JOHN MILLER, D.D.
1856 - 1867, 1871 - 1878
Dr. John Miller was born
July 24, 1825, in York District, South Carolina; entered Erskine College
in 1840; graduated in 1843; and was licensed in 1845; preached in
Virginia in 1845, and came on horseback from Virginia to Lebanon Church,
Wilcox County, Alabama, in 1846, and was installed pastor the same year.
In 1846 he was married to Miss Sarah Pressly, youngest daughter of Dr.
Samuel Pressly and Elizabeth Hearst Pressly. In 1853 and 1854 he
conducted a large school at Society Hill, in Wilcox County, along with
his pastoral duties, and in 1855 was elected President of Wilcox Female
Institute, at Camden, Alabama. In 1858 he was elected President of
Erskine College, but declined to accept. He was at different times
moderator of the Synod, twice delegate of his church to the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian church, and was member of a committee of
his own church to revise the metrical version of the Psalms. He
died June 3, 1878, pastor of his first and only charge, at Oak Hill,
Wilcox County, Alabama, over which he was the under shepherd for about
thirty years. He left a widow, since deceased, and five sons and
three daughters, viz.: Hon. J. N. Miller and Hon. B. M. Miller, Camden,
Alabama; Hon. J. N. Miller, Birmingham, Alabama; Mr. James P. Miller,
Rosebud, Alabama; Mrs. Barnette M. Pogue, Gadsen, Alabama; Mrs. A. G.
Brice, Chester, South Carolina; Mrs. Janie M. Dale, Oak Hill, Alabama,
and David P. Miller, Camden, Alabama, since deceased. The degrees
of A. M. and D. D. were conferred on Dr. Miller by his Alma Mater.
In 1866 he purchased the Wilcox Female Institute, at Camden, Alabama,
and for five years made it one of the first institutions of learning in
South Alabama. At the end of five years, he returned to his people
at Oak Hill, as pastor.
During the war he visited his
young men in the army at Port Hudson, in Mississippi, an preached for
them for several months, and the "Wilcox True Blues" presented
him with a handsome family Bible, which he greatly prized.
He was a loyal and liberal
friend of his Alma Mater. He had by virtue of subscription to the
ante-bellum endowment of Erskine College a perpetual scholarship in the
College and until that endowment failed by the disasters of the war, he
kept a worthy young man there as the beneficiary of this privilege.
The forgoing constitutes the
outline of the work and achievements of Dr. Miller. When he
graduated, Dr. Ebenezer Pressly, then President of Erskine, said, as Dr.
Miller, a boy of eighteen years, took his seat after delivering his
graduation speech, "I expect to hear from that boy." Dr.
Miller in his youthful ministry wrote his sermons in blank verse - he
was not only of a philosophic but poetic turn of mind. Hon. W. A.
Lee, of Abbeville, South Carolina, a classmate of Dr. Miller, in writing
a sketch of the class of 1843, said of the subject of this sketch,
"He was a poet and a genius, with a mind singularly acute and
philosophical, whose early promise has been amply verified in the
achievements of after life. He came to Due West in the first flush
of his early youth and bright with the glow of health and intellect and
remained a model student to the close of his Academic career.
After years of labor in pulpit, school room and college, as has been
herein before recorded, he spent the closing years of his life as Pastor
of his first and only charge, among the scenes of his early labors and
in sweet accord with the youthful and dearest associations of his
Dr. Miller was not only a
scholar, but an orator. It is recorded of him that while he taught
in school and college, he never ceased to preach each Sabbath, and that
he was a man of great and recognized pulpit powers. His wonderful
research and earnestness, his resist less force and amazing
profoundness, attracted up to his death great admiration. "He
loved the work of Pastor. He was devoted to the cause of the risen
Savior." His people not only respected but loved him.
He labored for them a lifetime, and the church he founded at Oak Hill
stands as a memorial. It has stood like a rock in the cause of
right now near a half century, true and loyal, not to Christ and his
cause alone, but loyal to the distinct features of our denomination.
