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Full text of "The history of the Presbyterian Church, Clinton, S.C"

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THE HISTORY 
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PRESENTED 
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The 

History 
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Presbyterian 
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Clinton, 

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Clinton, S. C 






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THE HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, CLINTON, S. C. 



FOR FORTY-FIVE years, nearly half a century, the Clinton Pres- 
byterian Church has been doing its work for our dear Lord. 
Beginning in weakness and poverty and ignorance, it has now entered 
upon a new phase of life. The past years have been filled with the 
great work of foundation-laying. Faults there have been, — errors too. 
and a present weakness, but there are those things that make us not 
ashamed to recall the past. And besides that, it is the record of ottr 
church— the church of our love, of our spiritual birth, training and 
warfare. We read our indvidual histories in it. It is well then for us 
to turn over the pages of these living years, and meditate upon our 
failures and our successes, that thus we might be better prepared to 
grapple with the questions of the future, and to plan for an expanded 
growth and increasing usefulness. 

Presbyterian.ism in Laurens County is not an ancient plant, only 
because the County itself was not settled more than 150 years ago. 
The first organized Presbyterian church in this county was that of 
Duncan's Creek, which is the old mother church, of which Clinton is 
a child — the youngest child. Duncan's Creek was "composed of emi- 
grants from Ireland and Pennsylvania, some of whom settled here as 
early as 1758. The original settlement was made three years before 
Braddock's defeat, by Mr. John Duncan, of Aberdeen, Scotland, who 
first emigrated to Pennsylvania, and then moved to this county, on the 
creek which bears his name. He was the highest settler by ten miles 
in the fork betweeen the Saluda and the Broad Rivers, and the only 
man at this time who had either negro, wagon or still in this part of 
the world. About the year 1763, Messrs. Jno. Adair, Tom Erving. 
Wm. Hanna, and Andy McCrary and his brothers united in building 
a house of worship, all of whom, except Mr. Hanna, were ordained 
eiders — the communicants numbering about sixty. The manners and 
dress of these first settlers must have been quite primitive. Their dress 
was a hunting shirt, leggings and moccasins', adorned with buckles 
and beads. Their hair was worn clubbed and tied and up in h'ttle 
deer-skinned bags." (Dr. Howe's History of the Presbyterian Church 
in South Carolina.)' 

Immediately after the setting up of the Duncan's Creek section of 
Irish Presbyterians, there seems to have been an inpouring of emigrants. 






as we find the Little River Church organized in the very next year 
1764; and the Rocky Spring Church in 1780; fourteen years later, 
the Fairview (1787), and Liberty Spring (1790) following next. 
Thus at the beginning of the settlement of the county we find a strong 
Presbyterian element to begin with; although from 1776 to the pres- 
ent time, the ground has been occupied by Baptists and Methodists. 

Presbyterianism made scarcely any progress in this section for many 
years, till Bethany Church was organized in 1833. A great deal of 
this lack of progress can be traced to the dissensions that prevailed 
among the Presbyterians of that day, mainly springing out of dissatis- 
faction in regard to Church music. A warfare was carried on between 
the Rouss-ites and Watts-ites. Many members left the quarrelling 
churches and went over to the Baptists, and in the meantime a tide of 
emigrations to the west, thinned out the churches and brought them 
almost to the verge of extinction. 

In those days that section of the country now occupied by Clinton 
was almost uninhabited. Although situated at the crossing of two fa- 
mous highways, the land was hardly considered as worth having, 
in comparison with the rich bottoms of Duncan's Creek and Little 
River. A sparse population occupied the country, but being miles 
distant from Duncan's Creek, Rocky Springs and Little River 
churches, the Sabbath fell almost into disuse ; the day being occupied 
in hunting, fishing and sports of more questionable character. 

The earliest attempt to establish Presbyterian preaching in the 
limits of the present town of Clinton was about 1817. At that time 
Dr. Daniel Baker, the noted evangelist, then quite a young man, 
spent several days at the residence of Mrs. Holland (a half mile below 
this present location on the Newberry road) and preached several ser- 
mons. A year or two after that he returned and preached at a stand 
erected near Mr. Holland's Spring. Col. Lewers, whose memory is 
blest in all this country and who was instrumental in establishing the 
Bethany and Laurensville Churches, also preached at the same place 
occasionally. No Presbyterian preaching was ever held regularly in 
the bounds of the present town, but for several years Rev. Edwin 
Cater preached at Huntsville church within the rounds of this church, 
that building having been erected originally as an union church. There 
he held his famous "controversy with the Universalists," which sect 
then had a church organized in that locality. It was long fe t that a 



church was needed in this neighborhood, as the distance to any other 
Presbyterian church was considerable. 

