Cedar Springs Church – Abbeville County, South Carolina


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The Cedar Springs Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is a part of the Cedar Springs Historic District located in Abbeville County. The church was organized between 1779 and 1780 as the Cedar Creek Church by Dr. Thomas Clark, a seminal leader of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1791 the congregation, renamed Cedar Springs A.R.P. Church, moved two miles northwest to its current site and built a frame house for worship. This two-story brick edifice replaced the frame building in 1853.

Abbeville Cedar Springs Church

Bill Fitzpatrick of Taylors © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

For many years, the church shared a pastorate with its sister church, Lower Long Cane ARP Church, beginning in 1786. The Cedar Springs farming community was prosperous during this time, and the churches had a congregation of 500 members between them. Abbeville County was once considered part of South Carolina‘s frontier, and many settlers came here seeking new fortunes. In turn, the opening of our country’s western territories, from the 1820s to the 1830s, lured many Abbeville families away.

Cedar Springs Church in Abbeville

Blake Lewis of Greenwood, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Still, many families remained in Cedar Springs and became Confederate soldiers and officers. Unfortunately, nearly half of Abbeville County’s male population was killed during the war. This had far-reaching implications as families and farms struggled to survive during the Reconstruction.

Cedar Springs Church

Mark Clark of Winnsboro, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Great Depression devastated those local farms that survived Reconstruction. The passage of time has allowed the Sumter National Forest to swallow up many traces of Abbeville and McCormick County‘s rich farming heritage.

Cedar Springs Church is listed in the National Register as part of the Cedar Springs Historic District:

The Cedar Springs Historic District, located on the boundary of Greenwood and Abbeville counties in western South Carolina, contains three buildings that remain of the once prosperous farming community of Cedar Springs. Included are the Frazier-Pressly House (ca. 1852-1856), a massive three-story plantation house; the Cedar Springs Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ca. 1853), a two-story brick meetinghouse with cemetery; and a two-story log building (ca. 1820), now covered in shiplap siding and a standing-seam metal roof, which is believed to have been a stagecoach stop. These buildings are important because they reflect the mid-nineteenth century history of this rural plantation society. The buildings of the district are still in use, and in fact, only the paving of the road and the construction of a small frame grocery/filling station mark the ingress of contemporary culture. In addition, the Frazier-Pressly House is architecturally significant as a unique example of the octagon mode of architecture. The Octagon style of residential architecture flourished in the United States from 1848 to 1860 and the Frazier-Pressly House is exceptional in that it is built around three octagons. Also unique is the “widows walk” on the roof, which is unusual in Abbeville County’s hilly environment far from the coast.

Reflections on Cedar Springs Church


Special thanks to Mark Clark, an Abbeville native who currently resides in Winnsboro, for providing much of this historical information. As Mark aptly notes, “The survival of both the Cedar Springs and Lower Long Cane churches speak to how fleeting wealth can be.”

Mark attended a service at Cedar Springs Church in May 2011 and says, “The church is air-conditioned and even features a small elevator to allow the disabled to move between the sanctuary and fellowship hall. The sanctuary itself is quite cozy and pure, being devoid of stained-glass windows. The former slave balcony in the rear of the sanctuary has been closed in and converted to three small Sunday school classrooms. It wasn’t until halfway through the service that I realized Dr. Loyd Melton (the pastor) wasn’t using a microphone of any kind. The acoustics in the sanctuary are perfect! The untouched purity of the sanctuary left quite a favorable impression on me.”

Add your own reflections here.



Cedar Springs Church Info


Address: Cedar Springs Road, Bradley, SC 29819

Cedar Springs Church Map



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8 Comments about Cedar Springs Church

Marie AdamsNo Gravatar says:
June 1st, 2015 at 4:23 pm

My ancestors lived in the Cedar Springs area, per family history, around 1790 – 1850. The parents were James and Lydia Adamson, and their daughter Margaret “Peggy” married John Argo. I have attempted the confirm this information, and indeed found the original wills at the Probate office in Abbeville. I am trying to locate the actual land or at least graves. Deeds were destroyed in fire. I understand that the Old 96 District was huge but since wills are in Abbeville believe they lived in that area. Any assistance will be most appreciated.

GaryNo Gravatar says:
August 17th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Greetings,

I have about seven of my relatives in the Hughston family buried in the Cedar Springs Cemetery in Spartanburg, South Carolina, including my great, great grandfather, William Hughston, who fought in the Civil War and died in Gettysburg in 1862, and his wife, Harriet F. Hughston, who died in 1904. I have seen pictures of both of their gravestones in your cemetery.

Do you have any information about my great, great grandmother Harriet Hughston such as her maiden name and/or her death certificate that you could provide to me? I would be very appreciative to you.

Thank you for all the generous work you do at your church.

Gary

Cheryl WatsonNo Gravatar says:
March 3rd, 2014 at 9:59 am

I can not find a Joseph McBryde in our cemetery. Cedar Springs A.R.P. Church. You can find the ones of Lower Long Cane A.R.P. Church http://www.longcanearp.org/styled-6/styled-9/. Our little church has a small congregation now. The sanctuary use to be full on Sundays. Now, most are in the cemetery. We vary between 12 -22. Most at Easter. Full house at Homecoming. Lower Long Cane and sometimes Troy A.R.P. will join. Plus some of the congregation’s families and friends. Can’t find a Craig family in our Cemetery Book. There is a Margaret McDonald Morris in my book: b. Dec. 28,1823–d.Oct.30,1831. The Upper Long Cane cemetery is in Abbeville. I have never gone through it. And in Due West there is a cemetery at an A.R.P. Church. I know there are some Presslys and Fraziers there. That was what I was looking for. Hope this can help some of you. Cheryl Watson

John McBrydeNo Gravatar says:
December 3rd, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I have been looking for McBryde graves at Cedar Springs. Does anyone know if McBrydes are buried there? I visited once but could not find any. There are many old graves with no name on the stones.

David L. FrinkNo Gravatar says:
April 23rd, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Tracing my grandmother’s Craig family back to Abbeville, I evidently have as forebears “Ebenezer” (b.1802), his father (Samuel M., b.1773), Samuel’s father James, Jr. (b. abt. 1745, and then researchers’ confusion as to James’ parents and origin (Ireland? Scotland?). Little to no doubt here as to a Cedar Springs Church linkage … Samuel’s 10th & last child was named Alexander Porter Craig. Any chance you know of a record of my Craig line coming across the Atlantic, 1764, with Dr. Thomas Clark, from Reddrum Strenboden, near Ballybay, Ire.? Thank you for considering this.

BarbaraNo Gravatar says:
February 6th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I know someone who was baptized at Cedar Springs about 1964. Do they still have special baptisms on occasion even now? I would like to contact someone the verify the date if possible.

Mark ClarkNo Gravatar says:
October 2nd, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Gay,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you on this. Your best source is probably church records. The ARP church maintained extensive records on its members and their families during the historical period you mention.

The best source for this information is probably “The Due West Telescope,” which was published from 1843-1863. Erskine College in Due West, SC has these in Microfilm form that can be copied for a fee. The USC library in Columbia also has a few copies, but not quite as extensive as the Erskine library.

Hope this helps,

Mark

Gay BrownNo Gravatar says:
May 31st, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I am looking for info regarding Mathew McDonald from Cedar Springs. He and his son William Thomas were Confederate Vets. Mathew (1820-1876) is buried in Upper Long Cane Cemetery. Thank you!





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