Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church
STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, CAMERON HILL CHURCH, BY WOMEN OF THE
CHURCH, WESTERN HARNETT, FOR HARNETT .COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989
Preface to History of Cameron Hill Church
Hill itself stands tall -a place of interest to all who pause to
contemplate the imprints of time that have passed. The essence of its
history is not to be found in the rendering of facts. It is elusive -a
cyclorama of wilderness, hardship, attitudes, hopes and nostalgia.
brought from the old country. In early days it was a wee bit of Scotland
removed. A people, often honor-bound to favor a king that was hated. A
people by nature clannish and nostalgia , thus bound to a homeland that
had become too harsh to endure, when there was hope in America. Only the
brave would come, seeking relief, land, adventure, and independence.
Here they came to build homes, churches, schools, and roads.
back, if Scotland had not been the way it should have been, they crafted
song and story that made it so. In a child-like way they were harsh,
rugged romantics. Even now in the Scottish song and story one feels the
lingering nostalgia' for the homeland that never was. Such was the early
majority that passed this way. In the mind of the early generations
Scotland became a sort of misty and mystic homeland.
of the miracle of geology, the hill had emerged as the first prominence
up the valley of the Cape Fear. Its soil is firm and red and different.
Here the land is in transition from the sands of the coast to the clays
of the hill country. On the surface, sprouts a rare pixie plant and its
likes. Beneath, lie colors that would rival the rainbow and fragments of
ancient wood and creatures that lived in the sea.
on, the prominence became a focal point for the wandering pioneers and
those that looked to settle. They called it Mt. Pleasant.
important was the roadway. It came up from the coast and over the
hilltop running down between the present cemetery and highway, thence
left and right to pass close by the round top and westward toward the
distant mountains. Uncommon to this land is the route from Manchester to
near Cameron, no water at all to cross. Before the coming of man, we are
told, Buffalo migrating from the meadows of the coast to the pasture
lands of the foothills, selected this advantage and trampled out a
trail. The animals decreased and the trail was inherited by the Indians,
pioneers and settlers in sequence.
came the plank road of 1848 and now the macadam, virtually the same
route engineered by the buffalo so long ago.
permanent settlers came, among them one Allen Cameron. Allen chartered
so much land that he owned most of the hill. To distinguish him from
several other Camerons he became known as Allen of the Hill. The name
Mt. Pleasant faded as more often it was referred to as Cameron's Hill.
When Allen passed, it became Cameron Hill.
speak the records, relics and imprints on the land to those who search
with profundity. For sure, Scottish traits are no longer so obvious as
when Flora McDonald lived on the Hill, but in the fading memory of those
who have heard the stories and the sharp minds of those who search, the
heritages and spirit yet live.
still they come from the Isles of Scotland seeking not land but bits of
heritage and stories that have survived the onrush of change.
by: Edward Cameron, 1990
Women of the Church, Western Harnett
THE STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, CAMERON HILL PRESBYTERIAN
CHURCH USA, BY THE WOMEN OF THE CHURCH, WESTERN HARNETT. FOR HARNETT
COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT. 1989
The History of Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church USA
is not a definitive history of Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church USA.
rather an observation of how it was in time that has passed. In the late
eighteen hundreds there was a successful Sunday School at Spout Springs.
Here the leaders talked of spiritual matters and increasingly
conversation around the country-side brought up the need for a more
local church. Eventually a meeting was held. After some interesting
details. the Presbyterian element prevailed.
delegation was forthwith dispatched to Fayetteville Presbytery. In
response to a petition of forty-six signatures. Presbytery called a
special meeting 15 February, 1894 and appointed a commission of three
ministers to meet at high noon 17 March, 1894 in the school house at
Spout Springs to "organize a Presbyterian Church" should
"the way be clear." It was. Thirty-eight people enrolled that
day: profession 4, by letter, 3 from St. Andrews, 3 from Flat Branch, 3
from Covenant, 3 from Barbecue and 17 from Cypress.
D. D. McBride preached. Hugh Black and J. A. Mc Gregory made up the
session. In 1897, the Church was grouped with Summerville. Sardis, Flat
Branch and Barbecue. Later the church experienced grouping with other
churches including Mt. Pisgah, Rock Branch. Covenant and Cypress -an
interesting array. Let us note that it is a source of pride that this
church did not come sponsored. or as a break-away. It evolved from a
need and a spiritual heritage brought from many sources, later shared
with many groups.
age Aunt Ada was to remember that even as a young girl she thought it
amiss for the preacher to expound the virtues of the spiritual on the
exact stage where night before the "spirited" fiddlers
encouraged the more sensual' urge to be rowdy. No one ever said this had
anything to do with the fact that when Presbyters met in the Spring of
'98, the church was ordered moved t a more central location at Cameron
the hill there was no building. Hence, preaching and weddings were held
in the Johnsonville Mason Lodge. Soon there was no preacher except for
week day service. Interest dwindled. Then it was that Ref. Letcher Smith
was invited to come and discuss the advisability of dissolving the
church. At the meeting an Elder stood up, and said, "We are not
going to disorganize." Whereupon the Reverend Smith replied two
things must be done at once: Build a church house and start having
was in 190. Rev. Smith made himself available to preach and the people
star ed a building effort. The first part of the present building,
having been in use for some time, was dedicated in 1909.
have always been a few lifetime members but the sparse population and
economics of the area seems responsible for many visiting worshipers,
temporary members and young people moving on with a deep love for
"the church on the hill." This affection is perhaps its
greatest treasure. Two sons have gone out as Presbyterian ministers, and
at least one other to preach.
have been many: In 1904, when there was no building or Sunday preacher;
the great depression when there was no money; and the trauma of t e
nineteen eighties when an aggressor denomination took away a majority of
the membership, so waved the ebb tides.
nineties, with better facilities and increasing ability to serve the
gathering population, should be the apex. To name heroes along the
journey of service and struggle may be unwise. I Honorable mention Elder
J. A. McGregor, Rev. Letcher Smith, Elder D. A. Huffine Rev. W. A.
Stewart and more recently, Rev. Bob Anderson, would not be amiss.
Cameron ill Presbyterian Church (USA) stands tall among its ancient
oaks, hard by the two-century-old cemetery. On the highest elevation in
the county with an inspiring view across the valley of the, Scots, the
church is humbly proud to be a viable member of the family of some 200
churches in the presbytery of Coastal Carolina. Come visit.
Written by: Edward
For: Women of the Church, Western Harnett
Designed by Paul Soublet
5 Number 25
Embroidery and Applique by: Marie Lawrence member of Women of the Church
at Cameron Hill Presbyterian Church