The Presbytery of Fayetteville of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) was established a presbytery of the Synod of the Carolinas on October 2, 1812. The geographic bounds of its authority included, roughly, the land west of New Bern, South of Raleigh, and east of Greensboro. Its members at the time of its first meeting on October 21, 1813, included Reverends Samuel Stanford, Robert Tate, Malcolm McNair, Murdock McMillan, John McIntyre, William B. Merony, Allan McDougal, and William Peacock. The Presbytery of Fayetteville was a member of the Synod of the Carolinas only briefly because a month after its organization the General Assembly of the PCUSA divided the synod in two—one synod for North Carolina with the other including the two states of South Carolina and Georgia. By the time the Presbytery of Fayetteville convened on Thursday, April 3, 1845, it had grown. In 1813 there were eight ministers and twelve churches but by 1845 Fayetteville Presbytery, which was a member of the Old School from the division of 1837, had nineteen ministers and forty-five churches with a total of 2,294 communicant members. According to the U. S. Census of 1840, the two largest cities in North Carolina were, first, Wilmington, with over 5,000, and the second largest was Fayetteville with about 4,300.
In these particular minutes the business is fairly routine for the era before the Civil War but there are a few cases of discipline mentioned. The minutes were scanned at 200 ppi because the font is tiny and the aged paper is stained, so if you have trouble reading the text, zoom in. Please read the page accessed on the homepage toolbar by clicking the “Copyright and Use” button.
If you are unfamiliar with the Presbyterian Church and its organization it is suggested that you read the brief article on Presbyterians of the Past titled, “A Note on Presbytery Meetings and Minutes,” which can be accessed by clicking, HERE.
BY BARRY WAUGH
Notes—Both the hard copy of the minutes scanned and the picture of the historical marker regarding Presbyterians in North Carolina are the author’s. The historical marker is on the grounds of the Alamance Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. R. H. Stone’s A History of Orange Presbytery, 1770-1970, includes a map circa 1812 of North Carolina’s three presbyteries—Orange, Concord, and Fayetteville. For considerable information about the Presbyterians in North Carolina including some document and minute transcriptions, see, W. H. Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers, New York, 1846, which has also been reprinted. For information on Presbyterians of the Past about the Old School and New School division mentioned in this article, click HERE. A biography of one of those present at the meeting, Colin McIver, is available on Presbyterians of the Past and it can be accessed by clicking HERE.