Dr. Miller was too broad a man to be sectarian, but he was too true to
be disloyal. It takes a special form and quality of loyal and
moral courage to stand almost alone on the frontier for the peculiar
tenets of our faith. With our ministers in the West, there is no
touch of elbows as in the East.
In the wall of the church at
Oak Hill, to the right of the pulpit he occupied so long, is a marble
tablet with the inscription: "To Rev. John Miller, D.D.
Our Pastor for 30 years. The righteous shall be in everlasting
Rev. A. J. Witherspoon, D.D.,
himself then a citizen of Alabama, in giving an account of Dr. Miller's
visit in 1875 to the Presbyterian General Assembly at New Orleans, as
delegate from our church, said "that Dr. Miller was one of the
foremost men in the pulpit of Alabama." When the history of
old Lebanon on Prairie Creek, and Bethel at Oak Hill, and female
education in Wilcox County, and Associate Reformed Presbyterianism in
Alabama, and the great overshadowing cause of the gospel truth in
Alabama, are fully recorded, the name of Dr. John Miller, D.D., will be
interwoven with them all.
-from the Centennial History of the Associate
Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1905
GRIER, D.D 1867 - 1871
an old house, built by his father, about one mile from the present
little village of Clover, York County, South Carolina, on the eleventh
of February, 1843, William Moffatt Grier was born. He was the
second son of Robert C. and Barbara B. Grier. His brother, Isaac
Livingston, being the first born. At the time of his birth, Dr.
Robert C. Grier was pastor of Bethany and Pisgah congregations. In
1847 he was elected President of Erskine College and removed to Due West
and it was here that Dr. Grier, Jr. was brought up. He attended
the schools of the village, which were fairly good, and in due time
entered Erskine College, graduating in class of 1860. He shared
the second honor of the class. The first honor was taken by his
brother Livingston with one or two others. For a short time after
his graduation he engaged in teaching in Fairfield County, South
Carolina. While pursuing this quiet vocation, the war between the
States broke out, and, fired with a spirit of patriotism, Dr. Grier
volunteered his services, joining the sixth regiment of South Carolina,
which was made up largely of Chester, Fairfield, and York County troops.
Dr. Grier was not in the service long; he was severely wounded at
Williamsburg, May 5, 1862, was taken prisoner, and after his exchange
In 1864 he connected with the
Second Presbytery. In April, 1866, at Cedar Springs, he was
licensed, and in August, 1867, settled as pastor at Oak Hill, Wilcox
County, Alabama. in September, 1871, he was called from his quiet
and happy pastorate to succeed his father as President of Erskine
College. He accepted with some misgivings the important position
"Relying," and he said, "upon the Divine blessing and the
cordial support of those who had elected him." The task
before him was no easy one. The Southern country was suffering
from the terrible ravages of the war, the people were impoverished.
The burden of reconstruction was upon them. Dr. Grier was young,
just twenty-eight, without experience - the old endowment was gone -
there was no effective plans for a new one. On the whole the
problem of sustaining the college, or at least of promoting its
advancement seemed to be a real one. And then Dr. Grier, Jr., was
succeeding a father who had been eminently successful, and whose ability
and worth had been held in the highest esteem by the whole Church - and
he was to take his place as the head of the faculty, some of whom had
been his honored instructors. But the choice of the Synod was
fully justified, Dr. Grier soon had his work in his hand. He
achieved his greatest fame as college president. Dr. F. Y. Pressly
says of him: "That he was raised up, qualified and called of
God to this service, no one can doubt who is familiar with the history
of Erskine College for the last quarter of a century. Such
pre-eminent qualifications for so difficult and responsible a station
came not by chance. There is no occasion to repeat the question of
Mordecai: 'Who knowest whether thou art come to the Kingdom for such a
time as this.'" The success of the College under Dr. Grier's
incumbency is well known. 'His worth was recognized far outside
the bounds of his own denomination, and he was generally accepted as an
exponent of the highest and best Christian culture of the South.
Under his wise guidance the College has extended her influence, and has
a recognized place among institutions of higher Christian learning.
