“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Willington in McCormick County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Site of Willington Presbyterian Church

Site of Willington Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 13, 2008
1. Site of Willington Presbyterian Church Marker
Organized by the Rev. Moses Waddel, 1809
Joined Synod of the Carolinas, 1813
Building Collapsed, July 2, 1939

Rev. Moses Waddel, D.D.,
1809-1819, 1830-1836
Rev. R.B. Cater 1820-1826
Rev. Aaron Foster 1828
Rev. Isaac Waddel 1837-1838
Rev. W.H. Davis 1839-1862; 1867-1869
Rev. J.O. Lindsay 1863-1866; 1884-1889
Rev. T.H. Law 1870
Rev. L.K. Glasgow 1871
Rev. R.A. Fair 1872-1874
Rev. A.L. Miller 1875-1876
Rev. J.G. Law 1877
Rev. E.P. Davis 1878-1883
Rev. W.K. Boggs 1890-1891
Rev. Hugh McLees 1897-1898
Rev. J.G. Henderson 1900-1903; 1905-1906
Rev. J.B. Hillhouse 1908-1913
Erected 1945

Erected 1945.
Location. 33° 57.433′ N, 82° 28.583′ W. Marker is in Willington, South Carolina, in McCormick County. Marker is on Willington Cemetery Road. Touch for map. Marker is located at the end of the road, across from the entrance to Willington Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Mc Cormick SC 29835, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Willington Academy (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cherry Hill / Noble Cemetery
Moses Waddel<br>(1770-1840) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
2. Moses Waddel
(approx. 1.1 miles away); Willington Academy (approx. 1.1 miles away); Willington (approx. 1.1 miles away); Guillebeau Home and Family Cemetery (approx. 2 miles away); Andre Guillebeau (approx. 2.1 miles away); John De La Howe School Enterprise Market Program at "The Barn" (approx. 3 miles away); John De La Howe School (approx. 3 miles away); John De La Howe / John De La Howe School (approx. 3.1 miles away); De La Howe Hall (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Willington.
Also see . . .  Willington Cemetery Index. Transcription completed August 2000. (Submitted on September 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional comments.
1. Willington Presbyterian Church
In 1820 the session of Wellington, in connection with that of Hopewell, made out a call for Rev R.B. Cater, who was then living at "Rock Mills," Anderson, in charge of the Churches of Good Hope and Roberts. This was accepted
Willington Cemetery Gate image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 13, 2008
3. Willington Cemetery Gate
The cemetery is across from the Willington Presbyterian Church marker.
and he was installed at W. pastor of the two churches.

"Mr. Cater was a native of Beaufort District, South Carolina. The interesting circumstances of his death may be found in the proceedings of the Tuscaloosa Presbytery, Alabama for 1850. Under this lively and interesting minister, these churches received rather a different impulse from that which had been hitherto given them. Sabbath Schools were instituted and benevolent enterprises begun. There is yet extant a sermon delivered before a "Ladies Association" organized by Mr. Cater for the education of young men in the ministry; and another preached as a funeral discourse on the death of a respected elder of Willington. Many interesting camp-meetings were held at both churches, adding in a few years valuable members in the church. In these meetings Mr. Cater was generally assisted by his brother-in-law, Rev. Henry Reid, and the writer remembers as a child, how the deep organ-like tones of the latter seemed to vibrate over the solemn assembly gathered under the leafy arbour, harmonizing so well with the pathos, and argumentative pleadings of the speaker, while the rich musical voice of the other fell on the air like the sound of some silver trumpet.

"So soft, so clear,
The listener held his breath to hear."

They were both revival preachers, but especially Mr, Reid, and whatever may have
Willington Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 13, 2008
4. Willington Cemetery
been his ecclesiastical errors, lie has without doubt, seals to his ministry in these churches. He was a man of strong feelings and an original thinker, but because of his obstinate prejudices and satirical powers was a bitter controversialist. His irregular course after his return from Texas in 1840 is well known to the brethren, but here it was more sensibly felt; as he gathered two small independent congregations within the bounds of Willington and Hopewell, which since his death have been received as regular churches, but which have created such a diversion in strength as to weaken the whole.

Mr. Reid had preached at Hopewell in his best days, and had been here a successful teacher of youth; and now after many wanderings, and having buried all his family in Texas, he returned to die in this little obscure church of his old age, thus quietly closing a life of more than sixty years, most of which had been spent in earnest labours for the gospel of love.

Perhaps at no period of its existence has Willington church presented a more intelligent audience, or given more striking indications of spiritual growth than during Mr. Cater's short term of service. At that time were gathered in many of both sexes whom the Lord was been pleased to own, who lived as ornaments to society, but most of whom ere this met their amiable teacher before the throne. Though so useful
Willington Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 13, 2008
5. Willington Cemetery
in his ministry and exceedingly popular, several circumstances combined to make his stay short.

