EUPHRONIA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH HISTORY
The word "Euphronia" is based on the Greek euphron meaning "of good mind" or "harmony of mind
and body". The Euphronian Academy was a classical male school [situated about 2 miles from the
current Euphronia Presbyterian Church] on the south side of Deep River about 1 mile from McKenzie's
Store near Carbonton, Moore County, NC and established by an act of the General Assembly in the
Session of 1811. The Board of Trustees of the 'Euphronean Academy' included (to wit): Rev. Murdock
Murphy McMillan "Murdo" (Principal & Teacher), Archibald McBryde, Murdock McKenzie, William Tyson,
Thomas Tyson (President of the Board of Trustees in 1812), Governor Benjamin Williams, William Martin
and Atlas Jones.
Rev. Murdock McMillan commenced preaching in the academy on Sunday nights in the year 1819 and
proceeded to organize in regular order Euphronia Presbyterian Church in 1819 in Fayetteville Presbytery
(eldest daughter of Buffalo Presbyterian Church [established in 1797] and currently the second oldest
Presbyterian Church in Lee County). The original church building [until relocation in the 1850's to
a site a short distance to the west and down the slope from the current church building] stood about
1 mile south of Carbonton, NC (about 1½ miles north of the present church building). Rev. McMillan
was fluent in both English and Gaelic, so he held two services on the Sabbath, one in each language
(with an intermission between the services). Rev. McMillan ordained Donald McDonald, Gilbert McRae
and Robert Boles as Ruling Elders. Rev. McMillan continued his labors until the year 1830, when he
moved to the Western District Presbytery in Tennessee. In November 1831, Rev. Angus McCallum was
installed pastor and his wife, Francina "Fannie" Montgomery Bishop McCallum very soon engaged in
teaching a female school near Carbonton, NC. Rev. McCallum ordained John A. Campbell, Alexander
McIver and Daniel C. Campbell as Ruling Elders in July 1834. Rev. McCallum continued until July 1838,
when he moved to the Chickasaw Presbytery in north Mississippi. Rev. Samuel Paisley was installed in
the Spring of 1839 and owned 270 acres of land on the Chalmersville-Gulf-Graham Plank Road (later owned
by William R. and Jesse D. Spivey). Rev. Paisley ordained William McBryde and William C. Campbell [his
future son-in-law, who married Cynthia Denny Paisley on October 5, 1848] on October 1, 1844 as Ruling
Elders. Rev. Paisley served until April 10, 1852. Rev. James H. McNeill commenced preaching on May
18, 1852, serving as pastor for one year while residing at Pittsboro, NC. Rev. George McNeill served
until the 2nd Sabbath in April 1854. No regular pastor served the congregation but Rev. Mr. Anderson
of Virginia ordained William D. Harrington and Duncan M. Sinclair as Ruling Elders in 1856. On the
4th Sabbath in July 1856, Rev. Willis L. Miller was employed for a salary of $400.00 per year. Rev.
Miller's health failed after two years service and he preached his farewell sermon on June 13th, 1858.
No regular pastor served the congregation until the 1st Sabbath in February 1859 when Rev. David Fairley
was employed for $300.00 for ½ his time. Rev. Fairley preached until February 1st , 1860.
On April 7, 1860, Euphronia Church reported five Elders, two Deacons (on May 28, 1859- A.R. Wadsworth,
Dr. Alexander M. McDonald and James E. Harrington were elected deacons) and about seventy members upon
its roll (weakened by constant emigration and deaths of members). The church building is old but has
been recently repaired. Twenty-three black members can be found in the session records between September
11, 1853- July 12, 1885. On July 29th and September 30th, 1860, Rev. David Fairley and Rev. George A.
Russell administered sacrament to a large and attentive congregation. Rev. Samuel Paisley returned on
the 1st Sabbath in November 1860 and served until November 15th , 1863. Rev. Paisley died on December
23, 1863 at the home of his son-in-law, William C. Campbell, Esquire at the age of 91 years. He was
buried beside his wife, Eleanor Paisley [sister of Rev. William Denny Paisley, the first pastor of Buffalo
and Union Presbyterian churches] in the Eno Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Orange County, NC. A.N.
Ferguson, a candidate for the ministry lectured for two months commencing in the middle of July 1862.
Mr. Ferguson was licensed in September 1862 and employed to preach every 3rd Sabbath for a salary of
$300.00 per year commencing January 1st, 1863. Mr. Ferguson served as stated supply until January 1st,
1873. Rev. William Sterling Lacy began serving Euphronia (1/4 of his time) and Buffalo (3/4 of his time)
as pastor on July 1, 1873. Rev. Lacy was installed on Saturday, May 30th, 1874 at Euphronia and he soon
started a Sabbath school called "Cedar Spring" (held at McRae's schoolhouse), about equi-distant from
Euphronia and Carthage, NC. On July 18, 1875, John McMillan McIver, Dr. Alexander M. McDonald and E.J.
Harrington were elected Elders and ordained on the 5th Sunday in August, 1875. George Alexander McRae,
Angus McLeod, William B. Campbell and John Campbell were ordained Deacons on September 12, 1875. The
organization of White Hill (July 16, 1881) and Gulf (Sunday, January 22, 1882) Presbyterian Churches
resulted in an aggregate loss of 35 white members [or 24.6 %] for Euphronia Presbyterian
Church [1879 recorded 142 communicants].
A new church building was discussed and a building committee elected in 1883. Elder Daniel C. Campbell,
a prominent builder in Moore County built the current church building. The session met in the new church
on May 9th, 1886. On Sunday, September 18, 1887 the first communion service was held in the new church
building. Rev. Lacy served until 1888. Rev. W.S. Friend served for a few months in 1889. The organization
of Pocket Presbyterian Church (May 2, 1890) at the Pocket Academy, located about 7 miles away resulted in
a loss of 5 members [or 5.7 %] for Euphronia Presbyterian Church [1890 recorded 87 members]. Rev. A.R.
Shaw, the evangelist served from 1890-1891 and preached at the "mission station" in Carbonton, NC in
In 1956 a fellowship hall was built off the south side of the church building and the historic
cemetery [first known person, George Willcox (Died- 1857) buried therein] was enlarged (with parking
area as well). On April 19, 1991, Records of the Session (1838 - 1990) were microfilmed by the NC
State Archives. In 1994, Euphronia Presbyterian Church was placed on the National Register of Historic
Places and printed their first pictorial directory of members in 1995.
JAMES VANN COMER, CENTRAL NC HISTORIAN
P.O. BOX 2681, SANFORD, NC 27331-2681
©Copyright 2006 by James Vann Comer
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