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Home North Carolina Davidson County City of Lexington Historical Markers Pilgrim Church

Pilgrim Church

SR 1844 at SR 1813, Lexington, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 51' 7.8048", -80° 12' 33.3684"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Established ca. 1757 as German Reformed. Known early as Leonard's Church. Fourth building to occupy site stands 3/8 mi. N.W."
     Pilgrim Church was at various times called the Church of the Pilgrims, Leonard’s Church (the Leonard family had a long connection to the church and the land around it), Pilgrim Reformed Church, and Pilgrim Reformed United Church of Christ. There have been four sanctuaries for the church over the years, the first of which was a log structure built around 1759 along Leonard’s Creek (Abbott’s Creek) four miles north of Lexington. Although oral history indicates that the German Reformed church members may have congregated at the site as early as 1754, extant church records begin with a volume, within which the earliest notation is a birth listed for 1757. The ledger is in a single hand through 1787, during which time various notes are taken, including 145 baptisms. It is an excellent account of the families associated with the church. The records in this portion are in German with a little Latin mixed in.

     The cemetery at Pilgrim Church, which boasts the graves of twelve Revolutionary War patriots, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Five of the patriots, who for unknown reasons do not have original markers, were memorialized with a single tablet in 1977. The church on the site has been in continuous operation since its founding.

David Reynolds Koontz, Early Pilgrim German Records (Leonard’s Church) (1998)
Banks J. Peeler, Story of the Southern Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1968)
“Pilgrim Church to Honor Revolutionary War Dead,” Thomasville Times, April 30, 1977
Pilgrim Church Historical Marker Location Map, Lexington, North Carolina