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Shiloh Presbyterian Church in 1780
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Shiloh Presbyterian Church in 1980...
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Tuesday. October 7, 1980-KINGS MOUNTAIN HERALD-Page 7A
The families who settled the general
area in which Shiloh Church is located
were Scotch-Irish, English and German.
Each race brought to this land a gift dis-
tinctly its own. Especially the Scotch-
Irish, whose ancestors were born in the
lowlands of Scotland during the reign of
the Stewarts. These were peace loving
Protestants and ardent supporters of the
‘Old Covenant Presbyterians’ — founded
by John Calvin. This church was
governed by presbyters, or elders, in a
representative form,of government.
During the reign of James, Son of Mary
Queen of Scots, many ministers with
their congregations migrated to Ulster,
where they established communities and
built their churches throughout all north-
ern Ireland. These Presbyterians
preserved their religious distinctness.
Their difference of habits, difference of
creed, and difference of tradition kept
them apart. There they suffered many
injustices and persecutions because they
retained their difference of habits, their
different creed, and their differe it tradi-
tions. After several generations they be-
came too unhappy to stay longer in
So, these early Presbyterians left
Ulster, and crossed the ocean to escape
the galling tyranny of the bishops whom
England had made ruler of the land.
Young, enterprising, and energetic
Presbyterians came to this new and
better land bringing their Bibles and
church letters with them. Here, in
America, they bought land of their own
and built their homes, established their
communities, built their churches, and
again set up their religion.
Pennsylvania became the centre of the
Presbyterian settlements in America,
and from that province, after 1735, a
continuous stream of Presbyterian
emigrants flowed to the South. Across the
beautiful hills and valleys of Virginia and
on into ‘Carolina.’ It is known, from
records, when they bought their land,
and where they laid out their roads. How-
ever, it is not known when the few hardy
souls built near Kings Creek their little
‘Calvary’ Presbyterian Meeting House.
Today, the church holds to the traditional
year of the battle at Kings Mountain —
1780 — which was fought only a short dis-
I have found no description of the first
church. It was, most certainly, a hewn
log house with an earthen floor. On cold
days, it was, probably, heated by build-
ing a log fire on the earth floor. The seats,
no doubt, were logs pegged in place with
one side hewn flat to sit upon.
For the first twenty years the church
had only ministers sent occasionally to
supply. The church was served by minis-
ters who lived at a great distance. To
come, they had to travel over roads
almost impassable; and therefore, they
could give very little pastoral care to the
people. The coming of the minister was a
great day inthe life of these simple, God
fearing people. The community gathered
from miles around on horseback. Many
walked barefoot, and carried their home
tanned, hand sewn, leather shoes until
they were near the Meeting House. Not
only did these ministers bring to the
people the Gospel, they also brought
news from the outside world, news from
the relatives and friends in other com-
munities. Also, another vital task the
minister performed — he taught the boys
of the congregation how to read, write
and cipher. —
Shortly after 1800, there was a long
vacancy. The church became completely
disorganized. This was perhaps the
darkest period in the history of the
church. The little ‘Calvary’ Meeting
House, now renamed Shiloh, was per-
mitted to fall into decay. From family
records this fits the time when the sons
and daughters of the pioneers had re-
cause of the deaths resulting from the
Civil War, it is no surprise, the member-
ship on its return to the old locality was
as follows: Three males, nineteen
females and thirty-eight colored mem-
bers. Rev. W. W. Ratchford served Shiloh
in some capacity for ten years.
In 1872, a lot facing the Railroad and
public highway was bought from Dr. A.
F. Hambright, and the frame building,
better known as ‘The Church in the
Shiloh Presbyterian Church Over 200 Years Old
Pines’, was completed in the Fall of 1883.
Shiloh ‘then moved to the village, known
as Whitaker, South Carolina. Changed to
Grover, North Carolina, in 1885, when the
Post Office was moved across the Rail-
road tracks into North Carolina.
The old log church was sold to the
colored Methodists for $75, who adopted
the name Shiloh also. Shiloh retained
ownership of the ‘Old Cemetery,’ which
contains the remains of many of the early
settlers, and Revolutionary War Heroes
who fought so barvely in the battle at
During the following years the church
made slow, but consistent progress.
Shiloh’s fifth building is the splendid
structure in which we have our meeting
today, finished December 22, 1926. The
building of such a structure by a small
congregation was a great undertaking,
and splendidly carried through. >
Dr. Joseph T. Dendy, the first full time
pastorin the history of the church, began
his ministry in July 1927, ending his
pastorate in the Summer of 1937.
In the late 1930's Sunday School out-
posts were organized: Dixon and Ham-
burg. A few years later Dixon organized
as a church. Hamburg’s site is now on
land of the Kings Mountain National
Military Park. The old building was
removed to the ‘Cowpens’ battleground.
Shiloh church also helped to support
the organization of an outpost in West
Shelby in 1953, now John Knox Pres-
The congregation in 1949-50 built on the
beautiful spacious grounds a modern
style brick manse, replacing the first
built about 1890 — which was removed.
Rev: Henry L. Reaves, a former
missionary to China, began his ministry
in December 1937, and served until
December 1939. During his pastorate he
edited, in corporation with Rev. W.
Arthur Hoffman, Baptist minister, a
‘Carolina Churches’ Magazine.
The beloved pastor, Rev. J. Tim Pharr,
began his ministry in October 1941, and
served during the trying times of World
War 11, and until his death on February
Park H. Moore, Jr., a student at
Columbia Theological Seminary, began
as student supply in March 1949. He was
ordained and installed as pastor on July
23, 1950, ending his pastorate on June 26,
1955. During his time as pastor he wrote
‘The History of Shiloh Presbyterian
Other full time ministers were: Rev.
Trent Howell, Rev. Dick Hobson and
Rev. Stewart White. Rev. Dick Hobson
during his pastorate did much work in
gathering together some of the church
treasures. He designed and had made, to
order, the beautiful glass cabinet where
on occasions the church treasures can be
seen on display in the Narthex.
Rev. Robert A. Wilson began his pastorate the
first Sunday in June 1969 and also served as pastor
of Dixon Presbyterian Church in a two church field
until 1976 when the two churches called Dr. Olin
Whitener. Dr. Whitener was pastor of both chur-
ches until 1979 when Rev. Harold Hutchison was
called to supply and then subsequently was ordain-
ed as the new minister of Shiloh in January 1980.
Dixon called Rev. Graham Wood as its new pastor.
Shiloh organized a Senior Citizens club in 1973
and this club is of much interest to its members
from the surrounding communities, outside Shiloh
The influence of this church has been far
reaching indeed, not alone in its members at home,
but through the various young men and women
who have gone out into their walks of life as leaders
in their profession. One son, W. Grady Harry,
became a Presbyterian minister and is now retired.
One daughter, Mary Priester, became a missionary,
and is now married and serving in a foreign field.
Many of the early families who established this
church came many miles to escape religious
persecution and to own land of their own. They
must have endured grievous hardships-Ever faithful
to their high Christian ideals.
They had a dream which became “Our Heritage,
A Christian Community In a Christian Name.”
A hymn we sometimes sing has some wonderful
The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart;
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
And humble and a contrite heart
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget.
Let us then, and not forget those of this church
who have moved on from life's stage. . .to their
heavenly reward. Not forget their faithfulness,
loyalty, dedication, their love of God and the vast
contributions so many of them made-not only to
this church but to the enrichness of the lives of