HISTORICAL SKETCH OF LONGSTREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1756 - 1923
By Rev. R.A. McLeod
Published Jointly by the Session of Long Street Presbyterian Church and The Scottish Society of America.
The original manuscript consisted of 19 pgs and is out of print and was transcribed
by Darryl Black
Posted July 17, 2005 by Myrtle Bridges
In presenting this historical sketch of Long Street church the writer makes no claim to a perfect work.
The early records of the church were destroyed by fire and it has been necessary to rely entirely on
outside sources for the data out of which this paper has been constructed. It is quite evident that a
writer dealing with some other central theme would not record incidents and facts of a purely local
character, as he use only such data as touched and supported the subject under discussion. The only
recourse from this unfortunate situation is oral tradition, which at best is fragmentary and uncertain.
However, every effort has been made to examine each tradition impartially and to preserve only those which
bore the earmarks of authenticity. It is a regrettable fact that much of the sacred history connected with
this ancient altar is forever lost from human record. Yet out of the threads that remain it is possible
to construct a fair, though limited, history of this old church and the community surrounding it. This
the author has endeavored to do. He now presents the fruits of his labor to that ever growing body of men
and women who trace their ancestral home in America to this hallowed spot, with the prayer that under the
blessings of God it may help to keep alive in the hearts of the present generation the altar fires which their
fathers first kindled in this new land and which they maintained in simple purity through five generations.
LONG STREET PRESYTERIAN CHURCH
It is impossible to properly understand or appreciate the history of an individual, a family, a church or
a community without some knowledge of the background of that history. The background of Long Street church
is the Highlands of Scotland, which is at once the most beautiful and hardest country in which to live. Its
hills and mountains are numerous and very rugged. Its streams are generally small but rapid and beautiful.
It abounds in small lakes and mostly glens. Its climate is severe. The hard natural conditions of the country
developed a hardy race with habits of thrift. But these beautiful hills, frolicking streams, and charming
lakes did more than this; they created the natural environment for noble deeds and noble thoughts. Many Bible
students think the one reason why the Lord appointed Palestine to be the place where His Prophets, Psalmist,
and other writers of inspiration should live was because of the uplifting mountains and other inspiring natural
conditions of the country. It was in just such a country as this that the Highlanders of Scotland developed
their domestic, their national, and their religious life. Their history can be traced back to the beginning
of the Christian era. Thus isolated as they were from the rest of the world they very naturally developed
their own peculiar institutions. In their domestic life they developed a strong love for home and family. No
doubt many of their family customs seem severe as compared to the present day, but no one will question the
statement that these customs wrought in the Highlanders a devotion to a pure and honorable family life that
has never been surpassed, if equaled, by any other people. In national life they developed into a patriotic,
liberty loving people. They never forsook their leader in battle nor proved disloyal to the government to
which they had sworn allegiance. But not withstanding their unwavering loyalty to their rulers in purely civil
matters, the Highlanders from time immemorial have contended for liberty of conscience and he right to worship
God as their own conscience directed. In religious life they developed into earnest Christians. The Highlanders
had deep sentiments without cheap sentimentality, a fine Christian devotion without a superficial display of
Christian experiences, and an unwavering belief in Christian doctrines without any dogmatic Phariseeims. They
had a vigorous religious creed and for the defense of that creed they were willing to die, but never in all
their history did they try to impose it upon other men. These are the people from which the early settlers
of the Cape Fear section sprang; an ancestry to be proud of and worthy to be emulated. This is the background
of Long Street church and community.
The first reference on record to the fact that Highlanders were in this country was in the year 1729. In
that year the colonial providence of Carolina was divided by the English Government into North and South
Carolina. In connection with that matter the Highland Scotch are mentioned, but it is not stated what their
names were or where, they lived. The next record was in 1736-seven years 'later. In that year Alexander Clark
with a number of Scotch emigrants came to the Gape Fear section. In some papers left by Mr. Clark he mentions
that he found "a good many" Scotch settlers here. Among those mentioned there are two interesting characters.
