Cedar Springs Church – Abbeville County, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Abbeville County Photos | Cedar Springs Church
Cedar Springs Church was formerly organized between 1779 and 1780 by Dr. Thomas Clark, a seminal leader of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. For many years, the church shared a pastorate with Lower Long Cane A.R.P. Church. 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.
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.
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.
Special thanks to Mark Clark, an Abbeville native who currently resides in Winnsboro, for providing much of this historical information. Mark aptly notes that “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.”