was a time in 
1937 when she thought seriously of accepting a position else- 
where, but her friends prevailed upon her to stay, which she 
did. In 1938 the church raised her salary to $1,740 per year. 



(Concluding Tears of 
T>r. Qammon^ s ^Jttinistry 

Judging from the impressions of his parishioners, Dr. Gam- 
mon was a pastor who felt intensely the joys and the sorrows of 
his flock. His communion with his Lord was a very personal 
one, and he sought in his sermons to involve the congregation 
emotionally with the same Lord. Because he had accepted 
them all into his family, it was natural that they accepted him 
into theirs. Several persons in the church speak of having been 
his closest friend during his pastorate, and this is not really a 
contradiction. He gave himself so intensely in human relation- 
ships that indeed his friendships with many people were deep 

The joys that he shared with them must have given him 
buoyancy in his pastoral duties. Their sorrows must have 
drained him of his energy and optimism. His was a youthful 
congregation, and young families do not often find each day 
serene. It is little wonder that the strain of loving them all so 
intensely should take its toll of his strength. 

At the beginning of the Summer of 1933, the session met to 
discuss its concern over Dr. Gammon's health. Like parents 
who often need a "vacation from the children," they thought 
that their beloved minister should get a rest from the demands 
so many of his spiritual children were wont to make upon him. 


"Concluding Years of Dr. Gammon's Ministry" 

He was encouraged to take Sundays off on occasion, since 
preaching was a strenuous obligation for him. They also 
added two weeks to his regular month-long vacation, in the 
hope that additional rest would be a boon to his spirits. 

It was indeed. In the fall his sermons seemed more effective 
than ever. The session requested that one after another be 
published for distribution among the congregation. When he 
preached on the Christian Home he was an authority without 
parallel. But his earnest concern for the home life of his mem- 
bers was continuing to drain his spirit. 

The session could detect that his seasons of depression had 
not left him as the winter passed. Dr. Gammon still did not 
lessen his pace; if anything, he quickened it. He continued his 
sermon preparation and in the Summer of 1934 went to Mas- 
sanetta, Virginia, to deliver an important address. His vaca- 
tion began in August, and he was much in need of it. The 
session extended the vacation again for two weeks into Sep- 
tember. He resumed his pulpit responsibilities the last two 
Sundays of that month, but then it became evident to his doc- 
tors that this was a burden that should be removed from his 
shoulders. Dr. Hamilton McKay, after consultation with Dr. 
Barron, announced to the session that Dr. Gammon was 
suffering from a severe attack of neuritis. 

The session acted quickly. Everything possible must be 
done for their pastor's recovery. They insisted that he travel to 
Florida for an extended rest in the warmer climate. Elders 
and Deacons alike readily volunteered contributions toward 
the expenses incurred by such a plan. Officially Dr. Gammon 
would be given a leave of absence with full salary until June, 
1935. Hopefully he would be fully recovered by that time. So 
began his convalescence. 

Having a minister, and yet not having one, was a major 
crisis in the life of the eight-year-old church. They had expe- 
rience in finding a supply minister for one or two Sundays, but 
getting someone to aid them for several months was a different 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

matter. Besides that, Miss Turlington had left them and there 
was dire need for a Director of Religious Education and for a 

This predicament was not only the concern of the session; it 
also tore at the heart of the Gammon family. Mrs. Gammon 
and their children were remaining in the manse during Dr. 
Gammon's hospitalization. Out of great concern for the 
church and from her own sense of responsibility, she wrote a 
letter to the Elders offering her services as church secretary, 
visitor and in a limited capacity as young people's worker. 

The letter greatly moved the group of men who read it. Of 
course they would not think of accepting her ofifer, an offer 
from one who had already contributed much more than her 
share in the teaching and spiritual life of the church. 

The first problem to be solved was the matter of a supply 
preacher. Dr. Frazer of Queens College immediately volun- 
teered to help with their preaching whenever he could. The 
Elders themselves decided to take on the responsibility of con- 
ducting the Wednesday night prayer meetings. They rotated 
these services among themselves. 

With Dr. Frazer's help, and the good fortune of securing 
Dr. Walter Lingle for the month of December, it appeared 
that the church would be well able to manage in terms of 
pulpit supply. "But we need a supply pastor, not just a supply 
preacher!" they maintained. A church so accustomed to the 
personal warmth of Dr. Gammon would find it difficult ad- 
justing to church services with a different minister in the pul- 
pit each Sunday. And, needless to say, those professional and 
business men on the session were finding that the preparation 
of the Prayer Meeting was taking time that they could ill 

On the first Wednesday in December, they invited a retired 
minister to conduct the meeting. He was Dr. J. Eraser Cocks, 
an Englishman of Scottish stock. He preached for them on the 
morning of December 8th, after which the session decided 


"Concluding Years of Dr. Gammon's Ministry" 

they would be fortunate if Dr. Cocks would consent to be their 
permanent supply. This he became at the first of the year 1935. 
Though his health was not strong, he fulfilled many of the 
duties expected of a full time minister. The church felt in- 
debted to and blessed by this elderly man with his large 
preaching talent. They continued to pay him a small stipend 
during his own period of illness the following year. 

Dr. Gammon returned to Charlotte in 1935. He was not 
asked to assume any responsibilities with the life and work of 
the church until he was completely recovered, but he could 
not help becoming gradually more involved with their lives 
and work. One Sunday afternoon in late March he went to the 
church to baptize Miss Eula Adams Folger, prior to her join- 
ing the church on Easter. This was his first official pastoral act 
in six months. On the second Sunday in May, the session 
welcomed him back to their meetings. Gradually, very gradu- 
ally did he resume preaching. This feature of his ministry was 
most strenuous for him, and so on the advice of friends and 
doctors, he preached in other pulpits during most of the sum- 
mer (using sermons already tried and true). In the fall of 
1936 he was fully their minister again. 

Soon after returning to the church in September, Dr. Gam- 
mon accepted a speaking engagement at Hampden Sydney, 
his alma mater. This might have seemed to some of the mem- 
bers a foolhardy decision which would surely tax his strength. 
But the opposite was always the case when he visited that 
lovely campus. The place gave him renewed spirit to come 
back, just as it had given him so many happy years in his 
young manhood. 

Knowing of this affectionate bond, the session must have 
realized what would be the outcome of his being called to 
assume the presidency of the College in 1939. He announced 
to the session his decision to accept this position at their meet- 
ing of March 12th. On the first Sunday in April, when Dr. 
Gammon was fulfilling a speaking engagement at Sweet Briar 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

College, his resignation was read to the congregation by the 
Clerk of the Session : 

". . . any serious thought of leaving a people about 
whom I feel so deeply as I do about you has been acutely 
depressing, indeed almost impossible. In a very real sense 
I have come to look upon you and Charlotte as our home, 
and it is desperately hard even to think of leaving home. 
This is especially true when those for whom I have cared 
have been so fine and faithful. 

I am announcing my decision to accept the call to the 
presidency of Hampden-Sydney. For me, at least, to 
make such a decision has been desperately hard. I have 
come to it in the hope that I may now be of some help 
there. I, therefore, place my resignation in your hands, to 
take effect on or about June ist. At some other time I 
may try to speak of my feelings for you." 

No one doubted that sincerity. It vs^ould truly be like saying 
goodbye to a member of the family. The congregation was 
most reluctant to accept his resignation, even to the extent of 
petitioning Dr. Gammon to remain at Myers Park. But his 
decision was made. The session voted to erect a bronze tablet 
in the Sanctuary in honor of their first pastor.^^ It was to be 
simple and direct in touching upon the service and personality 
of Dr. Gammon. It was Dr. Hamilton McKay who first pro- 
posed the tablet and who unveiled it on May 21st, nearly 
twelve years after this gentleman first came to them. 

Dr. Edgar Graham Gammon, D. D. 

First Pastor 

Myers Park Presbyterian Church 

June I, 1927 — June i, 1939 

"For I determined not to know anything among you, 

save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 

I Cor. 2 :2 

"You and I associate Dr. Gammon with life, with action, and 
with love of his fellowmen," said Dr. McKay. "On behalf of 

17. It was the intent of the Session that similar plaques would be placed in 
the Sanctuary commemorating the pastorate of each succeeding minister. 


"Concluding Years of Dr. Gammon's Ministry" 

and acting for the officers and individual members of this 
congregation, I unveil this simple tablet in loving and living 
memory of one of the South's greatest preachers." 

His loving association with the church and its members 
continued through the rest of his life. He returned to visit 
time and again. He had said to them before he left that he and 
Bessie wished them to know that ''not one thought, or word, or 
gift, or prayer of yours for us has ever gone unappreciated. 
Always remembering, we shall continue to go with you. Lov- 
ingly, we commend you to our Father and the word of His 

Dr. Gammon died in Hampden-Sydney on May 9, 1962, 
after having so recently written one of his many "love" notes 
to a member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church and having 
concluded the final chapter of his book "The Life of Christ." 


T'he Interim: igjg 

The interim between pastors can either strengthen or weaken 
a congregation. It may be a period of pulling together or 
of drifting apart. Hopefully, this would be a time of strength- 
ening their bonds. The congregation must have remembered 
how they had pulled together during Dr. Gammon's long 
illness, and felt a closer brotherhood because of it. Everyone 
had to assume necessary responsibilities and table less immedi- 
ate problems. The pressing problem was filling the pulpit 
from Sunday to Sunday. 

Dr. McKay, representing the Pulpit Supply Committee, 
asked the session a question the week after Dr. Gammon an- 
nounced his resignation. "Do you want the pulpit filled with 
guest speakers, or would you prefer to have a continuous sup- 
ply pastor?" Answer : a supply pastor. 

The session gave the committee no more guidance than that, 
except to request that the person selected not be considered an 
applicant for the position of permanent pastor. 

The Myers Park Church has always realized its good for- 
tune in being located in an area populated with so many Pres- 
byterians. Indeed, as far as counties go, Mecklenburg is one of 
the very few counties in the United States that counts over 
one-fourth of the total population as Presbyterian.^^ One of the 
benefits derived from this is being able to draw on the ministe- 

i8. i960 census 


The Interim: 1939 

rial "pool" found in the many churches and educational insti- 
tutions. With the summer approaching, it seemed the act of 
wisdom to ask for a supply pastor from the teaching stafif of 
one of the church colleges. Possibly someone in their Bible 
Departments would have less responsibilities during those 
months and could more readily assume the preaching tasks of 
our church. Six such persons had preached in the Myers Park 
pulpit in the past year. The first one whom they approached 
for this task had only preached for them on two occasions 
previously. He was Dr. Kenneth J. Foreman of Davidson 

Dr. Foreman was known to the congregation more by repu- 
tation than by contact. A scholar of great breadth, he was 
thought by some to be of too liberal an orientation. The com- 
mittee was not unanimous in their choice of him, but neither 
was there forceful dissension among them in asking him to be 
their supply. 

As the summer progressed with Dr. Foreman's spiritual 
leadership, the church came to see that they had nothing to 
fear and all to gain from his presence. He was well liked, 
though he was sometimes controversial. If they found his se- 
mantics liberal, certainly they saw that no one had any greater 
respect for the integrity of the Bible. A powerful preacher, 
each sermon was memorable; and none who heard it will ever 
forget his fascinating sermon which took the form of a dia- 
logue between Paul and Barnabas. 

At the end of September the session invited the Foremans 
to a steak supper at Harry Bangle's home, where they pre- 
sented him with a wrist watch in appreciation for his care of 
their pulpit and pastor's study during the summer. This was a 
token of a bond which has continued through the years as he 
has been asked back to Myers Park again and again. 

Other committees in the church were busy that Summer of 
1939 getting ready for a new preacher. One was the Finance 
Committee. As of May 10, 1937 the church had concurred 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

with the directive of the General Assembly to support the 
Ministers' Annuity Fund. They recognized that they were to 
pay 7^% of their minister's salary to this retirement fund 
while the minister was responsible for the other 2^/2% require- 
ment. The session had recommended to the Deacons at that 
time that the church pay the entire 10% of the fund in addition 
to the $6,000 which Dr. Gammon was receiving as his salary. 
The fund was to be continued under their new minister, 
whoever he was to be, but the salary would not be as high. 
They proposed the starting salary of the new minister to be 
under five thousand dollars. 

Another financial matter concluded in the past year had 
been the adding to their budget of a $7,500 debt retiring fund 
and an equal $7,500 increase in the general benevolences. 

During the interim period, the congregation authorized the 
borrowing of $72,500 from the American Trust Company "to 
be used in paying ofif the deed of trust to the Kansas City Life 
Insurance Company on the church property." This source was 
also to be used in paying ofif the balance due on the mortgage 
on the manse. 




'The Second ^yiff mister 1939-1955 

Though their only experience in seeking a minister had 
been a dozen years before, the congregation was well aware 
that such a task was involved, intricate, time consuming and 
often marked with disappointment. No time was to be lost, 
then, in making their search. 

The Pulpit Committee was not a small one : fifteen persons, 
three each from the Elders, Deacons, Woman's Auxiliary, 
Men's Club, and three nominated from the floor by the con- 
gregation. That was just too many persons to work effectively. 
On April i6, 1939, a week after this committee had been 
selected, the number was amended to ten, or two each from the 
above groups — three ladies and seven men. 

As had been done in 1927, the committee invited many 
persons to submit names of ministers whom they thought the 
church should consider. The list was narrowed to ten, three of 
whom were influential ministers in the city of Atlanta. The 
committee then began its field-trips on Sundays to hear these 
men preach in their own pulpits and get some impression of 
how effective the ministers were within their own congrega- 

They felt no hesitation in approaching men whose churches 
were larger and more established than that of Myers Park 
Presbyterian. After all, it was a matter of the growth of the 
Kingdom that was involved. 


The Second Minister 1939-1955 

Mr. Caldwell McDonald, one of the committee members 
elected by the congregation, suggested a new name to them. 
His brother had spoken to him several times about a young 
minister serving the First Presbyterian Church in Henderson, 
North Carolina. This young man, twenty-nine years old, was 
of an old and respected family in Laurinburg. The committee 
was told that he was a graduate of Davidson College and 
Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. His slight Scottish 
accent may have been influenced by his own ancestry plus 
having spent his Middle Year of Seminary work in Edin- 
burgh, Scotland. His lovely young wife was a daughter of the 
manse, and their two boys and daughter were all under the age 
of four years. Thus, the attractive family of James Archibald 

One Sunday morning that summer most of the Pulpit Com- 
mittee and their families decided to make a day of it and 
travel to Greensboro to hear Mr. Jones preach. He was con- 
ducting the morning service for his friend and neighbor, Dr. 
Charles Myers of the First Presbyterian Church. Despite the 
large Sanctuary, this influx of thirty strangers couldn't help 
being noticed. As one usher escorted some of the committee to 
a seat, unknowingly behind Mrs. J. A. Jones, he apologized to 
them for the presence of a visiting preacher in the pulpit that 
morning. Apology accepted! 

After a pleasant lunch at the Sedgefield Country Club, the 
committee sat around and discussed its impressions of that 
man Jones. Some thought he "looked so young, in that little 
white flannel suit." One response was "Well, then, we can 
train him in the way he should go!" It was quickly evident 
that the same descriptions of the preacher were being used by 
each one of them: "such a dynamic preacher" . . . "devout" 
. . . "man of God." So it was decided; they would call Mr. 

It being his vacation, James and Mary Jones were at their 
cottage on Wrightsville Beach when the committee ap- 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

proached them and asked that they visit Charlotte to meet 
with them. The invitation was accepted, and the meeting was 
consummated at the ever gracious home of the George Wil- 
sons. There in the living room of a house that often opened its 
doors to session meetings as well as church receptions, the 
Joneses were introduced to Myers Park Presbyterians. 

"The people had a willingness to work," said Mr. Jones. ''^ 
He was impressed with their interest in working rather than 
employing persons to do the work of the church for them. 
Furthermore, he readily saw that Dr. Gammon would be an 
easy man to follow in that church, for he had worked for the 
"big" church. There would be no problem of uniting factions, 
for it was a united group. The minister of these people would 
have as his major job that of channelling their flood of inter- 
ests and energies through the church, and thus generating a 
great "light to the world." 

Paul Sheahan called the congregational meeting to order 
on August 13, 1939, for the purpose of issuing a call to James 
A. Jones. After Dr. Foreman read from the Book of Church 
Order the procedure involved in the calling of a pastor, two 
members of the Pulpit Committee ^° detailed their work and 
contact with Mr. Jones. His salary was set at $5,000 per an- 
num. Harvey Moore moved that the report be accepted and 
that a call be extended. This was unanimously passed. Mr. 
Jones was immediately informed of the action of the congre- 
gation, and he wired back his acceptance. 

On the first of October, after more than four years in Hen- 
derson, Mr. Jones preached his first sermon in the pulpit of 
Myers Park Presbyterian Church. It was prophetically en- 
titled "A Gift for the Future." 

19. In an article on the City of Charlotte, THE SATURDAY EVE- 
NING POST magazine said that Mr. Jones was known to the citizens as 
"Jazzy." This was a misunderstanding of the Charlotteans way of calling him 
"Jas. A." In point of fact, many of his closest friends in the church always 
called him "James." 

20. Hunter Marshall and Dr. O. L. Miller. 


The Second Minister 1939-1955 

Officially Mr. Jones was received into Mecklenburg Pres- 
bytery the second week in October, but the formal installation 
service was held in his new church on November 5th, also 
exactly thirteen years after their organization service. 

The ministers of the First and Second Presbyterian 
Churches ^^ gave the charge to the Minister and the sermon, 
respectively. The President of Queens College, Dr. Hunter 
Blakely, propounded the constitutional questions. The charge 
to the congregation was put to them by a future Moderator of 
the General Assembly, W. E. Price. The Installation Prayer 
was given by Mr. Jones' friend, the Rev. D. P. McGeachy, Jr. 
of Monroe. 

The new minister closed the service with his favorite bene- 

"May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
And the Love of God 
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit 
Abide with us, now and forever more." 

The minister needs blessing, too, was always the thought of 
Mr. Jones. We are not private individuals and we do not 
worship privately, but corporately. We enter the church to- 
gether for shared worship and we leave together for corporate 
service. This concept on the part of the minister would be 
reflected in all phases of the church's growth during the next 
fifteen years. 

As the fall drew to a close and the winter evenings grew 
longer, the bright lights in the manse were becoming a warm 
familiar sight to the dozens of members who drove by on their 
trips up and down Providence Road. Inside the house, they 
would have found the atmosphere and surroundings different 
from those of the previous occupant. Dr. Gammon's children 
were much older than the "toddlers" of the Jones family. 

21. Albert S. Johnson and John A. Redhead. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Naturally, their very presence made the manse a more active 
place than it had been. 

The manse itself was built in 1931 for approximately 
$25,000. It vs^as an imposing structure in Colonial style archi- 
tecture, two stories with convenient though small rooms for 
this family of five. The brick exterior had been painted white 
in 1932. The interioiLwas repainted in preparation for the 
arrival of the new minister. Mrs. Jones inspected the house 
with Mrs. A. A. Barron and Mrs. Walter Clark. Sensing that 
the rooms were actually quite small, Mrs. Jones chose pastel 
shades (mainly blue) for the walls and enlarged the appear- 
ance of the living and dining rooms through skillful use of 
mirrors and long drapes to hide the smallness of the windows. 
Furnished tastefully with elegant furniture, the house truly 
reflected its mistress. 

Mrs. Jones has been variously described as "beautiful," 
"feminine," "brilliant," and "a piece of Dresden china." A 
wonderful homemaker, she was a gracious and frequent 
hostess. Her husband said his memory of the manse was that it 
was always filled with dinner guests and overnight guests. 
That such entertaining could be done was a tribute to the good 
organization of Mrs. Jones and to the household employees. A 
nurse stayed in the home to help care for the three children, 
eventually five. 

Lest one think of her as only "a piece of Dresden china," it 
is to be recalled that Mary Boyd Jones was well prepared for 
the life which she led. The daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. 
Robert S. Boyd, she attended Agnes Scott College and gradu- 
ated from the Assembly's Training School. Her interests were 
not restricted to the home, though there she found an outlet 
for her creative talents of housekeeping and gardening. In the 
community she became active in the Junior League and the 
Garden Club. As a "quiet sort of power," said one of the ladies 
in the church, "she was perhaps the most efifective Spiritual 
Life Secretary that the women ever had." Like Mrs. Gammon 


The Second Minister 1939-1955 

before her, she was a "favorite teacher" to those fortunate 
enough to hear her. 

If asked about Dr. Jones' ministry, the majority of members 
would probably comment first on his sermons. "Preaching was 
his forte," one faithful attender said. Whereas Dr. Gammon 
had found this the most difficult aspect of his work, Dr. Jones 
found it the most challenging. "I love to do it." he has said. 

This love for preaching the Word, when coupled with an 
incisive, intelligent mind, produced messages of remarkable 
force. His sermons would be more aptly classified as "Bibli- 
cal" than "topical." However, a survey of some of his mes- 
sages reveals that the focus was placed on the relating of a 
Biblical text to contemporary life, rather than elucidating a 
passage in a strictly exegetical manner. 

It has already been pointed out that Dr. Gammon eschewed 
the placing of his sermon topic in the Sunday bulletin. Dr. 
Jones felt differently. He deemed it important that the mes- 
sage of the sermon have some lasting imprint upon the lives of 
the worshippers. How could this be done? By their being able 
to recall the sermon at least in some part. Hence, the printing 
of the sermon title was designed to remind them of what 
thoughts had come to them during the service. In addition to 
the title, Dr. Jones printed the complete Scripture verse which 
had served as the text for the sermon. 

In later years, the front of the bulletin was used to print 
certain portions of the previous Sunday's sermon. In this way, 
it was hoped that the message could be more effectively re- 
called, even months and years later if one chose to save the 
bulletins. One officer chided Dr. Jones for printing portions of 
last week's sermon rather than portions of the one delivered on 
that very morning. This was an idealistic criticism but not 
very realistic, as most ministers could testify. The sermon, like 
the Sunday dinner pie, is best received when it is delivered 
"steaming from the oven." 

In 1950, the church began collecting Dr. Jones' sermons 



MINISTER 1939-1955 


:^4 •• 






History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

and published them, together with his pastoral prayers until 


During his years at Myers Park Presbyterian, Dr. Jones 

entered his office early in the week to prepare his sermon. The 
first step was to consult a series of notes which he had made 
during the previous summer. It was his custom — and his 
need, so he protests — to spend part of his vacation in reading 
and contemplation pursuant to an outlining of sermon topics 
for the coming year. Often the "retreats" were at conference 
grounds in Northhampton, Massachusetts. Armed with these 
notes, precious hours in busy weeks during the year were not 
consumed with wondering what to preach. 

With a topic and text in mind, he then began to write out his 
initial thoughts in longhand. This first draft completed, he 
turned to the typewriter where the second draft was com- 
posed. Sermons, however, are to be heard, not read. And so, 
the second draft in one hand and the dictaphone in the other, 
he read and composed the dictated third draft. His secretary, 
Betty Hutchison, having typed the manuscript for him would 
put it on his desk for revision. On Sunday morning, the re- 
vised copy placed on the short pulpit beside the tiny clock and 
the microphone, was more referred to than depended upon as 
the sermon was delivered. Dr. Jones, like any minister, was 
accustomed to the mysterious creative invasion of the Holy 
Spirit into a sermon as it was being preached. 

Having delivered the sermon did not mean that it was to be 
abandoned like the flower arrangement in front of the pulpit. 
Indeed, now a transcription of the pulpit-delivered message 
was typed by the church secretary and finally (after this the 
sixth draft) sent to the printers. Copies of the sermon were 
available the next week for the members of the congregation, 
many being mailed to shut-ins and persons necessarily distant 
from Oxford Place. 

With such a lengthy process of development, it is obvious 
that a man would have to love preaching to endure the agony 


The Second Minister 1939-1955 

of creation each week. It is also obvious that such attention to 
the sermon was responsible for the messages of uncommon 

Their impact soon began to reach beyond the confines of 
Myers Park. Each Sunday, it became more and more difficult 
to find a seat as 1 1 :oo A.M. approached. The Queens College 
students were attending in ever larger numbers. Visitors were 
the rule rather than the exception. Each listener was affected 
by the zeal of the minister. With a jaunty stance, fist on his hip 
and digging at the carpet with his toe, the small figure in the 
Geneva robe rolled his '^r's" at the congregation, then at the 
cornice of the ceiling, and back at the front pews. 

His appeal to the student generation was undeniable. In the 
early years of his ministry he preached for the students at 
Agnes Scott, Salem, Duke, Davidson, Culver Military Acad- 
emy, and many others. In a week he might have traveled as far 
as Kansas City or as near as Rowland, but every effort was 
made to be in his own church that Sunday. 


The War Tears 

After Sunday lunch on December 7, 1941, Dr. Jones ex- 
cused himself from the table and walked over to the church to 
prepare for an infant baptism service to be held momentarily. 
Several Elders arrived first and then the young couples with 
their children. As Dr. Jones was informally describing the 
procedure of the service, the telephone rang. It was Mrs. 
Jones, telling him of a radio announcement she had just heard. 
When he hung up, he announced to the little group, "The 
Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor." The shocked 
gathering temporarily forgot the main reason for their pres- 
ence together, as they murmured among themselves as to what 
the future would bring. Then one of the Elders said that he 
thought it was highly significant that the sacrament of baptism 
was about to take place at this particular time. "In the midst 
of destruction, sanctity of life is reaflEirmed." The baptism 
proceeded for the children, Letitia Mebane McDonald and 
Martha Lineberger McDonald. 

As the weeks and months and years went by in Mr. Myers' 
former cotton fields outside Charlotte, no bombs were 
dropped and no gunfire heard, but an awareness of World 
War II was omnipresent. The church felt a certain helpless- 
ness and isolation in not being near camps and bases where 
they might more actively minister to those in the service. 
What they could do, they did. Monetary contributions were 


The War Years 

sent to the Synod for work among soldiers in North Carolina 
camps. Contributions were forwarded to the General Assem- 
bly for relief to Protestant Christians in occupied countries of 
Europe and China. The Defense Service Committee was sup- 
ported with Myers Park funds. Even Presbyterian Junior 
College was sent a gift to help them expand their plumbing 
facilities used in the housing of 250 Air Force Trainees. 

As the young men of the church ^^ went into the various 
services and were dispersed all over the world, the nerves and 
emotions of the members were being stretched. "Be not anx- 
ious for the morrow," they were reminded, but never had they 
felt more keenly their own helplessness in overseeing the wel- 
fare of their loved ones. And never more keenly had they 
depended on the providence of God. 

As for the operation of the church, the war brought no great 
hardships, only inconveniences. "When can we have our Feb- 
ruary meeting of the Men's Club?" they wondered in 1943. 
Since the OPA (Office of Price Administration) had ruled 
that cars could be used only for two religious services a week, 
the Club had to schedule their meetings to coincide with the 
Wednesday night prayer service. The gas rationing then was 
primarily an inconveience for the church program, as was the 
application which had to be made to the Rationing Board in 
order to obtain a supply of grape juice for each communion 
service. Fortunately, Morris and Barnes Grocery Store con- 
tinued to give excellent service despite many shortages. 

Because of their absence, service personnel wishing to join 
the church were granted permission to be received in absentia. 
In several cases, the session accepted a letter from a Chaplain 
in the same fashion as they would receive a letter of transfer 
from another congregation. The office of Chaplain was espe- 
cially appreciated by Myers Park because they had observed 
special meetings for Chaplains being held in their own church 

22. Within a year after Pearl Harbor, nineteen Myers Park Presbyterians 
were in the services. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

buildings. These meetings in 1944 were sponsored by the De- 
partment of Evangelism of the Federal Council of Churches. 

Contact with the servicemen was of prime importance. The 
young people were writing letters to them, and the church 
bulletins were being sent. At Christmas time, the session au- 
thorized the purchasing of gifts for each man in the name of 
the church. The bulletins did not give enough of the news 
which the young men wanted to read, so monthly letters were 
written in the church office and mailed to two hundred per- 
sons. By 1944 the session authorized that these letters be 
changed to an expanded bulletin and sent to five hundred 
servicemen and friends. One of the church members, Eddie S. 
Dillard, was editor of the Service Men's Bulletin and effec- 
tively filled the publication with news of the church, news of 
the men in service, a Pastor's page, a woman's page, vital 
statistics of the membership (weddings, births, deaths, etc.). 
The Men's Club had first sponsored this monthly bulletin 
prior to its being published by the church as a whole. 