The first was Hector McNeill, called "Bluff Hector" because he lived near the Bluff on Cape Fear river, which
is the place where the Bluff church was later located. The second is the more interesting to those especially
interested in the history of Long Street, because there is good reason to believe that he lived near this
church, thus indicating that this community has been occupied by the Highlanders as long as any other place
in the Cape Fear section. The reference is to John Smith and his two children, Malcolm and Janet. Janet
was later called Jenny Bahn, the Bahn being the Gaelic for fair, and indicates that she was a beautiful woman.
It is' not known positively where John Smith lived, but there is a tradition that he lived on the south side
of the Yadkin road about one and a half miles from the church. It is also said that his son, Malcolm, built
what is called in the community the "Monroe House," which is located across the road from the supposed site
of the Smith home. The roof of this building has fallen in and the walls are fast decaying, but from what
remains it is easy to see that it was a well constructed, conveniently and comfortably arranged house, and
must have been planned and erected by a man of means, culture and refinement. It is known that Malcolm Smith
was one of the charter elders of, the church and therefore must have lived in the community. The weight of
evidence is in favor of the traditional location of the two Smith homes. The daughter, Jenny Bahn, married
Archibald McNeill of the Barbacue section, and became famous in this whole section as a woman of unusual
talent for business and force of character. She is described by some one as follows: "for beauty, sprightliness,
and wit, she was regarded as second to none in the Scotch settlements; and for energy of character second only
to Flora McDonald." So while Barbacue boasts of the residence of Flora McDonald in her congregation, Long
Street can boast that the only less famous Jenny Bahn McNeill spent her childhood and girlhood in her bounds,
and probably professed religion and joined the church here. But it was after the fateful battle of Culloden,
April 16, 1746, that most of the Highlanders came to this community. After that disastrous battle George 11.,
who was king of the British Empire at that time, gave the "rebelleous Scotch," as he called them, an opportunity
to save themselves from the cruel sword of the Duke of Cumberland on condition that they take a special oath
of allegiance to the English Crown and take up their residence in one of the English colonies. As a result of
this hard transaction great streams of Scotch emigrants poured into this Cape Fear section and settled in what
is now Bladen, Robeson, Scotland, Hoke, Richmond, Moore, Lee, Harnett and Cumberland Counties.
The section around Long Street seems to have been a favored spot with these Highlanders. Many of the best
families that came over settled in this community. The records show that important offices in the Colonial
Government before the Revolutionary war were filled by men from this section. Men of prominence "in almost
every state in the South trace their ancestral homes to this community. A Scotchman who is familiar with all
this Cape Fear section, once remarked to the writer that Long Street had furnished more brains to the country
at large than any other community of the same size among the early Scotch settlements, There must be a
reason why this spot was so favored. That reason is to be found in the natural conditions surrounding this
part of the country. No community in all this eastern portion of North Carolina can rival the country around
Long Street for beauty of scenery, fertility of soil, variety 'of forest growth, and sanitary or health
conditions. Here the Highlander found the high hills with their big sandrock boulders to remind him of his
native land, here he found long fertile valleys that yielded bountiful crops of every variety, on the hill
sides and in the valleys too he found every variety of timber needed in building his home, in making furniture
for that home, and also looms, spinning wheels and so forth for the weaving room, in making his plows and
his truck or wooden wagons; for it should be remembered that these Highlanders were from necessity absolutely
self sustaining. "And he soon discovered that here he was free from the fevers that infested the river bottoms
and flat country along the Cape Fear in Bladen and Robeson counties. It was therefore the splendid natural
conditions that attracted many of the strongest and most virile of the early Scotch settlers to this community."
Very little is known of the early material progress of the community. It is certain that the Yadkin road was
a well established road as early as 1756. Rev. Hugh McAden visited the community in that year, and he refers
to it in his records as a well known road. (It might be of interest to some to know that the Yadkin road is
an old Buffalo trail with some of the kinks taken out of it. It is said that the buffaloes migrated between
the eastern and western part of the state, spending the summer in the western part and the winter in the
eastern. In making this trip they avoided crossing water courses as much as possible. When the country was
settled up down here by the Scotch and further up by the Scotch-Irish, this trail was opened up for a road.