It was about the year 1852 that the village of Clinton made its 
first beginning — and a miserable beginning it was. A little frame 
building was erected in the middle of a mudhole or stagnant pond of 
water, at the corner of Broad and Pitts streets — the spot now occupied 
by the station of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The words "bar- 
room" painted on its side are a history of that house. It was opened 
as a bar room. A log from the door to terra finna was the way of 
approach, and many an unlucky fellow who walked straight in walked 
out so crooked that he would topple over into the pool below. This 
was the first business opened in this town and was for years its blight 
and curse. Of course it was accompanied with gambling, betting, 
horse-racing, chicken fighting, street brawls and the like. It partook 
of the character of many railroad towns all over the west. For years 
the worst elements of the population were in ascendancy, and it re- 
quired courage in those who believed in the right to stand up for it. 
The tale is told that in the choice of a name for the young city, "Five- 
points" came near carrying the day and was defeated only by the 
friends of the name "Round-jacket," (from the shape of the coat worn 
by a notable character of the day), who combined with the better ele- 
ment upon the name "Clinton," named in honor of Henry Clinton 
Young, then an honored and distinguished resident of the city of 
Laurens. 

Clinton owed its existence to the Laurens Railway, which by 
that aate had reached this point in its construction. The five dirt 
roads that here converged and crossed with the, entire absence of any 
railway facilities north of this point for several hundred miles made 
this, at that time, an important trading point. 

It was about the year 1853 that the Rev. Z. L. Holmes, that 
faithful and zealous worker in the Master's vineyard, who was sup- 
plying the Duncan's Cr^ek Church, saw the necessity of doing some 
work here. His first preaching was held in a thick grove on Musgrove 
street, now occupied by Mr. C. E. Franklin's and Mr. CM. Fergu- 
son's property. Very soon the project developed strength. Mr. 
Holmes saw that a church could be organized here. A petition asking 
for a church was sent to Presbytery in 1854, but opposition from the 
mother church postponed action. The application was renewed in the 
opening of 1855 ana this time successful. In the meantime a beautiful 



four-acre lot had been purchased, and the frame of this building in 
which we to-day assemble was erected, weather-boarded, covered and 
painted; and at length on the 28th of July, 1855, the committee to 
organize the church assembled. 

The following thirty-one members united to form this new church : 
Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Blakely, Mr.and Mrs. J. T. Foster. Mr. and Mrs. J. 
P. Patton, Mr and Mrs. E. T. Copeland, Mr. and Mrs. R. B. 
Leake, Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Phinney, Mrs. Mary A. Holland, Miss 
Isabella Fulton, Miss Ibi Henry, Mrs Mary Fairbarn, Miss Mary 
McClintock, Mrs. Eliza Stroud, Mrs. Nancy Henry, Miss Matilda 
Fairbarn, Wm. H. Henry, Mrs. Carolina Fulton, Ewel T. Blakely. 
Mrs. Lizzie McDowel, Miss Pamelia McDowel, (afterward Mrs. 
Pyles), Mrs. D. A. F. Williams, Mrs. Sallie Young, Mrs. Nancy 
Young, Miss Martha Stroud, (afterward Mrs. Newton Young), and 
Mrs. Nancy Owens. Of all these, Miss Isabella, Fulton now in her 
94th year, but whose heart is just as loving and tender as a young 
girl's, alone abides with us to this day. We thank God for her pres- 
ence on this occasion, and it will be her hands that will set into its cav- 
ty the sealed box of documents that we shall place away, perhaps for 
many a century, no more to be seen under the light of day. 

Of course, Rev. Mr . Holmes, who has been instrumental in orga- 
izing four other Presbyterian churches, was present and acted as mode- 
rator. Rev. Mr. Mills acted as clerk. John Blakely, of blessed mem- 
ory, and Messrs. E. T. Copeland and R. S. Phinny were elected first 
elders; Wm. H. Henry, afterwards an elder, and Joel T. Foster, 
both of the church triumphant, were elected as first deacons. 