The roll of members in the service grew with each year that 
the fighting continued. At first it had been possible to speak 
each name in the petitions made on their behalf in the Wednes- 
day Night Prayer Meeting. Then the list grew too lengthy, 
and individuals were singled out especially when their areas 
of service were known to be under fire. On Easter morning at 
the service commemorating the Christian hope of life victo- 
rious over death, the minister spoke the name of each and 
every person in uniform.'^ 

It was early on a Sunday morning, around 6:00 or 7:00, 
when Dr. Jones got word of the first casualty among those 
from the church in battle zones. The family phoned him and 
asked for him to come over. No mention was made of what 
had happened, but the sad news was immediately sensed by the 
pastor. During the service that morning, he informed the 

23. The Honor Roll of members serving in World War II is in the 


The War Years 

congregation of the tragedy. There was an atmosphere of cor- 
porate anguish through the Sanctuary. This was the first — 
hopefully the last — breach in the church family due to the 
horrors of war. The fright and sorrow was worsened with the 
realization that it could have been any son in the church. 
Before all the prayers had been said and all the church bells 
rung for all the invasions and bombings of all the wartime 
hours, four more had died. 



T'he Second "building "Program 

Dr. Jones has said that Dr. Gammon was an easy man to 
follow, for "he had a vision of a big church." When the fourth 
decade of the Twentieth Century began, the Myers Park Pres- 
byterian Church was big. It had i,o6o members; including 
the children enrolled in the Sunday School, the total figure of 
persons associated with the church program would be closer to 
1,500. The big congregation was now an actuality, but the big 
church plant was not! This was one of the first major problems 
confronted in 1940. 

As an April report to the congregation indicated : 

"In the PRIMARY DEPARTMENT over 100 l3oys 
and girls are jammed into one room. There are no indi- 
vidual class rooms. ... In the JUNIOR DEPART- 
MENT we have three class rooms, but no chapel for the 
entire department. In the INTERMEDIATE DE- 
PARTMENT we are in a building that is fine for Boy 
Scouts and such activities, but the class rooms are too 
small and have Inadequate partitions between them. The 
building Is poorly heated In the winter and excessively 
warm In the summer. ... For the YOUNG PEOPLE 
of our church there Is no place. . . . The entire school 
should have a place for Inside games, recreation, and the 
social life of the church, with play rooms, dining rooms, 
and kitchen, etc." 

As early as October of 1938, a committee of Deacons ap- 
peared before the session requesting that the need for con- 


The Second Building Program 

structing the Third Unit be considered as soon as possible. 
Nothing definite was done then. A year and a half later, Eu- 
rope was in the throes of an early war . . . the Atlantic 
Ocean contained troubled waters . . . President Roosevelt 
was proposing a "bridge of ships" to aid Britain in her dark 
hours. With such storm clouds on the Eastern horizon, many 
church members wondered if this was an appropriate time to 
think of adding to the existing church building. Perhaps not. 

As the officers considered the problem of "When to build?", 
one Deacon voiced an opinion that it might be wise to delay 
this construction until the Battle of Britain was concluded. 
The mood of the group became increasingly discouraging. 
Then Dr. O. L. Miller stated his forceful conviction regard- 
less of the war, the church would have its work to do! The 
Deacon who had posed the initial question immediately con- 
curred with the Elder. Once more the church had focused on 
the future. 

Within six months of that meeting, the congregation had 
seen the need and pledged $110,210 toward the construction. 
This was some $8,000 short of the anticipated expense of the 
Third Unit. Together with the balance of the old building 
fund debt and the costs of equipping the new building, their 
expenses would total nearer $145,000. With the expert guid- 
ance of Mr. Torrence Hemby, the church embarked upon 
another venture of borrowing the necessary funds from the 
American Trust Company. 

Their first architect, Joseph Mathieu, wrote Mr. Ovens, 
"Your young architect Mr. Stenhouse . . . handled the prob- 
lem very well. The wing is much more extensive than origi- 
nally planned. I think the design is very good." And indeed it 
was, filling not only an architectural kinship with the first 
units, but also the needs of the expanding congregation. Like a 
man given a larger belt after a big meal, so the congregation 
sighed with pleasure on November 16, 1941, as they moved 
into the new rooms. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

In the meantime, the lot adjoining the manse on Provi- 
dence Road became available for purchase. Despite their cur- 
rent building program, it seemed the act of wisdom to pur- 
chase the lot with its frontage of ninety feet. Thus, in October 
of 1941, it was bought for $3,150. Even then, the congregation 
had the glimmer of a vision of yet another educational build- 
ing which was placed there, in fact, some eighteen years later. 


I'he Qhurch Staff 


With an expanded Church School plant for an increased 
enrollment, it is easy to see that the Director of Religious 
Education was busy! The one who was responsible for over- 
seeing the total teaching program was Miss Margaret VanDe- 

When Miss VanDevanter came to Myers Park in 1934, the 
total enrollment in the Church School was 624. Nine years 
later these statistics had changed to 804. This was due in no 
small part to the effective labor of the "D.R.E." 

During the interim between the ministries of Dr. Gammon 
and Mr. Jones, Miss VanDevanter's tasks were multiplied. 
Without the help of the church secretary. Miss Ethel Begg, 
the Summer work of 1939 would have been well nigh impos- 
sible to complete. Once Miss VanDevanter considered seri- 
ously accepting a new position in another church. The session, 
skilled men in the art of persuasion, prevailed on her to re- 
main with Myers Park. However, in the Fall of 1943, she 
submitted her resignation to Dr. Jones.^* The Session tried 
their skill again, but she felt called to work in the First Pres- 
byterian Church of Atlanta. They had to accept, with regret, 

24. The minister received his first honorary doctorate from Hampden- 
Sydney in 1941, Dr. Gammon officiating. 


The Church Staff 

her resignation. In turn, they asked her to accept from them a 
few parting gifts — a watch from the Sunday School, a mone- 
tary gift from the officers, a sterling silver cofifee service from 
the entire congregation. 

Replacing her would not be easy. She was a talented, conse- 
crated lady who had loved and been loved by the church for 
nine years.^^ A comment appeared in the church calendar dated 
November 7, 1943 : 

". . . Not only in our teaching program, but in every 
phase of our church's life she has been most active. Her 
friendship with and guidance of our Young People have 
provided some of the finest leaders in youth work in our 
church. Her desire has been always to promote the wel- 
fare and usefulness of the Myers Park Presbyterian 
Church. . . ." 

Dr. Jones began searching for someone to succeed her, 
someone to whom the same tribute might someday apply. 
Thanks to the educational institutions of the Presbyterian 
Church, U. S., there are many trained men and women who 
can direct the Christian Education of churches like Myers 
Park Presbyterian. 

In Mrs. Jones' home Church of Columbus, Georgia, there 
was a young lady who was an especially effective D.R.E. on 
Dr. Boyd's staff. She had distinguished herself at Winthrop 
College in South Carolina and at the Assembly's Training 
School. Perhaps it was Mrs. Jones who suggested to her hus- 
band that he contact this lady to determine her interest in 
working for the Myers Park Church. From whatever quarter 
the suggestion first emerged, it was a good one, and Dr. Jones 
followed it. Miss Eleanor Belk was invited to visit the Church 
in Charlotte. 

As Miss Belk recalls her meeting with Dr. Jones, he de- 
scribed the work and needs of the church. Then to give her 

25. Miss VanDevanter later married Dr. James K. Fancher, an elder in the 
Atlanta church, 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

some indication of the character and ability of the member- 
ship, he gave her a thumbnail sketch of three members: an 
Elder, a lady, a young person. All were persons with distinct 
personalities, ones who do not fit into usual categories, but all 
belong to that large group of dedicated Churchmen. 

Neither did Miss Belk fit into a set category . . . except 
that she appeared perfectly suited for Myers Park. After ac- 
cepting the position, she assumed her job with unparalleled 
energy. "She knew more people and more about them than 
anyone in the Church," says Dr. Jones. She was his right hand 
as an unabridged source of information. Keeping her office 
close to the entrance to the church, she has always been able to 
give some church-related task to whoever entered the door. 
"Put them to work" has been a policy of this person who 
herself has known no "quitting time." 

A quick and friendly visitor, she literally may drop in to 
see church members at any hour of the day or night. No 
sorrowful or happy event in the lives of her church friends 
escapes her concern. 

In many ways, Miss Belk has been a walking symbol of the 
Myers Park congregation. Always immaculately and beauti- 
fully dressed, she reflects the taste and poise of the member- 
ship. They are not a membership encased and immovable in 
their own fine trappings, but sophisticated Christians with an 

From the beginning of her employment ( 1944) her interest 
has been primarily with the youth of the congregation. Often 
a conference leader in the Synod and the Assembly, she has 
guided the young people of the church from the "Kingdom 
Highways" program into the "Commission" plan. This pro- 
gram established in the mid-forties aims at enlisting the work- 
talent of as many youth as possible by breaking the total 
program into commissions of Outreach, Spiritual Life, Fel- 
lowship, Community Service, and the like. 

Myers Park has had such an abundance of capable youth 


The Church Staff 

that it has been essential to have programs that ask much of 
and give much to privileged teenagers. It would be easy to do 
it all for them, but Miss Belk recognized that this would 
defeat the purpose of the Youth Program. Enlisting the aid of 
several young married couples in the church, each commission 
had adult advisors as well as a staff of youth officers. In this 
set-up, a maximum number of young people were put to work. 

The young people were never inactive during the forties. 
Even as the war clouds were gathering, more than two 
dozen boys and girls were attending Synod's and Presbytery's 
conferences in the Summer. They were making their own 
pledges to their own budget. In 1940, they gave $442.52 to all 
of their causes, which was more than two and a half times 
what had been given in previous years when no pledging and 
budgeting had been attempted. 

The Summer of 1940 found the young people conducting a 
Daily Vacation Bible School at State Street Mission for about 
seventy-five children. This project so excited some of the girls 
of the group that they continued to serve as Sunday School 
teachers at the Mission during the winter. 

During the summer before Pearl Harbor, as many as sixty- 
five young people from the church worked with the State 
Street Mission, cleaning the pews, covering the walls, repair- 
ing the windows, and serving as teachers for the Daily Vaca- 
tion Bible School. 

Because their program was "others" directed, when the war 
struck, they seemed more concerned about the needs of the 
world at large than about their own plight. Besides having 
contributed the equivalent of $300 toward the building of a 
church in Korea, they kept up their parties and programs for 
underprivileged groups in Charlotte and added to their serv- 
ices "hostessing" for soldier entertainment sponsored by the 
church. Their budget was up to $485, (80 per cent of which 
went to benevolences.) . 

Thus we can see that Miss Belk found herself with a group 
highly motivated toward service. But, since the group was 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

constantly changing, and without steady leadership, the direc- 
tion of the group could have changed radically too. 

With Miss Belk, however, the pace quickened, if anything. 
Swimming parties, inspirational weeks, hayrides and Bible 
School projects, picnics and church dramas; there was some- 
thing for everyone to involve himself in. The young people 
couldn't avoid feeling a part of a wider fellowship as they 
published a monthly paper for the College Students away 
from home. 

Five years after she had arrived at Myers Park, Miss Belk 
found that her "charges" were growing up and her interest in 
them was following them to their colleges and in their work. 
While she was encouraging the teenagers in their interest in a 
settlement house in London and their preparation of CARE 
packages, she was writing and visiting the 224 students away 
at some sixty-three different schools and colleges. The Young 
People who had "grown up" and married wanted to preserve 
their group consciousness, and so a Young Married's Sunday 
School Class was formed in 1947. As the War Veterans re- 
turned home, a Young Adult's Group was organized, benefit- 
ting dozens of persons who found themselves back in a civilian 
world without the same securities and friends which had been 
theirs some years before. As can be seen, it was a joyous outgo- 
ing Christianity which was being advocated by the church. 
"If you want a party and fun, why not have it at the Church?" 

This was something of a new notion for many of the mem- 
bers who had grown up in small churches where even square 
dancing was frowned upon. And so, it was perhaps with some 
trepidation that the young officers of the Youth Fellowship 
appeared before the session in 1949 to ask their permission to 
have supervised dancing in the recreation hall. After they had 
made known the reasons for their request, the Elders granted 
permission to them. This was the first delegation for the Young 
People to appear before the session since the church's found- 
ing twenty-three years before. 

Actually, the session was always sympathetic toward the 


The Church Staff 

aims and activities of the Young People, Only on the matter of 
hayrides were they most concerned that cautious restrictions 
be made. Otherwise, the recreational activities of the youth 
were wholeheartedly supported by the church. During the 
summers, full-time recreation leaders were employed to di- 
rect such a program. None of the participants will ever forget 
the friendly bear-hugs of Herb Meza, Bill Plonk calling 
square dances, the quick laugh of Gina Albertson, or the rich 
bass voice of Sandy McGeachy. 

Dr. Jones recalls being awakened one night at midnight by 
a telephone call from a church member. "I'm worried about 
my child. She went to a church party and still hasn't come 
home. Where could she have gone from there?" Dr. Jones 
took a look out the window and then reported back that the 
party was still in full swing. The lady voiced surprise and 
apprehension that such an affair should be lasting so long at 
the church. "Wouldn't you rather they enjoy themselves in 
this place than some spot in town with a much less healthy 
environment?" The lady agreed. 

But we were talking about Eleanor Belk. Since her life and 
work have been centered on the church and other people, 
however, it is only natural that the subject would stray to those 
interests of hers. 

Some say that to detect the true interests of an individual, 
one needs only to look at the books on his shelf. Some of those 
in Miss Belk's office are: "So Youth May Know," "Mr. 
Popper's Penguins," "The Gospel in Art," "Heaven in My 
Hand," "The Art of Ministering to the Sick," "Young Lead- 
ers in Action," "Book of Church Order," "Ministerial Direc- 
tory of Presbyterian Church in the U. S.," ^^ and catalogues 
from a dozen colleges and seminaries. 

26. One of her major contributions to the church has been her ability to 
persuade so many of her outstanding friends to conduct services and study 
courses in the church. It is not unusual to find theologians all over the vi^orld 
w^ho know her as "Eleanor." 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Mindful that the projects and retreats and programs might 
obscure the spiritual needs of the young people, Miss Belk has 
always stressed the role of worship in their lives. Fellowship 
with one another is truly meaningful only to those who have 
experienced fellowship with God. And to stress this aspect of 
their lives, a Youth Inspirational Week was held in the sum- 
mer evenings of July. Prior to the sessions, the chapel was left 
open for individual prayer. Indeed, because of her oft-refer- 
ences to the spiritual life, it seemed natural that the John 
Calvin Class should dedicate the newly decorated Prayer 
Chapel to Eleanor Belk in 1959. 

"Neither the beauty of the architecture nor the 
strength of its foundation can adequately express that 
which she symbolizes to us and our future of Christain 


The youth of the church were so numerous that it was diffi- 
cult, nay impossible, for one person to co-ordinate the activi- 
ties and teaching program of all the young people from ages 
one to twenty-five. Even if the church membership were pas- 
sive and somnolent, this would have been a group needing 
much direction. And the Myers Park folk have never been 

Mrs. A. J. McKelway, wife of a distinguished Navy chap- 
lain, was living in Davidson with her family in the Spring of 
1944. Knowledge of her creative abilities in Religious Educa- 
tion came to the session of Myers Park Presbyterian, and they 
invited her to join the church staff as Director of the Chil- 
dren's Division. With her acceptance began a stepped-up 
program in many areas of the church's work. The session 
authorized the purchase of a church car so that both Mrs. 
McKelway and Miss Belk could more easily make contact 


The Church Staff 

with the many workers which they began to enlist in their mul- 
tiple programs. 

In one of her quarterly reports to the session, Mrs. McKel- 
way advocated the establishment of a church weekday kinder- 
garten. This was actually not a new idea by any means. As 
early as November of 1928 there had been a request made to 
the session to use the church facilities for such a school. The 
request was denied. In 1941 Dr. Jones asked the session to 
consider the establishment of a kindergarten in the new educa- 
tional wing of the church. This was referred to a committee at 
a morning meeting of the session on the fateful December 7th. 
No report was ever recorded in the minutes. 

So in 1944, with the prospect of "war babies" growing up 
among them, the time seemed right for the church to make 
this move. In fact, they were pioneering for what was later to 
be a popular program for churches in Charlotte. 

Mrs. McKelway began supervising the plans for the kin- 
dergarten. It was tentatively proposed that the operation of 
the school would be under the combined church and Queens 
College supervision, as the institution hoped to cooperate in 
having some of its students helping and observing the opera- 
tion of the program. The administration would be church 
controlled, supervised by a committee of fourteen persons ap- 
pointed by the church. The actual staff needed for the pro- 
posed enrollment of forty children would be a director- 
teacher, another teacher, and two assistants. The admissions 
policy was to accept applications only from the Myers Park 
Presbyterian membership up until May 15th of the spring 
prior to the fall session. After that date children from any 
denomination would be enrolled as long as space was availa- 
ble. The tuition set was $105 yearly for a child of the church, 
and $137.50 "^ for children of non-church members. 

One of the first omens of success for the school was the 

27. Actual cost per pupil for the operation of the kindergarten in 1945. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

selection of Miss Margaret Thomson as Director. In accept- 
ing the position offered her by the church, she wrote in a script 
reminiscent of the writing charts placed on blackboards : 

". . . the nature of a venture which embraces both the 
religious and secular education presents wide opportu- 
nities for stimulating growth." 

When the first day of kindergarten began in the fall, Miss 
Thomson joyfully counted forty-five little students; twenty- 
eight were of Myers Park Presbyterian families and seventeen 
from denominations varying from Baptist to Jewish to Roman 
Catholic. The fall semester was so successful that by Decem- 
ber the session readily passed Mr. Tom Glasgow's motion 
that a first grade be included in the school in 1946. When this 
was announced, registrations began coming in almost imme- 
diately. So that in September 1946 there were eighty chil- 
dren enrolled in the four year old class, the two classes for five 
year olds, and the first grade. 

There is no sure way of determining the significance of the 
kindergarten on the lives of the children or on the total pro- 
gram of the church. However, with the able teaching pro- 
vided the youngsters and the many visits which the workers 
made into the homes of the pupils, one cannot help but imag- 
ine that the influence of this work was great. 

When Mrs. McKelway regretfully resigned her position in 
the Spring of 1946 she reflected that the value of the school 
was inestimable. Besides that, the Sunday School enrollment 
had grown considerably and was then being staffed by sixty- 
five teachers and helpers. The Primary Department had be- 
gun to extend its session to carry through the morning service, 
and a Junior Choir had been started. 

The weekday school reached its peak enrollment of ninety 
in 1946 and earned a surplus for the first time. As similar 
programs sprang up in Charlotte, the children from other 
churches naturally began attending their own kindergarten 


The Church Staff 

and first grade. The Myers Park school, however, continued 
to set the pace for the city's kindergarten, being not only the 
first established but also the first to be approved by the State. 

Miss Thomson, having done so much to direct and teach in 
the school, resigned in 1949 in order to teach in the public 
school system and maintain her qualification on the public 
school retirement plan. It was springtime and Dr. Jones rec- 
ognized that it was imperative that an able replacement be 
found. After a quick flight to Memphis, he was able to report 
that a prospective teacher interviewed there was seriously con- 
sidering accepting the position. She was Miss Adeline Hill. 

"Adeline" was the new Director of the Weekday School 
that Fall of 1949 and immediately found her place in the work 
of the church and the hearts of the membership. Initiating a 
"Nursery at Home" program, young mothers welcomed her 
early house call and thanked her for the corsage sent them 
while in the hospital. She and her staff took church literature 
to those homes where the parents wished to establish a Chris- 
tian family environment for their pre-church school child. 
This concern was the ground work for many a baptismal serv- 
ice and not a few adult memberships gained by the church. 

With Miss Hill's leadership the school continued to grow 
in enrollment (hitting a peak of 180) and effectiveness. 
Among several other persons who contributed much to this 
part of the church program is one whose office will cause his 
name to come as a surprise to the reader : Mr. Charles B. Ross, 
the Church Treasurer. 

"Mr. Charlie" shared his warm personality and love for 
children each day when he strolled the halls and peeped in to 
see how all was going. Likely, as not, Mrs. Kathleen Morris 
was gently guiding a child from Alexander Home along with 
the rest of the class in a learning game. Nothing pleased Mr. 
Ross more than seeing children there, those who might not 
have been able to attend had it not been for the unpublicized 
scholarship fund set up by the Elders and supported by the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

surplus moneys of the Weekday School. They wanted every 
child in the congregation to be able to attend the school if 
their parents so desired. Mr. Ross was also largely responsible 
for the excellent equipment, of which the teachers were so 
proud. Indeed, they appreciated not only the superb physical 
plant but also the opportunities afforded them to attend work- 
shops and kindergarten training sessions held at Montreat and 

Less than a year after Miss Hill's arrival at Myers Park, 
Mrs. William M. Archer resigned as Director of Children's 
work at the church. She had served in that capacity from 1946 
until 1950. Miss Hill was asked to assume this additional po- 
sition temporarily. Though this was demanding on her time 
and strength, it was a most beneficial arrangement for the 
church. It meant that the two educational programs were 
fused and interlaced in a highly effective manner. 

In Bill Wade Wood, the Committee on Education had a 
strong chairman who worked with Miss Hill and other mem- 
bers of the staff in getting a leadership training class started. 
Also, the superintendents of the Children's Division were in- 
strumental in conveying to the congregation the need for yet 
another building for this work. 

Concerned as she was about the Christian family. Miss Hill 
conceived of a plan to involve "couples" in the teaching of 
Sunday School classes for the children. The church has long 
been accustomed to the fine service of ladies for these classes, 
but the unwritten law was "For Women Only." The idea of a 
husband-wife team just had not been considered. Miss Hill 
presented the challenging plan to several couples, and true to 
the growing tradition of Myers Park Presbyterians, they were 
willing "to try anything once." The success of the venture was 
quickly evident by the increased effectiveness of the classes. 
Besides that, it was even fun for the teaching couples — and the 
bachelor, John Roddey! 

Adeline Hill took a two month leave of absence in the 


The Church Staff 

Spring of 1957 to marry Professor Jay Ostwalt of Davidson, 
and later she resigned her position in i960. The members of the 
church keep alive their fond memories of her and the calm, 
smooth efficiency that was her asset. In the words of Mr. Ross, 
who knew Myers Park currency best, she was "pure gold!" 
It was the good fortune of the church to obtain Mrs. Paul 
H. Insch as Director of the Weekday School for the 1960-61 
session. Well trained in Kindergarten work, she served as 
teacher in a five year group as well as Director. Succeeding 
her in 1961 was Mrs. Roy Ledford who, for the past half- 
dozen years has carried on the Day School with its increas- 
ingly high standards. 


T'he Outreach of the £hurch 


There was a rumor going around Charlotte in the late 
1920's that the Myers Park Presbyterian Church was so exclu- 
sive they were going to limit their membership. Of course, it 
was pure fiction. Indeed, Dr. Gammon, an evangelist at heart, 
would have made the double front doors even larger if he 
thought that would encourage more people to come in. The 
source of the rumor, however, may have started from the min- 
ister himself when he told some friends that "a membership of 
five hundred was large enough for any church." After that, 
thought Dr. Gammon, the church should colonize. 

This was also the feeling of Dr. Jones and his session which 
had contemplated such a venture as early as April of 1936. 
Five years later, the idea became a reality when the Selwyn 
Avenue Presbyterian Church was founded. 

"In the Queens Chapel this morning a Commission of 
Mecklenburg Presbytery is meeting with a group of resi- 
dents from the Selwyn Avenue Extension area of our 
community to proceed with the organization of the 
church. It is interesting to note that the organization is 
on approximately the same date and in the same chapel 
that our church was organized fifteen years ago. We 
would extend to them our congratulations and fraternal 
greetings and our earnest prayer that this good work will 
be a great success." 

— Bulletin on November 9, 1941 


The Outreach of the Church 

Beginning with a membership of forty-two (most of whom 
were drawn from the Myers Park congregation) the group 
was officially organized on January 1 1, 1942. The Myers Park. 
Church continued to watch over them in the fashion of a "big 
brother," which was the term used by the Selwyn Avenue 
session in a letter thanking this church for a thousand dollar 
contribution to their work that first year. This gift, plus a set 
of communion trays, was the first of several made during the 
coming decade when the Selwyn Avenue Church was engaged 
in a building program. In 1950, the members of Myers Park 
Church endeavored to raise $25,000 for the needs of this new 
church, secured guarantors for a Selwyn Avenue loan of 
$64,000, and even included the work at Selwyn Avenue 
Church in their 25th Anniversary Building Campaign. 

Such gifts proved to be an extremely good "investment," for 
the membership of Selwyn Avenue Church increased from 42 
to 420 in one decade. 


As Charlotte expanded in size, so did the Myers Park 
Church. Furthermore, the expanding boundaries of the city 
were searching out homes of many members of the church. 
Ironically enough, several members were having to drive as 
far to the Myers Park Church as the charter members had had 
to drive to their former congregations of First and Second 
Presbyterian Churches. This phenomenon was not going un- 
noticed by the session nor indeed by Mecklenburg Presbytery. 

The Executive Committee of Home Missions of the Pres- 
bytery wrote a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Session, Mr. 
A. J. Beall, which he in turn communicated to the Elders. 
This letter from Dr. R. H. Stone and Mr. Rufus A. Grier 
read in part: 

"We are persuaded that there should be another Presby- 
terian Church on Providence Road perhaps near where 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

the Morrison Boulevard begins to serve the area be- 
yond Briar Creek. Our Committee respectfully asks that 
you take under advisement and consider beginning a work 
of which you and the Presbytery could look with exceed- 
ing joy and pride. If you will undertake this we will 
pledge our cooperation and promise to render whatever 
assistance our Committee may be called upon to do." 

The "pledge" was made in December of 1945, when the 
church was still paying for the construction of the Third Unit. 
By 1947, the Myers Park Church had liquidated its debt, and 
many members were hoping for a financial "intermission." 
Dr. Jones, however, never allowed any such thinking. "Now 
that our church is in a strong position," he said to them, "we 
should sow the seeds of expansion, not for ourselves but for 

He stated that his fondest hope was to see the Myers Park 
Presbyterians start a new church out on Providence Road, 
providing not only the finances but a nucleus of membership 
which should number at least between two and three hundred 
persons. The term "mission" should not be applied or even 
thought of in the minds of the congregation. That very word 
seemed to stigmatize a congregation with limited visions of its 
potential. This new church on the fringe of the city was to aim 
at membership of at least one thousand within ten short years, 
and certainly their plant facilities would need to be as large or 
larger than those of Myers Park. Since Charlotte's expansion 
was moving in that south-easterly direction. Dr. Jones felt that 
the new church would eventually be larger than this, the par- 
ent congregation. 

In June of 1949, Norman Pease reported that an investiga- 
tion of the Smallwood Homes area had been made, but that in 
the minds of his special committee, the highest priority should 
be placed for the establishment of a church farther out on 
Providence Road. 

Breaking away from the comfortable security of home or 
school is known to be unsettling at best. Breaking away from 


The Outreach of the Church 

one's church is no less a difficult action. Still, under the en- 
couragement of Dr. Jones and the Presbytery, some 51 mem- 
bers of the Myers Park Presbyterian Church began to meet in 
the Queens College Chapel to be a part of the newly organiz- 
ing church to be called Trinity Presbyterian. 

Dr. H. V. Carson served as their supply pastor during the 
Winter of 1951. On occasion he exchanged pulpits with Dr. 
Jones, so that the Myers Park minister could reaffirm to the 
young group the abiding interest of the parent church in their 
growth. Such interest was expressed not in words alone; the 
Myers Park Presbyterians obligated themselves for a total of 
$75,000 to be contributed to the Trinity Building Fund. It was 
their intention to have contributed $100,000 to them within 
five years of their organization. Besides this benevolence, they 
pledged themselves ^ to contribute $25,000 to the Selwyn Ave- 
nue Church and another $25,000 to the total program of 
Church Extension in the Presbytery. 

Dr. Jones knew that it wasn't enough to support these new 
churches with money. They needed leadership too. As he 
spoke of this to the officers, many of them who lived near the 
new church felt obligated to change their membership. It was 
not without deep emotion that some, like Dr. Hamilton Mc- 
Kay and Mr. H. H. Everett, left the church which they had 
served and in turn been served by for so many years.* Elder 
Cecil W. Gilchrist phrased his resignation in this fashion : 

". . . My only reason for leaving this bench is that I 
feel it my duty to help in the formation and building of 
Trinity Church and to work towards the carrying out of 
your (the Session's) wishes In this connection. It presents 
a real opportunity for the extension of Christ's Kingdom 
here on earth." 

28. Officers' Joint Meeting, May 13, 1951. 

* It was also a difficult decision for the three deacons: Elliott J. Neal, J. 
Herman Saxon, and Claude A, Wells. 