For a century it was an important highway between the two sections of the State.) There is also a tradition
that there was a well-established road as early as 1756 running North and South and crossing the Yadkin road
near the present site of the church. It is also said that there was a tavern at this cross roads. That the
old Scotch did not regard the use of strong drink as evil. It is a well known fact that many of them were
disposed to use it entirely too freely. So it is quite likely that both traditions are correct.
With this information it is comparatively easy to draw a reasonably correct picture of this place on
Wednesday afternoon, January 28, 1756, when Rev. Hugh McAden rode into this community as the first
minister of the gospel. There was perhaps somewhere not far from the present site of the church and
right at the cross roads a log building, covered with riven boards, with one door and possibly a window
or two. Standing around this door there was no doubt a small group of young men clothed in the kilts of
the Highlander and ,carrying their guns, for it is quite likely that they had been out on a hunt and had
returned tired and thirsty, and had stopped at the tavern to quench their thirst, and, as they thought,
to renew their strength. Not very far from this log building there was another log building which was
larger and looked like a man's home. From a previous description he had received McAden recognized this
as the home of Alexander McKay. He turned in and introduced himself to Mr. McKay as a minister of the
Presbyterian Kirk. He asked for a 'night's lodging and an opportunity to preach to the Highlanders. It
is easy to imagine the cordial reception he received. Some of those men had been in the community for
more than twenty years and all of them from eight to ten years, with never a man of God to lead in public
prayer or expound the Scriptures. It was no trouble for Mr. McKay to get the Highlanders together, and he
volunteered the use of his own home as the meeting place. So on Thursday, January 20, 1756, the Highlanders
of this community under the leadership of Rev. Hugh McAden erected their first public altar and called upon
the name of the Lord. The fires have never gone out on that altar.
For one hundred and sixty-seven years the Highlanders of this community have continued to gather around this
altar for the public worship of the Lord.
One must not get the idea from the above statement that this community was free from spiritual destitution
at the time McAden came to it. Quite the contrary was the case. In a journal in which he made a record of
his travels and experiences he made the following entry with reference to this place: "Wednesday, rode up
to Alexander McKay's on the Yadkin road, thirty miles; Thursday, preached to a small congregation, mostly
Highlanders, who were very much obliged to me for coming, and highly pleased with my discourse. Though, alas,
I am afraid it was all feigned and hypocritical." The reason he assigns for this fear is the fact that some
of the congregation spent the night about the place drinking and using profane language. This statement is
strong evidence that the tradition about the tavern is correct. From this same journal we learn that McAden
found a like or worse spiritual condition throughout all the Cape Fear section. Long neglect of the public
service of the sanctuary had produced bad results among these Highlanders, as it will do for any people.
Impressed with the growing spiritual destitution of these Highlanders and realizing the necessity of securing
a man who was familiar with their peculiar customs, and also one that understood the Gaelic language, McAden
returned to Pennsylvania and persuaded his friend, Rev. James Campbell, a native born Scotchman, to come to
this section. Mr. Campbell was born in Campbellton, Argyleshire, Scotland, where he was licensed to preach
by the Presbytery. In 1730 he came to Pennsylvania where he was later ordained and settled in a pastorate in
a Scotch settlement in that state. He came to this state in 1757 'and took up his residence on the west side
of the Cape Fear river, opposite the place where the Bluff church was later located.