With rare tact and with faithful, unsparing toil he has done what he
could in rearing a fair superstructure on the foundation laid by the
great and godly men who preceded him." Dr. Grier was a most
competent instructor in the chair of Mental and Moral Science, and was
distinguished by the clearness and cogency of his reasoning and his
skill in imparting knowledge to his students. He was pre-eminently
fitted for the government of the College. "He was gentle,
firm, considerate and just, he relied more on appeals to the student's
sense of right than on the naked hand of the law. Submission to
rightful, constituted authority he insisted upon as a cardinal virtue;
but in the enforcement of obedience there was always manifest an
affectionate concern for the highest good of the student."
The confidence and appreciation of his work as president was fully shown
by the Synod, when weary with his labors and his heavy responsibilities,
she refused to accept his resignation tendered at the close of his
twenty-fifth year of service.
But not only did Dr. Grier
serve Erskine College well as her president and professor. He was
a number of times called upon to act as agent. Once he canvassed
the Synod, in part, for the endowment, once for money to erect new
buildings, and again to raise money on the debt incurred in the erection
of the new building and the Dormitory. In his last canvass during
a very hot, sultry summer he remarked that he thought when this was
finished he ought to graduate. He was not given to consult his own
comfort when the Synod called upon him to perform any duty.
Dr. Grier was almost equally as
distinguished a preacher, as educator. As one said of him,
"He stood in the front rank as a pulpit orator. His sermons
were clear, logical, scholarly, and instructive, and withal plain and
practical. He preached with a pathos, power and eloquence that
captivated and moved his audience. he was a man of power in the
pulpit." His Sabbath afternoon sermons preached in the Due
West pulpit will not soon be forgotten, and they have left their
impress, upon many young persons, who it maybe have forgotten his words
in the classroom.
As professor in the Seminary
and as editor of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian, Dr. Grier
also served his Church most efficiently. There was no labor that
he enjoyed more perhaps, than writing for the Presbyterian.
His editorials were always fresh and forcible, and widely influential.
He was indeed a faithful,
unselfish servant of the Church, and of the cause of education.
He died in the midst of his
usefulness and in the height of his intellectual powers. Returning
from his appointment at Bethlehem a few miles from Due West, one hot
Sabbath at noon, September 3, 1899, he sat down to dinner, but with
little appetite. Complained of feeling sick, fell over in a
instant in his chair, and in an hour after he was dead. The stroke
of apoplexy soon did its work. He was removed at once from the
toil of earth to the blessed rest of heaven.
Dr. Grier was most fortunate in
his marriage, his wife, who survives him, Miss Nannie M. McMorries of
Newberry, South Carolina, daughter of the late Dr. McMorries. She
was a true helpmeet, assisting her husband in his high position and
great labors by her sympathy, her appreciation and her prayers.
She was a tower of strength, modestly standing behind the scenes but an
active participant in all that has been accomplished. There are
seven children living. Mrs. J. S. Moffatt of Chester, South
Carolina, and Mrs. Laura Moffatt of the same place, Rev. R. L. Grier of
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Mr. W. M. Grier of Due West and mr. R.
E. Grier of Charleston, South Carolina. Misses Helen and Agnes,
two daughters unmarried, are at home with their mother. Two little
ones passed away in childhood.
- From the Centennial History of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian
HUGH McMASTER HENRY,
D.D. 1879 - 1933
McMaster Henry was born at Hazelwood, Chester County, South Carolina, on
December 9, 1852. He was the son of William J. and Sarah Henry.
In his childhood he experienced some remarkable escapes from death -
once from drowning, once from a coal-kiln with a burned leg, and again
from the accidental discharge of a shotgun in the hands of Rev. John A.
White, then a boy with him.