History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 


As the City of Charlotte expanded during and after the 
war, several new housing developments grew up without there 
being any provision for the spiritual and cultural needs of the 
people within their bounds. Mindful of this reality and this 
continuing possibility as the city continued to grow, the Pres- 
bytery set about to fulfill these needs as they were shown to 

The first step was to determine where the city was going. 
North, South, East or West? Having interviewed the tele- 
phone company and such expansion-conscious stores as Sears 
& Roebuck, the Presbytery soon discovered the city was in- 
deed growing in all directions. However, the area most de- 
prived of church influence was the Oaklawn Community. 
Burgeoning in the direction of Greenville, this section em- 
braced approximately one-fifth of Charlotte's Negro popula- 

When Mecklenburg Presbytery drew attention to Oaklawn, 
the Men's Club in Myers Park Church became concerned and 
promptly took steps to establish some sort of community center 
for that area. This was in the Spring of 1946. 

Should they build a church? Surely this was their need. But 
a church building is so often identified only with worship 
services. The needs of these people far exceeded that of such a 
single-purpose Sanctuary. Jesus spoke of people being hungry, 
thirsty, and in need of visiting; these needs were in addition to 
those of "worshipping in spirit and in truth." Consequently, 
the Men's Club conceived of a semi-mission outpost to be of 
service to "the whole man" who had economic and educa- 
tional needs as well as spiritual. 

This concept was not understood by all the church when the 
Community Center was first being considered. A mission out- 
post meant a church! The church was not in the social service 


The Outreach of the Church 

or welfare business. Its business was to bring people to Christ, 
and this was to be done as it had always been done: through 
preaching the Word. Dr. Jones and many of the officers felt 
differently about the means toward this agreed end. "You 
don't have to create a steeple to have a building serving the 
Kingdom," they said. 

This being the prevailing opinion in 1946, the work on a 
community center was begun. It was first anticipated that the 
project would need approximately $5,000 a year for operating 
expenses. The first step was to obtain the services of Mr. Cole- 
man D. Rippy, a Negro gentleman of exceptional talents. 
Under his leadership, the Center began to develop a program 
of recreation, vocational training, community activity, and 
religious growth. 

It was soon clear that this project was too ambitious to be 
strictly the "child" of one group within the church. Thus, in 
the summer of that year, the Oaklawn Community Center 
was incorporated under the auspices of the entire church. The 
members of the corporation were the officers of Myers Park 
Presbyterian Church, and the incorporators were three Elders 
so chosen: Everett C. Bierman, Charles M. Hassell, and John 
S. Cansler. Realizing that this work would need constant su- 
pervision, twelve directors were elected for three year terms. 

Within two years, the Center was employing a stafif of four 
full-time and two part-time workers. Seventeen volunteers 
were aiding in the multi-fold work of outdoor and indoor 
recreation as well as the educational program. 

Shuffleboard, boxing, folk dancing, crafts, football, Softball, 
ping pong, nature study . . . the list of activities was almost 
endless. The aim was not to fill blank hours for the people but 
rather to teach good sportsmanship and good conduct while 
playing. The children were learning pre-school skills in the 
kindergarten of some one hundred boys and girls. The women 
and teen-age girls were enrolling in classes that taught cook- 
ing, sewing, budgeting, food-buying, canning, dress-making, 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

etc. There were Scout units for the boys and for the girls. And 
though there was no church service, a Sunday School attracted 
well over one hundred persons each Sunday afternoon. 

Less than two years after its establishment, the CHAR- 
LOTTE NEWS said this about the work at Oaklawn : 

". . . the Center has developed into one of the area's 
best forces for restraint and character building. Juvenile 
Court records attest to a marked drop in cases from this 
Greenville-Biddlevllle-Fairview Homes Section since its 
inception. Teachers in the nearby schools have learned 
quickly to discern the child who comes to them after 
training at the Center." 

In his report to the Session in 1947, Charles Hassell indi- 
cated that the Oaklawn Center was being used by an average 
of five hundred persons per day. The program was expanded 
to include training in various skills that would improve the 
economic lot of those learning them. By October of 1948, Mr. 
Rippy reported to the officers of Myers Park that the Center 
was so crowded that people were pressing against the walls! 
They were establishing each year a new record in North 
Carolina for attendance at Daily Vacation Bible School. 
Fourteen community clubs had been organized in the Center, 
and there simply were not enough stafif members to lead effec- 
tively these groups. What was to be done? 

It was beginning to look as though the Myers Park Church 
had created the positive counterpart of Frankenstein's mon- 
ster. At least, the problems were the same: how to support, 
provide for, and aptly supervise a program that was growing 
at such a remarkable rate. There was no doubt that the Center 
was one of the most effective projects ever sponsored by the 
church, but always in the shadows was the lurking danger of 
egotistical paternalism. Besides this, there remained the posi- 
tion of many church members that there should be a church at 
Oaklawn, either in addition to or rather than a Community 


The Outreach of the Church 

The Presbytery was requested to establish a church there 
in the early 1950's. By 1956, ten years after the start of the 
Center, full services were being held at the Center, though no 
separate church building was constructed. With the addition 
of an ordained minister-helper from Johnson C. Smith Uni- 
versity, a Christian Education program became more influ- 
ential on the total work of the Center. 

With the increased demands and needs of the Oaklawn 
Community Center, the church realized that the center 
needed more funds and supervision than they were able to give 
it. Thus, in 1961, the members of the Center and joint officers 
of the Myers Park Church made an overture to the Mecklen- 
burg Presbytery to take over the property of the Center as of 
June I, 1962. The Presbytery declined to accept it. This must 
have come as a surprise to the church; but surprise or no 
surprise, something had to be done. Would the Charlotte 
YMCA accept the Center? They deliberated on the offer for 
three months, then concluded "No." Finally, the United Pres- 
byterian Church was asked, and after an exhaustive study, 
they wrote to the Myers Park Church that they had not been 
successful in raising funds of a sufficient amount to operate the 
Center. This indeed was the very problem which faced the 
Myers Park Church. The budget needs of the church for 1962 
were not being met by some forty thousand dollars. The Oak- 
lawn work itself required twenty thousand dollars a year by 
this time. 

Having reported that they had found no agency qualified 
and willing to assume the responsibility of conducting and 
supporting a continued community service program at Oak- 
lawn, the full program had to be discontinued as of May 31, 
1962. Mr. Rippy stayed on with a limited program and a small 
volunteer staff, but he, too, had to give up supervision of the 
work when he became associated with Johnson C. Smith Uni- 
versity in the fall of that year. 



The T^tary System for Officers 

One very active young couple in the church reflected on 
their first years as members of the church after transferring 
their membership from a Northern city. "The program was 
full enough," they said. "But there didn't really seem to be any 
need for us in the church. The leadership was so set and 
established that it rather appeared that we would never have a 
chance to contribute." 

If the officers had heard this comment in the thirties, they 
would have been shocked and chagrined. They might have 
protested that it was not true, and they would have been partly 
right. There were many opportunities for leadership at that 
time. However, it was also true that the young officers elected 
when the church was first organized were now, seasoned offi- 
cers with very little change in their ranks. 

This "unchanging" situation on the governing boards was a 
strength for the church in its early years. Yet, even as early as 
the Fall of 1929 there was serious discussion within their bod- 
ies as to whether or not the "Rotary System" should be in- 

The Book of Church Order makes it quite clear that the 
Presbyterian method of officer selection shall be by vote of the 
congregation; that the Deacons are to be elected for an indefi- 
nite period and that the Elders, once ordained, are Elders for 
life! However, if a said congregation should choose to rotate 


The Rotary System for Officers 

these men out of office, such a plan is permissible, if decided 
by vote of the congregation. 

Obtaining such a vote in the Myers Park Presbyterian con- 
gregation took more than ten years of discussion, opinion seek- 
ing, straw votes, and defeats. Briefly, the history of their delib- 
erations was as follows : 

1929 Two-thirds of the Session voted against the 


1933 Discussion ensued in the Session, but tabled. 

1934 A. straw vote in the Session revealed that a bare 

majority of the Elders favored the rotary system 
for the Diaconate. 

1935 — At the insistence of the Deacons, the Session called 
for a meeting of the congregation to vote on the 
matter installing the Rotary System for the 
Diaconate. Thus, on the Sunday before Thanks- 
giving the vote was taken : 
Rotation of Elders : 

For — 36 / Against — 112 
Rotation of Deacons : 
For — 158 / Against — 16 

1936 — The Session prepared an overture to the General 
Assembly requesting that body to instigate a single 
board of officers in each church at the option of 
the church. This unique proposal, which originated 
with Dr. Gammon, did not pass. 

1938 — A motion to install the Rotary System for Elders 
was brought up three times that year in the Ses- 
sion. In each incidence it was tabled. A recommen- 
dation that the church have one elder for each 
fifty active members of the church was adopted. 

1938 — The plan was discussed again. Tabled. 

1942 — Dr. Jones proposed that a Rotary System for 
Elders be considered wherein elections would be 
held only every other year. It was also thought 
advisable that only three Elders, rather than five, 
be rotated at a time. The Elders unanimously pre- 
sented this plan to the congregation on January 
25th and it was passed by that body. 

This compromise was a wise conclusion to the struggle be- 
gun more than a decade previously. However, the church 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

found itself living as "outlaws" in regard to holding elections 
on alternate years. Paragraph 156 of the Book of Church 
Order required that elections be held each year. Consequently, 
the Myers Park Church requested Mecklenburg Presbytery 
to overture the 87th General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States to amend this ruling. Instead of 
"each year," let it read that elections will be held at "regular 
intervals stipulated by the congregation." "Amen" (so be it), 
said the delegates meeting at Montreat in May of 1947. 


The Qhurch T)wided into Zones 

It was perhaps due to poor attendance at Wednesday night 
prayer meetings that the zoning system developed. This plan, 
which led to effective visitation of member upon member, was 
designed to break up the congregation into small units. If 
people will not come to prayer meeting, so the reasoning be- 
gan, we will have to try Cottage Prayer Meetings in individ- 
ual neighborhoods. This plan was instituted in preparation 
for the Blanton Belk special services and found to be inspiring 
and enjoyable. A much larger group responded to such home 
meetings than would have to the usual Wednesday night 
gathering in the church. 

After that series of services, it was decided to keep the zone 
system and utilize it for other such meetings. In June of 1945, 
the congregation was divided into twelve zones and to each 
was assigned at least one Elder and one Deacon. It was their 
responsibility to visit the homes of the members in their dis- 
trict and to serve as "information" men both in imparting 
church news to the members, and sickness, etc. to the church 

The districts had periodic dinners at the church. Thus, it is 
seen that they were designed to be something of a small church 
within a church. The personal touch was a strong feature of 
this plan. It was a good plan when conceived. Whether or not 
it has proven to be meaningful during the past twenty years is 


The Ghukch Divided into Zones 

entirely dependent upon the interest of the officers in carrying 
out their responsibilities. 

The officers' retreat was instituted during Dr. Jones' min- 
istry and has been perpetuated as a pleasant and worthwhile 
experience. The amazing part of these two or three day gath- 
erings was not the fact that they were enjoyed despite the 
seriousness of the program, but rather that so many extremely 
busy men could take the time for this retreat ! 

At first they were held at Wrightsville Beach where the 
men stayed at the Jones' cottage, sometimes overflowing into 
the Esley Anderson cottage. Then came "Hazel," in 1954, the 
famous hurricane that treated the resort homes with the same 
devastating effect that wind and rain do to a lady's hair-do. 
Future gatherings were held in May or September, either at 
Dr. James M. Alexander's river home, or some location in the 

The opportunity for fellowship, which was too briefly 
available in short session meetings during the year, was the 
most invaluable aspect of the weekends. There were always 
worship services, Bible studies, discussions about the aims and 
needs of the church. Those who couldn't attend were fully 
conscious of missing a great deal, especially when sent a "col- 
lect" telegram saying in effect "wish you were here." 

A session that not only enjoyed one another's fellowship but 
also was well informed about the church was Dr. Jones' aim. 
Never one to miss an opportunity to achieve these aims. Dr. 
Jones kept the fellowship "warm" with these retreats, his fre- 
quent lunching with many of the men at Ivey's "Round 
Table," and his uncanny ability to remember families in de- 
tail. As for keeping the officers informed, among other ways, 
he customarily took ten minutes of the session meeting to 
"review" Presbyterian doctrine and government. 


Women' s Work 

In recounting the early history of the Myers Park congre- 
gation, it is easy to give the impression that this was a "Man's 
Church," since so many of the decisions were made in confer- 
ence rooms, at businessmen's luncheons and on "bachelor" re- 
treats. Indeed, even the Women's work was begun by a gentle- 
man appointed by Session, Mr. Norman Pease. On that first 
Sunday of November 6, 1926, he called a meeting of the ladies 
following the morning service, and first steps were taken to 
organize the Women of the Church. 

Scarcely four months had gone by before the ladies took 
steps to correct this solely "masculine" impression of Myers 
Park Church. Having made complaints to the men for not 
being consulted or considered in various matters of the 
church, the session officially adopted a resolution apologiz- 
ing, in efifect, for their sins of omission. 

". . . BE IT RESOLVED : That It is the earnest desire 

and intention of the session to work with the women of 
the church In every way possible to the good of the 
church and congregation, and that any action which 
might appear to the contrary was certainly not so In- 
tended or meant. . . ." 

Protesting their limited experience in the face of problems 
"that would test a more seasoned and experienced congrega- 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

tion," the session begged of the ladies "their patience, consid- 
eration and cooperation in every possible way." 

The apology was accepted, and the work of the church has 
truly been a "Mr. and Mrs." partnership ever since. In more 
than one major venture, it has been "Mrs. and Mr." 

At the first organizational meeting, Mr. Pease turned to one 
of the charter members, Mrs. A. A. Walker, and asked her to 
explain something of the work and format of the Women's 
Auxiliary. Mrs. Walker, being the wife of the Church Exten- 
sion Secretary of the Presbytery and herself the current Presi- 
dent of Mecklenburg Presbyterial, was well qualified to in- 
struct the group. ^^ Describing this meeting, a future President 
of the Women's Auxiliary, Mrs. A. A. Barron, wrote : 

"We all agreed, under the gentle persuasion of Mrs. 
Moody, who was almost the only experienced Auxiliary 
worker present, that we would do anything we were asked 
to do. As a result, when the Nominating Committee 
mailed to the women their official designation on the new 
Board, Pm sure many of us wondered as to the probable 
duties of these offices we were assuming in hope and faith 
— many had never heard of them." 

Mrs. Charles P. Moody was elected as their President, and 
plans immediately got under way in preparation for the for- 
mation of their Executive Board.^° One hundred and twenty- 

29. Mrs. Walker's daughter, Noel, was the first person given a scholarship 
by the church in preparation for her anticipated work as a Foreign Missionar3\ 

30. President — Mrs. Charles P. Moody; Vice-President — Mrs. Alonzo 
Myers; Secretary — Mrs. A. F. Henderson; Treasurer — Mrs. Herbert Mc- 
Donald; Secretary of Spiritual Life — Mrs. Thomas Glasgow; Secretary of 
Foreign Missions — Mrs. J. T. Wardlaw; Secretary of Home Missions — Mrs. 
J. E. Reilley; Secretary of Synod and Presbytery Missions — Mrs. A. A. 
Barron; Secretary of Christian Education and Ministerial Relief — Mrs. W. 
C. Rankin ; Secretary of Sunday School and Youth Work — Mrs. A. A. 
Walker ; Secretary of Literature — Mrs. Harvey Hill ; Secretary of Social 
Activities- — Mrs. Word Wood; Secretary of Social Service — Mrs. W. B. 
Klugh ; Pastor's Aid — Mrs. John Bass Brown, Sr. ; Circle Chairmen: Miss 
Alice Hardie, Mrs. Guy Burns, Mrs. Joe Choate, Mrs. W. A. Matheson, 
Mrs. T. E. Hemby, Mrs. Hamilton McKay, Mrs. W. A. Graham and Mrs. 
L. B. Vreeland. 


Women's Work 

five ladies soon signed the charter membership book after 
their first meeting one month later in the Queens College 
YWCA Hut. They were justly proud of their number and of 
their pledged budget of $2,500 that first year. Their pride 
would have increased many fold had they been able to foretell 
that forty years later the group would number over one thou- 
sand and their budget would be $12,200, not including their 
special offerings amounting to $9,691.15 ! 

Known as the "Auxiliary," the women's organization has 
always sought to be a helping arm of the church, not a group 
operating in exclusion of the total church program. The min- 
ister has always been their first advisor, and not infrequently 
has he guided them in the selection of their Board members. 
The session, as the governing body of the congregation, is 
informed of the program and plans of the women. The Presi- 
dent of the Auxiliary has on occasion reported directly to the 
Elders; and since the ministry of Dr. Jones, she has always 
been invited to attend the Sunday morning session meetings 
when new members are received and greeted. 

As a "helping arm" the women's work has evolved around 
spiritual growth for themselves and Christian outreach for 
others. Like the two friends of Jesus, they have patterned 
themselves after Mary and Martha. It was Mary who sought 
to learn from the teachings of her Master while Martha was 
in the kitchen! 

Learning and growing spiritually has always been a major 
emphasis of the Myers Park women. They have always been 
blessed with excellent Bible studies. Beginning with Mrs. 
Henry E. Gurney, the saintly mother of Mrs. Alonzo Myers, 
the names of their distinguished Bible scholars flow from the 
memories of those fortunate enough to have heard Miss Lucy 
Steele, Mrs. J. W. McQueen, Dr. Wade H. Boggs, Jr., Dr. 
Kenneth Foreman, Mrs. S. H. Askew, Dr. James Appleby, 
Dr. E. Lee StofTel, Dr. James Sprunt, Dr. Donald Miller, Dr. 
Bernard Boyd and his brother Dr. Robert Boyd, Dr. Marga- 


Women's Work 

ret Applegarth, Dr. Balmer Kelly, Dr. Felix B. Gear, Dr. 
James I. McCord, Dr. David L. Stitt, Dr. Wallace Alston, 
Dr. B. Frank Hall and Dr. Charles E. S. Kraemer. 

The circles, which have grov^n from eight to tw^enty-eight 
in the church's life span, have always been hand-picked for 
purposes of good balance. This arduous task was also the 
means of much good companionship as the committee tussled 
with the questions, ^'Now where does this person live? Who 
wants to be in the Business Circle? Who cannot meet at 3 130 on 
Monday afternoons? Who are the Bible teachers for next year? 
How can we distribute the membership to allow for even 
greater circles of fellowship?" 

Despite their demanding assignments, no one wanted to 
miss those stimulating Board meetings when so much working 
— and praying — was needed prior to the re-organization of 
the Assembly's Women's work in 1964. At their monthly Gen- 
eral Meetings, it was not unusual to find that the speaker was 
the Moderator of the General Assembly, or some other lu- 
minary. Indeed all of the church's Executive Secretaries of 
Home and Foreign Missions have spoken with some fre- 
quency to the Women since the founding of the Myers Park 
Church. None of these exceptional men attracted more inter- 
est and appreciation than did many outstanding ladies of the 
Assembly such as Dr. Janie W. McGaughey, Mrs. H. Kerr 
Taylor, Mrs. R. Murray Pegram, Mrs. Patsy Turner, Mrs. 
Leighton McCutchen and Dr. Nettie Grier. 

Those with the inquisitive interest of "Mary of Bethany" 
have found ample opportunity to learn through the wide 
study courses ofifered in the circles. Not content to restrict 
themselves to the catalogue of courses sent them from the 
Atlanta headquarters, the Myers Park women in 1948 began a 
procedure — unique in the General Assembly — of listing addi- 
tional subjects of study and allowing the ladies to choose the 
course of their choice. It may have been unorthodox (as some 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

ladies at the Montreat conferences never fail to note about the 
Myers Park Church !) , but it was most effective. 

Through the subsequent years, one circle would be found 
studying the Gospel of Luke while another was studying a 
book by C. S. Lewis. Yet another group would be analyzing 
the Mission Program in Brazil while a fourth circle con- 
cerned itself with a study on racial tensions and problems 
confronting Christians. Always there have been strictly Bibli- 
cal courses offered, but increasingly through the years there 
have been more studies on "Beliefs" and Social concerns, par- 
ticularly as they apply to the Charlotte Community. 

What of "Martha of Bethany" in the Myers Park Church? 
She is still in the kitchen, albeit the location of the stove and 
sink have moved several times during these forty years ! 

In the early years, the kitchen was located in the hut and 
was outfitted in part with a kitchen shower given by the 
members of the Auxiliary. The other part was supplied by 
individual members who did some of the cooking at home and 
brought the food to the church for whatever dinner was being 
given. It was never unusual to see Mrs. Charles Ross coming 
with groceries she was providing herself, or Mrs. Tom Glas- 
gow with a special dish or tablecloth that was needed. And, as 
many have said, "There has been no one who could work in 
the heat of the day like Adelaide (Mrs. Hunter) Marshall!" 

The long-time employee of the church, Mrs. Suzanne Mc- 
Cain, has gone far beyond the "mile" required in her job as 
cook. Never bogged down by the literally hundreds of meals 
scheduled a year, she even brings flowers from her yard to be 
placed on the tables for the Business Women's evening dinner 

And while citing those who often labor unseen, there has 
been no more faithful "doorkeeper in the house of the Lord" 
than Willie Perry, now honorably retired from his duties as 


Women's Work 

As the church grew, a hostess was needed to care for the 
heavy demands being placed on the kitchen by the frequently 
eating Myers Park Presbyterians. Mrs. Pauline Allen was the 
first lady chosen for this job in June of 1946. Her association 
with the church stretched back to the mid-thirties when she 
was the initial teacher of the "young Matrons' Class." Suc- 
ceeding her in later years as Church Housekeeper were Mrs. 
Charles Brockman, Mrs. L. J. Howard, and currently Mrs. 
Eleanor Neely. 

The setting of the tables and serving of the meals has been 
assigned to individual circles as their responsibility for a pe- 
riod of time. Mrs. Frank Harkey, Mrs. Charles Whisnant, 
Mrs. Floyd Harper and Mrs. Frank Barr have directed this 

One of the quietest yet most appreciated services rendered 
by a lady of the church has been the arranging of the flowers 
for the Sanctuary. Since the 1930's, Mrs. Frank Moser arrived 
early Sunday morning at the church to arrange the flowers 
"fresh" for the day. A frequent visiter to the loveliest gardens 
of the congregation, she encouraged their liberal owners to 
share cuttings of greenery or buds. And indeed, the Honor- 
ary Life Membership given her in 1955 was a token of the 
appreciation that all the church had for her floral "prelude" 
to each morning service. 

Honorary Life Memberships have been presented each 
year since 1944 to ladies who have rendered distinguished 
service to the church in general and to the Women of the 
Church in particular. Thirty-eight members have been so 
honored, and a sketch of their life and work has been placed in 
the Myers Park Library and at the Historical Foundation in 

Another "Martha-type" service rendered by several ladies 
has been that of Pastor's Aid. Each one who accepted this 
responsibility has a chorus of grateful persons who remember 

31. See Appendix for this list. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

their visits and calls. None who received one can ever forget 
the notes which Ethel Albright wrote to so many ... no 
shut-in can forget the welcome footsteps of Florence Daniels 
and Louise Gibson ... no new member can fail to thank 
Eloise Rankin, Louise Hill and Beth Cobb for their calls 
which changed a strange new city into a warm community for 

Agape, self-giving love, has been truly evident in the 
Women's work and association with one another, but it has not 
confined its sphere to the membership of the Myers Park 

The Women of the Church have been particularly inter- 
ested in the work and needs of the missionaries. As early as 
1929 the women assumed partial support of a missionary . . . 
Miss Lois Young serving in Suchowf u, China. She, and others 
later supported, have been frequent guests of the church while 
on their furloughs. There was always a mission study book 
circulated through the circles during the Foreign Mission 
Season (usually February). In the late 1930's, Mrs. A. A. 
Barron and Mrs. Alonzo Myers organized a special Foreign 
Mission Emphasis Week, which focused on a different mis- 
sion field each evening. Exhibits, a reception, and special 
speakers were a part of this program. 

When Dr. Jones expanded the Foreign Mission season over 
several weeks, the women were primed for such a program. 
Homes, which had often entertained missionaries, now also 
opened for receptions in honor of several visiting ministers 
and their wives from the foreign fields. 

The ladies' interest in helping this outreach phase of the 
church's work has been sparked by the vivid memories of Mrs. 
John Tate, Sr. who visited most of the countries where the 
Presbyterian Church, U. S. has mission work. This lady has 
been generous in helping the mission work through sharing 
much more than her memories. 

When Mrs. James Bear opened "Missionary Clothes Closet" 


Women's Work 

in Richmond for the benefit of persons on furlough from 
the foreign field, the Myers Park women responded most lib- 
erally in donating clothing. Mrs. W. J. L. McNeary and a 
faithful core of workers also have spent many hours rolling 
bandages, making clothes for Barium Springs children, and 
other projects sponsored by the Service and Fellowship 
Group of the women of the church. Contributing to the care 
of children at Barium Home for Children and Alexander 
Children's Center has been a special love of the women. 

Few communications have given as much delight to the 
circle members as the "thank you" note they received from 
the child at Barium Springs who has been the recipient of 
their Christmas gifts. The gifts include not only needed cloth- 
ing, but also the special requests which the child had made 

That the appeal of World Missions has always been a 
strong one at Myers Park is again evident in their response to 
the Birthday Gift which has been a traditional feature of the 
program of women's work in the Assembly since 1922. The 
gift goes to some mission project every year, and on those 
years when a foreign country is the recipient, the contributions 
have been bountiful. Dr. C. Darby Fulton, Dr. Hunter 
Blakely, Dr. Ben Lacy Rose, and many of our missionaries 
have come to present the objective of the year. It is always a 
festive occasion for the ladies, as they have receptions in some 
of the gracious homes of the congregation. Mrs. Horace 
Johnston, Mrs. George Ivey, Mrs. James M. Alexander, and 
Mrs. Monroe Gilmour have all been hostesses more than once. 
In 1965, when Dr. Paul Crane spoke on a cold Saturday night 
to the Women of the church, his appeal for the work in Korea 
was so effective that the ladies gave more to the birthday 
objective than any other church in the General Assembly! 
This is the interesting comparison of the gifts as they have 
spanned ten year periods : 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

1944 — $ 299.11 
1955— 1,368.06 
1965 — 2,227.90 

"Giving:" seems to be second-nature for these ladies whose 
first gift to the church when it was completed in 1929 was the 
bell for the church tower. The ringing of it has grown easier 
through much use, just as the giving of the women seems to be 
ever more spontaneous each year. The pattern was well estab- 
lished in the early years. The story is told of one elderly 
charter member excusing herself from a circle meeting that 
she might discreetly step behind a screen and delve into the 
folds of her petticoat for the pocketbook in which she kept 
reserve funds. She had found herself without the amount of 
money in her handbag which she considered necessary to an- 
swer the particular call that had been presented. 

The work of Home Missions has not gone unnoticed by the 
ladies, despite their obvious interest in World Missions. Study 
books, speakers, and special offerings have gone to Guerrant 
Presbytery in Kentucky, Ybor City in Florida, the Italian 
Mission in Kansas City, and the Indian work in Oklahoma. 
Dr. Lawrence Bottoms of Atlanta has been a most welcomed 
guest of the church when he came to speak on Negro Work in 
the Assembly. Rev. Moses James, a graduate of Johnson C. 
Smith University, has also presented the needs of the Negro 
Presbyterian Churches in Mecklenburg Presbytery. 

The Double Oaks Nursery grew out of a meeting of the 
Church Extension Committee of the Women of the Church 
during a meeting in the home of Mrs. W. E. Meares in Au- 
gust of 1950. Several of the ladies, like the President, Mrs. 
Beaumert Whitton, had served on the Board of the Oaklawn 
Community Center. Thus, they were especially interested in 
the study book for that meeting, The Changing South and the 
Presbyterian Church in the U. S. In response to some of the 


Women's Work 

challenges of the book, it was decided that Mrs. C. W. Tillett 
and Mrs. Meares should investigate the possibility of estab- 
lishing a Presbyterian Church in the new Negro development 
of Double Oaks where there was no church of any denomina- 
tion at that time. 