It is said that Mr. Campbell first preached at his own house, where great throngs of the Highlanders would
gather from all over this country to hear him expound the Scriptures and to enjoy the sound of their mother
tongue from a man of learning and culture. But in a very short time he had established at least three regular
preaching points, with possibly an occasional service at several other places in the Scotch settlements. The
regular points were: Bluff, called for some time "Roger's meeting house," Barbacue, called "Clark's meeting
house," and Long Street called "McKay's." These names indicate that the services were held in the homes of
men bearing these names. One year later these three "points" were organized into churches and Elders were
ordained. In this church the first Elders were: Malcolm Smith, Archibald Ray, and Archibald McKay. Mr. McKay
was the son of Alexander Mc Kay, who entertained McAden on his first visit to the community. It is likely
that Alexander McKay had died, or felt that he was too old to assume the duties of an Elder, or we would
find his name on the list. These three Elders together-with the Elders from the other churches issued a call
to Mr. Campbell October 18, 1758. This "call" is in the shape of a bond for the payment of Mr. Campbell's
salary, but to all intents and purposes it is the same as the usual call directed by the Book of Church Order.
It is therefore safe to date the completed organization of this church, as well as Bluff and Barbacue, from
October 18, 1758. No doubt congregational action in all these churches had been taken at some previous date,
and this action of the Sessions of these churches was only an expression of the will of the congregations.
Mr. Campbell served the church without assistance until 1770. During that period the church flourished,
members were added to its roll, and the first building was erected in 1765 and 1766. It was a log building
and was no doubt a very plain, unprotentious structure. In 1770 the Rev. John McLeod, a native born Scotchman
came over with some emigrants and joined Mr. Campbell in the ministry. They labored together with great
success until 1776. In that years the fires of American liberty were set to burning. On July the Fourth of
that year the representatives of the American colonists declared themselves free from the mother country.
In such a time men must choose which standard they will follow. Honest men often differ and friends are often
separated at a time like that. So it was in this case. Most of the Highlanders on account of their oath after
the battle of Culloden espoused the cause of the mother country. Mr. Campbell had come to America sixteen
years before this battle. He was therefore free from his oath, and on account of his longer residence here
was more familiar with the conditions here. He championed the cause of the colonist. In his zeal for their
cause he prayed for their success in his public prayers. This aroused the anger of the Highlanders, and so
Mr. Campbell, in order to prevent trouble, withdrew from the field and went to Guilford county, where he
spent the next four years. In 1780 he returned to his home on the Cape Fear, where he soon died. His body
was laid to rest in a lonely grave on the west side of the Cape Fear river. It is said that a freshet
prevented the carrying of the body to the cemetery at the Bluff church.
No words of mortal man will ever be sufficiently beautiful or forceful to adequately express the debt of
gratitude this church, as well as all this Cape Fear section, owes to this Patriach of Presbyterianism.
Without a call, or any assurance of material support-not even knowing whether his message would receive
a hearing or not- he left a good field in Pennsylvania after he had passed middle life and with his cultured
wife, journeyed, on horse 'back most likely, over an almost tractless country to this section to preach the
unsearchable riches of Christ to his fellow countrymen. Fayetteville Presbytery with its more than a hundred
churches, with more than 11,000 members, with its great institution for the education of women at Flora
McDonald College, with its many young men who have entered the ministry from its bounds, and its hundreds
of young men and women who at home and abroad have done noble work in the kingdom, is only a very small
part of the fruits of the labors of this great man of God. Truly it may be said of him: "Blessed are the
dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors;
and their works do follow them."
Very little is known of the early life of Rev. John McLeod, except that he was educated in Edinburgh
and that he had opportunity to preach to the polished audiences of that city. He must have been a man
of considerable learning and culture to be thus honored. It is said that he was a very eloquent man. He
espoused the cause of England, and for that reason he was objectionable to the champions of the colonists.
As a result he was taken a prisoner and lodged in jail at Halifax. Mr. Campbell hearing of this went before
the Provincial Congress and secured his release. Soon after this McLeod set out for his native land, taking
the boat at Charleston. He was never heard of and it was supposed that his ship was lost at sea and he was
Inseparably associated with the name of this zealous minister are the two silver cups presented to him by
some friends in Edinburgh for use in communion services among the Highlanders in America. These ancient
vessels of worship in the care of the Session at the Bluff church, but in a very distinct sense they are
the sacred treasures of all three of the original churches. In fact it is quite proper for every descendant
of these early settlers to feel a sense of ownership in these sacred memorials, for they were never given
to any particular church or community but were the tokens of affection and good will from the Scotch
Presbyterians of Edinburgh to their brethren among the Highlanders in America. Long Street has no special
desire to become the custodians of these cups. All she wants is that her right in them be not denied and
that they be securely kept, not as the property of anyone church, but as the sacred emblems of the faith
and worship of those early pioneers of Presbyterianism in this Cape Fear section.
