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Home North Carolina Cabarrus County City of Concord Historical Markers Samuel Suther

Samuel Suther

NC-73 at Gold Hill Road, Concord, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 24' 57.528", -80° 33' 2.448"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Early minister of German Reformed Church in N.C., 1768-1782. Preached at Coldwater Union Church which stood 500 yards N."
     As with many of North Carolina’s early immigrants, Samuel Suther arrived in the western piedmont with the tide of Germans moving southward along the Great Wagon Road. Born in Switzerland, Suther arrived in 1738 after a shipwreck off the coast of Virginia claimed the lives of his family members. He moved to Philadelphia where he taught German and then to Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he began serving as a German Reformed minister for Lutheran and Reformed congregations in both North and South Carolina. In 1768, he was ordered from his post at Coldwater Church in modern Cabarrus County by Governor William Tryon to preach to the Rowan and Mecklenburg militia during the War of the Regulation.

     By 1771, Suther had moved to present-day Guilford County to preach to a combined congregation at Low’s Lutheran Church. An outspoken proponent for the rights of colonists to protest English government, Suther, through his activism, forced a break in the congregation. The resulting split led to Suther and his followers leaving Low’s to form their own church, Brick Church, near the site of the Battle of Alamance. Because of his patriotic fervor and his Revolutionary message, Suther and his congregation were targets for Loyalist attacks that eventually drove him from his home and destroyed his farm. After the war, Suther returned to Coldwater Church and others in that region before returning to South Carolina two years before his death in 1788.

     Suther is credited by scholars as being the driving force for the survival of the German Reformed Church in North Carolina, owing to his efforts to seek support of northern Reformed congregations for their southern brethren who were struggling to keep the church alive in the face of war.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, V, 478—sketch by Robert W. Delp
Suther Obituary, Weekly Messenger of the German Reformed Church (Philadelphia), May 10, 1843
J.C. Clapp, Historic Sketch of the Reformed Church in North Carolina (1908)
Lindley S. Butler, North Carolina and the Coming of the Revolution, 1763-1776 (1976)
Samuel Suther Historical Marker Location Map, Concord, North Carolina