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The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Historic Catholic Presbyterian Church In Chester County

SC Historical Marker for the historical Catholic Presbyterian
Church on SC Highway 97 in Chester County.

Chester County's historic Catholic Presbyterian Church is located off SC Highway 97 on SC Rd. 355 near the Blackstock community. 

Perhaps the oldest established churches in Chester County, the original brick meeting house built on the site of the historic Catholic Presbyterian Church was organized in 1759 by Scots-Irish settlers and formally recognized and named in 1770 by Reverend William Richardson. The church served the area's first European settlers (mostly Scots-Irish Presbyterians) and later sent a large number of soldiers and local Patriot militia from its congregation to fight in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolutionary War in the summer of 1780.

The current church building is the third built on the site. The present brick church building was completed in 1842 by an Irish immigrant named David Lyle and is still in use. The church has one of upstate South Carolina's longest records of continuous use. 

Known as the "Mother of Churches" in the area, Catholic Presbyterian was also the mother of other churches founded in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama by former members who migrated to those states. Built  of hand-pressed brick, and displays original features like molded brick cornices, pegged front doors, pine wood floors and pews, it stands today as a good example of meeting house architecture. 

The churchyard cemetery is surrounded by a fieldstone wall and contains many old grave markers that date back to the 18th and 19th century, including several Revolutionary War soldiers and Confederate soldiers. A granite marker, erected in 1933 by Catholic's Memorial Association lists the names of sixty-two soldiers from the church who served in the American Revolutionary War. 

The first name included on this marker is the Reverend William Martin (1716 - 1806) whom I mentioned in a previous blog post delivered a fiery anti-British sermon to members of this congregation on Sunday, June 11, 1780 at another meeting site two miles east of the present-day church. He was later captured by British Legion dragoons commanded by the infamous Captain Christian Huck from the nearby Rocky Mount outpost and imprisoned at Camden for several months before being later released by General Cornwallis. Martin preached at Catholic Presbyterian for several years.

The Catholic Presbyterian Church was listed in the National Registry on May 6, 1971. Click HERE to view the nomination form.

Revolutionary War Memorial in front of the Catholic Presbyterian
Church graveyard lists the names of 62 members of the congregation
who served in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. 

These men fought in local militia companies and with General Thomas Sumter
opposing British occupiers and their Loyalist supporters throughout upstate
South Carolina and lower North Carolina in 1780-81 -- including the battles
at Ramsour's Mill,
Williamson Plantation, Rocky Mount, Hanging Rock,
Fishing Creek, Kings Mountain, Fishdam Ford, Blackstocks, and Cowpens.

In addition to the Catholic Presbyterian Church's historical significance to the local history of Chester County, this blogger also has a personal connection to this place -- my dad, uncle and aunt are buried in the newer part of the cemetery. 

Carl Edward Roden -- my dad. RIP
James Wesley "Cooter" Roden -- my uncle. RIP
Cathy Wright Roden -- my aunt. RIP

I hope that y'all enjoyed my blog post about historic Catholic Presbyterian Church. Please leave a comment below if you have more information that I might have overlooked in my research and wish to add to the sharing of knowledge about the history of Chester County and upstate South Carolina. 

As always, y'all have a wonderful Dixie Day!

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