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Home North Carolina Caswell County City of Hightowers Historical Markers Griers Presbyterian Church

Griers Presbyterian Church

NC-119, Hightowers, NC, USA
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Organized in 1753. Rev. Hugh McAden served as its first minister. Present building dates from 1856. Stands 1 mi. E."
In 1753, Presbyterians from Pennsylvania led by Samuel Bell settled on the banks of North Hyco Creek in Caswell County. Under Bell’s leadership, they organized a church and called upon Hugh McAden, a member of the Hanover Presbytery, to conduct services. As a result of the Great Awakening, the Presbyterian Church had divided into “Old Sides” who maintained older, conservative beliefs, and “New Sides” who focused on emotion and revivalism. McAden, known for his fervor, was a “New Side” Presbyterian. He accepted the post in 1758 and administered to the “Upper Hyco” congregation (as it was known) as well as several others including Red House Church and Hawfield’s Church.

No church building was in place until 1797, when a structure was erected during the pastorate of William Moore. As a consequence, in the first years of the church’s history, the congregation met in homes or in outdoor settings. Known originally as the Upper Hyco Presbyterian Church, the congregation changed the name to “Griers” in 1809, as a memorial to member James Griers, donor of land upon which the building stood.

The church location and structure changed twice more, first in 1835 at a site now known as “Old Griers,” and then again in 1856, when the congregation constructed the building currently standing about a mile from the previous site. Designed by Alfred A. Mitchell in a Greek revival style, the 1856 church has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The “Old Grier” cornerstones and cemetery remain nearby.

Jethro Rumple, The History of Presbyterianism in North Carolina (1966)
Tommy Lee, “Presbyterians and Revivalism: The New Side / Old Side Split Which Lasted from 1741-1758” (1997), online at: http://www.hornes.org/theologia/content/tommy_lee/presbyterians_and_revivalism.htm National Register of Historic Places nomination for Griers Presbyterian Church and Cemetery (1985)