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 life."
    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 remembrance."
    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

WILLIAM MOFFATT GRIER, D.D 1867 - 1871    

     In 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 returned home.
    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 Church, 1905.

HUGH McMASTER HENRY, D.D. 1879 - 1933    

     Hugh 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 study."
    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. Synod's history.
    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 tablet.
    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.


     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    

     James 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 Synod.
    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     

     Samuel 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. Echols.
    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 Second Presbytery.
    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     

    Benjamin 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 June, 1945.
    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 two years.
    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.


     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 Camden, Alabama


     Harold Lamont Richardson was born November 25, 1936, in Ripley, Mississippi, son of Lamont Daniel Richardson and Gladys Roten Richardson.  He is a graduate of Mississippi State University and Reformed Theological Semianry.  He also attended Millsaps College, the University of Mississippi and the University of Wyoming.  Before entering the ministry he had taught on the high school level for ten years and at Northeast Mississippi Junior College for three years.  He also served four years in the United States Air Force.  He was married to Sally Ralph, daughter of Fred and Era Ralph.  They are the parents of four children, Brent, Kari, Lori, and Philip.
    Rev. Richardson was installed as pastor of the Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches in a service at the Camden A.R.P. Church on July 7, 1974.  While pastor of these three churches, he also taught high school English at Wilcox Academy in Camden, Alabama.  He resigned his pastorate on July 31, 1976, to accept the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church of Winona, Mississippi.  

ROBERT PRESSLEY BRAWLEY, D. Min. 1978 - 1982     

     Robert Pressley Brawley was born to Robert and Betty Mayfield Brawley, August 13, 1953, in Mooresville, North Carolina.  He was educated in the Mooresville City Schools, and was a member of the Mooresville A.R.P. Church.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte in 1974, and from Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, South Carolina, in 1978.  He also received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Erskine Theological Seminary.  He served as supply pastor for Neely's Creek A.R.P. Church, Rock Hill, South Carolina, during the summer of 1976.  He served as supply pastor of Rocky River Presbyterian Church, Abbeville, South Carolina, from September 1976 to May 1978.
    Robert Brawley was married to Beverly Ann Cobb of Mooresville, North Carolina.  They are the parents of four children, three sons and a daughter.
    Rev. Brawley was installed as pastor of the Bethel, Camden and Prosperity A.R.P. Churches on June 25, 1978, in a service at the Camden A.R.P. Church.  He continued his work at these churches until 1982, when he became pastor of a Presbyterian church in Mooresville, North Carolina.  


      Dr. Wyatt Bradley Sutherland began his pastorate of the Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches on March 20, 1983, and was formally installed at a service at Bethel Church May 22, 1983.
   Prior to entering the ministry, Dr. Sutherland had a varied professional life in the military, law enforcement, real estate and finance.  At the time he accepted the call to the ministry and entered seminary, he was vice-president of a savings and loan assocation.  After completing his theological training, he was ordained a minister of the gospel in the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination and accepted the call of a congregation in Birmingham, Alabama.  He transferred his ordination to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod and served pastorates in Florida and South Carolina.  Prior to coming to Bethel, he was pastor of an Associate Reformed Presbyterian church in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
   During his pastorate, Dr. Sutherland compiled a directory of members from Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity.  He also initiated a church newsletter.  Dr. and Mrs. Sutherland also led annual pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
   Dr. Sutherland resigned as pastor of the Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity Churches in May, 1984.  

JAMES MELVILLE BROWN 1984 - 1987     

     James Melville (Jim) Brown was born October 3, 1950, in Morgantown, West Virginia.  He graduated from Winfield High School in Winfield, West Virginia in 1969.  He attended King College, Davis and Elkins College, and graduated from Marshall University in 1976 with a bachelor of arts degree.  He graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in 1984 with the masters of divinity.
    Rev. Brown was married to Miss Susan Lynn King on October 18, 1980.  She is a native of Cooperstown, New York.  She is a registered nurse.  They are the parents of four children.  Another child died in birth.
    Rev. Brown began his ministrial career as pastor of the Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches in November 1984.  He continued in this work until 1987 when he accepted a call to a Presbyterian church in York, Alabama.  

WILLIAM GRAHAM McCLAIN 1987 - 1996     

      Rev. William Graham (Bill) McClain became pastor of the yoked Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church pastorate on September 27, 1987, in a service at the Camden A.R.P. Church.  A native of Kentucky, Rev. McClain earned his bachelor of science degree from Ohio State University and his masters of divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.  He continued in this pastorate until May, 1996.
    Rev. McClain and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of four children:  Laura, Graham, Julie, and Allyson.  The McClains presently reside in Florida.


      Benjamin Wyman Dowling, III, was born on June 19, 1963, in Hagerstown, Maryland.  He graduated from Montreat-Anderson College in 1983 with an A. S. degree, and afterwards matriculated to Wheaton College in Illinois where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1985.  He was awarded a diploma of Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi in 1998.
    Mr. Dowling was married to Miss Ethel Ogden Burwell on October 30, 1993.  They are the parents of two children.
    Mr. Dowling was licensed and ordained by the Tennessee-Alabama Presbytery during a meeting at Fayetteville, Tennessee on June 29, 1998.  He assumed his duties as pastor on July 5, 1998 and was later installed as pastor of Bethel, Camden, and Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches during a special Sunday afternoon service at Bethel. During his pastorate Bethel began having fourth Sunday services again. He resigned his Alabama pastorates effective March 31, 2001 to become the pastor of the Pressly Memorial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Statesville, North Carolina.

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