A chance airport encounter with the President of Spangler 
Construction Company gave Mrs. Tillett the opportunity to 
speak for a lot in Double Oaks which could be used for such a 
church project. The result of this brief meeting (and many 
longer ones of planning, prayer and labor) was a residence for 
a ministerial student from Johnson C. Smith University and a 
nursery. The United Presbyterian Church built a Sanctuary 
just across the highway from this property, so the Myers Park 
Women continued to help support the nursery in this build- 
ing, which has cared for literally hundreds of children, two 
through five years of age, while their mothers are at work. A 
similar service was later begun at the South Tryon Nursery, to 
which the women have contributed both time and money. 
Mrs. Meares has served tirelessly as supervisor of both nurser- 
ies and Mrs. John Roddey, Jr. has directed a much enjoyed 
monthly program for the children who attend Double Oaks 

In a church peppered with so much talent and leadership, it 
appears odd to the outsider that so few women of the Myers 
Park Church have held offices on the Presbyterial, Synodical 
and Assembly levels. The observer is inclined to conclude that 
this church is a "maverick," seeking its own projects, initiat- 
ing its own programs. There is much truth in this, witness the 
course studies chosen by the circles! However, the church has 
always sent representatives to the Montreat Women's Confer- 
ences and other leadership meetings held during the year. And 
when the Atlanta office directed a re-organization of all local 
women's groups in 1953, i960, and more especially 1964, the 
Myers Park women complied in every detail. The difference 
in this congregation, though, is the attitude reflected in the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

remarks of a lady who was regretting the loss of some worth- 
while features of the previous organization: "Well, one thing 
about the Myers Park women's work; if this doesn't work out, 
be assured that we will devise something that will !" 

One of the major projects of the Women of the Church has 
been establishing a Church Library. The idea of such a facil- 
ity has brushed the minds of the church leaders since the early 
thirties, but little was ever done about it. Once, Miss Turling- 
ton collected a few books of help for Sunday School teachers 
and designated them the "Library," but apparently the books 
as well as the memory of such a collection vanished rather 
soon. In 1940, Elders Thomas Glasgow and Harvey Moore 
stirred the session into considering the possibility of a library, 
but again the project failed to get enough sparks to start a fire. 

It remained for the ladies to do something about it! Their 
interest in a Library began in 1952 when they decided at the 
April 28th meeting of the Executive Board that "The Women 
of the Church hope to start a library in the church." 
Prompted at first by their need for printed aids in the circle 
studies, they envisioned shelves amply filled with Sunday 
School resource material as well. 

The President, Mrs. Meares, appointed a committee of 
three ladies whom she recognized had worked closely enough 
with the church in the past to be knowledgeable of their bibli- 
ographical needs. Mrs. Beaumert Whitton (as chairman), 
Mrs. Kenneth Bridges and Mrs. George E. Wilson, Jr. visited 
and investigated libraries from local churches and from Semi- 
naries. Publishing Houses were consulted, and finally Miss B. 
Lewis of the Presbyterian Board of Education in Richmond 
visited the church to advise on the project and to speak on 
books and good reading in general. 

After a year of such dedicated research, and armed with 
$500 allocated from the women of the church, the committee 
began their purchases. The session became interested in the 
project and appointed Mr. Charles Ross and Mr. Louis Rose 


Women's Work 

to help them in its plans to renovate a room on the first floor of 
the Educational Building. A further indication of their sup- 
port was the appropriated sum of $1,500 which would help 
purchase equipment as well as books. 

When the Library formally opened on December 14, 1953, 
the ladies stepped into the spacious room and proudly perused 
the shelves with its samplings of reference volumes, archae- 
ology, church history, sermons, religious biographies, fiction, 
children's books and books on personal religion. Three hun- 
dred volumes in all. 

Was this to be like a Christmas creche, to be looked at with 
pleasure once a year, then put away in safekeeping from all 
but authorized hands? Not if the women of the church had 
anything to do with it! 

Establishing "library hours", the staff of volunteer workers 
found the books began to be used with a frequency much 
above the average of church libraries in the General Assem- 
bly. By promoting three or four programs each year evolving 
around theology and current religious thought, the Library 
Committee has stimulated the reading of the church member- 
ship. After each program, the circulation of the books takes a 
noticeable increase. 

The session, as well as the women of the church, has contin- 
ued to provide an annual grant for the Library. These grants, 
together with memorial gifts and personal contributions have 
financed the spending of $10,000 for more than 2,000 books in 
the past twelve years. 


^Reappraisal ^fter Twenty Tears 

When the church had completed its twentieth year and Dr. 
Jones' seventh,^^ it had a membership of 1,477 and the total 
contributions for 1946 amounted to $75,000. The benevolent 
gifts were exceeding $45,000 a year. The statistics implied that 
the church was strong, but these figures, like a man's skin, can 
only reflect so much of the total health of the body. 

At the January joint meeting of the officers in 1947, Dr. 
Jones spoke in very candid terms of his concern for the 
church. It surely came as no surprise to these men when their 
minister spoke of having recently agonized over a number of 
calls to other churches. They knew well that a man of his 
caliber was bound to be the recipient of many calls to serve in 
places of even more responsibility and challenge than that of 
the Myers Park Church. They also knew that it was not fair to 
him for them to pressure him into staying with them for as 
long as possible. It must always be his own prayerful decision. 
And it was. 

As the officers listened to their pastor with anxious hearts on 
that Monday night, there must have been an audible quick 
sigh when he announced that he had decided to remain at the 
church indefinitely. His work was not yet completed, he told 

32. The average length of a ministry in one church is five years for the 
Presbyterian Church, U. S. 

Reappraisal After Twenty Years 

them. Goals which were short term and long term were not yet 
achieved, indeed many not yet visualized. 

With rapt attention they heard him say, "It is now time to 
consider w^hat is the purpose of our church!" Of first impor- 
tance was their spiritual growth. The church itself must be the 
axis of the daily lives of the members. Secondly, there should 
be more latent leadership developed in every branch of the 
church's activities. And certainly it was evident in light of the 
increased membership that an enlargement of the facilities of 
the church school was needful. ^^ 

Dr. Jones went on to stress that the benevolences of the 
church should be increased now that the church debt had been 
liquidated. A man of independent means himself, he was ever 
most forceful in asking of the congregation that they be gener- 
ous stewards of their money as well as of their time and talents. 
As one member stated it, "Even when his sermon was on a 
topic as specific as Foreign Missions, you hardly knew it was 
Missions that he was talking about. You were impressed 
rather that he wanted each of us to be committed, completely 
involved in the work of the Lord." 

33. It was the opinion of many that the auditorium should be enlarged to 
accommodate the overflow congregations. Dr. Jones never encouraged this 
view. He felt there were other more urgent projects needing their attention. 



World oy^ffissions Supported 

The Myers Park Presbyterian Church has been shown thus 
far as a congregation unafraid to expand. But lest it appear 
that the emphasis was placed solely on their building program 
and their children's work and the establishment of their 
neighbor churches, the picture must be balanced with a citing 
of yet one more area of major interest to these people — mis- 

Despite the fact that the church had not yet built its own 
Sanctuary in the early months of 1928, the session requested 
Dr. Gammon to investigate the matter of securing Foreign 
Missionaries and Home Missionaries to be sent out by their 
church. Two of the most enthusiastic advocates for this out- 
reach aspect of the church were Mr. and Mrs. John Tate, Sr. 
They both prompted the Session toward the support of a mis- 
sionary, and they were among the first members to attend a 
Congress of Missions as representatives of this church. 

The first missionaries to be partially supported by the con- 
gregation were Miss Lois Young in Suchowfu, China, and 
Dr. George R. Cousar in Lubondai, Africa. This support was 
assumed in 1931 and continued for several years. Dr. Cousar 
returned to the United States in 1938, at which time the 
church was no longer asked to assume part of his support. 
Subsequently, Miss Young's support was entirely assumed by 
the women of the Myers Park Church. When the China Mis- 


World Missions Supported 

sion closed during their war, the church assumed partial sup- 
port of Rev. and Mrs. L. A. McMurray of Mutoto in the 
Belgian Congo ^* and of the Milton Daugherty family in Bra- 
zil. On describing these persons to the congregation, the bulle- 
tin added : 

"Although they are far away from us most of the time, we 
are closely connected with them in the service of the Mas- 
ter. In our relationship together, let us think of them as 
our representatives in a distant section of God's vineyard. 
They are fulfilling their part of the task in the foreign 
field in an excellent way. It is left for us to measure up to 
our part of the responsibility in giving them our whole- 
hearted support." 

Whenever these persons were home on furlough, they visited 
the Myers Park congregation and inspired the members with 
accounts of their work. Nor was the experience one-sided; 
Mrs. James M. Alexander took one lady missionary into a 
local shop and saw to her being outfitted in her first "new" 
clothing in several years. Her appreciation was, to the church, a 
tender and touching sermon in itself. 

On occasion it has appeared that the congregation has 
nearly let its "heart" go out to missions before its "head." In 
1935 a motion was put to the session that 50% of the benevo- 
lent funds should go directly to foreign missions. Inasmuch as 
the Presbytery Progressive Program (then in operation) had 
already established a percentage basis for the distribution of 
benevolences, the motion was lost. Later (1941) the session 
adopted a recommendation "that in order to care for certain 
local, home and foreign mission causes, not included in the 
budget, an organization be formed." This idea seemed wise in 
lieu of the fact that many persons wanted to give special gifts 
to special fields. When the church contributed ordinarily to 
the Board of World Missions, the receipts were placed in a 
common budget and dispensed by the Board in their wisdom. 

34. On May 26, 1940. Rev. McMurray died in Martinsburg, West Vir- 
ginia, on February I, 1966. 

History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

The Myers Park special committee was apparently hoping to 
by-pass this with some of their gifts. However, after a short 
life of sixteen months, the Missionary Society was disbanded. 

Dr. James Jones brought with him to the church an interest 
in missions that was strong. Perhaps it developed in him dur- 
ing his trip to Palestine during his Seminary days with Pro- 
fessor Mack as his guide. Perhaps it was from some project 
studied during his own Church School years. Most likely its 
germination could not be pinpointed. Be that as it may, the 
congregation of Myers Park soon discovered that some of his 
most forceful sermons were related to the participation of the 
church in world missions. 

Initially there were two periods during the church year 
devoted to this emphasis on outreach : October for Home Mis- 
sions, and January-February for Foreign Missions. In 1941, 
these two seasons were integrated and the schedule during that 
time was intensified. 

A Myers Park School of Missions was started under Dr. 
Jones' leadership. Several nights during the season were allo- 
cated for a series of courses planned for all age groups in the 
congregation. After a fellowship supper and a worship service 
(usually led by Dr. Jones) , the groups would separate to hear 
a visiting missionary, or engage in a mission study, or what- 
ever was planned. The Young People often saw slides of spe- 
cific projects in foreign countries, the Pioneers worked on 
gift-boxes to be sent to their counterparts of a different cul- 
ture, and the Primaries would hear fascinating stories of far 
away places and their needs. 

Not content merely to study about the mission fields, the 
groups increased their contributions to the Mission Board as 
well. With this ground work, it is easy to understand why, 
twenty years later, the church is found to be partially support- 
ing twenty-one missionaries in nine countries. 

"He was always at his best when he was zealous about some- 
thing," said one member of Dr. Jones. And certainly he was 


World Missions Supported 

zealous about Foreign Missions! Not restricting his message 
to the Myers Park congregation, he frequently spoke in other 
churches on this vital arm of the church's body. During the 
Christmas holidays of 1947, he traveled to Buck Hill Falls, 
Pennsylvania, to speak to the Foreign Mission Conference of 
North America. To take such a trip he needed little prompt- 
ing, for he loved to speak to young people almost as much as 
he loved to travel for the cause of missions. 

It was not too much of a surprise, then, when the session 
received a letter from the Secretary of the World Mission 
Board asking permission for Dr. Jones to tour the mission 
fields. Writing on June 14, 1948, Dr. C. Darby Fulton said: 

"We realize, Brethren, that this will Involve a great 
sacrifice for your church. Yet, we believe that the advan- 
tages to be gained, both for Dr. Jones himself, for your 
congregation, for our church as a whole, and for the 
Christian enterprise throughout the world, will far out- 
weigh the sacrifices that you or we may be called upon to 
make in this endeavor. I know of nothing that would so 
enrich the experience and the preaching of a minister, or 
bring back to the church such a gift of vision and inspira- 
tion, or more greatly foster and stimulate the broader 
work of the kingdom in all the world, than this invest- 
ment in Christian evangelism and fraternity." 

The trip was planned for November of 1948 through Feb- 
ruary 1949. Dr. Jones, with Dr. Hugh Bradley of Decatur, 
Georgia, and several men from the Presbyterian Church, U. 
S. A., would be visiting mission stations in the Congo, Brazil, 
Cameroons, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Peru. By taking 
this inspection tour, he would not only be able to give wise 
impressions on the work to the Mission Board, but also he 
would be a forceful advocate for Foreign Missions in many 
pulpits available to him on his return. 

As the session reflected on the invitation, they saw that 
clearly it was an honor for them and for their minister that he 
was to make the trip. However, on the practical side they saw 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

that his absence during those busy four months would mean 
greater responsibility for the officers. No church, no matter 
how sophisticated the members and how spiritually mature 
the leaders, can long sustain the absence of a pastor and leader. 
But did they have a choice? Not really, when they considered 
that this was a real sacrifice which they could make for the 
cause of missions. 

The worthwhileness of the sacrifice was confirmed when the 
session received a letter from the American Presbyterian 
Congo Mission thanking it for their loan of Dr. Jones. 

". . . Both his Scriptural messages at our morning and 
evening devotions, and his informative counsel at several 
points of our deliberations have contributed immeasur- 
ably to our spiritual perceptions and to the discharge of 
the serious matters which we have faced together in this 
meeting . . . The Mission thanks you especially because 
we recognize that in lending Dr. Jones to us for the 
months of November and December you have done so at 
great sacrifice to your local work. But we assure you 
that he is making a large contribution to the work of the 
Kingdom of Christ by his stay among us." 


The yirst <iAssociate <^yiffmister 

By this time, the ninth year of Dr. Jones' ministry, the 
statistics relating to the Myers Park Church looked quite im- 
pressive in the Minutes of the General Assembly.^^ But the 
human drama of the church was going on with needs which 
are not recorded in statistics. 

One heartache of every church is that of failing and broken 
homes. In the Winter of 1948, Dr. Jones spoke heavily to the 
session of the number of homes that were degenerating due to 
various causes. The most prevalent cause he sensed to be "liq- 
uor." A chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous began meeting in 
the Queens College classroom every other Monday night. 
Though a self-contained organization, it benefited from the 
use of the church facilities and their influence was felt upon 
the church. Within a year, their work had progressed to such 
an extent that the session offered them additional space if they 
had need of it. 

The home life of the parishioners was not the only concern 
of the pastor. Another burden was the problem of church 
participation. Out of almost 1800 members, no more than one- 
third was attending the services of the church. The total 
budget was high, but the true meaning of stewardship was not 

35. Membership — 1,644; Sunday School enrollment — 1,397; current ex- 
penses — $59,713 ; benevolences — $91,723 

The First Associate Minister 

yet understood by many members. "Tithing" became a fre- 
quent word on the lips of the minister, with the session setting 
the pace and example for the church in this matter. 

These internal problems were in addition to daily physical 
and mental and spiritual crises in the lives of the members. Is 
it any wonder that the session feared for the church in the 
absence of their strong pastor? 

Their decision to allow him a leave of absence was not only 
a generous contribution to the church's mission program, but 
also quite a step of faith. How were they to manage in his 
absence? They had not been able to foresee one of the fruits of 
that "faith": the coming of an Associate Pastor, the Rev. J. 
Cecil Lawrence. 

It became obvious to the Session (as it had been to Dr. Jones 
for some months) that the church needed an Associate Minis- 
ter. In the Spring of 1948 Dr. Jones advised the session that 
there was a possibility of getting "a man of parts" to accept 
this position. They needed someone who would be an adminis- 
trator as well as one who could share the pastoral duties and 
oversee the total program of the staff, with the exception of 
the Pastor's secretary. The session was enthusiastic about a 
young man recommended to them by Dr. Ben Lacy in Rich- 
mond. And it was soon agreed to wire the candidate and ask 
him to relinquish his position as recruitment official for Union 
Theological Seminary and come to Myers Park. However, 
the offer was graciously declined. 

No sooner did this door close than another opened. Rev. J. 
Cecil Lawrence, a college friend of Dr. Jones', gave up his 
pastorate at St. Pauls, North Carolina, to accept this pioneer 
position at Myers Park. "Rev. Lawrence was exactly the type 
of individual that we were looking for," one Elder said. And 
truly he was. He liked administrative duties, he had been 
successful in his work with young people, and he had a deep 
spiritual sense. Most obvious of all was his insatiable appetite 
for pastoral visitation. To make five hundred pastoral visits a 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

month was not work but pure joy for him. Dr. Jones has said 
of Mr. Lawrence, "I cannot imagine anyone having a better 
colleague in the ministry." 

Nor could the church have had a better pastor to aid them 
during the winter months of that year. In reflection, some 
persons have commented that the four months when Mr. Law- 
rence had sole responsibility for the leadership of the church 
were, in fact, a good opportunity for him to get "established" 
in the congregation. As Miss Belk has said, "He visited, vis- 
ited, visited, and visited some more." 

Mr. Lawrence had a talent for administration. He began to 
set up projects for various groups in the church and took on 
the monumental task of revising the roll. As for attending 
committee meetings, he once said that he loved to go to them. 
Dr. Jones' immediate rejoinder was "Let's stop and sing the 

To speak of Mr. Lawrence's contribution to the church 
during his tenure of 1948-1955 and to omit a comment regard- 
ing Mrs. Lawrence would be like speaking of Professor Curie 
without mentioning Madame Curie. She was "smart as a 
whip!" said one churchwoman with emphasis. A born teacher 
and leader, Marjorie Lawrence shared her executive ability 
with the church and the Presbyterial alike. Many of her ad- 
mirers wished that King College could have bestowed on her a 
Doctorate at the same time that Dr. Lawrence was so honored 

in 1953- 

When he resigned in 1955 to become Associate Pastor of 
North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta ^® the church 
presented them with a silver service and a scroll expressing 
appreciation for the Lawrences' fruitful service to Myers 

36. Dr. Lawrence returned to Charlotte Nov. i, 1957 as Executive Secre- 
tary of Mecklenburg Presbytery. 



T'he (^^M^inister^ s Service for the 
Qeneral <iAssembly 

Dr. Jones often recognized his debt to the Myers Park 
Church for allowing him the freedom to work for Assembly 
causes and to speak at multiple conferences. They encouraged 
him in this wider ministry both because as a church they had a 
larger vision of the work of the Kingdom, and because they 
knew their minister to be exceptional. When he returned from 
his tour of mission stations in 1949, Dr. Darby Fulton begged 
their indulgence once more to allow Dr. Jones several Sun- 
days in which to tell of the trip in other pulpits. Not only was 
this a interest of the minister during that spring, 
but also he was involved in planning the reorganization of the 
Assembly's committees and offices.^' 

At the Assembly Meeting in June of 1949, Dr. Jones re- 
ported on his mission trip to Africa and South America. And 
at that General Assembly the reorganization plan was pro- 
posed and brought to a successful conclusion. So it was that he 

37. The 87th General Assembly in 1947 appointed an Ad-Interim Commit- 
tee to plan for the "Re-Organization of the Agencies of the Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S." Dr. Jones was among the nine committee members, 
chaired by W. E. Price of Caldwell Memorial Church in Charlotte. Their 
findings resulted in the re-designation of Assembly Committees as "Boards," a 
plan for the rotation of membership on those Boards, and a more effective 
means of electing the Board secretaries and membership. 

The Minister's Service for the General Assembly 

had been sent on a trip sponsored by the Committee on For- 
eign Missions, and then reported on the trip as a representa- 
tive of the newly formed Board of World Missions. 

Without doubt, the church had pride in the role which their 
preacher was called upon to play in the General Assembly. 
However, there was an increasing sentiment among some 
members that the "preacher" should take more time away 
from the Assembly and give it to them as a "pastor." Though 
they knew he was always willing to "minister," there was a 
feeling that he was so busy and so often absent from the city 
that it would be out of place to call upon him. 

This feeling was a minor undercurrent in the late forties, 
but it came to the surface in the Spring of 1952 when the 
Board of World Missions once again requested the church's 
permission to grant Dr. Jones three months leave of absence. 
This time it was for the purpose of carrying on a preaching 
mission in the Belgian Congo. 

The session was appealed to on the same basis as they had 
been in 1948. This would be a major contribution to the Mis- 
sion effort. 

The session did not react to this request in the manner that 
they had before. After all, they had made this major contri- 
bution just four years previously. Why not send a minister 
from some other church in the Assembly? Besides that, the 
membership of the church was now 1,850 and their needs 
were not inconsiderable. A financial campaign to raise $300,- 
000 had just begun as well as the effort to establish the Trinity 

Lest it be misunderstood, their objections to releasing the 
minister were in no way to be interpreted as a denunciation of 
Dr. Jones himself. Quite the contrary! One of their main ob- 
jections to his taking the trip was in concern for his health. 
This diminutive man with a vast amount of nervous energy 
was seen by the officers time and again to exhaust himself with 
work above and beyond the call of duty. They well knew that 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

this trip would tax his strength far more than three months of 
regular duties at Myers Park Presbyterian Church. 

There was a motion to deny the Board's request. Seconded. 
Then a substitute motion to the effect that a letter be written to 
the Board stating their reasons for this denial. After fuller 
discussion, a final amendment was added to the substitute mo- 
tion. "If Dr. Jones feels that it is his duty to make this trip, the 
Session will reconsider its action." The substitute motion 
passed 14 to 6. 

He did see it as a duty. And so the trip was planned for late 
Summer and early Fall of 1952. The session was able to pre- 
vail upon Dr. Jones to take a ship rather than a plane to 
Africa, thus allowing himself some opportunity for rest. In- 
deed it was a wise suggestion, for his days in the Congo were 
filled with sermon after sermon in station after station. 

When he arrived back in New York on September 22, 1952, 
the session wired him "Welcome home!" Two Sundays later 
Dr. Jones reported on his trip to the congregation in terms 
that were challenging rather than comforting. The Congo 
mission had needs, as he saw it, that were evangelistic, eco- 
nomic, educational and ecclesiastical. Depicting the southern 
half of Africa as a land straining to grow from childhood to 
maturity, the church was seen in the difficult position of a 
parent, frustrated in knowing how to cope with the "adoles- 
cent" period. The church wants the child to become a man, 
but a man "in Christ." Dr. Jones' prayer for the African 
mission was that God might "strengthen their hands in every 
good work and fortify their courage, that they shall be as 
lights in a dark world, and hope for a hopeless community, as 
strength for every righteous deed." 

The church and officers were truly delighted to have their 
minister back with them after his trip to Africa. 

His relations with the officers had always been congenial. 
This was seen no more vividly than during the time when the 
General Assembly was contemplating uniting with the North- 


The Minister's Service for the General Assembly 

ern-based Presbyterian Church, U. S. A. The issue was de- 
bated in Presbytery Sessions and at specially programmed 
occasions in local churches. At these discussions, frequently 
the major spokesmen for union were Dr. Jones and an Elder, 
possibly Dr. Monroe Gilmour or John A. Tate, Jr. Opposing 
this stand in the same discussion might be Thomas M. Glas- 
gow or Angus Shaw. Then at the conclusion of the meeting. 
Dr. Jones and the officers participating on both sides would all 
get into the same car and enjoy each other's fellowship during 
the drive back to Myers Park. 

The meeting of decision on this issue came when the Meck- 
lenburg Presbytery held its January session in the Sanctuary of 
the Myers Park Church. The debate went on for some hours.^^ 
Those opposing "union" were anxious for the orthodoxy and 
organization of the Southern Church if "swallowed by the 
whale" of the Northern Church. Many of the Elders consid- 
ered this proposal to be a child of the ministers in the church 
and not representative of the vast numbers of laymen and 
women. Dr. Jones was saddened by this view and reacted by 
saying, "Leadership has always been with the minister, and 
God help the church when it is not. The Presbyterian ministry 
is a noble and godly company, and it deserves to be trusted." 

In his concluding statement in support of the proposal to 
unite with the Northern Church, Dr. Jones summarized his 
position by saying, "I love the South, but I am an American, 
and I don't want the ministry of my church to be sectional. 
. . . Ours is a missionary church, but nowhere in the world is 
our church engaged in preserving the Southern context of 
religion save in the South." He was heard with respect, but 
the vote went against his position. The Presbytery recorded 
itself as having 66 votes for union and 131 votes to remain a 
sectional church. 

The session of Myers Park Presbyterian Church has tradi- 

38. An article on this particular meeting is found in Presbyterian LIFE, 
February 19, 1955, entitled "Debate on Union." 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

tionally refrained from voting on issues of the sort just men- 
tioned. A few exceptions, but only a few, are recorded briefly 
in some of the minutes of that body. In the forties they ob- 
jected to the formation of a Charlotte Council of Churches 
due to certain by-laws proposed which stressed social action in 
the area of integration. In 1940 the session wrote a letter to the 
Mayor of the city objecting to any change in the so-called 
"Blue Laws" which restricted commercial activity on Sunday. 
This was a rare excursion into the area of government on the 
part of the session. The separation of church and State has 
been much respected by the congregation. On the other hand, 
they are most proud of having had several members to serve as 
Mayor, Councilmen, and members of the State Senate and 
House of Representatives. 



©r. Jones'^ Concluding Tears at 
<tMyers Tark 

Going as he did to so many churches, so many colleges, so 
many conferences, it was evident to the session that Dr. Jones 
was recognized and sought after by other congregations. It 
was a "gentleman's agreement" among themselves which pre- 
vented their seeking to pressure their minister into remaining 
at Myers Park. There were times, however, when they feared 
his decision would be to leave this charge for another one, and 
at those times they could not but speak out. 

The early summer of 1950 was one of those times. Knowing 
that he was considering another call, the session passed a 
resolution of John Cansler's wording expressing to Dr. Jones 
"that your ministry at this church and in this community is far 
from completed and that there exists here a fruitful field and a 
great need for your talents and service in the furtherance of 
the Kingdom of God." 

Again in 1952 when a call from First Presbyterian Church 
in Atlanta was seriously being considered by the minister, the 
session fashioned another resolution to encourage his remain- 
ing with them. They called attention to the growth and success 
of several areas of major interest to Dr. Jones : the stewardship 
of the church, the increased participation on the part of the 
membership generally, a growing interest within the congre- 


Dr. Jones' Concluding Year at Myers Park 

gation in evangelism at home and abroad, and a concern for 
the further development of the Negro work w^ithin the com- 

"In the fulfillment of this entire program we need your 
continued and inspiring leadership. To this end we do 
rededicate ourselves, under Divine guidance, to uphold 
you and to work with you as our pastor for the advance- 
ment of the Kingdom. It is our prayerful hope that you 
will be providentially led to continue your unfinished min- 
istry with us." 

October 3rd w^as Dr. Jones' birthday, and on that day in 
1954, the Myers Park Church presented to him a television 
set. This was less a "birthday present" than it was an anniver- 
sary remembrance, for exactly fifteen years previously he had 
preached his first sermon in the church. 

In thanking them for the gift he said, ". . . Most of all I 
am grateful for the privileges which have been mine in these 
years of our confederacy in the Kingdom's affairs." It was 
evident that he was sincere in his appreciation for much more 
than this most recent gift. These had been fifteen fruitful years 
for him as well as for the church. He had turned down many 
opportunities to serve in other churches and by so doing had 
increased the effectiveness of his ministry at Myers Park. But 
now a unique call was in the offing. 

Dr. Ben R. Lacy, the long-time friend of Myers Park 
Church, was retiring as President of Union Theological Sem- 
inary in Virginia. In mid-December two members of the Sem- 
inary Board of Trustees came to Charlotte to overture Dr. 
Jones in regard to this position soon to be vacated. Sensing 
immediately that this was a challenging possibility, Dr. Jones 
told the Vice-Moderator, Everett Bierman, of their visit. 
After discussing the matter with his family and with Dr. Law- 
rence, James Jones made several trips to Richmond and even- 
tually concluded that he "could not, in good conscience, refuse 
this particular ministry." 












¥ ' i'*^' < !^" *'*^/ 




History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

A meeting was called of the Session's Executive Committee 
to advise them of his decision. In the next few days Dr. Jones 
spoke with Miss Belk, Miss Hill, Mr. Ross and Miss Hutchi- 
son. "These are confederates whose counsel I regard highly 
and whose fellowship with me in the work here suggested that 
they be posted on a matter which had some effect upon them 
and upon the work which has been given us to do together." 