He enjoyed good educational
advantages for the times, having several notable teachers. He
graduated from Erskine College in 1874. He joined the church at
Hopewell, South Carolina. He was received as a student of theology
by the Second Presbytery at Due West, South Carolina, in the fall of
1874, and was licensed to preach by the same Presbytery September 20,
1876, in Newberry or Prosperity, South Carolina, and was ordained at Due
West, South Carolina, September 28, 1878. In the minutes of Bethel
Church, Oak Hill, Alabama, September 18, 1887, is this note regarding
the further education of Dr. Henry: "Mr. Henry was granted a
six months' leave of absence to go to Alleghaney Seminary for the
purpose of improving himself in Hebrew and other branches of Theological
For sixteen months he labored
in the Arkansas Presbytery, in Drew, Bradley, Dorsey, and Lincoln
counties, Arkansas, and for three months at Salem church, Covington
County, Alabama. He declined a call to the pastorate of Saline,
Arkansas. In May, 1879 Mr. Henry accepted a call from Bethel
Church, Oak Hill, Alabama. He was installed pastor at Bethel on
October 25, 1879. He served Bethel for fifty-four years and seven
months, until his death, one of the longest pastorates in the A. R. P.
During the First World War,
1914-1918, Dr. Henry spent some time preaching at various military
camps. Synod met with Dr. Henry's church, Bethel, September 23,
1880, and again in April, 1931 when Camden and Bethel entertained it
jointly. The Woman's Synodical Union met with Bethel and Camden in
May, 1933. The present church building at Oak Hill was built and
dedicated during Dr. Henry's ministry. It was dedicated November
9, 1895, with appropriate services conducted by Rev. E. P. McClintock of
Newberry, South Carolina and Rev. J. A. Lowry of Marion Junction,
Alabama and Dr. Henry.
From Dr. Henry's congregation
and under his ministry three men have entered the ministry, Dr. J. G.
Dale, missionary to Mexico, Rev. W. R. Carothers, and Rev. W. J. Bonner,
both of whom entered other Presbyterian denominations. Mr. Bonner
also was a missionary to Mexico. Mrs. Flora Harper Halliday is a
third missionary to Mexico from Dr. Henry's congregation.
On October 4, 1881, at Due
West, South Carolina, Dr. Henry married Miss Mary Evelyn Young, a
daughter of Rev. John N. and Mrs. Euphemia E. Strong Young. She
was born in Due West, September 14, 1855. Eight children were born
to them. The following survived them: Dr. Jonathan Edward
Henry, U. S. Navy, Mrs. Euphemia Henry Moore, Marion Junction, Alabama,
Mrs. Sara Henry Nicholson, Centerville, Alabama, Dr. W. John Henry,
Tucson, Arizona, Mrs. Jamie Henry Reynolds, Montevallo, Alabama, John
Torbit Henry, Marion Junction, Alabama.
Dr. Henry installed three of
the men who have been pastor of the Camden, Alabama church, viz. Dr.
Richard Lee Robinson, November, 1899, Dr. Boyce Hemphill Grier, January
8, 1911, and Rev. Renwick Carlisle Kennedy, July 3, 1927.
Mrs. Henry died August 26,
1932, after months of illness. Dr. Henry dies November 2, 1933, in
a hospital in Selma, Alabama. The funeral service was conducted on
November 3rd by Rev. R. C. Kennedy, assisted by Rev. J. L. Pressly and
Rev. W. A. Hayes. Dr. Henry and Mrs. Henry are buried in the
cemetery of Bethel Church at Oak Hill, in the first lot directly behind
the pulpit. On their tombstone, besides the names and dates, are
the words, "Faithful keepers of His flock."
On December 17, 1933, a
memorial service for Dr. and Mrs. Henry was held at Bethel Church.
A marble tablet to the left of the pulpit was unveiled. On it were
these words: "In Memory of Rev. H. M. Henry, D.D., Pastor of
this Church 54 years and 7 months. Born December 9, 1852, died
November 2, 1933. The path of the just is as the shining light
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Mr. John T.
Dale and Rev. R. C. Kennedy selected the verse of scripture for the
On a page of the session book
of Bethel Church, in the resolutions adopted by the congregation shortly
after Dr. Henry's death, are these words: "Dr. Henry had the
unusual distinction of having served the Oak Hill (Bethel) Church most
faithfully for 54 years. Most of the present members were baptized
and married by him, and most of the dead in Oak Hill cemetery were
buried by him. In a real sense the life of the church and the
community centered around him. His influence has been incalculable
during these 54 years. Dr. Henry was an eloquent preacher and a
most excellent pastor, a worthy citizen, a good Presbyter, a strong
character. He loved his church to which he was loyal at all times.