The third pastor of this church was Rev. Dougald Crawford. He was a native of Scotland and first came
to the bounds of this Presbytery as the pastor of Raft Swamp church in Robeson county. He is described as
an eminent and pious man. He was a chaplin in the British army for some time. He must have been a very
eccentric man. He never stopped to speak to anyone at the church. When he arrived, he went at once into
the pulpit, preached his sermon, and left at once. It is not known exactly what year he began his ministry,
or what year it ceased. But whatever services he rendered at this church were between the years 1780 and
1790. He returned to Scotland about 1790 and was later accidentally drowned.
The fourth pastor of this church was Rev. Angus McDairmid. He too, was a native of Scotland, and is described
as a man of talent, learning and genius. He was greatly beloved by his flock, and although his connection
with the church was not a very long one, it is said that many of the members followed him with their love
and support to his grave. The mortal body of Mr. McDairmid was laid to rest in the cemetery by this church.
The fifth pastor of this church was Rev. Colin Lindsay. Like all his predecessors Mr. Lindsay was born in
Scotland. He came to this country about the year 1790 and first labored at Black River Chapel. He is described
as a man of no ordinary ability. His intellect was much above the average. His chief failing was his inability
to appreciate his opponents position in a controversy. So strong was he in his own opinion that he classified
his brethren of the ministry who took a position against him before the Presbytery as "illiterate children."
But with a firm belief in the truths of the Gospel he preached them to a good old age, when he was too feeble
to stand, he preached sitting in a chair. His body is buried at Stewartsville cemetery in Robeson county.
The sixth pastor of this church was Rev. Colin McIver. He, too, was a native of old Scotia, and he bore
all the marks of the sons of the land of hills and valleys. He was a minister of great gifts and greater
spirit. It is said that he knew more ecclesiastical history and understood the rules of polity of the
Presbyterian church better than any other man in the Synod during his life time. For many years he was
the stated clerk of the Synod of North Carolina. He also had a great missionary zeal, and sought opportunity
to preach the Gospel to the destitute and neglected places. His body was laid to rest in the Cross Creek
cemetery at Fayetteville.
The seventh pastor was Rev. Evander McNair, D. D. He was a man of superior intellectual powers, and was
gifted above most men as a preacher and an evangelist. It was during his pastorate here that the present
attractive church was erected. It is said that he not only led the congregation in planning and directing
the building of this house, but out of his own means he made liberal subscriptions to the work.
The next pastor was Rev. Neill McKay, D. D. Dr. McKay was born Feb. 11, 1816, at "Flint Hill," a country
home in Harnett county. His parents on both sides traced their ancestral home in America to this community.
His great-grandfather McKay was the Alexander McKay who entertained Rev. Hugh McAden on his first visit to
this community, and his maternal great grandmother was the celebrated Jenny Bahn McNeill, whose brother,
Malcolm Smith, was one of the first Elders of this church. So Long Street Gan well claim Dr. McKay as her
very own. His splendid record as a minister and as a. presbyter is one that the church may well be proud of.
His chief service to Presbyterianism in this state is perhaps to be found' in the important part he played
in establishing the North Carolina Presbyterian, which is now edited under the name of the Presbyterian
Standard and is one of the best church papers published by the Presbyterian church. He fell to sleep on Feb.
23, 1893, and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery at Summerville church in Harnett county.