On January 28, 1955, the Union Theological Seminary 
Board took action in officially calling Dr. Jones to the Presi- 
dency of that institution. At his request, the news media did 
not release this information until Sunday Noon, by which 
time he had announced this decision to the Myers Park 

Something of the man and the decision is reflected in this 
excerpt from his announcement: 

"Certainly, I do not need to say to you, and, in fact I 
could not adequately say it did the need exist, that this 
decision has been a difficult one to make. The continuing 
ioys of my work here as minister of this church, the 
inspiration and blessings which have come to me from 
our "fellowship in the Gospel" over a period of more 
than fifteen years, the contemplation of terminating the 
relationship of pastor and people, the prospect of relocat- 
ing my family when during these years your thoughtful- 
ness of us has been so constant and gracious, the fact that 
by this removal from Charlotte I rupture associations 
Avith dear friends and ennobling enterprises in the com- 
munity, and the awareness that by this change I will 
terminate close associations with fellow-workers on the 
church staff — all of these factors provoke an intimate 
and profound sorrow. The one conviction which moti- 
vates this decision is the conviction that the preaching of 
the Gospel of God is the noblest and most important of 
all functions of the church. If, by assuming a responsi- 
bility in the work of the Seminary, I can have a meagre 
part in training men for the ministry, men whose service 
to and leadership In the church will condition Its loyalty 
to Christ and Its effectiveness In His Kingdom down the 
years, I can see no alternative but to undertake It. . . ," 


Dr. Jones' Concluding Years at Myers Park 

The last weeks of his ministry went swiftly. Dr. Lawrence, 
at the suggestion of Dr. Jones, officially resigned and was 
rehired as Assistant Minister in order to satisfy a ruling of the 
Book of Church Order. The ruling is that the stafif must sub- 
mit their resignations when the pastor has submitted his, thus 
enabling the incoming minister to select his own co-workers. 
Dr. Lawrence's value to the church was so evident that this 
technicality had to be quickly arranged to insure his continu- 
ing work with the congregation. 

The last Sunday in February was also the last Sunday of 
Dr. Jones' presence in the pulpit as their minister. He 
preached on the "Kingship of Christ." It was in no sense a 
valedictory, for he did not so much as mention his leaving. 
The theme was Christ and His Church, not Jones and the 
Myers Park Church. More than one person had been told by 
him in the past not to join the Church because of the preacher, 
but because of Christ. Thus, in this his final sermon, his con- 
cept of the community of believers was set before them in this 
fashion : 

". . . the church is not ultimately our private club, but 
His glorious body. Maybe we tangle the skein and slow 
down the process, but at the last He will set His own 
house in order and establish His Will from sea to sea. 
When a man takes that conviction to heart, he takes 
heart in the church that is joined in battle with all the 
forces of this world . . . and in due time the whole race 
of men shall be blessed by the healing stream that flows 
from that Mount Zion which is the established family of 

Mr. Bierman was recognized during the service, at which 
time he read a letter expressing the appreciation of the con- 
gregation for the many services rendered by both Dr. and 
Mrs. Jones during the past decade and a half. This officially 
concluded his association with the church, though throughout 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

the spring and summer there were many personal tributes 
paid to the departing family. ^^ 

Dr. Gammon found a youthful congregation, full of energy 
and exuberance, much in need of shepherding. Like a father, 
he nurtured and loved these his children into a family of 
believers. Dr. Jones came to them as a leader and teacher who 
led and inspired them through their adolescence into man- 
hood. Now they were twenty-eight years old! Symbolically 
and literally the church had reached maturity. 

39. A reception was held by the church in May, and a plaque placed on the 
wall of the Sanctuary reading: 


Second Pastor 

Myers Park Presbyterian Church 

October i, 1939 — May i, 1955 

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever. 

Hebrews 13 :8 




The T'hird zyKfinister: 1955— 


The church has had good fortune in regard to their interim 
periods between ministers. Unlike many congregations, they 
have succeeded in obtaining a new minister in just a few 
months' time. Much of the credit goes to able and industrious 
committees charged with this awesome responsibility. 

The Co-Chairmen of the 1955 Pulpit Committee were Mr. 
Esley O. Anderson, Jr. and Dr. Monroe Gilmour, the two 
session representatives on the ten man committee. Perhaps it 
should more accurately be stated as the seven-men-and-three- 
women committee! The group was composed of two repre- 
sentatives of the Session, the Diaconate, the Women of the 
Church, the Men of the Church, and two elected from the 
congregation at large. 

Starting in late February with some sixty-five names of 
suggested men, the committee set up certain areas to be 
investigated when considering each prospect. "Preaching" 
and "prayer effectiveness" were listed first, since the commit- 
tee was so conscious of the large attendance at Sunday morn- 
ing services in the church. Other characteristics which they 
sought were in regard to his spiritual stature, pastoral qualifi- 
cations, administrative ability, personal winsomeness, and 
overall church and community relationship. Last (but cer- 


The Third Minister: 1955- 

tainly not least in a denomination that shies from bachelor 
ministers) they wished to receive certain favorable impres- 
sions about his family. 

One of the persons being considered v^as Miss Adeline 
Hill's cousin, James Eugene Fogartie, who was the pastor of 
the Presbyterian congregation in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Dur- 
ing a time when he was in Montreat, arrangements were made 
for him to conduct a service in Salisbury, N. C. and the entire 
committee was able to drive up there to hear him preach. 

After being quite favorably impressed with his pulpit pres- 
ence, superlative voice and congenial manner, it was decided 
that he should be seriously considered by them. Several of the 
committee members flew to Arkansas to hear him again and 
observe the effectiveness of his ministry in that distinguished 

It was quickly evident to the committee that this young man 
ranked high in every area of their concern. And on meeting 
his wife, Ruth Ann Douglass Fogartie, they marveled that 
once again the minister of their choice was blessed with a 
helpmate of particular beauty, charm and talent. They were 
correct in predicting that she would be much involved in the 
program of the church. Especially were the Girl Scouts to 
benefit from her leadership. With four delightful children — 
Ann Douglass, 7; Elizabeth, 5; Arthur, 2; James, Jr., one 
month — the manse might be again a youthful home ! 

The committee knew to expect an active minister in Jim 
Fogartie, for in his brief ministry at Fort Smith he had estab- 
lished Wednesday night study sessions, revived the youth 
choirs, started an Easter Preaching Mission, and encouraged 
the church in making some improvement on the church plant. 
He had become quickly known in that community through a 
quarter-hour radio program each Saturday. So wide spread 
was his ministry that in little more than eighteen months he 
had been named that city's Young Man of the Year. 

As for that young man looking at the Myers Park Presbyte- 




History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

rian Church, he was impressed with the quality of the Pulpit 
Committee that visited with him. He knew they came from a 
church of renown in the General Assembly, and yet the men 
and women talking with him had no braggadocio spirit about 
them. He asked them a point-blank question, "With such a 
large church plant and so active a program, why do you think 
you need me?" They put to him with complete sincerity that 
the church was composed of individuals who, regardless of 
their means, had need of a pastor! Finding a man so beloved 
by and so in love with his congregation seemed to them to be 
exactly what was most needed by them at this particular time. 
They asked him please to consider a call to Myers Park. 

On July loth, James Fogartie announced from his pulpit in 
Fort Smith that he had accepted the call from Charlotte. The 
words came hard for him to speak, for he had served this his 
second charge only three years — three years during which 
time his life had become mightily entwined with the lives of 
his flock. 

An Elder in that church went home after the service and 
composed a letter to the session of the Myers Park Church. 
With evident emotion he wrote : 

". . . That Jim is leaving is a great personal blow to me. 
However, I am sure that the Session as well as the con- 
gregation of the First Church join me in assuring you 
that we willingly release him to you. For we know his 
qualities, his learning, his long and careful preparation 
for the ministry *°. . . and his complete dedication of 
his life to the King. We knew soon after he came that he 
could not be long with us, — that a larger and more fruit- 
ful field would call him, — but we did not think it would 
come so soon. In sorrow we surrender him to you, but 
willingly because we know the Lord has called him, and 
that you with your greater resources can make his minis- 
try count for more." 

40. B. A. from the University of Texas In 1945, M. A. from the University 
of Texas In 1948, B. D. from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 
1948, Master of Theology from Union Theological Seminary In Virginia In 

The Third Minister: 1955- 

The regret of the Arkansas Church was counter-balanced 
by the joy of the Myers Park congregation on hearing the 
good news of his accepting their call. That afternoon Mr. E. 
O. Anderson received a telegram from the newly-called min- 
ister, in which he said, "My several recent visits to Charlotte 
and Myers Park Church have impressed me with the chal- 
lenge and the opportunity of your church. I greatly appreciate 
the confidence of the Myers Park Presbyterian Church in 
extending to me a call. With humble reliance upon God for 
strength I am happy to accept this great responsibility pend- 
ing receipt of official call. We shall anticipate with pleasure 
coming to Charlotte November one." 


T'he Interim 'Period 

The Pulpit Supply Committee arranged a succession of 
able men to conduct the services from Sunday to Sunday that 
spring and summer of 1955. It was not without a little irony 
that they received Dr. Ben Lacy for the first service following 
Dr. Jones' departure. Their good friend, Dr. Lacy, was in- 
deed the one who had precipitated the loss of their minister! A 
series of Easter services was conducted that year by the power- 
ful minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Dr. 
A. Hayden Hollingsworth. Other distinguished men who 
came to the aid of the church during this interim period were 
Dr. H. V. Carson, a friend in many ways on many occasions; 
Dr. George Buttrick, from whom unusual sermons are usual; 
Drs. John Newton Thomas and Donald Miller whose pres- 
ence made the kinship between church and Seminary ever 
more vivid; Dr. Donald McLeod, of Princeton Seminary, 
and Bishop E. A. Penick of the Episcopal Church. 

During those months after Dr. Jones' departure " Dr. Law- 
rence carried the bulk of ministerial duties. On one occasion 
he was flown to Arkansas to confer with the new minister. The 
Vice Moderator of the Session, Mr. Everett Bierman, was 
indeed if not in name an 'Assistant Pastor," for virtually not a 
day went by without his being engaged in some project in the 

41. The Jones family continued to use the manse until September, with the 
permission of the Session. 


The Interim Period 

church office. This type of leadership in the church is a bless- 
ing that cannot be too often remembered. One of Mr. Fogar- 
tie's most treasured mementoes in his office is a lovely etching 
of the Sanctuary presented to him by Mr. Bierman. 

The arrangements for moving from Arkansas to North 
Carolina were made more hectic than usual when the Fogar- 
tie's oldest daughter was found to need surgery. No less than 
ten days after his acceptance of the call, the Myers Park ses- 
sion was in prayer for her during the serious operation which 
she was undergoing. Her subsequent recovery was good news 
to both congregations with which he was now involved. 

When meeting with some of the church officers in a Duke 
Power Company office during a visit to Charlotte, Mr. Fogar- 
tie was asked by William B. McGuire what he looked for in 
the way of a manse. Thinking they were about to purchase one 
and simply sought his views, he noted that a fireplace and a 
screened-in porch were favorite features for him. It came as 
quite a surprise when he learned it was their intention to build 
a new manse, and thus to incorporate those characteristics 
which appealed to him and his family. 

The manse had to be ready for the Fogarties when they 
arrived on the first of November. This put the contractor in 
quite a bind. His crew was pushing to complete the job; the 
Fogarties were doing the interior decorating via the telephone 
(". . . off-white in that room . . . beige in the other . . .") ; 
and the congregation was doing a good bit of sidewalk super- 
vising! One Deacon caught the contractor working on a Sun- 
day, much to the consternation of the good man who was 
trying so hard to have the house ready on time. 

When that time arrived, Mr. Fogartie had driven from 
Arkansas with half of the family, and Mrs. Fogartie flew in a 
day later with the baby and the recuperating daughter. While 
Jim showed ofif each room to Ruth Ann, the President of the 
Women of the Church, Mrs. T. M. Plonk, was character- 
istically helping to make the children feel at home and look- 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

ing with a concerned eye to see if there was anything the new 
minister and his family needed. 

On November 5th, Mr. Fogartie stepped for the first time 
into the pulpit at Myers Park. It was an awesome moment for 
preacher and worshipper alike as they joined voices in singing 
"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name.'"' He looked down 
from the recently elevated pulpit upon the crowded Sanctuary 
and the lovely flowers given by the neighboring Myers Park 
Baptist Church. Then he began reading the Scripture lesson, a 
selection from the third chapter of Philippians. 

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: 
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are 
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are 
before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high 
calling of God in Christ Jesus . . ." 

At the end of that crowded day, Mr. Fogartie received a 
telegram from the James A. Jones family. Its wording ex- 
pressed, in efifect, the feelings of the entire congregation on 
that occasion: 

Nov. 5 PM 1955 


The thirty-one year old minister soon found himself at 
home in his new surroundings. Pictures of his wife and chil- 
dren were first placed on the wall of his office; ^^ then pictures 

42. This hymn is cited by both Mr. Fogartie and Dr. Jones as being among 
their three favorites. It is also the first hymn ever sung by the congregation of 
Second Presbyterian Church in 1873. 

43. One wall of his office reception room was later painted with a mural by 
Mrs. Harold Albright, Sr. and Mrs. George Harris. They used as the scene a 
view of Scotland's "holy island," lona, as seen from the coast of Mull. 


The Interim Period 

of two major influences in his life, Dr. James I. McCord of 
Austin Theological Seminary" and Dr. Arthur F. Fogartie. 
It is interesting to note that the minister's grandparents were 
married in the First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte and 
later served the historic Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. 
His father, also a minister, was the one who succeeded Dr. 
Gammon in the Selma Church in 1927. And so this third- 
generation minister placed his commentaries in the bookcase, 
arranged some of his father's carvings on the desk, hung up his 
robe in the closet, and set about a busy schedule among his 

The session told him to postpone visiting them, due to the 
heavy demands on his time those first months. The position of 
Assistant Pastor was vacant. Dr. Lawrence having resigned 
this post two weeks after Mr. Fogartie accepted the call to 
Myers Park. Miss Belk had been persuaded to remain on the 
staff. She, as much as anyone, made comfortable for the 
church the transition period from one pastor to another. 

Like his predecessors, Mr. Fogartie found a church full of 
raw energy; "a spirit of adventure" he is fond of saying. Such 
a spirit was exhibited in their choice of an extremely young 
man to minister unto them. It is as though they have very 
consciously tried to be what Dr. Ben Lacy has called "a 
church that makes instead of breaks a preacher." Myers Park 
has prided herself in this regard, and truly the persons who 
have been in positions of leadership within the church have 
extended themselves in an effort to work with and for the 
pastor, rather than expecting him to "go it alone." Despite 
their intentions, however, it is noteworthy that each of the 
three men who has served this congregation has had his health 
drained by the strenuous schedule of work. Extended vaca- 
tions have been given to each, but the burden of work — albeit 
a burden of joy — does not lessen. 

44. Often a speaker at Myers Park Church, he is presently President of 
Princeton Theological Seminary. 



T'he Worship Services 

The first tasks of the new minister were the ones that are 
usual for every minister in the pastorate : services, baptisms, 
weddings and funerals. 

For the past five or six years it had been customary to hold 
two morning services on Sunday, at 8 130 and 1 1 :oo. Dr. Jones 
had been hesitant to adopt this policy, possibly fearing that the 
attendance at the Church School would be unfavorably 
affected. However, the crowds on special occasions had to 
overflow into the Pioneer Chapel, and these arrangements 
were makeshift at best. Finally, in 1949 the two services were 
instituted and Sunday School enrollment did not seem to 

There has never been any "reserving" of seats in the church. 
Though, as in most churches, regular attenders are inclined to 
sit in the same general area of the Sanctuary Sunday after 
Sunday. Mrs. Jones always sat about five or six rows from the 
front. Eleanor Belk is always close to the door down front. 
The Hunter Marshalls and the John Canslers must have been 
pleased at having always sat just a pew apart when they be- 
came in-laws after Joan married Dan Marshall. 

The teachers, however, were finding it increasingly difficult 
to get from their classrooms to the Sanctuary in time to obtain 
a seat. Therefore, in 1955 the first row of seats across the 
Sanctuary were held (for a limited time) for their use during 


The Worship Services 

the second service. In 1956, it was found that the 1 1 :oo service 
was still overcrowded and the overflow was again being seated 
in the chapel. Clearly something would have to be done re- 
garding seating in the Sanctuary. 

The problem of caring for the overflow crowds has been 
handled by the ushers to some extent when they invite the late 
comers to sit in one of the chapels and hear the service over the 
loud speaker. To a larger extent, this situation has been cared 
for by a person seldom seen by the membership, Mr. John 
Bass Brown, Jr. The service he has rendered the church as the 
overseer of all electrical problems is inestimable. The congre- 
gation owes a debt of appreciation for his many hours of labor 
looking after the intercom, the recording of the services, the 
switching of the auditorium lights, et cetera. It is ironic that a 
member so faithful is almost never able to participate in a 
worship service by sitting in the Sanctuary. 

Weddings in the Sanctuary have always been lovely, despite 
the lack of a single aisle down the middle of the church prior 
to its renovation. The chapel and prayer chapel have also been 
available for weddings, and often the Panel Room or Fellow- 
ship Hall have been used for the wedding reception. For some 
years there were frequent requests from non-members to be 
married in the church. The session has not denied these re- 
quests, though they have asked that at least one of the Myers 
Park Presbyterian ministers have some part in the service and 
that a token payment be made for the expenses of utilities and 
janitorial help. 

The services have been made the more meaningful with the 
use of the organ, and the church has in recent years provided 
prospective brides with a list of suggested music. A policy of 
no flashbulbs being allowed during the service is strictly ad- 
hered to, and no rice can be thrown until the party is outside. 
Since the Sanctuary is equipped with recording facilities, it is 
not unusual for the bridal couple to obtain a recording of the 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

service which they may have listened to rather obliquely the 
first time! 

One of the little-known duties of the session is to grant 
permission to couples wishing to be married in the Sanctuary. 
It is nearly always left to the discretion of the minister, of 
course. However, they do concern themselves with the matter 
of the marriage of divorced parties. In the 1930's and increas- 
ingly through the forties and fifties, there have been more 
requests from persons who have been divorced and seek to be 
married for a second time. If it is determined that the divorce 
was "on scriptural grounds," thus placing the burden of the 
marriage failure on the other partner, then permission has 
been granted. In several cases where these were not the 
grounds for the divorce, the session refused the request. 

In recent years, Myers Park has been losing an average of 
one hundred members per year due to dismissal or death. At 
the beginning of the Church's existence there were few funer- 
als, and each one that was held produced within the congrega- 
tion a sense of "family" bereavement. When an officer died, 
the official minutes contained a special resolution to his mem- 
ory. This sense of community involvement with the suffering 
and sadness of each other has not lessened through the years, 
though the membership and deaths have increased. 

Twenty-five years ago the Elders established among them- 
selves the determination for each one to visit bereaved homes 
before or after the funeral service. They endorsed, in 1941, an 
action of the Deacons which established a policy of sending a 
token contribution to Barium Springs or Thompson Orphan- 
age as a memorial to the deceased in the church.*^ Always the 
congregation is informed of these deaths through a memorial 
statement included in the Sunday bulletin. Both members and 
close kin of members who had died were noted as having 

45. Except in certain cases, at the discretion of the pastor, where flowers 
should be sent. 


The Worship Services 

"entered the Church Triumphant." Only one memorial has 
been placed in the bulletin to a person without such a connec- 
tion with the congregation. It was in the December first bulle- 
tin of 1963 and was a memoriam to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 

In actuality, the officers have no "policy" per se about what 
is to be done in such sad moments of the church's life. Their 
actions are dictated in each case by Christian love. 

Communion services have always been meaningful experi- 
ences at Myers Park. A bulletin note in 1930 affirmed the 
"open communion" policy which has continued to prevail at 
the church: 

"At the morning service we celebrate Communion. 
Should you happen not to be in your own church it is our 
earnest desire that you will be conscious of the fact that 
this is our Father's House and you are personally urged 
to enter into this service with us. . . ." 

The Deacons requested the session to assume the responsi- 
bility for preparing the communion as early as July of 1929. A 
session committee has since done this, together with a number 
of "secret partners." It was many years before anyone realized 
the church's indebtedness to Mr. James Morris for his fur- 
nishing of the grape juice and bread without charge. Other 
quiet contributors have been Mrs. John Tate, Sr. and Mrs. 
Horace Johnston who have given the communion linen over 
the years; and who could count the number of times that Mrs. 
Charles B. Ross prepared the trays for the services ! 

During the Gammon years the service was relatively sim- 
ple, each of the fifteen Elders assuming their assigned posi- 
tions on cue from the minister. Dr. Jones was ever conscious of 
the time consumed by the quarterly ritual and was known to 
whisper to lagging Elders that the service needed dispatching 
more quickly! After the Sanctuary was altered, Mr. Fogartie 
saw to it that the communion table was moved forward to the 
edge of the first step above the floor level to facilitate its use by 
the twenty-five Elders who now are used to serve the elements. 



The Church Music Program 

When the church began its services in the Sanctuary on 
Oxford Place, Mrs. Charles A. Moseley, Jr. said goodbye to 
the volunteer choir and began planning the music for a quar- 
tet. The church felt able to employ four professional singers 
who immediately established for Myers Park Presbyterian a 
reputation for splendid music, a reputation it has never relin- 
quished. Mrs. Latta Johnston was the soprano; Mrs. Cullom, 
contralto; Oliver Beard, tenor; and Jules Doux, baritone. 

Their services were much appreciated by the congregation, 
though choir-singing was sometimes missed. Mrs. Moseley 
established a youth choir in 1937, the first of several that were 
to follow in later years. 

On July, 1941, Dr. James Christian Pfohl came to the 
church as organist and choir director. A musician of great 
distinction, he was then the Director of Music at both Queens 
College and Davidson College. With some sadness, the con- 
gregation said goodbye to the quartet singing which they had 
enjoyed for over a decade, but they had much to look forward 
to in the superb choir music that was to be heard during Dr. 
Pfohl's twenty years with them. 

By increasing the music budget to $4,500 *^ Dr. Pfohl was 
able to give a small remuneration to many of the members of 

46. Music budget in 1927 was $1,500 and carried under the heading of 


The Church Music Program 

the choir, primarily to assure their attendance at choir prac- 
tice! This budget amount was thought quite excessive by sev- 
eral members of the session. But Elder George E. Wilson, Jr., 
Chairman of the Music Committee since 1929, justified the 
amount by indicating its disbursal for such items as piano 
tuning, hymn books, multiple copies of choir music, upkeep of 
the organ, and general salaries of the choir and the director. 

The choir was so blessed with talent, it is little wonder that 
the congregation was so proud of the music — music that was 
such an integral part of their worship experience. 

Mr. Austin C. Lovelace, of the music faculty at Queens 
College, served as Dr. Pfohl's assistant from 1942-1944. His 
interest in the music at Myers Park was still evident when he 
consented to be a consultant at the time the new Casavant 
organ was built, some twenty years later. Another aide to Dr. 
Pfohl was Mrs. Pfohl herself, who occasionally served as 

Too numerous to mention have been the inspiring classical 
sacred concerts with choir and orchestra which Dr. Pfohl 
conducted for the church. The Brahm's German "Requiem" 
was so outstanding it lingers yet in many memories. Dr. Pfohl 
directed Giavinni's "Canticle for the Martyrs" in the church. 
It was so well done that the choir later participated in the 
singing of the "Canticle of Christmas" elsewhere in Charlotte. 
This was Vittorio Giavinni's work which had its world pre- 
mier in the Queen City. 

One annual event of special importance merits a niche to 
itself, but it will be placed here since it is associated with the 
musical life of the church. And that is, the "Nativity Story in 

Beginning in 1945 and continuing for at least ten years, the 
church began early in the year planning for this tableaux with 
its spectacular lighting effects and music. The lighting was 
directed by Mrs. Lanier Pratt of Durham (sister of Mrs. 
Monroe Gilmour). Miss Eleanor Belk was primarily respon- 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

sible for the event. Children throughout the congregation 
would become excited when they saw her coming up their 
walk several weeks before the event. "Maybe she has come to 
ask me to be an angel!" they hoped. And often as not, she had. 

The participation of the members in those programs was 
very good, primarily because they were proud to be in some- 
thing that was so professionally done. Such willingness to be a 
part of the Christmas program continued with other presenta- 
tions of later Advent seasons. When Menotti's "Amahl and the 
Night Visitors" was presented, the role of one of the kings was 
taken by the minister, Mr. Fogartie. Fortunately for the 
church he has often been generous in sharing his talent as a 

The church has always enjoyed their organ music, from the 
very first days when Miss Emily Frazer *' played for the serv- 
ices in the Queens Chapel. Mrs. W. D. Alexander succeeded 
her in that capacity and maintained the high standard as long 
as the congregation met on the girls' campus. The new organ 
installed in the church on Oxford Place was one with a lovely 
tone, but like all material possessions, it began to need more 
and more repairs as time went on. 

With the renovating of the Sanctuary in the early 1960's 
(which will be noted later), it was decided to purchase a new 
organ. Sixty nine thousand dollars was needed for this item. 
Dr. James M. Alexander headed a committee that chose a 
Casavant organ. It was to be a magnificent instrument, and the 
congregation looked forward to receiving it with great expec- 
tation. The old organ was "honorably retired" for it had 
served them well under the able hands of Mrs. Charles Mose- 
ley, Jr., Dr. Pfohl and later Mr. Harry Wells. 

On January 21, 1962, the internationally known organist, E. 
Power Biggs of Cambridge, Massachusetts, gave the dedica- 
tory recital on the newly installed organ built by Casavant 
Freres Limitee of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The number of 

47. Mrs. J. B. Kuykendall. 


The Church Music Program 

persons who came to hear it was astonishing. So large was the 
overflow that another recital had to be given the following 
day. The crowded Sanctuary heard Mr. Biggs open with 
Handel and close with a great leaping theme by Vicrne. 
There were exciting sounds coming from 3,600 pipes, 61 ranks 
(or rows) of pipes and 66 drawknobs! 

The church soon discovered that once again it was provid- 
ing something for the community and not just for itself. With 
such a fine organ, they found themselves in the happy position 
of being able to allow its use by artists sponsored by organiza- 
tions outside of the church. In April of 1964 the American 
Guild of Organists sponsored a recital in the Myers Park 
Church by the organist of Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame, 
Pierre Cochereau. As recently as 1965 a similar convocation 
of American Organists holding its meeting in Charlotte se- 
lected the Myers Park Church for a recital given by another 
outstanding organist and musicologist, Luigi Tagliavinni. 

Judging from the Session minutes, the organ was being 
enjoyed a little too much, for a few months after its installa- 
tion they requested that "a study be made regarding the vol- 
ume" of the music. Too much of a good thing? The volume 
was improved immediately, though one wonders what the vol- 
ume of 46 pianos must have sounded like in the halls of the 
Church School on Sunday morning! *^ 

The church has been unusually fortunate in the quality of 
organists and directors which they have had. They have been 
so able that it has not been easy to keep them on the staff! On 
the occasion of Dr. Pfohl's resignation in 1961 after twenty 
years of service with the church, the session paid tribute to 
him, noting his ''exceptional musical talent, unbounded devo- 
tion to duty and truly inspired direction of the music pro- 

The next organist, Mr. Harry A. Wells, resigned to become 
affiliated with Lenoir-Rhyne College; and his successor as 

48. Maintenance of the pianos and organ is approximately $600 a year. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

music director, John Coker (whose wife was an outstanding 
soprano soloist in the choir), resigned in July of 1963 to be- 
come Director of the Department of Music at Wofiford Col- 
lege. With uncanny good fortune, the church secured another 
musical couple for these positions, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sti- 
gall, formerly of Mount Lebanon Methodist Church in Pitts- 
burgh, Pennsylvania. Under their directorship the choir has 
given programs on English Church Music, contemporary 
Church music and Christmas music (singing at Christmas- 
time for shoppers in department stores from the mezzanine 
steps). "Handel's Messiah," such a Charlotte favorite, was 
sung (Easter Portion) by massed choirs in the Myers Park 
Church in 1965, and the complete version of the second half 
was presented by the church choir and an orchestra that same 
spring. The previous year, the chancel choir gave "Gloria" 
by Antonio Vivaldi, accompanied by members of the Char- 
lotte Symphony Orchestra. No less memorable have been the 
occasional selections from the handbell choir that has made 
such a joyful noise in the Sanctuary. These programs, plus 
concerts by Robert Stigall himself, have kept the church in 
tune with worship through music. 


I r 

Choir in 1958 — James Christian Pfohl, Director — Louise Nelson Pfohl, Organist 






Activating the <:^J)(Cembership 

One of the first projects undertaken after Mr. Fogartie ar- 
rived was the revising of the membership roll. Mr. Lacy Mc- 
Lean, Clerk of the session, and Miss Betty Hutchison, the 
Pastor's secretary, vs^ent through the entire list and determined 
as nearly as possible who were the inactive members. Some 
one hundred and fifty-three names were placed on the inactive 
roll for they were non-residents of Charlotte. If their address 
was known, a letter was written to the Presbyterian minister in 
their town, and he was asked to endeavor to contact that per- 
son for involvement with a church. Within a month after these 
letters were sent, a dozen or so of those persons were dismissed 
to the churches to whom the session had written. 

