Sharon Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

From the 1903 Centenial History of the ARP:

Sharon church is situated in the western part of York Co., S. C., and was organized by Rev. James Rogers in the summer of 1796. Its origin is due to the introduction of Watts’ Hymns into Bullock’s Creek and Beersheba Presbyterian churches. Owing to this innovation, a number of families left these churches and were organized into an Associate Reformed Church. In the winter of 1796 Sharon united with Bethany in the northern part of the county and Carmel in the southerın part of the county in a call to Rev. William Dixon, recently came from Scotland. This call he accepted, and he was ordained and installed at Sharon June 5th, 1797.

About 1804 or 1805 Mr. Dixon, the pastor of Sharon, and Rev. Peter McMullen, withdrew from the Associate Reformed Church, owing to the position of the Church on frequent communion, and the dispensing with days of tasting and thanksgiving in connection with the sacrament, and Sharon went with its pastor.

Very soon after, probably in 1805, this church and some others were organized into the Associate Presbytery of the Carolinas. Mr. Dixon continued to be pastor until 1824 or 1825.

In 1826 it united with Tirzah and Carmel in a call to Rev. Wm. M. McElwee, which he accepted, and was installed in April, 1827, and continued pastor until 1832.

During the latter part of his pastorate the church was much vexed and torn by the controversy on slavery and Free Masonry, and Mr. McElwee, feeling that his ministry here was unfruitful, demitted his charges and removed to Pennsylvania, and became a minister of the U. P. Church, where he died a few years ago.

About 1835 Sharon was again organized into an A R. Church, tradition says by Rev. Thos. Ketchin, who had recently come over from the Associate Church. The church was supplied with preaching by various ministers until Rev. R. A. Ross was called by Sharon, in connection with Smyrna and Olivet, both in York Co. He was ordained and installed in Dec., 1843, and continued pastor until 1893. This was a long and remarkable pastorate of fifty years.

The Synod met with this church in Oct., 1893, and joined with the congregation in celebrating with appropriate exercises the semi-centennial of this long and useful pastorate. Dr. Ross was too feeble to attend these exercises, and died shortly after, on Nov. 25th, 1893.

The congregation was vacant until 1896, being supplied principally by Revs. W. S. Castles, W. A. M. Plaxco and J. E. Johnson On July 23rd, 1896, Rev. J. S. Grier was installed, and continues pastor at the present time. The session of Sharon, at the present time, consists of Samuel Blair, J. P. Blair, R. A. Gilfillan, W. M. Ross, W. S. Love, R H. G. Caldwell, S. A. Mitchell, J. H. Shever, S. A. Gilfillan, W. A. Maloney and J. L. Rainey.

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