The session organized on the nth of September, and at its very first 
meeting, five young men were admitted to communion, and 20 days 
later, four young ladies. Among all these young ladies and gentlemen 
Miss Louisa M. Patton alone remains with us; all the others having 
entered into their rest. The Session of this church was constituted 
with three members only. 

Rev. Z. L. Holmes, who was for nine vears the minister of the 
church, — he was never its pastor, — resided nine miles away. It was diffi- 
cult, therefore, for the session to meet. Hence, there were several entire 
years in which a normal meeting of the body was not held. On the 
23rd of September, 1864. the session agreed to meet formally once a 
month, regularly, and oftener when necessary. This resolution has 




MISS ISABELLA FULTON. 

Oldest surviving member of the Clinton Presbyterian Church, 

now in her ninecy-fourth year. 



been faithfully kept, and on the ist day of May it held its 825th re- 
corded meeting. 

vVith an untrained set of officers, without a resident pastor, with 
one sermon each fortnight, it was impossible for the church to make 
rapid progress. Still God blessed the infant fold. There were addi- 
tions each year, except in those years of the war, 1861-2. In 1863 
there was a gracious outpouring upon the young church. It was at the 
invitation of Mr. Holmes, and in the fall of this year, that the present 
pastor, — Rev. \Ym. P. Jacobs, — then a young licentiate of Charleston 
Presbytery, assisted Mr. Holmes at a most delightful communion meet- 
ing, at which nine were added. Mr. Holmes seeing the possibilities 
before the church, determined to urge upon the congregation the choice 
of a pastor. Early in the fall he made a visit to Columbia Seminary to 
enlist the sympathies of the writer in behalf of the little flock. The 
result was an accepted call to the united field of Clinton, Shady 
3rove and Duncan's Creek Churches. 

In April, 1864, he found himself as pastor-elect in the village 
Df Clinton, for a year residing with Mr. Robert -S Phinney, who was 
ffien, and for years after, almost a foster-father of the church. At that 
tiire, the the village hud about two hundred white inhabitants. The 
church had upoc its roll forty-three white members, and only fourteen 
of these resided in the town limits. The place itself was crushed be- 
neath the burden of war, there not being a single place of business open 
in it. The reputation of the place as a moral village was at a low ebb, 
nor was this improved by the demoralisation that ensued at the close of 

Still it was with faith and hope on the part of the Pastor and peo- 
ple, that on the 28th of May, 1864, 37 years ago, this day, the pastoral 
relation was formally instituted, by the ordination and installation of 
the young licentiate to the solemn work of the gospel ministry, Rev. 
Ferdinand Jacobs, D. D., presiding. It was at once arranged that 
Clinton should have two morning and two night services, each month- 
one for each Sabbath in the year. On the day following the ordination, 
the Pastor's first work was the reception of four new members, Mrs. R. 
E. Bell, Mrs. Eliza Little, Miss Mary McDowell and Mrs. Sarah Hipp. 
In the fall of the same year, nineteen were added. There were five ad- 
ditions in 1865. But the year that this church holds in thankful memo- 
ry as its year of grace, was 1866. Then it seemed as if the heavens 
were opened and the violent took it by force. Under the faithful preach- 



ing of Rev's. Stewart and Wilbanks the work went on. There are 
those who will not forget that eventful Thursday night 
in October, when the communion tables being spread, forty new con- 
verts sat down for the first time. There were weeping eyes, but rejoic- 
ing hearts in that crowded house, nor was it hard to realize as well a« 
say — "This is the house of God, the gate of heaven." So clean was 
the town swept of the unconverted, that in the following year, not one 
while person was added to the church. 

Since then, scarcely a year has passed without some proof of rich- 
est blessing from our heavenly Father. But perhaps our dear Lord has 
reserved our last year for our best. The 1 2 months ending April 1 , 1900. 
added 14S souls to the church. We have up to this date filled out the 
full measure of one thousand precious members. Of this number, over 
400 are today in full communion with us. Several hundred are active 
working members of other churches ; and very many now constitute 
the glorified and redeemed branch of the Clinton Ctmrch in the King- 
dom invisible. 