Without a shadow of turning he upheld her policies all his life.
he was a faithful shepherd of his flock."
Dr. Henry received his degree
of Doctor of Divinity from Erskine College. He was a man of strong
personality, an original and striking personality, a bit eccentric in
some respects, devoted to his Church and its institutions. He was
unusually gifted in prayer. He trained his people in church
attendance, and in the giving of their means. Bethel has never
failed to meet its obligations to Synod's budget, nor pastor's salary.
Dr. Henry's influence lives on at Bethel in the life of the people.
Dr. Henry's grandfather was a
Covenanter. Mrs. Henry was a granddaughter of the Rev. Charles
Strong. One of her ancestors was killed while at worship during
the Revolutionary War.
McBRIDE 1934 - 1941
Thomas Bernard McBride was born at Waynesboro, Georgia on August 30,
1908, the son of Robert Claud McBride and Clifford Viola Agerton
McBride. His father was an elder in the Bethel, Georgia
congregation. Mr. McBride grew up in Bethel Church, Vidette,
Georgia. He was baptized in May, 1909, by Rev. Paul A. Pressly.
His pre-college education was obtained at Waynesboro and Vidette,
Georgia public schools. Following his graduation from the Vidette
High School he entered Erskine College in the fall of 1927 and graduated
in the spring of 1931. In the fall of 1931 he entered Erskine
Theological Seminary and graduated in the spring of 1933. He was
licensed by Second Presbytery at Atlanta, Georgia, on April 25, 1933,
and was ordained on October 21, 1933, by the Mississippi Valley
Presbytery in session at New Edinburg, Arkansas. From June 1,
1933, until May 1, 1934, Mr. McBride served as assistant to Rev. L. R.
Neill in the pastorate at Troy, Rives, and Polk, Tennessee. On May
15, 1934, he became pastor of Bethel Church, Oak Hill, Alabama, where he
continued until January 4, 1941. He was installed at Bethel June
24, 1934 by Rev. R. C. Kennedy and Judge John Miller. During these
years Bethel Church took on new life and prospered greatly. Mr.
McBride proved a gifted leader and a beloved pastor. In January,
1941, he accepted a call to the church at Doraville, Georgia, and on
January 15th took up his work there, where he continued till he accepted
a call to Lancaster, South Carolina sometime in the church year 1944-45.
He served Lancaster till in the year 1948-49, when he resigned to take
up the pastorate at Anderson, South Carolina. While pastor of the
Young Memorial Church in Anderson, Rev. McBride accepted a professorship
at Erskine Theological Seminary.
On June 18, 1935 at
Fayetteville, Tennessee, Mr. McBride was married to Miss Jean LeGal
Pressly, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. B. G. Pressly. Mrs. McBride
graduated from Erskine College in 1930. The McBrides had a son,
Thomas Grier, and a daughter, Martha.
Rev. McBride passed away in an
Abbeville, South Carolina, on May 17, 1967, after suffering a heart
attack. His widow still resides in Due West, South Carolina.
JAMES CALVIN SMITH
1941 - 1946
Calvin Smith was born at Troy, Tennessee, November 2, 1908. In
1909 he was baptized by Dr. T. P. Pressly, his uncle. He grew up
in the Troy congregation under the ministry of Dr. Pressly, by whom he
was received on profession of faith at the age of twelve.
His mother was Sunie Montgomery
Pressly, youngest daughter of Rev. David Pressly, D.D., and Sarah Brown
Peden of Starkville, Mississippi. His father was William Alexander
Smith, son of James Graham Smith and Sarah Elizabeth Allen of Troy.
His education was begun in the
public school of Troy. He was a student in Bryson College from
September 1926 to the spring of 1929. In the fall of 1929 he
matriculated in Erskine College, and graduated in the spring of 1930.
He taught High School Algebra one year in the school of Simpsonville,
South Carolina. In the fall of 1931 he entered Erskine Theological
Seminary, receiving his certificate of graduation in 1933.
He was licensed by the Second
Presbytery in Atlanta, Georgia, at the spring meeting, April 25, 1933,
and by the same Presbytery, on October 18 of the same year, he was
ordained to the full work of the ministry at Clinton, South Carolina.