The ninth pastor of the church was Rev. James McQueen, who began his ministry in the year 1856. He traced
his ancestral home to the Isle of Skye. He was related to Flora McDonald, who made her home for a brief
period in his grandfather's home. He came to this church from the Seminary at Columbia where he graduated
with honors. He was licensed and ordained at Fayetteville Presbytery in the bounds of which he spent the
forty-six years of his active ministry. His longest and greatest work was at St. Andrews where he labored
thirty years and where he finished his work. His body was laid to rest in the cemetery at St. Andrews.
The next regular pastor was Rev. David Fairley, D.D. He was born in Mississippi and after graduating from
Davidson College and Columbia Seminary he settled at Manchester, where he spent his long and useful life
ministering to all the western part of Cumberland county, which at that time included the northern half
of Hoke county. He served in the army of the Confederacy as a chaplain and was greatly beloved by those
associated with/ him in that great struggle. In the minds and hearts of the living members of this church
he justly holds the first place. He stood by the church in the day of its extremity, and through heat and
cold, in season and out of season he gave his very best without request or even thought of material
compensation. His memory around that altar is as a sweet benediction. The old remember him for his words
of comfort, the young remember him for his words of counsel and wisdom, and the little children remember
him for his words of tenderness and encouragement. In the words of Paul it may be said of him: "In labours
more abundant, -in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst" he poured out his
life in unselfish service for this church for more than forty years. While preparing a sermon to preach
at Long Street a lingering disease became more acute. But he did not give up the idea of going on with his
work, so laying his pen on the unfinished manuscript he went to Fayetteville for treatment, where he lingered
for a short time and then the messenger of the Lord bade him go up to the heavenly home. His body was laid
to rest in Cross Creek cemetery at Fayetteville.
The author of this paper has the honor of being the present pastor of this church. He began his ministry
here April 1, 1913, and has continued to serve this church until the present day, except for a period of
ten months which was spent as a Chaplain in the Army.
This completes the list of pastors who served this church, except supplies who served it at intervals between
the different settled pastorates. Among these may be mentioned Dr. McBryde, Dr. Colton, Dr. McPherson, Rev.
L. Smith and several others.
In spiritual life the record of Long Street will compare favorably with any other church or community. It
is said before the civil war tremendous throngs gathered there for the service of the sanctuary. It should
be remembered that the community was more densely populated then than it has been since that time. The old
plantations were broken up and the few men that survived that struggle went into other enterprises, which
carried them out of the community. In those former days it was a custom of the people to come there from
great distances to attend the Fall and Spring Communion services. It is said that the Elders and other
leading members of the church kept 'on hand several extra coverings or ticks for bed mattresses and when
the communion season came they would fill these with wheat straw, and at bed time they were put down side
by side in two of the largest rooms in the house. The men took one of these rooms and the women and children
the other. The host always killed one beef and often added two or three muttons. For three and four days
these people would dwell together in Christian fellowship, hearing the Gospel' preached and examining their
own spiritual condition. In many respects these semi-annual meetings resembled the great feast in Jerusalem.
In more recent times the record of the church has been more equally favorable. When the writer began his
ministry there he found a large number of children and young people. They were faithful in studying and
reciting the catechism. They also organized and conducted a Christian Endeavor Society. One of the young
men of the church, Rev. Dougald Mc-D. Monroe, is preaching the gospel in West Virginia, where he is doing
a splendid work.
Long Street has had three houses of worship. The first was built in 1765. It was probably a plain log
structure. It stood just north of the present site, and about four hundred yards away. The second house
was erected in the early part of the nineteenth century, and was a frame structure. It stood on the west
side of the present building and near the corner of the cemetery. It was a rather plain and unattractive
house but commodious and furnished accommodation for very large congregations. The present house was erected
between 1845 and 1848, probably finished in 1847. At that time the community was in a prosperous condition,
and the attractive and substantial house of worship erected bears testimony to the gratitude of the people
to a kind and beneficient Providence. In addition to these buildings there was at one time a stand in the
grove where overflow crowds gathered to hear a sermon by the pastor or some visiting brother. This sand was
a simple little structure with a floor some three or four feet from the ground and a roof to cover the minister.