Our church has been privileged, out of its membership to furnish 
an array of ministers of the gospel and candidates for the ministry, 19 
in number, — for which any church might be grateful. Rev. J. Rip- 
ley Jacobs, a brother of the pastor, was the first contribution made by 
this church to the gospel ministry, He is now a successful 
pastor in the city of San Marcos, Texas. Three young 
men died in course of preperation for the work. One, is now in far 
away Japan, representing us in foreign lands. One only, Rev. J. 
Charlton Scott, has left the church militant for the church triumphant. 
His last words were "I see an open door; do you?" In these ^st 
years of our church-life we have had many ministers residing in our 
bounds and their wives have been a blessing and a help to us. 

In 1864 there were upon the roll of the church 28 colored members. 
In that year the church resolved upon the evangelization of the colored 
people as a part of its great commission. Services were held for them 
twice on each Sabbath. The colored membership increased rapidly, 
and at the close of the war there were 80 members. Although emanci- 
pation brought alienation, yet the church did not cease its labors. In 
1S65 over forty colored members were added, and by the tenth of May. 
1869, the number had reached 163. Hoping to be still able to retain 
our hold upon this people, notwithstanding the fierce political contests 
of the hour, the sessien organized this membership into a colored mis- 



IO 



sion. selecting three watchmen or elders for them. Presbytery, how- 
ever, declined to organize them on the Assembly's or any other plan 
This and the rapidly increasing political excitements destroyed our 
hopes. Then political preaching followed, in one instance enforced 
by pistol shots from the pulpit. By outside influence the negroes were 
excited to violent thoughts against their former masters, and, they 
being under the control of the United States Government, common 
danger threw the whites into an attitude of trembling self-defence. 
The colored membership deserted our church by scores, and by 1870 
only =;o remained. That year will ever be remembered by the citizens 
of .Laurens County. Armed bands of negroes marched up and down 
the county. On one occasion a fusillade of shots was scattered from 
their armory among the dwellings of Clinton. On many occasions the 
whites were compelled to gather for self-defence. No man lived in 
safety. At last the storm burst in the election riot of 1870. It was a 
dreadful time ; thank God, past forever. Still our church continued 
through all this its regular services for the nstruction of the negroes. 
But seeing the apathy then prevailing amon > our people, it was deemed 
best, as an organization could not be had in the Southern Church, to 
advis; the membership to organize under the Northern Church. This 
was done, Rev. Mr. Gibbs (colored) having the matter in hand. The 
church now known as Sloan's Chapel was organized, and though to- 
day weak in numbers is a promising young off-shoot of this Zion. It 
numbers forty members. It is now planning for a better church edifice 
in a more convenient location, and when ready for this move, we 
trust will meet with the hearty encouragement and libera. 1 support of 
our membrship. It is a remarkable fact that in all the disturbances 
referred to this little church stood faithfully to duty and to right. It 
deserves well of us. 

The next movement of progress was the establishment of that joy 
and pride of our church — its Sabbath-school. There had been a pros- 
perous school in the Methodist Church some years before the war, but 
this had been discontinued. Several unsuccessful attempts had been 
made to resuscitate it. At length on on the 29th of May, the school 
which two weeks before had been proposed held its first session, with 
90 teachers and pupils. Efforts were shortly made to found a library. 
This has grown now to a thousand volumes. For all but one year of 
its thir -y-seven, the pastor has acted as Superintendent. Four years 
after the organisation of the school, the 4th Anniversary was celebrated, 



II 



and since then the Anniversary on Saturday before the second Sabbath 
of May, has become a gala day in Clinton. A grand gathering of al 
the people is held. Speeches, music, dinner, and interchange of friend- 
ly greetings fill up the day. There is no pleasanter institution in Clin- 
ton than this Anniversary. In 1870 the school began to hold its ser- 
vices each Sabbath, instead of twice a month as heretofore. It grew 
larger and stronger, each recurring Anniverary showing an increase 
of numbers. "T h e Childrens' Foreign Missionary Society," 
which on the first Sabbath of every month 
puts its loving gifts into the treasury, class 
by class, was added to its work. Then 
came that which its expansion required — 
a neat, commodious Sabbath-school room. 
The zeal of our ladies, and the hearty co-op- 
eration of the men, remodelled the old 
house we were occupying, and a new and 
convenient home was provided, too good 
to throw aside, even when we enter our 
new church building, but which will doubt- 
less serve us for other purposes for many years to come. The school 
now numbers 400 teachers and scholars, and is the largest Presbyter- 
ian school in this State. We are sure that nothing has ever done more 
for the refinement and elevation of our community than this loved 
school. Now 37 years of age, it his acquired great solidity of 
character aud Is full of life and promise of good to the church and 
village 




THE OLD CHURCH. 