He began his ministry at Ora,
South Carolina, where he served four years, June 1933, to June 1937.
In the latter year he went to Mount Zion and Elsberry, Missouri, in
June, and continued in this field till April, 1941, when he was
transferred to the Tennessee and Alabama Presbytery, to take up the work
at Bethel A.R.P. Church at Oak Hill, Alabama. After about five
years at Oak Hill, April, 1941, to February, 1946, he accepted a call to
Monticello, Arkansas, February, 1946, where he also supplied Shady Grove
and Hickory Springs. In November 1950, he resigned from his
pastorate of the Monticello Church to accept the pastorate of the
Bartow, Florida Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Calvin Smith was an active and
useful man in the Gospel ministry, a preacher of a sound and helpful
Gospel, edifying to his people. His power of song was a large
asset, both to his congregation and to the meeting of his Presbytery and
While in swimming at Bonclarken,
less than a month after he entered upon his work as a minister, he went
under the water and was under several minutes. He was rescued
unconscious by Revs. Charles E. Edwards and W. M. Blakely, with the help
of others, and was resuscitated after considerable effort.
Evidently God had a work for him to do.
In the Ora A. R. P. Church, on
June 26, 1935, he married Miss Hattie Mae Blakely. Mrs. Smith was
the daughter of W. M. Blakely and Nannie Thompson Blakely. Her
college education was received in Due West. Before marrying she
taught at Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. They had two daughters,
Nancy Suzanne (Mrs. Robert Elliott) and Harriett Elizabeth (Mrs. Earl
Linderman.) Mrs. Smith died in 198?
SAMUEL LEROY McKAY
1946 - 1950
LeRoy McKay was born October 15, 1913, in Mecklenburg County, North
Carolina. His father was Elmer Ransom McKay, of pure Scotch blood.
His mother was Mrs. Arlena Benfield McKay, of Scotch-English blood.
She died in November, 1915, when Samuel LeRoy was two years old.
Samuel LeRoy was born within
the bounds of Prosperity, North Carolina, where he grew up and was
baptized and was received into the membership of the Church by the Rev.
P. A. Stroup in 1921, at the age of eight years. In 1929, when he
was fifteen years of age, he with his parents moved to Concord, North
Carolina, where his pastor was Rev. M. R. Gibson, and later Dr. L. I.
He attended the Mallard Creek
Graded School six and a half years. His high school work was done
in the Concord High School, whereupon in September, 1933, he entered
Erskine College, graduating cum laude in 1937.
"A childhood aspiration
that grew through the years" turned his attention toward the Gospel
Ministry. Consequently in the fall of 1937 he entered Erskine
Theological Seminary. He completed the course in 1939. In
April, 1939, he was licensed by the First Presbytery, and in 1940,
November, at the request of the First Presbytery, he was ordained by the
Having finished the Seminary
course, in September, 1939, he became Instructor of Bible and Assistant
Pastor at De La Howe State School. In this work he continued
through June, 1941, and possible through another year. Receiving a
call to Prosperity A.R.P. Church, Lincoln County, Tennessee, he took up
the work there some time during the year 1942-43, and continued there
pastor of this rather large country church till some time in 1945, when
he accepted a call to Oak Hill, Alabama, Bethel Church. He
resigned his work at Oak Hill in July, 1950, to accept a call to
Salisbury, North Carolina. After his pastorate in Salisbury, Rev.
McKay transferred to the Presbyterian Church, U.S., where he served four
churches. He retired in 1980 from the pastorate of the Broadway
Presbyterian Church, Broadway, North Carolina. Reverend McKay died
August 3, 1997.
On April 29, 1939, at Smyrna,
South Carolina, he married Miss Martha Elizabeth Caldwell, daughter of
Samuel L. Caldwell, elder of Smyrna Church, and a descendant of Dr. R.
A. Ross. Mrs. McKay is a graduate of Erskine College. She
taught in Bethany School of York County, South Carolina, Folkston,
Georgia, and in North Carolina.
Rev. McKay served two terms as
president of the North Carolina Poetry Society.