This was not the first time the session had taken steps to 
shave the rolls of its non-participating members. Realizing 
that only half of the membership could possibly be seated for 
the church service should they all come, the session knew that 
some statement needed to be made regarding this large num- 
ber of inactive members. In 1944 they laid down four gauges 
whereby an "active" membership was determined. In effect, 
they were (i) regular attendance, (2) involvement in the 
church's program, (3) financial contribution, and (4) consist- 
ency of Christian character. Clearly the officers were taking 
seriously the directives of the Book of Church Order regard- 


Activating the Membership 

ing the "disciplining" of members! Thus they informed the 
congregation with a statement which read in part : 

"The Good Member will share in each of these desig- 
nated duties. Every member must share in the fourth 
duty and in at least one of the other three. 

"The Session would say in all sincerity to the members 
of the church that the church is not helped and the King- 
dom of Christ is not honored by careless treatment of the 
duties of membership by many whose names are enrolled 
on the records of our congregation. It is not proper for 
us to claim to be a community of such size when some 
within the group manifest no zeal whatever for the life 
and work of our church. We are aware that rules for 
membership are not satisfactory. We are not in any posi- 
tion which enables us to judge without error the interest 
of many in the affairs of the Kingdom and in Christian 
endeavor and purpose. But the observance of these basic 
standards will indicate a sincerity of purpose which can- 
not be gainsaid by any. The simple truth is that no indi- 
vidual can be truly Christian who is not intelligently and 
zealously engaged in the work of the Christian Church. 
No other rule of the spiritual life is more clearly estab- 
lished by our Lord. No other principle of Christian serv- 
ice is fortified more strongly by Christian history." 

It remains to be seen how effective was this strong state- 
ment; a statement more commendable for its zeal than for its 
New Testament scholarship. 

To deter a newly admitted member from becoming an "in- 
active" member, Dr. Jones instituted the custom of assigning 
each member of his communicant's class to an Elder who 
interviewed the person and "sponsored" him when he (or she) 
was presented to the session. As far back as 1940, it was agreed 
that each member received into the church should make a 
covenant of his membership and that such covenant would be 
kept as a permanent record in a register in the pastor's study. 
Dr. Jones, together with Mr. Hunter Marshall, drafted a 
suitable pledge for that purpose. 

During Mr. Fogartie's ministry, the session began requir- 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

ing applicants for membership to be received by a committee 
of the Elders. Also, an adult communicant's class was insti- 
tuted in addition to the regular children's class which was 
also designed to "introduce" the prospective members to the 
doctrines, customs and history of the denomination. Mr. Fo- 
gartie has also initiated a communicant's class prior to the 
Christmas season as well as the Lenten season class. In the 
1960's the church has been averaging over sixty new members 
per year on confession of faith. Little wonder that the officers 
have been so concerned that each of these persons be wound as 
tightly as possible to the fellowship of believers. 


Getting the membership to be active in their stewardship as 
well as their attendance has been another major concern of all 
the church's ministers. The statistics glanced at over ten-year 
periods is quite impressive, especially considering the ambi- 
tious building programs engaged in during those years. 

Current Expenses 







$ 68,281 


Still, these figures do not reveal that which was most indica- 
tive of active Christianity: the stewardship of the individual 
member. During Dr. Jones' ministry, the session became so 
concerned about this matter that they sent letters to certain 
members. A part of the contents of these letters was as follows : 

"... A record of your church pledges, and payments 
made against these pledges over the past several years, is 
attached hereto. It is apparent that your material sup- 
port of the church has not been consistent. 

"There must be a reason for your poor Stewardship 
record. The Session would like to know why you have 


Activating the Membership 

failed to support the church with your material means. 
You are requested to contact any one of the members of 
the Session . . . for a personal discussion of this impor- 
tant matter. . . ." 

This was direct to the point of embarrassment. If this did 
not affect the tardy giver, then perhaps the emotion-packed 
poem w^hich w^as enclosed in the letter vs^ould turn the reader's 

"Culture and Fame and Gold, ah, so grand, 

Kings of the salon, the mart, a day; 
All you can hold in your cold dead hands 

Is what you have given away." 

On the other hand, many members were liberal in their 
giving much above and beyond the call of duty. 

During the last days of Dr. Jones' pastorate, a bequest came 
to the church from the will of Mr. and Mrs. W. Z. Stultz. 
These members of the church had long been generous to 
Myers Park in many ways. Mrs. Stultz had given pianos to 
the Church School, and Mr. Stultz had been one of the several 
men whom Mr. Charlie Ross sometimes approached for 
"some special need." To the church which they loved, they 
bestowed nearly $350,000. It was given with much love, it was 
received with much gratitude, but it was distributed with 
much labor. After long hours of deliberation, it was finally 
decided that one half of the bequest should go to benevolent 
causes and one half to needs of the congregation. Conse- 
quently, some $60,000 was appropriated to purchase a manse 
for the incoming minister. As for the benevolent distribution, 
a committee headed by Mr. Beaumert Whitton used as its 
guideline the benevolent program of the Presbyterian Church 
and divided $162,000 (approximately) among church-related 
educational institutions (^), North Carolina Home and the 
Alexander Home (Ve), and the area of Church Extension 

In March of 1957, the church received another generous 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

and substantial gift; this time in the form of property. After 
her husband's death, Mrs. Martin L. Cannon donated to the 
church her right to their home (known locally as the "Duke" 
house on Hermitage Road), given as a memorial to Mr. Can- 
non's grandmother, Mrs. Eliza Long Cannon. A magnificent 
house, the church long pondered how it might be utilized by 
them. Unable to arrive at some worthwhile project for using 
its spacious accommodations (including twelve servants 
rooms), it finally seemed the act of wisdom to sell the home 
and apply the money toward improvements of their own prop- 
erties nearer at hand. This was then done by the Executive 
Committee of the Board of Deacons and the Trustees of the 


The man most intimately involved in the finances of the 
church was Mr. Charles B. Ross. Treasurer for a quarter of a 
century, it is hard for the church members to realize that he 
was, in fact, the third man to hold that position. Mr. E. Y. 
Keesler was the first Treasurer. He was succeeded by William 
Summerville, whose heart condition precipitated Mr. Ross' 
taking charge of the ofiferings for a few Sundays. The Dea- 
cons soon realized what capable hands were those of this 
gentleman who was such a careful bookeeper. In 1933, he 
was hired for $25 a month to become the Church Treasurer. 
This seemed like a responsible but leisurely task at the time, 
but Mr. Charlie's "hobby" soon turned into a full-time job. 
But "job" is not a word he would use, for it was his "love." 
Despite full weekdays poring over the records and an eight- 
een hour day on Sunday (with an able assist from Mrs. Ross) , 
it was never considered a burden to this man whose very life 
became the Myers Park Presbyterian Church. 

More than five million dollars was handled by Mr. Ross 
during those years, and he more than anyone else was respon- 


Activating the Membership 

sible for the good financial standing of the church. Were they 
in need of funds for a special cause? "I'll call on a few friends 
and tell them about it," would be Mr. Ross' response. Where 
was the written guarantee of the firm that waterproofed the 
church last year? "It's either in a little box at the bank or some 
place around my home," said Mr. Charlie with confidence. 
And it was! More often than not, it was in the desk in his 
front room which served as his office. 

Eddie Jones gave him the advice which he treasured most: 
"Don't meddle with the budget; let the Deacons do it." He 
was always satisfied to carry out policy directed by the Dia- 
conate, and he was never one to waste time in getting a job 
done. Once, while listening to the men deliberate at length 
over the plans for building Trinity Church, he facetiously 
dropped a half-a-dollar on the table and told them to take it 
and get started on their building. Years later he was amazed 
to learn that the fifty cent piece had been framed as the first 
donation to Trinity Presbyterian Church ! 

One of his most interesting and little-known services was 
that of administering the "Pastor's Fund." It was during Dr. 
Jones' ministry that several members, at the end of the fiscal 
year, sought to give away certain amounts of money over and 
above that which they had already contributed to the budget. 
Perhaps there was a student to whom they would like to give a 
scholarship to college, or a bereaved family in immediate need 
of funds, someone with a heavy hospital bill, or some medical 
instrument direly needed on some mission field. In order to 
avoid the embarrassment of a direct gift to the recipient (and 
yet to take advantage of tax deductions for "Gifts") this fund 
was established. The name was simply derived from the 
Treasurer making a comment such as this, "Son, a person gave 
the pastor funds to go toward a worthwhile cause. Your soph- 
omore college tuition is certainly worthwhile." On occasion, 
this unlisted fund has reached as high as $50,000. 

A Charter Member, Mr. Ross has literally served on com- 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

mittees of the church for forty years, beginning with the first 
Building Committee and continuing to the present Commun- 
ion Committee. 

In the early fifties, Warley L. Parrott, Sunday School Su- 
perintendent, thanked the donors who had helped with the 
refurnishing of the Senior Department, He turned to "Uncle 
Charlie" and asked, "Will you please stand up a little higher 
than you usually do so that everybody can see you and extend 
our deep appreciation and affection." This printed page can 
but repeat that sentiment. 

In the Spring of 1958 when the church was on the threshold 
of another major expansion program, the joint officers of the 
church created a new position on the Church Staff. With a 
budget of $303,833, the church was in need of a full-time 
Church Administrator with his own secretarial staff to care 
for such increased operations. Mr. Hal D. Laughridge, a 
member of the Diaconate, was engaged for this position as of 
May I, 1958. Mr. Ross continued to serve as honorary Treas- 
urer, giving very helpful advice to Mr. Laughridge and to his 
successor, Mr. Lincoln Emery who assumed the position in 
December of that same year. The job not only entailed the 
financial record-keeping, but also the supervising of the ad- 
ministrative and service staffs of the church. 

The church's good fortune in administrators continued with 
the selection of Mr. J. Reed Boyd, the successor to Mr. Emery 
in 1963. Mr. Boyd came to Myers Park from the Shandon 
Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, where he 
had given his church unstinting service as a Deacon, Ruling 
Elder, Scout Leader, and Lay Assistant to his pastor. With 
such devoted background in church work, it is little wonder 
that his contribution to the good health of the Myers Park 
congregation has been much more than in financial record- 



The Staff 

In speaking of the staff "downstairs" at the church, Mr. 
Fogartie describes them succinctly as "Great!" Their loyalty 
to the church is illustrated by their long tenures. As of 1966, 
even the average secretarial staff member has been with the 
church for seven or eight years. There is a spirit of comrade- 
ship among them sensed even by the visitor to the offices. 
Presently there is a staff meeting held every Friday, following 
a worship service at which all employees of the church partic- 
ipate. This is the day for making announcements and clearing 
the calendar. Sometimes a speaker is invited; often a Deacon, 
such as Eric Clark to speak on the insurance policy for church 
employees, or Earl Arthurs to present the retirement policy 
for the staff. On the second Friday of each month, there is a 
luncheon meeting for the Ministers, Administrators, Di- 
rectors of Christian Education, and the Music Directors. This 
is a planning session and minutes are kept. 

The position of "Associate Pastor" on the staff has ever been 
an important one at Myers Park. Mr. Fogartie sees this gen- 
tleman as a "colleague" in every sense of the term. And he — as 
well as the church — has been blessed with two most effective 

Six months after Mr. Fogartie assumed the Myers Park 
pastorate, the congregation called Dr. A. Clarke Dean as their 
Associate Minister. He came to them from Buntyn Presbyte- 


The Staff 

rian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. When he was installed 
at Myers Park on June 17, 1956, he began what was to be eight 
years of service to the church. Besides the visitation duties, he 
assumed more of the preaching responsibilities than had his 
predecessor, conducting as he did the services during Mr. 
Fogartie's vacation in the summers. During two summers, 
however, the session gave him leave of absence to spend in 
travel and pulpit supply opportunities in the British Isles. 
Once again, the church found in the minister's wife, Mary 
Cooper Dean, a lady of exceptional charm and ability as a 

His resignation in February of 1964"^ was regretted by all 
in the church. Nor did they relish finding a replacement 
whose qualifications would match the high standard now es- 
tablished by Dr. Lawrence and Dr. Dean. 

They need never have feared, especially in light of their 
past good fortune in "preacher-hunting." But this time the 
search led to an unlikely field : The Board of World Missions. 

Eugene Lewis Daniel, Jr. had served as Candidate Secre- 
tary for the Board for 14 years. A man with the warmth that 
one would expect from auburn hair, he plunged into visiting 
the members of the congregation with a remarkable zeal after 
his arrival in September of 1964. His family moved into the 
"Biltmore Manse" for a brief time prior to the church's pur- 
chase of a home at 1535 Queens Road adjoining the church 

Tt soon became obvious to the congregation that new mem- 
bers were being taken in by the dozens rather than the half- 
dozens as in the past. Mr. Daniel's enthusiasm in contacting 
new persons in Charlotte was largely responsible for this up- 
swing in membership. 

Mr. Daniel brought with him the gracious easy manners of 
a true Georgian. Reared in Atlanta he received his college 

49. Dr. Dean accepted a call to the John Calvin Presbyterian Church of 
Orlando, Florida. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

(Georgia Institute of Technology) and seminary (Columbia 
Theological Seminary) training nearby and later held pastor- 
ates in the area. During World War II he served notably as 
an Army Chaplain being awarded both the Silver Star and 
the Distinguished Service Cross. Twenty-seven months spent 
as a Prisoner of War gave him additional impetus to further 
the cause of missions in foreign lands. This he did through his 
effective work with the Board of World Missions from 1951 
until 1964. 

His background and interest in this "outreach" of the 
church has already been felt by the Myers Park Church. One 
of his earliest contributions to the work of the church was to 
revitalize the congregation's missionary concern. 

Despite this strong staff the church still had need of some- 
one to work with the Christian Education program. The job 
had grown too large for a Director of Christian Education; 
the need was for an administrator and resident teacher. The 
session authorized one be called. 


The Touth Work 

The Youth Program of the church has like all churches 
had its strong periods and its less strong ones. Usually this is 
subject to the whim of teenagers as to which church group in 
town is the one with the most unusual programs, or best food, 
or loveliest girls! The work, thus, depends somewhat on a 
"floating congregation." Myers Park Presbyterian has had 
more than its share of the years when it was the "in" group for 
the neighborhood. This can be attributed to all of the three 
above cited drawing cards, but more especially to its leader- 

Miss Belk's magnetism has already been attested to in re- 
gard to the Young People's work, but she would insist on 
attributing the strength of the youth program during her ten- 
ure to such young people as the Belk boys. Grant Whitney, 
Bob and John Miller, and so many more who were forceful 

In Miss Geraldine Grady, the Director of Youth Work 
from 1957 until 1964, the church had another attractive 
D.C.E. with poise and ability. She was especially eflfective in 
the area of organization, and never before had the Youth 
Fellowship involved so many teenagers, as well as parents, in 
positions of responsibility. 

Realizing that the strongest youth program will have strong 
leadership, Miss Grady set about training church members to 


The Youth Work 

do much of the work which the congregation had come to 
expect only of the Director of Christian Education. Almost 
weekly she held sessions for the adult couples whom she had 
enlisted to be advisors for the various "commissions" in the 
Youth Fellowship organization. The success of her efiforts 
continues to be seen long after her resignation on the occasion 
of her marriage to Dr. D. D. Phillips, Jr. The ones today who 
are assuming responsibilities for the work with the Junior 
High and Senior High groups are persons trained by "Geri." 

Her two most enduring, and endearing, adult leaders were 
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Boyd. Both active choir members, they 
have lived up to the maxim they set for the young people : 
"Keep them doing just as much as they possibly can!" So 
many of the projects — Christmas caroling, open houses, bas- 
ketball team. Camp Mondamin Spring Retreats — can be 
traced to ideas supplied by Harry and Eleanor ("Babby"), 
but not to hear them tell it. Rather, they point with pride to 
the young people during their decade of service whose strong 
personalities and Christian commitment gave impetus to the 
group; young people like the Gilmour boys, Sara Porter, 
John Alexander, and George Ducker. 

The youth of the fifties and sixties have had projects which 
have been nearly as ambitious as those of the Men's Club. 
They have gone to the Double Oaks Nursery and done repair 
jobs of every description, from filling sand piles to building 
bird houses. Sponsoring trips out to Camp Stewart for the 
children has been as thrilling for the "little tykes" as the 
Christmas parties which the Young People hold for them. 
They have contributed their time individually to tutoring 
many of the children of the Seigle Avenue Presbyterian 
Church. And yet another child, this time from Korea, was 
"adopted" by them in 1964 as they paid his school tuition, 
room, board and "pencils." It was Miss Mary Faith Carson of 
Queens College who encouraged them in this project, as she 
was their dynamic Youth Worker of that summer. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

The ever-changing Youth Fellowship group continues to 
have energy and interest that rivals any other organization 
w^ithin the church. Within a year they w^ould hear about the 
past, present and future of Christianity from such various 
authorities and perspectives as Dr. Stuart Currie, Harry 
Golden, Mrs. Martha Evans, Carroll McGaughey, Alan 
Newcomb, and one of their favorite church school teachers, 
William A. White, Jr. 

Mr. Fogartie's interest in all age groups w^ithin the church 
has been evident from the encouragement of the "Myers Park 
Best Years Club" for senior adults, to that of the Church 
League Baseball Team. Especially has he the happy talent of 
being able to establish immediate rapport v^ith the young. 
Primarily due to his leadership — and that of Mrs. Fogartie— 
the Scout vs^ork in the church has blossomed during his min- 
istry. Even a troop of Sea Scouts (w^ith Alex Porter as advi- 
sor) has been established. Others deserving of congregational 
gratitude for their service to the Scouts during "lean and fat" 
years are Earl Arthurs, Fred Cochran and Jim Allen. 

With an ever evolving and demanding Youth group, the 
Church recognized after Miss Grady's resignation that they 
could not long go w^ithout full time quality leadership in this 
area. With one eye on the present program and the other on 
their future needs, the Church decided that they must secure 
no less than another Associate Minister. 

Their sights v^ere set high when they began their search in 
January of 1965. Not only would they seek someone to admin- 
ister the overall Christian Education program of the Church, 
but one who could also direct one of the divisions of the 
Church School. A "plus" requirement would be that he — or 
she — have such a background of intellectual attainment and 
local Church experience that the role of "Resident Teacher" 
could be assumed. 

It is much to the credit of many adult advisors that the 
Youth program did not lag during the months that followed. 


The Youth Work 

The dining room on Sunday evening continued to be filled to 
overflowing with teenagers who quickly digested hot dogs and 
pepsis before their vesper program. 

The Pulpit committee might have had a shorter tenure if 
they had not been looking for a person so long on qualifica- 
tions ! More than a year of work and prayer went by before the 
committee was able to make their final report to the congrega- 

Speaking with pride and relief to the congregation on an 
early spring Sunday morning, the Chairman of the Commit- 
tee, Mr. J. C. Wilson, announced that "We were able to find a 
man of sound theology, of outstanding mental capacity, 
trained in and dedicated to service in the field of Christian 
education, a man young enough to attract and communicate 
with the youth of the church and at the same time mature and 
experienced enough to earn the respect of our present minis- 
ters and D.C.E.s with whom he would serve." 

Thus, with keen anticipation — and keener appreciation for 
God's guidance — the congregation looked forward to receiv- 
ing the Rev. Charles Murray.^'' Mr. Murray's experience had 
included pastoral responsibilities (Galatia Presbyterian 
Church in Fayetteville, N. C.) and teaching at Lees-McRae 
College in the village of his birth. Never overlooking the 
pastor's family, the congregation rejoiced that three more 
youngsters were joining their priesthood of believers. And 
with continued good fortune, the Myers Park Church found 
the minister's wife, Mary Ann, to be an exceptional teacher in 
her own right. 

Now with Mr. Fogartie, Mr. Daniel and Mr. Murray 
(graduates of three Southern Presbyterian Seminaries), the 
Church was to experience strong leadership in her Pastoral, 
Visiting and Teaching ministries. 

50. A.B. from Davidson College (1954) ; B.D. from Union Theological 
Seminary in Virginia (1958) ; M.A. from Presbyterian School for Christian 
Education (1966). 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Another youth group, The "Alateens" was begun in 1966 
for the purpose of helping young people learn more about 
how to redeem lives and family units marred by alcoholism. 
Four years previously, the Alcoholics Anonymous organiza- 
tion (meeting regularly at the church on Monday and Friday 
evenings) began an auxiliary group known as the "Ala- 
family." Their meetings were so helpful that Mr. Fogartie 
encouraged them to sponsor a similar program for teenagers 
who find themselves caught in the web of tragedy which alco- 
holism spins. 

One of the most glowing testimonies to the youth work of 
the Myers Park Presbyterian Church is the list of young peo- 
ple who have since gone into full-time Christian vocations.^^ 

Miss VanDevanter wrote in 1940, "With two of our num- 
ber now in specialized training and four others definitely 
committed to some form of full-time Christian service, who 
can say what the future will be?" The future (as far as 1966) 
was to see some twenty more young people involving them- 
selves in theological training for an active ministry in the 
work of the church. Several of the men who now have pastor- 
ates hundreds of miles from this community have returned on 
occasion to lead worship services for their former fellow- 
members. The session has been justly proud of these men and 
women. They have always encouraged them, approved their 
candidacy on behalf of the Presbytery, and in not a few cases 
they have authorized loans for their graduate study. 

It is with real satisfaction and gratitude that the church 
contemplates her outreach through the witness of her "chil- 
dren" in areas as scattered as North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, 
Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Japan. 

51. A list of these men and women who at one time belonged to the Myers 
Park Church is given in the appendix. 



(^hildren^ s TVork 

Meanwhile, the children's work of the church has not 
lagged. Indeed, under the devoted hand of Miss Ann Powell, 
the program has gone forward with an enlarged interest in the 
"family" and not just the isolated child. 

Miss Powell came to Myers Park on January 7, 1962 from 
the Mizpah Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia. She 
brought with her not only skill and knowledge in church 
work, but also her cheerful disposition! It has taken this 
happy combination to direct the full program which this 
church requires. 

Like her predecessor, Miss Powell visits the hospital to 
present the customary corsage to the mother whose new baby 
is already the concern of the Myers Park Presbyterian 
Church. Armed with helpful books about "The First Child" 
and "The Second Child" and on up the scale, the Children's 
Director confers with the parents about bringing up the child 
"in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Soon they will 
be bringing the baby to the Crib Room of the church, an 
innovation for the maidless-sixties! 

When the Covenant Life Curriculum was adopted by the 
church ^^ the teachers and students alike found the Church 
School class to be a new and exciting experience As one 

52. Part of this material was written for the Board of Christian Education 
by the former Children's Director of the Myers Park Church, Mrs. Adeline 
Hill Ostwalt. 

Children's Work 

third-grader announced to his parents at breakfast, "We can't 
be late for Sunday School ; we have so much to cover, we need 
all sixty minutes!" And indeed much is covered by talented 
teachers of a talented congregation 

One of Mr Fogartie's special contributions of his ministry 
at Myers Park has been his vision of the total family unit. 
From his preaching and his programs (and no less, the vivid 
example of his own home) the congregation has grown in 
their understanding of how to strengthen the family ties 
through Christian commitment. This emphasis has been most 
wise in a secular age that is more and more inclined toward 
easy divorce. 

Miss Ann Powell has followed up on this "family" em- 
phasis by planning a half-dozen Workshops a year designed 
for the adults and children together. If the work-a-day world 
tends to separate the household with multiple tasks and hob- 
bies, then perhaps the church could unite them in projects of 
usefulness as well as fun. This was the aim of the large gather- 
ing in the Fellowship Hall one December evening when ad- 
vent wreaths were made; this was also the achieved purpose in 
evenings of Hymn-singing (from "Jesus Loves Me" to "A 
Mighty Fortress Is Our God"). In March of 1965 a Family 
Life Workshop was held for four days, during which time the 
Reverend and Mrs. William H. Genne of New Jersey were 
involved in twelve sessions of instruction. So successful were 
they, the Christian Education Committee of the church de- 
cided to hold a School for Christian Learning the second week 
of June with similiar sessions and programs for all members 
of the family. The Daily Vacation Bible School has, then, 
evolved into a more effective program which is an adjunct of 
the church's "Home and Family Nurture." 

On the wall of Miss Powell's office is a framed child's 
painting of the ascension of Jesus. Ann likes it because it is a 
simple and joyful expression of a theological profundity. Such 
a translation of the Christian faith is exactly what the Chil- 
dren's program seeks to do. 


m w 

r ! 



Pioneer Department of Church School Group 1946— 1947 



'iMen's Work 

The Men of the Church technically began organizing on 
the same day as did the Women, November 14, 1926. Mr. 
George E. Wilson, Jr. was appointed chairman of this organi- 
zation, though the word "organization" is too strong to apply 
to them at that point in their history. There were no early 
records kept of this group and very probably their meetings 
were of a somewhat irregular and informal nature. The fact 
that they were not, and have never been, as highly organized as 
the Women of the Church is no reflection on the males of the 
congregation. The explanation for this lies somewhere be- 
tween their involvement in the duties of church officers and 
the lack of time available due to their own highly organized 
weekday occupations. 

In the Spring of 1927, the Session requested the Men's Club 
to accept as a project the inviting of all persons residing in the 
community to make this their church home. As a result of 
some tactlessness in the planning of this project, the women of 
the church felt slighted, and said so! The session immediately 
apologized; and predictably, the men of the church have 
never sought to usurp the ladies' position of prominence since 
that time. 

Nothing was heard of such a men's group again until 
March 14, 1938. At that time, Junius Smith chaired a commit- 
tee that studied the need and set up a men's organization. 
Calling it simply the "Men's Club," they held their first meet- 


Men's Work 

ing on that Monday evening in the hut, and had as their 
speaker the renowned Judge J. J. Parker. 

Famous speakers became the rule for these meetings that 
had as their objectives: (i) Christian fellowship, (2) inform- 
ing and inspiring the men concerning the program of the 
church, and (3) encouraging the members to give of their 
time and talents to selected church projects. 

Loosely organized or not, it took some powerful men to 
secure as their speakers such eminent personages as Senator 
Clyde R. Hoey, Judge Wilson Warlick, Dr. Frank Porter 
Graham, Dr. Archibald Rutledge, Dr. Gordon Gray, Justice 
William H. Bobbitt, Coach Lefty Driesell, and others of 
equal national and local prominence. A club president, like 
the enthusiastic Tom Belk, could get almost anyone to be the 
speaking guest. 

Just as the men have gone after big speakers, they have 
accepted big projects with equal eclat. After Dr. Jones re- 
turned from Africa and told the Club of one mission station 
having to carry water up the hill by hand, the men raised 
$4,000 to purchase pipe and pumping equipment for the Afri- 
can village. They have contributed to Oaklawn Community 
Center, scholarships for students, Alexander Home, and the 
Presbytery's Camp Fund. Their interest in children has led 
them to inaugurate several projects related to them. A walk-in 
refrigerator for Barium Springs Home was one such project. 
The most popular one, however, has been the Spring "Christ- 
mas" outing for children from that home. It is termed 
"Christmas" because the men thought attention paid to these 
youngsters at some time during the year besides Yuletide 
would be meaningful to them. It is scheduled for the spring 
because that is the time when the circus comes to town. It 
would be difficult to say who enjoys this event the most, the 
children or the men. The memories of this annual excursion 
are numerous: George Harris shepherding several little boys 
into the big tent, Paul Marion distributing cotton candy to 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

eager hands, and Bobo Langston virtually providing for the 
children a "fourth ring" to the circus! 

The Men's Club began a "love affair" with the Home Mis- 
sion Work of John Luke in Ashe County in the 1930's.^^ A 
friend of Dr. Gammon's during their college days, Dr. Luke 
has long witnessed to his Lord in that mountainous area 
through a school, health facilities, a second-hand clothing out- 
let, and the like. His visits to the Men's Club have always been 
eagerly anticipated, not in the least because of the quantities 
of sourwood honey which he brings to sell on behalf of the 
Ashe County folk. When a member carrying away several 
jars said, "Now I've gotten my mother-in-law's Christmas 
present!" everyone knew that he must genuinely like his wife's 
mother. Every fifth Sunday, it has been customarily an- 
nounced in the Men's Bible Class that "This is John Luke 
Sunday." To the regular attender this is a reminder that the 
offering should be substantial as it was intended for the mis- 
sion work at Glendale Springs in Winston-Salem Presbytery. 
To at least one visitor who heard this, it sounded as though 
this was a reference to two Presbyterian saints. "What do you 
have against Matthew and Mark?" 