Then came the prayer-meeting, organized on the second Thursday 
in August, 1864, while the cannon were thundering around Richmond. 
vVe have had m my a delightful prayer-meeting. Sometimes the bur- 
dens of our troubled land were recounted there. Sometimes the meet- 
ing glowed with the enthusiasm of a revival. In all these years it has 
never been intermitted. At times its attendance has been very 
small. At times our lecture room was crowded. Around it have grown 
up other prayer services, some that have persisted, — like those held in 
College and Orphanage, — or some that have done their work of soul 
building and then have been laid aside, till other enthusiasm has devel- 
oped other meetings. For fifteen years it was the only midweek 
meeting, even as our Sabatth-school was the only one of its kind 



12 



in the town. It kept alive a zeal for our Lord and for a higher Christ- 
ian life. 

Not only in caring for the living, but in caring for the decaying 
bodies of our beloved dead, did this church lead its fellows. The ceme- 
tery was founded with the church, added to afterwards, and then 
year by year filled, till now its white fingers point upward everywhere, 
and the earth is rich with the bodies of those who shall rise when Jesus 
summons them at the last day. There lies at rest every elder and deacon 
who presided at the organization, and many others who came after- 
wards, ministers too, and college presidents and our dear, sweet chil- 
dren, our glorious sainted mothers and wifes and husbands, brothers 
and sisters. Our cemetery is filling up. So we are making history 
and biography in one. It is now too strait for us, and our growing 
city of tl e dead must keep pace with the city of the living. 

Our godly women have always worked for the church. If 
means for the purchase of a new Bible, or an organ, or a carpet, or a 
stove were needed, to them the church turned always. About 25 years 
ago the Ladies' Aid Society took a new lease on life. It Joegan to 
work as a church organism that could be counted on. Since then it has 
never faltered. Even yet it is toiling with young ardor and unprece- 
dented zeal. A Sabbath ago it placed a thousand dollars in the treasu- 
ry ; it had raised many thousands before and many thousands are to 
follow. 

It was not till Oct. the 30th, 1864, that the first ''collection'' was 
taken up, and then only quarterly ; the weekly collection was not insti- 
tuted till Oct. 15, 1866. It is wonderful that a church of Jesus Christ 
should have earnestly opposed the consecration, week by week, of their 
substance to the Master. But in this, as in everything else, our church 
had to grow, and it has grown. The total gifts of the church in 
1863. including pastor's salary, was $206. In 1901 the church report- 
to Presbytery above $5,000.00. And He is using this new church build- 
ing to teach us the art of liberal giving. 

For several years the work of our church went smoothly on. Lit- 
tle by little it crept upwards, and the roots of its new and now varied 
institutions struck down. The Sunday-school grew stronger. The 
work among the colored people progressed. The prayer-meeting 
took its place as a matter of course. The gifts increased in number. 
The church was arranged within, pews taking the place of benches; 