BENJAMIN J. DANHOF
1952 - 1953
J. Danhof was born in Chicago, Illinois, December 14, 1896. He was
educated in Ebenezer Christian School at Chicago. He received the
degree of Bachelor of Divinity from Calvin College and Seminary in Grand
Rapids, Michigan. He studied toward the M.D. degree at Calvin
College and at the University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa.
He was ordained to the ministry
of the Gospel in 1924 at Zeeland, Michigan. He served churches in
Michigan and Iowa, coming to Texas in 1943. After working two
years for the Home Mission Board of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., he
became pastor of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., at Grand Prairie in
He was pastor of the Associate
Reformed Presbyterian Church at Grand Prairie, Texas, from 1948 until
1950. While pastor of this church, he sustained a fall from the
second floor of the church which forced his to leave the ministry for
On November 12, 1952, Rev.
Danhof was installed as pastor of Bethel Associate Reformed Presbyterian
Church. He remained in this pastorate for eleven months. He
returned to Texas and resumed work in Grand Prairie, Texas. He
passed away a few years after returning to Texas.
Rev. Danholf's wife, Lois,
passed away in June of 1983. She had been born in Holland in 1898.
KENNEDY, D.D. 1953 - 1974
Renwick Carlisle Kennedy was born October 1, 1900 at the home of his
grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. R. C. Carlisle, Newberry County, South
Carolina. He was the son of Rev. Isaac Newton Kennedy, D.D., and
Mrs. Mary Emma Carlisle Kennedy. His father was the son of W. P.
and Margaret McLane Kennedy of Due West, South Carolina. His
mother was the daughter of Dr. Richard Coleman Carlisle and Emma Renwick
Carlisle of Newberry County, South Carolina.
Dr. Kennedy grew up in the Elk
Valley church, Lincoln County, Tennessee. He was baptized by the
Rev. A. J. Ranson. He joined the Elk Valley Church about the age
of eleven. When he was twelve years of age his parents moved to
Ora, South Carolina, where his father became the pastor of the Ora
church. Dr. Kennedy attended the public schools of Harms,
Tennessee, Ora, South Carolina, and Laurens, South Carolina, finishing
his high school education at the latter. He entered Erskine
College in September, 1917, and graduated in June, 1921. He
entered Erskine Theological Seminary in September, 1921 and graduated in
June, 1923. In September, 1923 he entered Princeton Theological
Seminary and took two years of graduate work in that institution,
completing his studies in June, 1925. He was licensed by Second
Presbytery at Unity Church, Newberry County, South Carolina, on May 1,
1923, and was ordained by the Arkansas Presbytery at a called meeting on
July 30, 1925, at New Edinburgh, Arkansas.
Dr. Kennedy supplied the
churches of Elsberry and Mt. Zion, Missouri, during the summers of 1923
and 1924. On June 7, 1925, coming from Princeton Seminary, he
began work at the home mission church at Russellville, Arkansas, where
he remained for two years. Accepting a call to Camden, Alabama, he
began the pastorate at Camden and Prosperity on May 17, 1927. On
November 7, 1954, he became pastor of Bethel Church. He continued
in work in these three churches until his retirement on May 31, 1974.
During his ministry, he served
for many years as clerk of the Tennessee-Alabama Presbytery. He
also served a term of the Erskine College Board of Trustees, serving as
vice chairman of the board in 1967. He served as a
chaplain during World War II, and wrote many articles for various
magazine, including the Christian Century. During the
inauguration of Governor Benjamin Meek Miller of Camden in 1931, Dr.
Kennedy gave the invocation on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol.
He served for twenty-four years as director of public relations of Troy
State University. His alma mater conferred the degree of doctor of
divinity upon him.
On August 17, 1928, Dr. Kennedy
was married to Miss Mary Elisabeth Fitzhugh Moore of Charlotte, North
Carolina, She was born March 5, 1899, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John
T. Moore, formerly of Clover, Virginia. Mrs. Kennedy was a
graduate of Davenport College and Columbia University.
Dr. Kennedy died December 4,
1985. Mrs. Kennedy died March 3, 1989. Both are buried in