Dr. Luke's work has long captured the interest of other 
groups in the church besides the men. It has not been unusual 
for the Primary Department to be gathering up their Church 
School booklets to be sent to Ashe county, or for the Junior 
Department to box and mail literally dozens of toys to the 
Mission. The Women's ambitious drives for collecting new 
and used clothing have resulted in their sending cartons of 
clothes to the mountain school with frequency. 

In 1964 the "Men's Club" became officially "The Men of 
the Myers Park Presbyterian Church." Yet behind this pon- 
derous title remains the somewhat casual and spontaneous 
group of Churchmen with a zest for Christian living. 

53. The first bulletin notification of their partial support of John Luke was 
April 12, 1936. 


The (^hurch^ s Communication (tyiffedia 

The communications problems for such a large congrega- 
tion have been approached in several w^ays through the years. 
Initially, the bulletin was the all-inclusive means of announc- 
ing meetings. This was given an extra assist from Dr. Gam- 
mon when he reiterated some notice of particular interest. The 
bulletin has continued to serve this purpose, but the announce- 
ments soon became too numerous to note. As the secretarial 
staff increased, the outgoing mail became bulkier. The Scouts 
were reminded of their meeting, the choirs were told of a 
change in practice time, the Executive Committee of the Ses- 
sion was written of a called meeting, et cetera. Thus, the 
U. S. Mail has played the largest part in keeping the mem- 
bership informed. 

On March 13, 1958, the "Myers Park Presbyterian" began 
to be published. It was a two page paper printed weekly (ex- 
cept July and August) . With four editors, all with journalistic 
training and experience,^ it was most readable and servicea- 
ble. One week there might be a picture of the Young Adult 
group enjoying a picnic on a weekend retreat, the next week, a 
feature article on Thomas C. Hayes, the new Scoutmaster. 
Visiting lecturers were always pictured and their course de- 
scribed in capsule. The schedule of events for the week was 

54. Mrs. Gayle Rogers, Loye Miller, Bill Jennings, Bill White, Jr. 


The Church's Communication Media 

often run side by side with the list of circle meetings for the 
women. A fine article on Mr. and Mrs. A. Walton Litz ap- 
peared in the paper when they came to speak at the church on 
"Stewardship" in 1959. If the paper had possessed the pro- 
phetic eye, it might have noted the good fortune of the Myers 
Park Church in receiving their membership in a later year. 
The paper rendered a useful service, but it also proved to be 
a costly project. At a time when the church was raising funds 
for its new Educational Building, the "Myers Park Presbyte- 
rian" was a luxury that could not be afiforded. It was discon- 
tinued in 1961 and a mimeographed news' sheet was started. It 
is prepared weekly and mailed to every member of the church. 



T^lanning for Expansion 

A growing church, like a person who is gaining weight, has 
only two alternatives for proper adjustment to this situation: 
reduce or expand facilities. The Myers Park congregation 
encouraged members to affiliate with the Trinity Church 
when it was begun in the early fifties, but the number of 
persons who left was hardly equal to the total membership 
gains of the Myers Park Church of any given year. Thus, with 
more "gains" than "losses" each year (and with Mr. Fogar- 
tie's added emphasis on the total family involvment in the 
church program) there seemed no recourse but to expand the 

The session appointed a committee, in January of 1956, to 
study the Church plant and determine how the space was 
being used. With elder Harold Dillehay as chairman, this 
committee worked like Trojans to discover how many hours a 
week the rooms were used, how many children could that 
room accommodate for an effective teaching situation, how 
many young people could be served by the kitchen on Sunday 
evenings, etc. 

This Long-Range Planning Committee compiled their 
findings and made a brochure of their prospectus. At a joint 
officers meeting in January 1958, the committee made its re- 
port and described for the officers their vision of a remodeled 


Planning For Expansion 

Sanctuary to seat several hundred more persons. Then they 
spoke of the Church School having to meet in the library, 
various secretarial offices and the ill-arranged old manse. The 
officers were convinced of the need to embark on a building 
program, and the church gave such a plan their approval at a 
congregational meeting in February. 

Mr. William Mulliss w^as appointed chairman of the 
Building Planning Committee, and he lost no time soliciting 
from the members of the church their ow^n suggestions for the 
expansion plans. Rooms were measured and remeasured. Spe- 
cialists in church architecture were called in to advise and the 
Church School teachers were interviewed. So many stones 
were going to be built upon, they could not leave one unturned ! 

Mr. Mulliss' committee concluded that a building program 
of a most ambitious nature would have to be initiated. After 
all, in the foreseeable future there would be two thousand or 
more members crowding the corner of Oxford Place for com- 
munal worship and instruction! It was Dr. Gammon who first 
prodded the church into thinking BIG; they dared not turn 
back now. 

After the morning worship on December 5, 1958, the con- 
gregation kept their places in the pews to hear the report of 
the Building Committee. The monumental work of this group 
was commended by all, though the report itself left some per- 
sons gasping at what sounded like fantastic expansion plans. 
"Dr. Jones once said it was good for our motivation always to 
be in debt," remarked one person, "and this ought to assure 
that we will be!" 

The plans were certainly ambitious, comprising as they did 
so much remodeling, buildings and new equipment. Never- 
theless, many suggestions had been shaved from the considera- 
tion in an effort to keep expenditures at a minimum.^^ 

55. These included an underground passageway from the rear of the chan- 
cel to the narthex, stained-glass side windows for the Sanctuary, two rows of 
lanterns hanging from the Sanctuary ceiling, and lighting fixtures to display at 
night the stained glass Incarnation window. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

The Clerk of the session, Mr. David Craig, moved that the 
report of the Building Committee be approved. When the 
secret ballots w^ere counted, it v^as seen that the congregation 
had once again affirmed their faith in the future. The plans 
were approved by a margin of six to one. 



ig^g building T^rogram 

When the congregation opened their bulletin on Sunday 
morning, January 1 1, 1959, they read this announcement at the 
top of the page which listed church activities : 

"Our 1959 Building Fund has been officially launched 
with the opening of the Campaign Office in Room 115, 
and with the appearance of Mr. T. Marshall Thompson, 
Director, and Mr. John Leslie, Associate Director, 
Please make a note of the Campaign Office telephone 
number EDison 3—4848. During the coming weeks when 
you are aked to share in the leadership of the campaign, 
please say "YES." Above all else, pray that God will 
undergird our program of advance, and bring us to the 
conclusion on March 11, with harmony and victory." 

Within a week, Thomas M. Belk as General Chairman had 
tapped thirty-three men to form the nucleus of the organiza- 
tion for the campaign. They divided the membership roll into 
districts, and by February they had virtually completed the 
recruitment of workers. Instruction dinners were added to the 
already heavy schedule of the church kitchen.^^ During the 
second week of that month, five dinners were held for the 
membership at large "so that the story can be told completely 
and clearly." The appeal was based on this being an invest- 
ment in the future. In a parable written for the congregation, 
a story was told of a man who wished to do something endur- 

56. Over 2,000 individual meals were served each year in the 1950'$. 


1959 Building Program 

ing and so planted a tree, donated a watering trough, erected a 
tombstone and gave to the church. The predictable results, the 
congregation was told, were the felling of the tree, the decay 
of the trough, the removal of the tombstone by descendants, 
but the enduring worth of the church. Somewhat fanciful, but 
the message was clear-cut for Myers Park. Give a memorial 
or tribute, and this will "provide for the perpetuation of a 
good deed and a good name." 

The campaign goal was for $915,640 — an unprecedented 
figure for a Southern Presbyterian Church to seek to obtain, 
albeit over a five-year pledged period. The mere setting of 
such a goal seemed to substantiate the claim of outsiders that 
"Myers Park is a rich man's church." Such a statement was 
certainly false if it was meant to imply that only wealthy 
persons were encouraged to join. 

By the first of March, they were just $201,758 short of their 
giant-sized goal. The Victory Dinner was planned for the 
eleventh of that month, so they had only a few days left in 
which to raise those thousands of dollars. It was an anxious 
time in the homes of all the workers who had been so involved 
in the campaign. More letters were written, more calls were 
made ; all done to get more pledges made and increased. 

On that Wednesday evening as the workers and their wives 
gathered at the church, they each knew that all had been done 
that could be done. Now to hear whether or not their energy 
and prayers had achieved the goal. 

And the answer? They had not. Rather, they had surpassed 
the figure set and indeed had raised $1,112,624. "Today is an 
occasion of Thanksgiving in the life of our church," said Mr. 

Truly it was. Now they could proceed with great building 
plans for the church. 

How was such a large amount of money to be spent by one 
congregation? The following tabulation was the Building 
Committee's initial estimate of the distribution of the funds : 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

1. Rehabilitation and extension of Sanctuary 
(including new pews) $321,629 

2. Three-story Education-Fellowship 

Building ^ ^ 359'2i3 

3. Multi-Purpose Building 16,300 

4. Remodeling ground floor of original 
Educational Building 18,400 

5. Balance of Architect's fees 14,139 

6. Movable furnishings 21,205 

7. Organ 69,900 

8. Paving parking lot for 96 cars 10,000 

9. Campaign expenses 10,000 
10. Contingency allowance for possible build- 
ing extras, costs, changes, et cetera 7i>554 

When these plans became a reality it would be possible to 
take some of the 1,600 Church School pupils out of the secre- 
tarial offices on Sunday morning. If the expansion did not 
come soon, the Nursery was certain to be forced out of exist- 
ence and the Junior Department would literally be pushing 
out the walls in the old manse! But since the financial cam- 
paign was a success, the Superintendent, Fred McPhail could 
continue encouraging the 3.8% enrollment increase each year. 
And with the enlarged Sanctuary, Mr. Fogartie could wish 
that literally all of the membership might worship together at 
a service. 

After Mr. Fogartie's sermon on "Holy Ground," the last 
Sunday in 1959's October, the congregation sang in proces- 
sion, "The Church's One Foundation Is Jesus Christ Her 
Lord." Then, standing at the entrance to the Sanctuary, they 
witnessed the "ground breaking" and each visualized as best 
he could the new entrance at which they hoped to be standing 
some months hence. 

The Minister : To the glory of God the Father, to the 
honor and service of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and to the praise of the Holy 
Spirit, source of light and life. 

The People : We break this ground. 

The Minister and the People : 

We now, friends and people of this church 


1959 Building Program 

and congregation, compassed about with 
so great a cloud of witnesses, grateful for 
our heritage, sensitive to the sacrifice of 
our fathers in the faith, confessing that 
apart from us their work cannot be made 
perfect, do break this ground for the 
erection of an edifice for the worship and 
service of Almighty God, and for the 
establishment of His Kingdom among 
men, in the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

It was a glad occasion! Mr. Dillehay was shaking hands 
with Mr. Mulliss, chairmen of the hard-working committees 
that planned for the long-range and immediate steps of the 
church's progress. Mr. Pease and Mr. Whitton, architect and 
contractor respectively were in quiet conversation, looking at 
the site with the practiced eye of professionals and the hopeful 
eye of Elders which they were. Mr. McGuire of the Finance 
Committee was patting Tom Belk on the back for the success 
of the Building Fund Campaign. And people everywhere 
were enjoying chatting about the future. 

The old Colonial-style manse, last used by the Jones family, 
was like an ancient pot-bellied stove handed down to an heir; 
it may have once kept many warm, but what does one do with 
it now? 

As indicated, the Sunday School used it for the Junior De- 
partment for a time, but new plans had to be made for it soon. 
Perhaps the church offices could be placed in the cherished 
structure; it would surely present a more comfortable and 
personal atmosphere for the members who might be inclined 
to visit the staff. On the other hand, it would still need much 
renovation and could not accommodate all the stafif and 
needed storage room. Thus, almost by default, it became the 
place of worship for an entirely new class meeting on Sunday 
morning. An elective course was established by Miss Belk and 
Mr. Charles Hassell. It was available for future teachers and 
anyone who wished a change of pace. At first expecting a 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

volunteer enrollment of twenty-five, they were nearly over- 
whelmed by three times that number. By soliciting compel- 
ling teachers from the Religion Departments of Queens Col- 
lege and Davidson College, and other persons of professional 
quality, the class was able to probe with more depth into 
Biblical studies and theological doctrines. This group was a 
"natural" for first confronting the Covenant Life Curriculum. 
Miss Belk began the preliminary sessions concerning the ap- 
proach of the new material being written by the Board of 
Christian Education in Richmond. The Myers Park session 
adopted its usage as of December, 1962. 

While the renovating of the Sanctuary was taking place, the 
congregation turned to the Fellowship Hall of the new Edu- 
cation-Fellowship Building for their Sunday services. The 
room seemed a bit too light and the folding chairs too tempo- 
rary, but the services actually took on an added dimension in 
worship. There was a new awareness of worshipping "in spirit 
and in truth" rather than just "in Sanctuary and cushioned 

Mr. Fogartie continued some of his popular series of ser- 
mons, and the choir continued to keep the services elevated 
with their music (though they sat preciously close to the 
kitchen door) . The minister has several times requested of the 
congregation their own suggestions for his sermon topics. This 
has led to preaching on subjects ranging from the Apostles to 
the Book of Revelation. 

Reflecting on the decade he has spent at Myers Park ("The 
ten happiest years of my life!"), Mr. Fogartie cited the Build- 
ing Program as the major item of the church's work during 
that time. Overseeing the planning, the campaign drive, and 
finally the actual construction consumed nearly five years. Yet 
his memory of that time is not of his own part but of the 
allegiance of some five to six hundred persons who were so 
active in the campaigning. The lesson of stewardship which 
Dr. Gammon and Dr. Jones began to teach them seemed to 


1959 Building Program 

have been learned. Not only were they giving of their own 
time and money, but they applied stewardship to their plans 
for the buildings. They did not feel the need to be extravagant 
in the materials used and thus accumulate excessive costs. The 
church plant was to the glory of God, not to Myers Park! 




£," - "^^f fc i * '$ [ns^^' f^s ,| 





T'he 40th Anniversary yund 

The minister has said that at least half of his years at Myers 
Park have been dominated by Building programs and cam- 
paigns. Fortunately he has seen these as means of strengthen- 
ing the church rather than weakening it. As the membership 
has striven to meet goals that were financial and physical, they 
have indeed achieved goals that were also spiritual. Because 
of these drives, the work of the Kingdom has been better done. 

Yet again, in 1966, the congregation embarks on a major 
Fund Drive, approved by them on August 8, 1965. It was 
initiated by a need to retire an indebtedness of $352,800 and to 
finance the purchase of a manse on Queens Road. Being well- 
trained in stewardship and outreach over two-score years, the 
members decided to include projects other than their own in 
this drive. The goal of $688,800 included giving the following 
amounts to these recipients : 

Presbyterian Development Fund: $112,000 

Union Theological Seminary in Va. : 112,000 

St. Andrews Presbyterian College : 56,000 

The committee for this the "40th Anniversary Fund" was 
chaired by F. J. Blythe, Jr. He had a strong team in his vice- 
chairmen, John L. Crist, Jr. and Treasurer Irwin Belk. They 
divided the congregation into five divisions, each designated 
by a letter of the word "F. O. R. T. Y." 




J^oking yorward 

The congregation on March ii, 1962 was a bit earlier in 
assembling than usual. The ushers were prepared for an over- 
flow crowd, for the service held something special for the 
worshippers. The eight-page bulletin had on its cover a repro- 
duction of the stained glass window depicting the nativity 
scene; underneath was the announcement that this was to be 
the "Service of Dedication" for the renovated Sanctuary. 

The majority of worshippers had already inspected the 
heavy symbolic carvings in the large auditorium. So awesome 
was the sculptured-gold chancel window and the ebony and 
silver cross that the observer almost missed seeing the elabo- 
rate floral arrangement given by both the Women of the 
Church and the Men of the Church. They studied with rever- 
ent fascination the symbols proclaiming the resurrection of 
Jesus and the commissioning of the apostles. What they were 
most anxious to see, however, was not the magnificence of the 
enlarged room itself, but the participants in the unique serv- 
ice. When the processional began, the congregation began 
craning to see the ones following the choir with as much pleas- 
ure as a wedding party watches for the bride behind the 

Then they appeared in their black robes; all five of the 
ministers who had served and were serving the Myers Park 
Presbyterian Church. There was Mr. Fogartie with the pres- 


Looking Forward 

ent associate minister, Dr. Dean. Dr. Jones was more difficult 
to see than was the ever-smiling Dr. Lawrence, his co-worker 
for seven years. And then, there was Dr. Gammon. A spark of 
pride lighted the eyes of those many who had often joked 
about being "Gammonites" as they saw him unconsciously 
greeting them with the spark in his own eyes. 

As they saw the five collectively, some may have thought 
about the five individually and thought, "No one could ever 
take That one's place, or his, or his . . ." And in truth, they 
were right. For each man had made his own contribution and 
his own place. In the wisdom of the Divine Providence that 
sent them, each filled a need at a particular time which the 
others could not have done. And there was yet room in the 
Myers Park heart for all. 

The service began in fashion true to the tradition of the 
church, not focused on themselves, but on God. "A Mighty 
Fortress Is Our God," they sang, and then affirmed their faith 
in Him as had saints and reclaimed sinners of so many centu- 
ries. Dr. Pfohl had returned to direct the choir in an anthem, 
"To Thee we sing, to Thee our thanks we give. Lord our 
God." The sermon, preached by Dr. Jones, was a forceful 
reminder that their "basis of spiritual joy" was not their mate- 
rial possessions nor project accomplishments, but "because 
your names are written in heaven." 

The back page of that bulletin was entitled "Looking 
Ahead." The ministers were cognizant of the dangerous relax- 
ing period that follows the conclusion of a project of that 
nature. There must not be a let-up in the work of the church 
simply because one great work has been brought to fruitful 
completion. In the words of Mr. Fogartie, "While there is 
real cause for Christian joy in the great work that has been 
accomplished, there is no time for being 'at ease in Zion.' 
Indeed, there is now upon us an even greater challenge to 
move forward with new zeal in the great spiritual work this 
church is called of God to perform." 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Preparing for the future has been a characteristic of this 
church. Even as the forty years draw to a close, no one in the 
congregation looks upon it as the start of a restful period after 
"forty years in the wilderness." Far from it! The comparison 
with the Israelite wanderings is appropriate only in terms of 
the feeling of kinship which these years have fostered among 
the members, and in regard to the Divine guidance they have 
received by day and by night. 

The back page of this history might well also close with the 
concluding prayer of that dedication service: "May God 
speak to each of us and strengthen us — that we may go for- 


Mr. Fogartie inspects the first corner-stone before it is replaced 
Laying of the new corner-stone 1961 



Service of Dedication, March ii, 1962 
All the Ministers who had served the Church 


Charter Members 

Church Staff 



Church School Superintendents 

a. General 

b. Adult Division 

c. Youth Division 

d. Children's Division 
Presidents of a. Men of the Church 

b. Women of the Church 

c. Men's Bible Class 

d. Lockhart — Gammon Bible Class 

e. Young Adult Fellowship 

f. Senior High Fellowship 
Life Memberships in the Women of the Church 
Pulpit Committees 

Building Committees 

In the Active Ministry 

World Mission Representatives 

Members serving their country in war 


Abernethy, W. L. Barron, Dr. A. A. 

Abernethy, Mrs. W. L. Barron, Mrs. A. A, 

Alexander, Harry Bell, Mrs. C. M. 

Alexander, Mary Booker, Warren H. 

Alexander, Sutton Booker, Mrs. Warren H. 

Alexander, W. S. Boyer, Martin E., Jr. 

Alexander, Mrs. W. S. Boyer, Mrs. Martin E., Jr. 

Andrews, E. Preston Brenizer, Chase 

Bangle, Harry O. Brice, Warren C. 

Bangle, Mrs. Harry O. Brice, Mrs. Warren C. 



Burns, Guy A. 
Burns, Mrs. Guy A. 
Brown, John Bass 
Brown, Mrs. John Bass 
Brown, W. Latimer 
Brown, Mrs. W. Latimer 
Cansler, E. T., Jr. 
Cansler, Mrs. E. T., Jr. 
Cansler, John S. 
Carroll, Mrs. Dan F. 
Carruth, J. A. 
Chapman, John E. 
Chapman, Mrs. John E. 
Choate, Joe L., Jr. 
Choate, Mrs. Joe L., Jr. 
Church, Mrs. Morton L. 
Cooper, Miss Frances J. 
Crosland, John 
Crosland, Mrs. John 
Crouch, L. J. 
Crouch, Mrs. L. J. 
Dixon, W. P. 
Dixon, Mrs. W. P. 
Dodson, W. C. 
Dodson, Mrs. W. C. 
Faison, Dr. Yates W. 
Faison, Mrs. Yates W. 
Fowler, Henry B. 
Gilmer, J. C. 
Gilmer, Mrs. J. C. 
Glasgow, Tom M. 
Glasgow, Mrs. Tom M. 
Graham, Chas. Whisnant 
Graham, Gus B. 
Graham, W. A. 
Graham, Mrs. W. A. 
Grier, Miss Annie E. 
Halliburton, John B. 
Halliburton, Mrs. John B. 
Hamilton, Mrs. G. R. 
Hardie, Thomas G. 

Hardie, Miss Alice 
Hardie, Miss Ann 
Hardie, Miss Helen 
Hardie, Henry M. 
Hannon, Mrs. E. M. 
Harkey, Parks 
Harkey, W. P. 
Harkey, Mrs. W. P. 
Hays, J. Gregory 
Hays, Mrs. J. Gregory 
Hemby, T. E. 
Hemby, Mrs. T. E. 
Henderson, A. F. 
Henderson, Mrs. A. F. 
Henderson, A. L 
Henderson, Mrs. A. L 
Henderson, S. T. 
Henderson, Mrs. S. T. 
Hill, D. H., Jr. 
Hill, Mrs. D. H., Jr. 
Hoke, O. Vance 
Hoke, Mrs. O. Vance 
Holt, Mrs. W. E. 
House, D. S. 
House, Mrs. D. S. 
Hunter, David F. 
Hunter, Mrs. David F. 
Hunter, David F., Jr. 
Hunter, John David 
Hunter, Mrs. Elizabeth J. 
Hunter, Robert H. 
Hunter, Roy A. 
Huntington, W. B. 
Huntington, Mrs. W. B. 
Jones, Eddie E. 
Jones, Mrs. Eddie E. 
Julien, Lloyd Allyn 
Keesler, Edward Y. 
Klugh, W. B. 
Klugh, Mrs. W. B. 
Lambeth, Charles E. 



. '4^ 







'""^ ''el 


.: •■""f" 

^ %». ■ 





History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Lambeth, Mrs. Charles E. 
Lambeth, Mary Wisdom 
Lambeth, Walter 
Lambeth, Mrs. Walter 
Lang, Mrs. Richard A. 
Lavery, C. N. 
Lavery, Mrs. C. N. 
Lavery, C. N., Jr. 
Lavery, Henry 
Lee, B. Rush 
Lee, Mrs. B. Rush 
Livermore, Joe M. 
Livermore, Mrs. Joe M. 
Long, G. Mebane 
Long, Mrs. G. Mebane 
Marrow, Thomas, Jr. 
Marshall, Hunter, Jr. 
Marshall, Mrs. Hunter, Jr. 
Marshall, Mrs. Hunter, Sr. 
Matheson, W. A. 
Matheson, Mrs. W. A. 
Mellon, Mrs. E. W. 
Mellon, Margaret 
Miller, G. L. 
Miller, Mrs. G.L. 
Miller, Lawrence Lee 
Mobley, Warren 
Mobley, Mrs. Warren 
Moore, Harvey W. 
Moore, Mrs. Harvey W. 
Moore, Lucy Grattan 
Moriarty, Cornelius J. 
Moriarty, Mrs. Cornelius J. 
Morrison, Alston D. 
Morrison, Mrs. Alston D. 
Morrison, Jane M. 
Moser, Mrs. Frank L. 
Moody, Charles P. 
Moody, Mrs. Charles P. 
Moody, Charles Stowe 
Moody, Sarah Elizabeth 

Moody, Wm. Sloan 
Moody, Mary Neel 
Musgrove, Lewis S. 
Myers, Mrs. Alonzo 
McDonald, Mrs. Herbert 
McDonald, J. Caldwell 
McDonald, Mrs. J. Caldwell 
McGinn, Homer A. 
McKay, Dr. Hamilton W. 
McKay, Mrs. Hamilton W. 
McKee, H. L. 
McKee, Mrs. H. L. 
McManaway, Mrs. C. G. 
McManaway, Hugh P. 
McMurray, Mrs. J. H. 
Nisbet, Dr. Heath 
Nisbet, Mrs. Heath 
Ovens, David 
Ovens, Mrs. David 
Payne, John L. 
Payne, Mrs. John L. 
Pease, J. N. 
Pease, Mrs. J. N. 
Quarles, J. P. 
Quarles, Mrs. J. P. 
Rankin, W. C. 
Rankin, Mrs. W. C. 
Reid, E. S., Jr. 
Reilley, E. H. 
Reilley, Mrs. E. H. 
Reilley, Mrs. J. E. 
Reilley, Miss Laura 
Reilley, Maurice E. 
Robinson, F. E. 
Robinson, Mrs. F. E. 
Ross, C. B. 
Ross, Mrs. C. B. 
Ross, F. H. 
Ross, Mrs. F. H. 
Ross, J. D. 
Ross, Mrs. J. D. 



Rutzler, R. Lee 
Shaw, H. P. 
Shaw, Mrs. H. P. 
Shaw, H. P., Jr. 
Shaw, Oliver 
Shaw, Victor 
Shaw, Mrs. Victor 
Simpson, George B. 
Simpson, Mrs. George B. 
Sloan, Dr. Henry L. 
Sloan, Mrs. Henry L. 
Smith, Erskine R. 
Smith, Mrs. Erskine R. 
Smith, Whitefoord 
Smith, Mrs. Whitefoord 
Snellgrove, J. F. 
Snellgrove, Mrs. J. F. 
St. Clair, Mrs. Duncan 
Summerville, Lloyd 
Summerville, Mrs. Lloyd 
Summerville, W. M. 
Summerville, Mrs. W. M. 
Talbert, Miss Marguerite 
Talbert, Robert D. 
Talbert, Mrs. Robert D. 
Tate, John A. 
Tate, Mrs. John A. 
Tate, Betsy W. 

Tate, John A., Jr. 
Thompson, A. R., Jr. 
Thompson, Mrs. A. R., Jr. 
Thomson, J. W., Jr. 
Thomson, Miss Margaret 
Thomson, Wardlaw 
Thomson, Mrs. Wardlaw 
Tillett, Mrs. Duncan P. 
Vreeland, Louis B. 
Vreeland, Mrs. Louis B. 
Vreeland, Harold P. 
Walker, A. A., Jr. 
Walker, Mrs. A. A., Jr. 
Walker, Miss E. Noel 
Walker, T. A. 
Walker, Mrs. T. A. 
Wardlaw, J. T. 
Wardlaw, Mrs. J. T. 
Webb, A. Mangum 
Webb, Mrs. A. Mangum 
Whitner, J. Harry 
Whitner, Mrs. J. Harry 
White, Dr. T. Preston 
Wilson, Mrs. George E. 
Wilson, George E., Jr. 
Wilson, Mrs. George E., Jr. 
Wood, Mrs. W. H. 


Ministers : 

Edgar Graham Gammon 
James Archibald Jones 
James E. Fogartie 

Associate Ministers: 
J. Cecil Lawrence 
A. Clarke Dean 
Eugene L. Daniel, Jr. 
Charles M. Murray 





History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Directors of Christian Education 

Miss Mary H. Turlington 

Miss Mary Bowers Mackorell 

Miss Margaret VanDevanter 

Mrs. A. A. Barron 

Miss Eleanor Belk 

Miss Geraldine Grady 
Directors of Children's Work 

Mrs. Alice G. McKelway 

Mrs. William M. Archer, Jr. 

Miss Adeline Hill 

Miss Ann Powell 
Directors of Music 

Miss Emily Frazer 

Mrs. W. D. Alexander 

Mrs. Charles A. Moseley, Jr. 