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a carpet adorned the floor. The candles upon the walls were changed 
to lamps. Bli .ids within kept out the sun's fierce light. A neat ave- 
nue of elms marked the way to the church. The communion was made 
quarterly instead of semi-annually. The church membersaip rounded 
its one hundred. Then the vigorous young church demanded the 
whole of its pastor's time, as a fitting work for its fifteenth Anniversa- 
ry. Presbytery heard the request with pleasure. The other pastoral 
relations were dissolved, and henceforth the church was set down as 
••able to walk alone." So it seemed that the summer had :ome at 
last. For two years, nearly, the church rapidly improved. Although 
it had to contend against much intemperance, profanity and Sabbath- 
breaking in the community, and sometimes in its own bosom; yet the 
contest with these was the normal conflict of the church. The church 
grew and prospered. But on the 31st cf March, 1872, the blow fell. 
First, the railroad, that had brought the town into being and was sup- 
posed to be its very life, went from bad to worse and finally became a 
bankrupt wreck ; its life the forfeit of bitter hostilities to the whole 
people. This was a stunning blow, but there was worse to follow. 
\Ve have already referred to the bloody election riots of 1870 — riots 
that seemed unjustifiable unless viewed through the eyes of men 
menaced by midnight murder or highway assassination ; robbed of 
theii property by confiscation ; and crowded to the walls at last. Who 
the guilty parties were, who incited the riots, who made "blood tread 
upon the heels of blood," it is not for us to say. God knows and God 
will judge. But thank God, we can look into the very eye o truth 
and say, " We did not do it! Our Church had no hand in this.'" Yet 
when the blow fell, it fell on us, the innocent. Warrants came as thick 
aft autumn leaves. And to sustaian them, "perjury swore back on per- 
jury." Men were indicted who were in their graves at the time of the 
riot. Blank papers were carried about by constables, with charges 
against blank persons of conspiracy and murder, so that if one man 
couldn't be caught, another name of some unsuspecting person might 
nserted. Thus happy homes were broken up. Men fled from a 
doomed land. Business was ruined. The innocent were driven into 
exile, or hid about in graveyards by night and gullies by day, to be 
dragged out and hurried to a distant jail. These were days of anguish 
to us all, for none knew where next the blow would fall. Already, 
eleven of our members lay in jail in Columbia to be tried before a 
court that was bent on conviction, with a jury picked to convict, and 



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the Governor caring only to convict. The days were very dark. Oth- 
er were frightened away from their homes by the threats of 
prosecution, and attempts to extort blood-money. So the trial came, 
and this village, leaning upon God for succor, rose like one man to 
meet the issue. Every effort was made by the prosecution to deter wit- 
nesses ftom going to Columbia, but it was a vain attempt. No sooner 
was the message received, "Come and Help us!" than the town rose to 
£o at its own charges, without waiting for legal summons. Pastor, el- 
ders, deacons, wives, sons, daughters, hoys and girls gave up business, 
fears, and time, to prove the innocence of their loved ones. It was a 
dark day when the only service held by our church on that December 
Sabbath, was in an upper room in Columbia, but we bravely cast our 
all upon our God, and our God helped us. The right was maintained. 
Our enemies themselves being judges, nothing of evil could be proven, 
and then followed the happiest Christmas that was ever held in Clinton. 

It was enough to discourage the stoutest heart, — but there were 
hearts of oak in Clinton in those days. Out of the very severity of our 
sorrow, while others fled their country, the men of Clinton, conscious of 
right, stood firm. On a day when marshals were searching the town for 
their prey, our people publicly met in a public store in that year, 1872, 
and doggedly set to work to organize this high-school association, rais- 
ing funds to repair the building. It was from this little sad start that in 
1S80 developed the Presbyterian College of South Carolina. Born in 
troublous days, it has been a "man of war" fighting for the truth, at 
immense odds from its youth up. Lee was its first President, then 
Smith, and Kennedy, Cleland, Murray and Spencer, — an array of tal- 
ent, two of them glorified and the last of them, (may his life long en- 
dure in strength) an honored elder in this church. Our College is our 
pride. Its outward appearance is not great, but Clinton men gave the 
broad acres on which it stands ; Clinton men laid aside their plans for 
this church building, that the handsome stone recitation hall might 
stand as a monument to their liberality. God grant that the Synod at 
large may be roused to give and to help as it should. But, my breth- 
ren, when we have finished this great undertaking that engages us, if 
all others fail, let us arise and make the College all it should be. 

It was in July of 1872, of that same year, that some of our brethren 
heard of a new and Quixotic idea. Surely the world outside must have 
thought us gone daft, that a poor little church, off from a railroad, with 
hard scratching to feed its pastor, after having founded a college, had 



— *5 — 
concluded to start an Orphanage as well. No wonder people looked on 
amused and amazed. 

