Lower Long Cane Presbyterian Church – McCormick County, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | McCormick County Photos | Lower Long Cane Presbyterian Church
The historic Lower Long Cane Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, constructed in 1856, is located in McCormick County, just four miles outside the small town of Troy. The history of this church originates with a congregation of Scots-Irish settlers who arrived in New York from Billibay, Ireland in 1764. They were led by Dr. Thomas Clark, a graduate of Glasgow University and former pupil of Pastor Ebenezer Erskine.
When the group arrived in New York, some members split off and headed south, eventually arriving in what was known then as Abbeville County. The rest stayed and settled in upstate New York. Dr. Clark visited his Southern flock in 1779 and formally organized them as the congregation of Long Cane that same year.
Dr. Clark returned to his congregation in New York, but eventually came back to Lower Long Cane in 1786 and stayed until his death in 1791. He ministered to his followers both as pastor and physician, and he was remembered as a beloved and respected leader.
Services in the church’s early days were held under two large oak trees where a large wooden board served as a shelf for the Bible. This tradition came from the days of religious persecution in Scotland when a man could be arrested and his belongings seized if he was caught praying in his home.
Lower Long Cane Presbyterian was lucky to have two ministers who each served at least 40 years – Dr. H.T. Sloan, who served from 1850 to 1890, and Reverend R.F. Bradley, who took over for Sloan in 1891. Continued westward migration ultimately diminished the congregation’s size, but it has been said that the congregation’s descendants ended up in all of the Southern and Western states.
The Southern movement of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church began in this church and currently has over 40,000 members in over 250 churches!
For more information, please visit the church’s website.
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