The rock wall around the cemetery will ever be a distinctive mark of this church, and will be to future
generations a silent testimony to the nobility and refinement of the early settlers here. The history of
the wall is a little obscure, but it seems that originally it included only a small portion of the graves
on the back side of the cemetery. This part of the wall was built in the early part of the nineteenth century.
Some thirty or forty years later it was decided to include all the graves in the enclosure and the work was
finished as it now stands. It should be' a matter of pride to those who have loved ones buried there to see
that this wall is kept up.
Long Street has been the mother of churches. In a certain important sense it may be said that this church
together with the Bluff and Barbacue constitute the mother of all the churches in the Presbytery. But in the
more strict sense of actually sending off members to create new churches, this church has done an important
work. Among those may be mentioned Galatia, Cypress, and' Sandy Grove. This church contributed also to the
charter membership of McPherson, China Grove, Bethel, Bethesda, Union and Buffalo. And as a feeder to other
churches Long Street has entered scores of churches in this and other states with young men and women trained
in the Catechisms and doctrines of the church, who have done a good part in building up the kingdom in many
The Long Street Academy should be mentioned in this paper. This preparatory school flourished several years
before the Civil War, and only ceased its excellent work when its teacher, Major Murdock McLaughlin, and his
students answered the call of their country to arms, and marched off in a body to join Lee's army in Virginia.
Long Street has had an honorable record in every military struggle through which our country has passed.
In the Revolutionary War they were loyalists from principle. As already indicated they came to this country
not merely as refugees but as the war prisoners of the English crown, who were given their liberty on condition
that they take a special oath to the crown and settle in some English colony. The unfriendly critic who says
they were not bound by an oath taken under such circumstances thereby proves himself a weaker vessel than the
Highlanders. It was a free choice between death or bondage in England or a special oath and liberty in America.
They chose the oath and residence in America, and were therefore bound by it not on the ground of obligation
to the Crown, but to their God in whose 'name they had taken the oath. After the war was over and the issue
was settled they championed the American cause with a fidelity that has never been surpassed by the most ardent
revolutionist, thus proving their sincerity. In the war of the sixties Long Street did her full share and more
for the cause of home and fireside. With just pride they point to Major Murdock McLauchlin and his company
who marched from the church to Raleigh to join heart and hands with the other brave sons of the South. With
equal pride they point to Captain John McKellar and the other contingents that left the community in that
great struggle. Not only did they go, but they paid the supreme price on the battle field. So depleted was
the population of the community that there was not a child presented for baptism for sixteen years after
the war. Long Street never recovered from the death toll of that war.
A small marble shaft in the cemetery at Long Street (a cut of which is
shown elsewhere)-bearing the simple inscription "Confederate Soldiers"
is strong testimony to the community's high regard for its Confederate dead.
This shaft marks the last resting place of some thirty unknown Confederate
soldiers who fell in the "Monroe Battle"-a small skirmish between Wheeler's
cavalry and a detachment of Sherman's men under command of Kilpatrick six miles west
of the church. Under the leadership of Captain John McKellar, John H. Currie and
others, these bodies were removed to Long Street soon after the war closed. In 1870,
through the efforts of the women of the community, money was raised and this simple
monument erected-not only to mark the burial place of these unknown comrades of their
fathers and brothers, but also as a memorial to their own loved oneswho had fallen on
other battle fields.
In this connection it is worthy of note that the monument marking the grave of Captain
John McKellar was erected in 1909 by the surviving members of his company. It is of dark
marble and can be seen in the cut showing the stone wall.
In the recent World War Long Street had her part and did it nobly. Not a single man in
the first class asked to be excused, but each one as he was called stepped in line and
marched away to defend his country's cause. When the armistice was signed, these young
men of the present day, though few in number, along with their pastor stretched out across
the American army from the latest arrival in camp to the front line trenches.
The present condition of Long Street church and community in the matter of its organized
life is a precarious one. In 1918 the government decided to take over this entire community
along with other adjoining communities for the purpose of establishing an Artillery School of Fire. Naturally
this action worked a real hardship on most of the people of the community. There were hallowed associations
in the families, the community, and the church life that no appraiser could value and no purchaser could buy.