But long since, it had entered the head of the pastor, that there 
was work enough for him in broken-down and bankrupt little Clinton ; 
and God had moreover set to him the duty — his life's work — of show- 
ing to all young preachers everywhere, that God expects of them work, 
— that pay is a very minor consideration : and he has well shown, that 
if we be faithful, he will care for the pay and the honor. What mat- 
ter these, when the head is on its last pillow? And so, the Thorn well 
Orphanage came into being, a daughter of which any mother might be 
proud. We did not do it. God looked upon our low estate and did it 
for us. The twenty buildings and two hundred children are a constant 
reminder of the presence of our Father in this little city. "God rules." 
"God is." Every stone in all those buildings testify to it. For us is 
the joy and privilege of having all these dear children in our fold. It 
is their presence that makes our Sabbath-school the largest in our Synod. 
But our church has been faithful in its duty. Each year it has sent its 
gifts by hundreds into the treasury. That noble Ladies' Aid Society 
contributed to the first building, one thousand dollars of hard-earned 
money. But time is precious and I hurry on. 

It is another story, howour church drove the bar- rooms out — some 
one and twenty years ago. It was a hard fought fight, and we won it. 
We were not alone, nor did we do our work as a church only, but we 
have a right to our full share in the task, — and it was no easy task, fo r 
Satan held a large place in this town in those days. But the pastor 
with the aid of the Legislature wrote the ordinance that made Clinton 
"dry"and his members pushed it through and enforced it. 

It is yet another story, how we organized within ourselves. — and 
how our officers met as Session, as Deacons' Court, as College and Or- 
phanage Board. Faithful, God-fearing men stoutly banded together 
have felled the sturdy oaks of opposition by their staunch blows. 

It is yet another story, how we sought by mission enterprise to 
girdle the world, not satisfied with little Clinton for our field of labor. 
The Mission Training College, with its goodly class of consecrated 
young women has been a blessing to our city. Though born in 1893, 
it has graduates all over America in orphan work, and in Japan, Chi- 
na, Brazil and elsewhere, in mission work. Reacting upon our own 
Church, our Women's Missionary Society is having much to say and more 
to do for Jesus. 



— 16 — 

There is yet another story to tell of our busy labors in the press 
Clinton, once sneered at as ignorant, illiterate and uncultivated, with- 
out one person able to teach in all its borders, is now sending an army 
of teachers and preachers, up and down the land, has built up a local 
press speaking for Christ in Our Monthly and by its money and to 
its cost, has captured that Preshyterjan Nestor The Southern Presby- 
terian — and glories in the fact that here is a light-house scattering the 
printed page from beneath the shadow of our church-spire into thous- 
ands of homes. 

The story of expansion is yet another. Our sweet child, Rock- 
bridge, still nestles in the bosom of the old mother chur;h, and is not 
quite satisfied that she ever left the roof-tree. And side by side , with 
us, our latest daughter, the Second Presbyterian, still leans upon us 
for support, and must long do so, if present appearances err not. 

So we have worked for others. The Master at length has said to 
us — "Do a little for yourselves." Our sainted sister Mrs. Green, with, 
the legacy of seven hundred dollars, did for us what little Willie An- 
derson's half dollar did for the Orphange. She gave us a charge to go 
forward. For ten years we have talked about it At length on this 
28th of May, with M. S. Bailey as the leader of our Building Commit- 
tee, and our willing builder, T. C. Scott to put our dollars to use, we 
are filling up the cornerstone. Because God, through railroads and 
cotton mills has changed our village into a town, and our town is evolv- 
ing into a city, we shall build of good old hard-headed, Presbyterian 
granite; as rugged as our doctrines and as firm as our principles. We 
have begun ; — we do not know when we are going tofinish. Month iby 
month we will give and pray and labor. As the Sabbath-school, the 
Church, the College and the Orphanage all grew slowly but surely, so will 
this Church grow. Let us sacrifice! Let us work ! Let us be patient ! 

Beloved, I have told you a marvellous story. I have shown you 
here, how if men trust and are willing and do his bidding, the Lord 
will do great things ror them. We gray-headed men and women shall 
shortly finish our part of the story, but I foresee that the end is not 
yet. That which ten years ago depended on the life's current of a. few 
zealous workers, has passed the experimental stage. God will surely 
be with you, if you deal rightly and righteously with Him. All de- 
pends on that. Let it be our aspiration, therefore,, to live on for Him 
and for the world's betterment. That is the reason we lay this granite 
block. It is laid for posterity. 



3-<£~oi 



Photomount 

Pamphlet 

Binder 

Gaylord Bros., Inc. 

Makers 
Syracuse, N. Y. 

PAT. JAK 21, 1903 



PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE LIBRARY 
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The history of the Presbyterian Church, 




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AUTHOR 

History qf_the_PP|starterian 






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