Summerville Presbyterian Church

History of the Quilt


Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library


Summerville Presbyterian Church

(Tirzah Church of 1811-1812)


Early in the year 1800 progressive Christian men and women, with vision, from Barbecue, Bluff and Long Street Churches decided there should be a Presbyterian Church in this section of Cumberland County.

Consequently, in the Sessional Minutes of Tirzah Church 1811 -1812 we read:


"In the year 1811 -1812 a new Church was erected and organized at the Blacksmith Spring: Viz Tirzah."

Tradition: The "New Church" located about 175 feet east of this Church was a large log building erected almost entirely by slave labor, and many of the slaves were communing members of the Church.

This Church was struck by lightening and destroyed, but the spring continues to supply cool refreshing water for all who are thirsty.

The name Tirzah appears several times in the Old Testament: once as the name of a young woman, and often as the "Capital of the Kingdom of Samaria."

One wonders just what the founders had in mind when they decided to call the "New Church" Tirzah.


The present building was presented debt free to the congregation by ten officers of the Church who each paid ten dollars to the contractor, Henry Faucette.


As new Churches were erected and organized in adjacent communities faithful active members of this Church were called into service nearer their homes, the congregation became very small and the Church was dissolved by Fayetteville Presbyterian in 1929.


The Summerville Church was re-opened! On April 18, 1948 the Sunday School was reorganized in the Sanctuary of the Church and the Church became the focal point of the life of the community.


The Church was reorganized on March 18, 1951.

NOTE: At this time new families moved into the community joined the church and became active in church and area organizations, in particular the Yows and the Christians. Both families are also active in the Summerville Extension Homemakers Club in which they have held and are continuing to hold, offices and committee positions.


The Women of the Church of Summerville Presbyterian Church was organized on March 30, 1952.

In a sense this, too, was a reorganization because "The Ladies' Missionary Society," "The Neill McKay Foreign Missions Society" and "The Pastor's Aid," served well in their day - long before organized women's work became Church -wide.


The Summerville Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April, 1985.

Through the years since 1811 -1812 the doors of this Church have been open at all hours to welcome strangers as well as friends, and to renew old friendships.

The ministers and members of the Church have always been ready to serve where assistance was needed.

Church records, available at this writing, list the following names of ministers who served from 1812 to 1852:

1812 -1828 I

Rev. Allen McDougald

Rev. Colon McIver


Rev. Archibald Buie

Rev. Colon McIver

Rev. Murdoch McWilliams


Rev. Allen McDougald

1831 -1837

Rev. Archibald Buie

Rev. Allen McDougald

Rev. Samuel Paisley


No record

1839 -1841

Rev. Allen McDougald


No record


Rev. Neill McKay


Rev. Colon McIver


Some of these same names were repeated in the years from 1844 until 1852. Records between 1852 and 1929 could not be found. Some members believe they were accidentally burned after they were removed from the church to a "safer place", but where? In the 1920's two noted ministers are recalled by contributors: Dr. Joseph Kirkland Hall and a supply, the Rev. J. F. Kirkpatrick.

The first two years following the reorganization in 1948, the church was served by supply ministers. The following ministers served during the ten year span, 1948 -1958: * Rev. T. A. Guiton, *Rev. R. M. Phillips of Erwin, North Carolina, who was called March 8, 1955 and also preached at Cedar Rock Church, and Rev. Robert Mabson of Fayetteville, a Methodist minister and Librarian at Methodist College.

The Rev. Guy M. Morrow, a called minister, served from 1958 -1964. Others after 1964 were: Dr. Frank Baker, Dr. Louis LaMotte, who came once a month for eleven years, now living in Paxton, North Carolina, Dr. Lucy Rose, Rev. Barbara Rodgers, *Rev. John P. Stephenson, Jr., Kennith McKeithan - a "lay supply" for two years, and the Rev. Clark Wiser, a called minister, who came January, 1991.

Seminary students who filled in since 1948 were: Gene Hager, James Donaldson, Malcolm Bullock, John Handley, and Neil Bain.

* Deceased


Source: Review of Summerville Presbyterian Church records by Mallie Yow, Member of Summerville Presbyterian Church and Compiled by Evelyn Byrd, February, 1992. Both are members of Summerville Extension Homemakers Club,

Quilt Square: Row 1 Number 4 ,

Embroidery and Applique by: Evelyn Byrd, member Summerville Extension Homemakers Club