Smyrna Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

From the 1903 Centenial History of the ARP:

About the year 1832, William McGill, Esq., removed from Crowder’s Creek, York Co., to King’s Creek, York Co. About the same time three brothers, by the name of Black, moved into the same neighborhood from Diamond Hill, Abbeville Co.

Mr. McGill had been a member of the Associate Church of Bethany, S. C., and the Blacks of the Associate Reformed Church at Diamond Hill, and they agreed to join forces and procure some preaching. At the request of these men, Rev. Thos. Ketchin preached at the home of Mr. McGill some time in the year 1834. This was the first movement toward the organization of a church. Soon afterwards, seven families living in the northern outskirts of Sharon congregation, united with Mr. McGill and the Blacks, and built a stand near where the present church stands, probably in 1834, and there preaching was held.

In the year 1835, Mr. John Darwin, a generous member of the Presbyterian church, donated the land or which the present church now stands, and a small building was erected. During the early years of this church it was supplied with preaching by Revs. Thos Ketchin, Eleazer Harris, John and David Pressly, Joseph McCreary, L. C. Martin, R. C. Grier and J. H. Boyce.

It was formally organized in 1843, by Rev. R. C. Grier.

In the same year it united with Sharon and Olivet, in a call to Rev. R. A. Ross, and he was installed in Dec. 1843. In 1852, Dr. Ross resigned, and soon after Smyrna united with Sardis, in Union Co., in a call to Rev. J. R. Castles, and he was installed in 1854. During the pastorate of Mr. Castles, a larger and more substantial building was erected. Mr. Castles demitted his charge in 1862, on account of ill health, demitted this charge in 1868, and removed to Arkansas by Revs. Robt. Lathan and R. A. Ross.

In 1863, Rev. Monroe Oates was installed, and demitted this charge in 1868, and removed to Arkansas.

From 1868 to 1871, the church was supplied chiefly by Rev. Robt. Lathan and R. A. Ross.

In 1871, Rev. R. A. Ross was installed for half his time, and continued pastor until the latter part of 1890 or early part of 1891, when on account of age and infirmity, he resigned.

In 1873, the church was burned by an incendiary, and another church was built on the same site. During the pastorate of Dr. Ross, Hickory Grove congregation was organized out of a part of the membership of Smyrna.

Rev. J. P. Knox was installed pastor of Smyrna and Hickory Grove Dec. 3rd, 1891, and continued pastor until May, 1899. Rev. J. L. Oates was installed over the united charge of Smyrna and Hickory Grove in March, 1900, and still continues the pastor.

During the lifetime of Smyrna, it has had a steady growth; its members are liberal and well grounded in the faith, and while it has lost a great many by removals at various times, yet it still ranks as one of the best country congregations in the Synod.

The elders at Smyrna at present are: Thomas McGill, R. M. Plaxco, J. B. Whitesides, W. M. Whitesides, J. A. McGill, J. E. Castles, and J. W. Quinn.

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