These ties had to be broken. The love scenes of youth and the homes that represented a lifetime of toil must
be left behind, and eventually the altar fires that have burned for one hundred and sixty-seven years must go
out. The record of this old church has been long and honorable, but the day of its activity has passed; it
will soon cease to function. Let no one imagine that this fact is recorded in criticism of the Government.
It is not. If the fort is a military necessity a fact that no one in the community attempted to disprove the
needs of the whole country abundantly justifies the hardship imposed upon this small section. It is a pleasure
to record that the relationship between the church and the Government as represented in the authorities at
Fort Bragg, has been most cordial. They have manifested an active interest in the care of the church and the
upkeep of the cemetery. The congregation has been assured that both the church building and. cemetery will
be preserved. So while the active life of the church must soon cease, it is very gratifying to know that
this hallowed spot will not be disturbed. It is even hoped that the Government will some day make a small
appropriation to beautify and preserve it as a Colonial Centre.
The surrender of the legal title to the church and cemetery property was perhaps the most trying experience
of all in connection with the matter of taking over property by the Government. The memories that clustered
around that spot were too sacred and the care of the last resting place of five generations of parents and
grandparents was too vital to willingly surrender the control of the property to strange hands. But national
law forbids private ownership of property within a. Government Reservation, and so the courts ordered the
church to surrender the title to the property. This action brought into the treasury of the church a sum
slightly in excess of five thousand dollars.
The proper disposition of this fund engaged the thought and prayer of the church for several months. After
mature consideration it was unanimously decided to establish an endowment at Davidson College to be known
as "The Long Street Church Ministerial Student Fund." This fund was established January 1, 1923. The
purposes of this fund are fully set forth in the following conditions which are incorporated in the
contract between Davidson College and the Long Street church: "(1) Said fund of Five Thousand Dollars is
to bear the name of Long Street Presbyterian church. (2). Only the interest from said fund is to be used,
the principal is to remain intact as an endowment. (3). The interest from said fund shall be applied to
the cause of helping to educate candidates for the ministry, and shall be set aside each year as a special
fund to defray thee necessary expenses that a deserving, needy candidate for the ministry may have while
pursuing his college course, including all necessary college expenses. (5). That a member of said Long Street
Presbyterian church, or a lineal descent of a former member of said church shall have first consideration, if
he applies for help from said fund, and if found to be worthy, he shall have full benefit of said fund if his
needs demand it." It is the hope and prayer of those who have established this fund that it shall not only
perpetuate the name of this ancient altar of our fathers, but that it will also enable many worthy young men
to prepare themselves to preach the glorious gospel of our blessed Lord and Saviour.
We have incorporated in this paper some account of certain things and certain people connected with this
church and community, but no one is more keenly conscious of the fact that what has been written is not a
history of the real life of Long Street church and community than the author of this paper. But could a
keener mind or a more ready hand do better? He might gather more facts about things and people and tell
the whole in a more attractive way. But who can really tell the story of the more than five generations
that have assembled here from Sabbath to Sabbath to sing the songs of Zion, to unite their voices and spirits
in prayer and worship to Jehovah, and to attend to the exposition of the Word of God by the minister? To
this altar devout parents have brought their children and dedicated them to the Lord in the ordinance of
baptism, around this altar boys and girls, young men and maidens as well as old men and' women have been
touched by the Spirit of the Lord and born into the kingdom of peace, and to this altar the sorrowing and
broken hearted have come for comfort and consolation in the hour of death. No one will ever be able to
measure the influence of this altar for good. Out from it there have gone streams of pure water to every
section of our fair south land and to many other parts of the country. There are men and women of honor
and success in the legal profession, the medical profession, in our educational institutions, in business,
in agricultural pursuits, in the ministry, and among the missionaries of the foreign fields who trace their
ancestral home to Long Street. The real history of this church will never be fully known until He who keeps
a perfect record opens the Book in which His records are kept.
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