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Walhalla in Oconee County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Bethel Presbyterian Church

Founded by General Andrew Pickens

 
 
Bethel Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 6, 2021
1. Bethel Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription.  Bethel Presbyterian Church, the oldest church in continuous existence in Oconee County, was founded in 1805 by General Andrew Pickens, one of South Carolina’s most notable Revolutionary War heroes. General Andrew Pickens, along with others found travel to Old Stone Church from Tamassee, where he built his final home, difficult. He and several other families then founded Bethel in 1805.

The grounds of Bethel Presbyterian Church feature a marble monument erected in honor of the church officers from the first one hundred years. The historic cemetery dates to the founding of the church.

Visit our Heritage Corridor landscapes — from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Charleston Lowcountry — and discover South Carolina’s history, people and places.
 
Erected by South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers
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War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1805.
 
Location. 34° 49.787′ N, 83° 1.795′ W. Marker is in Walhalla, South Carolina, in Oconee County. Marker is on Bethel Church Road (State Road S37-198) just north of Lecroy Road (State Road S37-449), on the left when traveling north. Marker is located on the south side of the Bethel Presbyterian Church driveway and parking lot entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 580 Bethel Church Road, Walhalla SC 29691, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oconee Town (approx. 2.2 miles away); Oconee Station / Oconee County (approx. 2½ miles away); In Memory of George R. Ryder (approx. 3.7 miles away); Tamassee DAR School (approx. 3.7 miles away); Indian Trail and Thong Tree (approx. 3.7 miles away); May Erwin Talmadge Auditorium/Gymnasium (approx. 3.7 miles away); Josephine C. Peters — West Virginia Cottage (approx. 3.8 miles away); Texas Friendship Cottage (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Walhalla.
 
Also see . . .  History of the Church. Bethel Presbyterian Church was founded in 1805.
Marker detail: Great Philadelphia Wagon Road image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Great Philadelphia Wagon Road
The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road brought the earliest European settlers to the area around 1740. Many early settlers practiced the Presbyterian faith with the first church built in the region in 1752 near Lancaster, South Carolina (just southeast of Rock Hill).
This makes us the oldest and most historic church in Oconee County! Our immense history is detailed below with families, ministers, and church histories. (Submitted on October 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: General Andrew Pickens image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: General Andrew Pickens
Pickens was also the founder of Old Stone Church in Clemson (1790) where he is buried, an elder in the Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church in Abbeville (1763) and a member of the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church near Lancaster (1755).
Marker detail: 1952 Classroom Groundbreaking image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: 1952 Classroom Groundbreaking
Pictured above at the 1952 classroom groundbreaking ceremony are (L-R) Reverend Ace Tubbs, Reverend Trent Howell, Jr., Elder J.D. Cowan, and Elder Sam Cowan. J.D. Cowan, as the church member with the longest record of active membership (ordained deacon in 1894 and elder in 1913). The addition was designed by seminary student Trent Howell and built by Sam Cowan.
Marker detail: Samuel Robertson McFall image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Samuel Robertson McFall
A contributing member of the church who was killed in the Civil War in 1862, he is buried in Bethel's historic cemetery. The cemetery is the burial ground for many historical figures from Oconee County's past.
Bethel Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 6, 2021
6. Bethel Presbyterian Church Marker
(looking northwest • church & cemetery in background)
Bethel Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 6, 2021
7. Bethel Presbyterian Church
(view from near marker • church centennial monument visible on right)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 24, 2024