In 1823, the Presbytery of South Carolina made an attempt at the suggestion of Dr. Barr, and others, to establish a Theological Seminary after the plan of the Southern and Western Theological Seminary at Maryville, Tennessee, and Mr. Cater was selected as a suitable person for a traveling agent. Following the bent of his impulsive and ardent nature, his agency was undertaken and prosecuted without the advice of his churches. The people murmured at his protracted absences, especially as there seemed to be no effort to supply the deficiency. At length Mr. Cater met, at an ecclesiastical meeting, a young Northern minister whom he engaged to occupy his pulpits for a time. This was Rev. Aaron Foster, of New England, who being employed at this time by the Ladies Benevolent Association of Charleston, as an Evangelist for the upper country, agreed to itinerant for a time between this place and Pendleton village. Things remained thus for nearly two years, and at each return of the pastor from his unsuccessful embassy he was constrained to see that the hearts of the people were being won over to the stranger. There were already heavy arrearages in the salary for which the two churches were bound, ami his frequent absences had absolved their consciences from any further obligation in this
Willington Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 13, 2008
6. Willington Cemetery
particular. In 1826, at the suggestion of one who loved him too well to retain him in a position so embarrassing, he resigned his pastoral charge. Two years after that lie was re-elected at Hopewell, but was driven away by an unhappy division in the session. Heat one time taught school in Greenville; and his last place of ministration in the State was at old Pendleton, from which he removed in 1836. Judging from his frequent removals, Mr. Cater was less useful as a pastor than as an Evangelist—hence we find his ardent, impulsive, and loving nature, spending its glowing zeal upon building up and forming new churches almost to the end of his life." Mrs. M.E.D.

Wellington church numbered one hundred and one members, in 1828, sixteen of whom were added within the preceding twelve months, one-hundred and fifteen members in 1829. (Source: History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina, Volume 2 by George Howe (1883), pgs 384-386.)
    — Submitted November 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Willington Church (Abbeville), from 1840
The Rev. William H. Davis was received by South Carolina Presbytery as a licentiate from Union Presbytery, on the 22d of March, 1830, and was ordained and installed as pastor of Hopewell and Willington Churches, on the 22d of May, 1839. On the 1st of May, in 1846, this double pastorate was dissolved. He served the Willington Church until 1860.

"The strength of the church," says Mrs. M.E.D., "in its palmiest days, lay in its noble women, who gave their sympathies and encouragement when they could give nothing else. More precious than gold—yea, than fine gold!"

The first elders were Moses Dobbins, Peter Gibert, Esq., Major E. Noble, Peter B. Rogers. About 1828, in connection with the preceding, Andrew Weed, Peter Guillebeau, J.C. Matthews, N. Harris, M.D., Jacob Bellott, John B. Ball, Oscar Bouchillon and Alexander Houston. [Stephen Gibert was an elder before 1822, when he died.] (In 1842 the elders were Andrew Weed, Alexander Houston, Peter Guillebeau, Dr. William Harris, John B. Bull, according to the list in the minutes of Presbytery, March 26, 1842.) About 1849, S.H. Gibert, Paul Rogers and Wm. T. Drennan were elected. The elders, according to the minutes of Synod in 1855, were Robt. Brady, N. Harris, Paul Rodgers, Wm. T. Drennan. The first set of deacons was under the pastorate of Rev. W.H. Davis. Their names were Peter B. Moragne, A.H. McAlister, Edward Calhoun, John LeRoy and Peter Guillebeau. Total in communion in 1822,64; in 1823.69; in 1824,90; in 1825, 85; in 1830, 108; in 1834, 123; in 1839,90; in 1843, 100; in 1845, 114; in 1850, 112; in 1853, 90. Dr. Baker twice visited Willington Church, and there was a considerable revival of religion. At one time there were about thirty accessions. The cause of temperance flourished at one time, a society being organized in 1830. Rev. Dr. Waddell, the president; Alexander Houston, vice-president; W.W. Waddel, secretary; N. Harris, M.D., E.P. Gibert, P.B. Rogers, S.C. Matthews and R.G. Quarles, directors. This society was energetic and active for a length of time, and useful. The religious instruction of the Negroes was not neglected, as the galleries of the church indicated, by their large attendance, the interest they took in religious worship. (Source: History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina, Volume 2 by George Howe (1883), pgs 757-758.)
    — Submitted November 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Dedication Plaque
Once located in the Willington Presbyterian Church:
In Memory of
The Reverend and Learned
Moses Waddel, D.D.,
The Founder of the Church, in the year 1813,
"Who was faithful to Him who appointed him."
Presented to the church by Mrs. Burt.

(Source: Memorials of Academic Life: Being an Historical Sketch of the Waddel Family by John Newton Waddel (1891), pg 138.)
    — Submitted November 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

Categories. Churches & Religion
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,465 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   2. submitted on November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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