Join us, June 10-13, 2021
LPC will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its 1821 founding this June. Lebanon Presbyterian Church, on Mount Carmel Road, 1.5 miles southwest of the intersection of SC 72 West and SC 823, will mark this event with a series of gospel meetings, reunion and thanksgiving service, and a dedication of its enslaved persons burial grounds.
The bicentennial celebration is slated to begin Thursday, June 10th, to run through Sunday, June 13th. The public is welcome to all events, and all current and former members, extended family and friends of the congregation are especially invited.
The congregation’s roots are in the old Hopewell Presbyterian Church, which was founded in 1760 on the old Charleston Road in McCormick County. By 1820, the Hopewell Church had relocated, and travel was difficult for Patrick Mullin and his wife, who were aged members of the congregation. At Mullin’s invitation, the Rev. Richard Cater, Hopewell’s pastor, began services in the area. Cater used the rock doorstep of the Mullin home and stood in the shade of a peach tree to deliver the first sermon of the soon-to-be Lebanon Presbyterian Church in 1820. The church was organized on June 30, 1821; the rock doorstep is now embedded in the western corner of the church’s front porch with the names of her former pastors. The charter membership of 35 first met in a log building. In 1828 the first permanent church building was erected. The present sanctuary was built in 1962.
The church often shared pastors with other Presbyterian congregations in the vicinity. Lebanon’s records show that they shared pastors over the years with the Hopewell, Bethiah, and Warrington Presbyterian churches. Several members were called to gospel ministry from Lebanon, to include brothers T. C. and R. C. Ligon, C. B. Evans, III, and Mark Horne. Two ladies have been called to serve in a missionary capacity, Lucie Marie Gibert and Martha Jones Faires.
In addition to the church’s historic main cemetery, with over 450 graves, the church during its bicentennial celebration will dedicate an enslaved persons burial site in the woods behind its main cemetery. It is estimated that 150-200 individuals are interred there, some graves with simple field stones: others, with only depressions in the ground marking their resting places. “Presbyterian churches of that era in our region often had enslaved persons in their membership, and it is highly likely that some of those interred at the site were among our spiritual fathers and mothers at Lebanon. We seek to honor them and all who are buried there,“ said the Rev. John Butler, pastor of Lebanon.
The Rev. Dr. C. N. Willborn, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and adjunct professor of church history at Greenville (SC) Presbyterian Theological Seminary, is the guest speaker for the bicentennial events.
The line-up of activities is:
Thursday, June 10
7:00 PM Gospel Service, with a Watermelon Bust to follow
Friday, June 11
7:00 PM Gospel Service, with an Ice Cream Social to follow
Saturday, June 12
10:00 AM Church History Lecture on Presbyterianism in the Upstate of South Carolina in the 1820s
11:30 AM Dedication of Enslaved Persons Burial Site
Noon Catered Box Lunch (Chick-fli-A meal, cost $9.50; tickets at tinyurl.com/LPC200BoxLunch)
2:00 PM Reunion Hymn Sing and Thanksgiving Service
Sunday, June 13
10:00 Sunday School
11:00 Morning Worship Service
Noon Covered Dish Fellowship Meal
6:00 PM Evening Worship Service
For further information on Lebanon Presbyterian Church’s Bicentennial Celebration, please see the church’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LebanonPCAbbeville.