Dr. James Christian Pfohl 

Mr. John Coker 

Mr. Robert Stigall 
Directors of Weekday School 

Miss Margaret Thomson 

Miss Adeline Hill 

Mrs. PaulH. Insch 

Mrs. W. P. Grosclose 

Mrs. Roy Ledford 







1927— 1929 





I 945-1 949 
i960 (3 months) 
Interim Director 


Charles W. Akers 
James M. Alexander 
W. Samuel Alexander 
Rufus K. Allison 
W. Scales Anderson 
Esley O. Anderson, Jr. 
Earl Arthurs 
Leland G. Atkins 
Wyss L. Barker 
William H. Barnhardt 
William M. Barnhardt 

A. Jackson Beall 
Thomas M. Belk 
Everett C. Bierman 
Charles E. Brewer, Jr. 
John Robert Broadway 
John S. Cansler 
McAlister Carson, Jr. 
Hugh A. Cathey 
J. Gordon Christian, Jr. 
Julian J. Clark 
Frank H. Conner 



J. Robert Covington 
David J. Craig, Jr. 
Harold J. Dillehay 
H. H. Everett 
Cecil W. Gilchrist 
Peter S. Gilchrist, Jr. 
Monroe T. Gilmour 
Thomas M. Glasgow 
Val. J. Guthery 
Charles M. Hassell 
James E. Hemphill 
Torrence E. Hemby 
Roy C. Henderson 
Thomas M. Hines 
J. P. Hobson 
McDaniel B. Jackson 
L. Wilson Jarman 
Eddie E. Jones 

A. Walton Litz 
Clarence A. McArthur 
William S. McClelland 
J. Wilson McCutchan 

B. Roland McCord 
William B. McGuire 
Hamilton W. McKay 
Archie W. McLean 
J. Lacy McLean 

J. Alex McMillan 
E. Fred McPhail 
Hunter Marshall, Jr. 
Henry E. Matthews 
Robert M. Mauldin 
Oscar L. Miller 
O. J. Miller 
Harvey Wilson Moore 

William F. Mulliss 
David Ovens 
Warley L. Parrott 
John Lewis Payne 
J. Norman Pease, Sr. 
J. Norman Pease, Jr. 
William H. Pettus, Jr. 
J. Lester Ranson 
John L. Ranson, Jr. 
Russell Ranson 
John H. Roddey, Sr. 
Earl L. Rogers 
Louis L. Rose, Sr. 
Charles B. Ross 
Alexander F. Schenck 
Angus R. Shaw 
Paul R. Sheahan 
Whitefoord Smith 
J. Edward Stukes 
John A. Tate, Sr. 
John A. Tate, Jr. 
J. William Thomson, Jr. 
James M. Trotter 
Hugh D. Verner 
James T. Wardlaw 
k. Martin Waters, Jr. 
Hu2;h Edward White 
William A. White, Jr. 
Neill D. Whitlock 
A. Grant Whitney 
Beaumert Whitton 
James C. Wilson 
George E. Wilson, Jr. 
William W. Wood 



Harold D. Albright, Sr. 
Harold D. Albright, Jr. 

James M. Alexander 
Ralph H. Alexander, Jr. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Rufus K. Allison 
Campbell W. Ansley 
Esley O. Anderson, Jr. 
W. Scales Anderson 
Howard B. Arbuckle, Jr. 
Earl Arthurs 
Leland G. Atkins 
E. F. Baesel, Jr. 
Harry O. Bangle 
William H. Barnhardt 
J, David Barnhardt 
William M. Barnhardt 
Wyss L. Barker 
Irwin Belk 
Thomas M. Belk 

E. Waring Best 
Everett Bierman 
Richard A. Bigger, Jr. 

F. J. Blythe, Jr. 
Douglas W. Booth 
Harry M. Boyd 
Martin E. Boyer, Jr. 
Charles E. Brewer, Jr. 
Kenneth M. Bridges 
Kenneth M. Bridges, Jr. 
John Bass Brown, Jr. 

J. Robert Broadway 
McAlister Carson, Jr. 
J. C. Caldwell 
John S. Cansler 
Hugh A. Cathey 
John E. Chapman, Jr. 
J. Gordon Christian 
Robert L. Cherry 
Morton L. Church, Jr. 
Julian Clark 
Eric C. Clark, III 
Frank H. Conner 
J. Robert Covington 
Hollis F. Cobb, Jr. 
Spencer R. Cranford, Jr. 

David J. Craig, Jr. 
Donald H. Denton 
Graham W. Denton 
Willard Dixon 
Harold J. Dillehay 
H. H. Everett 
Harry L. Estridge 
Yates W. Faison 
Yates W. Faison, Jr. 
Richard Ferguson 
Peter S. Gilchrist, Jr. 
Eugene B. Graeber, Jr. 
Monroe T. Gilmour 

C. Morrison Grier 
J. Frank Harkev 
John B. HalHburton 
George P. Harris 
John H. Harrison 
Charles M. Hassell 

S. Thomas Henderson 
T. E. Hemby 
James E. Hemphill 
Roy C. Henderson 
T. M. HInes 
J. P. Hobson 
Robert D. Howerton 
W. DuBose Huff 
John R. Irwin, Jr. 
George M. Ivey, Jr. 
McDaniel B. Jackson 
Mark P. Johnson, Jr. 
Eddie E. Jones 
R. Horace Johnston 
L. K. Jordon 

D. Lacy Keesler 

E. Y. Keesler 
Lenoir C. Keesler 
William D. Kemp 
Ray A. Killian 
H. F. Kincev 
John O. Lafferty 



Thomas G. Lane, Jr. 
Hal D. Laughrldge 
A. Carl Lee 
F. Wayne Lee 
William States Lee, III 
Frank W. Leitner 
Charles M. Marshall 
Clement R. Marshall 
Douglas H. Marshall 
Henry E. Matthews 
William C. Matthews 
R. M. Mauldin 
Oscar L. Miller 
Charles P. Moody 
Stowe Moody 
J. B. Morris 
Harvey W. Moore 
Alston D. Morrison 
William F. Mulliss 
Charles F. Myers, Jr. 
Clarence A. McArthur 
J. Caldwell McDonald 
William B. McGuire 
J. Lacy McLean 
Hamilton W. McKay, Jr. 
Joseph McLaughlin, Jr. 
J. Alex McMillan 
J. Alex McMillan, III 
Archie W. McLean 
E. K. McLean 
E. Fred McPhail 
W. J. L. McNeary 
William S. McClelland 
Elliott J. Neal 
David Ovens 
Roy A. Palmer 
Warley L. Parrott 
J. Norman Pease, Sr. 
J. Norman Pease, Jr. 
W. Stewart Peery 

John R. Pender, III 
William H. Pettus, Jr. 
D. D. Phillips 
D. D. Phillips, Jr. 
N. Vernon Porter 
William A. Ranson 
John L. Ranson, Jr. 
Russell Ranson 
W. Thomas Ray 
Morgan A. Reynolds 
Horace P. Reeves, Jr. 
John H. Roddey, Sr. 
John H. Roddey, Jr. 
Earl L. Rogers 
Gayle Rogers 
Louis L. Rose, Jr. 
Charles B. Ross 
J. Herman Saxon 
David Sachsenmaier 
Walter Scott, Jr. 
Victor Shaw, Sr. 
N. C. Shiver 
Alexander F. Schenck 
Robert J. Smith, Sr. 
Robert J. Smith, Jr. 
Whitefoord Smith 
Seth M. Snyder, Jr. 
Paul A. Stroup, Jr. 
J. Edward Stukes 
W. Z. Stultz 

William Summerville, Sr. 
William Summerville, Jr. 
John A. Tate, Sr. 
John A. Tate, Jr. 
Edward H. Thomson 
J. William Thomson, Jr. 
Wardlaw P. Thomson 
James M. Trotter 
Hugh D. Verner 
John F. Watlington, Jr. 
K. Martin Waters, Jr. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Claude A. Wells Nelll D. Whitlock 

R. Marrett Wheeler Beaumert Whitton 

Harvey W. White James C. Wilson 

William A. White, Jr. John H. E. Woltz 

Hugh Ed White William Wade Wood 
A. Grant Whitney 

General Superintendents of the Church School 

J.W.Thomson 1927 

John L. Payne 1928-1931 

J.W.Thomson 1932-1934 

Hunter Marshall, Jr. 1935-1942 
J.W.Thomson 1943 

Henry E. Matthews 1944-1947 
J. Alex McMillan 1948-1950 
Warley L. Parrott 1951-1953 
Everett Bierman I9S4-I955 

John A. Tate, Jr. 1956-1957 
E. Fred McPhail 1958-1960 

William Wade Wood 1961-1966 

Superintendents of Adult Division of the Church School 

J. Alex McMillan 1953 

E. O. Anderson, Jr. 1954 

Charles Hassell 1956-1957 

William W. Wood 1958-1959 

Russell Ranson i960— 1962 

E. Fred McPhail 1963-1965 
K.Martin Waters, Jr. 1966 

Superintendents of Youth Division of the Church School 

Peter Gilchrist, Jr. 1953 

Russell Ranson 1954-1956 

E.Fred McPhail 1957 

Horace P. Reeves 195 8-1 960 

Edward Thomson 1961-1966 


Superintendents of the Children s Division of the Church 

Everett Bierman 
John A. Tate, Jr. 
C. Morrison Grier 
W. S. McClelland, Jr. 




Stowe Moody 
Howard B. Arbuckle, 


Robert L. Cherry 
William B. McGuire 
Russell Ranson 
Graham W. Denton 
Neill D. Whitlock 
Charles E. Brewer 
Thomas M. Belk 
Hal D. Laughridge 
A. Grant Whitney 
Lenoir Keesler 
Irwin Belk 
Hoyt Shore 
P. B. Beachum, Jr. 
Henry L. Harkey 
Jackson G. Henderson 
Thomas G. Lane, Jr. 


J. Caldwell McDonald 



Harvey W. Moore 



E. E. Jones 


John S. Cansler 



John S. Cansler 



H. H. Everett 



Junius M. Smith 



H. F. Kincey 



J. Caldwell McDonald 



Dr. Heath Nesbit ( ist 


2 mos.) 


John R. Pender (last 10 





Dr. Hamilton W. 





E. S. Dillard 



E. 0. Anderson, Jr. 



Elliott J. Neal 



Harold J. Dillehay 



J. Edward Stukes 


1926—28 Mrs. Charles P. 1934-36 

Moody 1936-38 

1928-30 Mrs. J. T. Wardlaw 1938-40 

1930-32 Mrs. E. T, Cansler, 1940-42 

1932—34 Mrs. Alonzo Myers 

* Now Mrs. N. Aubrey Gillis 


Mrs. John Roddey 
Mrs. Walter Clark 
Mrs. A. A. Barron 
Mrs. George E. Wil- 
son, Jr. 

History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 


Mrs. Whitefoord 


Mrs. Beverly Had- 




Mrs. Kenneth M. 

Mrs. Craig Gaskell 



Mrs. Courtney R. 


Mrs. Wyss Barker 



Mrs. Marrett 


Mrs. John Robert 




Mrs. Beaumert 


Mrs. Hugh D. 




Mrs. W. E. Meares 


Mrs. James Chris- 


Mrs. T. M. Plonk 

tian Pfohl 


Mrs. James M.Alex- 


Mrs. Henry L. 




Mrs. Gayle Rogers 


Mrs. E. H. Thom- 


Mrs. William A. 


White, Sr. 


Mrs. Wm. S. Mc- 
Clelland, Jr. 

Men's Bible Class 










James T. Wardlaw 
Robert S. Query 
Andrew Jackson Beall 
William A. Schrieber 
John B. Halliburton 
Andrew Jackson Beall 
N. Vernon Porter 
DeWitt D. Phillips 
H. H. Everett 
Roy A. Palmer 
Kenneth M. Bridges 
Connor R. Hutchison 
J. Edward Stukes 
Wyss L. Barker 
Warley L. Parrott 
Campbell W. Ansley 
Ben W. McAulay 
J. Herman Saxon 
Homer R. Ellis 

1948 R. Marret Wheeler 

1949 Harry L. Estridge 

1950 Clarence A. McArthur 
195 I George P. Harris 

1952 Ben V. Martin 

1953 William Hellier 

1954 Don Hill 

1955 Hugh A. Cathey 

1956 Frank W. Leitner 

1957 W. H. Estridge 

1958 Henry L. Harkey 

1959 P. B. Beachum, Jr. 
i960 Hoyt W. Shore 

1961 Jackson G. Henderson 

1962 Irwin Belk 

1963 Arthur R. Thompson 

1964 Robert E. Jones, Jr. 

1965 Paul B. Marion 

1966 Robert S. Hudgins, Jr. 



Presidents of Women's Class 

Known as the Women's Bible Class 1927— 1934 — Bessie Gammon 
Class — 1934 until merged with the Lockhart Class in 1944. 

Mrs. Hunter Marshall, Jr. ( 2 terms — 2years and 3 years) 

Mrs. C. W. Rankin 

Mrs. Charles N. Lavery 

Mrs. David Craig, Sr. 

Mrs. B. Eugene Poitaux 

Lockhart — Gammon Bible Glass 

Mrs. Floyd Harper 
Mrs. D. D. Phillips 
Mrs. H. H. Everett 
Mrs. Roy Henderson 
Mrs. John Hatch 
Mrs. Lee E. Hague 
Mrs. J. K. Moore 
Mrs. Hollis Cobb 
Mrs. Don Hill 
Mrs. Ray Jackman 
Mrs. T. J. Wisecarver 
Mrs. Ralph Norcom 
Mrs. Earl Rogers 
Mrs. John M. Reed 
Mrs.A. T.Allison 
Miss Ann Macrae 

Mrs. Wyss Barker 
Mrs. Frank Harkey 
Mrs. R. M. Pickard 
Mrs. O. A. Robinson 
Mrs. Graham Denton 
Mrs. R. S. Hudgins, Jr. 
Mrs. Ward W. Whisnant 
Mrs. Hunter Marshall, Jr. 
Mrs. George W. Wray 
Mrs. Seth Snyder 
Mrs. C. O. Steppe 
Mrs. Gibson W. Smith 
Mrs. Charles Whisnant 
Mrs. T. M. Plonk 
Mrs. P. N. Smith 
Mrs. John Massey 

Young Adult Fellowship 



A. Grant Whitney 




K. Martin Wa- 

ters, Jr. 



Charles Sayres 


Adrian Dykema 




Floyd I. Harper, 


W. Ray Cunning- 
William A.White, 


T. A. Price, Jr. 

John W. Ful- 



History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 


Henry Wade Du- 


Miss Nancy Allen 

Bose, Jr. 



Hugh Puckett, Jr. 


Walter Love 


Miss Lydia Ard- 


Donald H. Den- 
ton, Jr. 


Presidents of the Senior High Fellowship 


Jack Alexander 


Mildred Plonk 


Louise Morris 


James A. Jones III 


Robert S. Query, Jr. 


James A. Jones III 


Frank Pegram 


Joseph Wearn 


Mary Catherine McAr- 


Nancy Hemphill 




Oscar Lee Miller, Jr. 


David Gilmour 


Betsy Matthews 


Sue Dean 


Miriam Reilly 

Atkins Carson 


John Miller 


Margaret Whitton 


Mary Anna DaVault 


Sarah Porter 


Kenneth Bridges, Jr. 


Harry M. Boyd, Jr. 


Nancy Barron 


Robert Dean 


Nancy Barron 


Monroe Gilmour, Jr 


Charles Hassell, Jr. 


George Ducker 


Mildred Plonk 


Mary Whitton 


















Charles P. Moody 
Henry E. Gurney 
A. A. Barron 
Walter Clark 
William S. Ander- 

Whltefoord Smith 
George E. Wilson, 

John H. Roddey, 

195 I Mrs. T. M. Glasgow, 
Mrs. Hunter Marshall, 


1953 Mrs. James A. Jones 
Mrs. Cecil Lawrence 
Mrs. R. Marret Whee- 

Mrs. Charles W. Tillett 

1954 Mrs. Kenneth M. 

Mrs. Wyss L. Barker 









Beaumert Whitton 




Frank Moser 



Eleanor Belk 




Wm. A. White, Sr. 



W. E. Meares 




T. M. Plonk 






D. V. Shippey 




James M. Alexan- 






Monroe T. Gil- 





rs. Earl Rogers 

rs. Gayle Rogers 

rs. Peter Gilchrist, Jr. 

rs. Seth M. Snyder 

rs. Courtney R. 


rs. John Schenck 

rs. Don Hill 

rs. W. H. Earnhardt 

rs. J. Buford Daniels 

rs. Robert Crosland 

rs. Hugh D. Verner 

rs. James E. Fogartle 


1926 Thomas McP. Glasgow, Hunter Marshall, E. E. Jones, 
George E. Wilson, Jr., Hamilton W. McKay, J. T. 
Wardlaw, Yates W. Faison, S. T. Henderson. 

1939 Hunter Marshall, George E. Wilson, Jr., O. L Miller, 
Torrence E. Hemby, Mrs. A. A. Barron, Mrs. R. Horace 
Johnston, Mrs. Walter Clark, J. Caldwell McDonald, 
James M. Alexander, Morgan Reynolds. 

1955 Esley O. Anderson, Jr., Monroe Gilmour, Earl Arthurs, 
J. Gordon Christian, Jr., Mrs. Wyss Barker, Mrs. Ken- 
neth Bridges, O. J. Miller, Graham Denton, Mrs. Alex. 
Schenck, Hunter Marshall. 

1964 Charles M. Hassell, Earl Arthurs, Joseph McLaughlin, 
Jr., J. Wallace Tonissen, W. Stewart Peery, A. Walton 
Litz, Mrs. Hugh D. Verner, Mrs. William A. White. 

1966 James C. Wilson, Hugh D. Verner, Wm. Wade Wood, 
Paul A. Stroup, Jr., Eric C. Clark, Mrs. Robert J. Smith, 
Jr., Mrs. Harry Boyd, J. David Earnhardt, W. Du- 
Bose Huff. 



Lot Committee: S. T. Henderson (Chairman), W. C. Rankin, 
Chas. P. Moody, Harvey W. Moore. 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Building Committee: David Ovens (Chairman), Hunter Mar- 
shall, J. Norman Pease, Victor Shaw, C. B. Ross, Mrs. 
Chas. E. Lambeth, Mrs. B. Rush Lee. 

Finance Committee: E. E. Jones (Chairman), Chase Brenizer, 
John Bass Brown, T. E. Hemby, A. L Henderson, E. Y, 
Keesler, Walter Lambeth, Chas. P. Moody, Lloyd Summer- 

Building Committee: David Ovens (Chairman), Mrs. A. A. 
Barron, Martin E. Boyer, Jr., Mrs. W. Latimer Brown, A. 
Carl Lee, Hunter Marshall, Harvey W. Moore, Roy A. 
Palmer, J. Norman Pease. 

Finance Committee: O. L. Miller (Chairman), Wm. H. 
Barnhardt, H. F. Kincey, J. Caldwell McDonald, White- 
foord Smith. 

Building Committee: William Barnhardt, David Ovens, A. J, 
Beall, Monroe Gilmour, T. E. Hemby, J. P. Hobson, Everett 
Bierman, Louis Rose. 

Long-Range Planning Committee: Harold J. Dillehay (Chair- 
man), Louis L. Rose, Alex McMillan, John A. Tate, Jr., 
Wm. F. Mulliss, Everett Bierman, J. Robert Covington, 
Frank H. Conner. 

Building Committee: Wm. F. Mulliss (Chairman), Julian J. 
Clark, Harold J. Dillehay, E. Fred McPhall, O. J. Miller, 
Mrs. T. M. Plonk, Alex. F. Schenck, Warley F. Parrott, 
and Beaumert Whitton. The latter two were subsequently 
succeeded by James M. Alexander and Thomas M. Belk. 

Committee: F. J. Blythe, Jr. (General Chairman), John L. 
Crist, Jr., Irwin Belk, J. Norman Pease, Wm. F. Mulliss, 
Beaumert Whitton, Wm. M. Barnhardt, Earl Arthurs, 
Eric C. Clark III. 


Miss Nancy Barron (Mrs. Everett E. Gourley, Jr.) 
Miss Claire Bedlnger (Mrs. Walter P. Baldwin) 
The Rev. David H. Coblentz 



The Rev. Glenn S. Edgerton, Jr. 

The Rev. J. Melvin England 

Miss Margaret Helms (Mrs. Joseph B. Tyson) 

Miss Jocelyn Hill 

The Rev. George H. V. Hunter, Jr. 

Miss Kay Johansen 

The Rev. James A. Jones III 

The Rev. Thomas A. Little, Jr. 

The Rev. William F. Long 

The Rev. Richard L. Love 

The Rev. Charles L. McDonald 

The Rev. Dr. A. J. McKelway 

The Rev. John Neel Miller 

Miss Claribel Moles (Mrs. Samuel U. Crawford) 

The Rev. Armand J. Moreau, Jr. 

Miss Elizabeth Morrow 

The Rev. William E. Newton 

The Rev. John L. Payne, Jr. 

The Rev. William M. Plonk 

Miss Frances Query 

The Rev. William F. SchoU 

The Rev. H. Howard Smith 

The Rev. Jonathan M. Smith 

The Rev. Michael A. Whelchel 

Miss Margaret Whitton 


The Rev. and Mrs. J. Theodore Brothers Portugal 

Dr. and Mrs. Ovid B. Bush, Jr. Japan 

The Rev. and Mrs. James A. Cogswell Japan and Nashville, 

The Rev. and Mrs. Milton L. Daugherty Brazil 
The Rev. and Mrs. Ben F. Gutierrez Ecuador 
The Rev. and Mrs. Robert E. Kerr Mexico 
Mr. and Mrs. B. Mac Kyle Iraq 
Dr. and Mrs. Louis A. McMurray Africa 
Miss Margaret McMurry Africa 
The Rev. and Mrs. Ralph C. Reed Africa 
The Rev. and Mrs. E. A. J. Seddon, Jr. Mexico 
Dr. Joanne Smith T Korea 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

The Rev. and Mrs. Edward F. Torsch Brazil 
Dr. and Mrs. Joseph L. Wilkerson Taiwan 
Miss Lois Young China 




*In Memoriam 

*Ensign Hunter Marshall 

III, U. S. N. 
June 9, 1942 

*Lt. Harvey W. Moore, Jr., 

U. S. N. 

Junes, 1943 

*Ensign A. Carl Lee, Jr. U. S. N. 
February 22, 1943 

*Pfc. D. Glenn Davis, Jr. 
October 26, 1944 

*Pfc. Richard J. Schaeffer 
March 22, 1945 
Theodore M. Abbott, Jr. 
George N. Adams 
David M. Alexander 
Robert C. Alexander 
CampbellW. Ansley, Jr. 
DeWitt R. Austin, Jr. 
Dr. Fred D. Austin, Jr. 
John A. Bachman, Jr. 
Edward F. Baesel, Jr. 
Stuart O. Baesel 
Frank W. Barr, Jr. 
Andrew Jackson Beall, Jr. 
Sara O. Beall, Miss 
Charles F. H. Begg 
MarshallT. Bethel, Jr. 
Warren P. Bethel 
John R. Boyd 
Martin E. Boyer, Jr. 
Martin E. Boyer III 
Hunter R. Boykin 

John A. Brabson 
Edward Guy Bradford, Jr. 
Chase Brenizer, Jr. 
Max G. Brittain, Jr. 
Jean L. Brown, Miss 
Robert Harding Brown 
Sutherland M. Brown 
Robert G. Bunn 
Guy A. Burns, Jr. 
Howard H. Burns 
Harold B. Bursley, Jr. 
Robert L. Bursley 
Dr. Thomas H. Byrnes 
James Cannon 
Edwin T. Cansler III 
Robert E. Carswell 
Harry A. Cassady 
Hugh W. Causey 
John E. Chapman, Jr. 
John Locke Cheney 
Robert L. Cherry 
Guy S. Chesick 
John Choate 

James Henry Christian III 
Francis L. Church 
Morton L. Church, Jr. 
Harley A. Clouse 
Dabney M. Coddington 
William I. Coddington 
David J. Craig, Jr. 
James C. Craig 
Alexander Reid Davis 
William K. Davis 



Henry M. DeVaga, Jr. 
W. Jennings Dixon, Jr. 
Willard P. Dixon, Jr. 
Eugene H. Driver 
Howard Yates Dunaway, Jr. 
Kemp Rush Dunaway 
David W. Evans 
Thomas Tyler Evans 
William W. Faison 
Yates W. Faison, Jr. 
Charles Fancher 
Crawford J. Ferguson III 
John Goodwin Gaw 
John A. Giles 
Robert D. Gilmer 
Richard Glasgow 
Thomas M. Glasgow, Jr. 
Charles M. Grier 
William W. Grier 
Paul F. Haddock, Jr. 
John L. Hallett 
Bruce D. Harrington 
Robert C. Harrington 
Robert C. Harrington, Jr. 
Harrie E. Hart 
Fred E. Hashagen, Jr. 
Harold K. Hayes, Jr. 
Joseph G. Hays, Jr. 
Torrence E. Hemby, Jr. 
A. Irwin Henderson, Jr. 
S. Thomas Henderson, Jr. 
Jack N. Hendrix 
D. Harvey Hill, Jr. 
Ramsey Hines 
Tom M. Hines, Jr. 
Eugene F. Hinson 
Orin V. Hoke, Jr. 
Dean Stanley House, Jr. 
Roy Wilson House 
Paul N. Howard, Jr. 
Samuel T. Hubbard III 
James B. Hunter, Jr. 

David R. Johnston 
Freeman R. Jones 
James H. Jones 
Thomas A. Jones 
Alexander Josephs 
Edward Y. Keesler, Jr. 
Lenoir Keesler 
Marvin R. Kimbrell, Jr. 
Robert W. Kimbrell 
Charles E. Lambeth 
Walter M. Lambeth, Jr. 
Thomas G. Lane, Jr. 
J. Henry Lavery 
WiUiam F. Lee 
W. States Lee, Jr. 
Richard B. Light 
James E. MacDougall, Jr. 
William R. Mackay 
Francis David Magill 
Paul Blaine Marion 
Charles M. Marshall 
Jule H. Massey, Jr. 
Ladson M. Massey 
Clarence A. McArthur, Jr. 
W. S. McClelland, Jr. 
Charles E. McCrary 
W. A. McCuUoch 
Angus M. McDonald 
Paul P. McGarity, Jr. 
Edward R. McHenry, Jr. 
Lacy J. McLean, Jr. 
Oscar Lee Miller, Jr. 
Robert E. Miller 
Charles Stowe Moody 
William S. Moody 
John E. Moss 
William F. Mulliss 
Charles F. Myers, Ir. 
Ted C. Neal, Jr. 
Carey J. Neale 
Elliott H. Newcombe 
Dr. G. Preston Nowlin 


History Of Myers Park Presbyterian Church: 1926-1966 

Ryland W. Olive, Jr. 
Eugene F. Oliver 
John Malcolm Parker 
John R. Patton 
Loverick B. Pearce 
J. Norman Pease 
J. Norman Pease, Jr. 
John R. Pender III 
Samuel A. Pettus 
DeWitt D. Phillips, Jr. 
Robert A. Pierce 
Thomas M. Plonk, Jr. 
William M. Plonk 
Wesley J. Potter 
Robert S. Query, Jr. 
John L. Ranson, Jr. 
R. Query Ranson 
William A. Ranson 
Eugene H. Reilley 
Morgan A. Reynolds 
Joseph H. Robinson 
Robert M. Rose 
Charles B. Ross, Jr. 
F. Howard Ross, Jr. 
James M. Ross 
O. F. Sanders, Jr. 
Charles E. Sayres, Jr. 
John R. Schenck 
Edward A. Schreiber 
Victor Shaw, Jr. 
Paul R. Sheahan 
Paul R. Sheahan, Jr. 
N. C. Shiver 
Frank K. Sims, Jr. 
Henry L. Sloan, Jr. 
F, Vernon H. Smith, Jr. 
Marvin Glenn Smith 
Robert J. Smith, Jr. 

Stewart H. Smith 
John H. Sorrells 
Marion P. Spigener 
Cromwell D. St. Clair, Jr. 
J. Edward Stukes 
A. Cornelius Summerville 
William Summerville, Jr. 
W. H. Suttenfield, Jr. 
George W. Tate 
L. R. Teasdale 
George F. Thies 
Karl E. Thies, Jr. 
Charles W.Tillett III 
Hugh Martin Tillett 
John Tillett, Jr. 
J. Wallace Tonissen 
William R. Trotter 
J. T. Trotter 
Coit R. Troutman, Jr. 
J. Atwell Troutman 
Bernard N. Walker 
James O. Walter, Jr. 
K. Martin Waters, Jr. 
Robert B. Welsh 
T. Preston White 
NeiU Whitlock 
James M. Wilhelm 
Bill R. Williams 
Edward E. Williams, Jr. 
John Kerr Williams 
Mildred Williams, Miss 
Rodger D. Williams 
A. Murat Willis, Jr. 
J. R. Hoyle Wilson 
Edgar A. Wohlford, Jr. 
Joseph L. Wolfe, Jr. 
George W. Wray 

It is regretted that we were unable to obtain an accurate list of 
those who participated In military service of their country at the 
time of the Korean War. 



DEMCO 38-297