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term and was elected president in March, 1931, serving till

1932, when Mrs. 0. B. Souther was elected to the presidency

In 1934 Mrs. Carl L. Wharton was elected president.
During the first years of its existence the meetings of the

society were very irregular, sometimes meeting only once or

twice a year. They met on the Sabbath after the preaching and

Sunday school services and collected their dues, which were 52

cents per year. After the reorganization in 1879 the society

met more often. The constitution adopted at this time specifies

the time of meeting as eleven o 'clock a. m. on the first Saturdays

of January, April, July and October at Buffalo Church. In

August, 1890, the society voted to meet the first Sabbath in each

month. This ruling was changed in 1894 to the third Sabbath,

and five cents monthly to be the amount of dues. In 1910 the

time of meeting was again changed to the first Monday of each

month. This was a forward step, as they now would have time

to put on inspirational programs at their meetings, which was

not possible when meeting after services on the Sabbath. When

the constitution was adopted in 1879, male members were per-

mitted and a number of the men of the congregation became

honorary members, paying 10 cents at the time of admission to

membership and 10 cents thereafter at the beginning of each


At the reorganization of the society in 1907 a new constitu-

tion was adopted and the voluntary system of giving was

During the years up to 1892 all ages belonged to the society.

At this time the first young people 's society, called the ' ' Earnest

Workers," was formed with Miss Mary Lee Wharton as presi-

dent. She continued to serve in this capacity until her marriage

in 1894.
Since its reorganization in 1907 the society has never lapsed,

but has been growing steadily. The first roll of the society to

be found was in 1879 and 29 members are recorded. In 1892, 13

years later, there were only 19 members. We have no roll for

a number of years, but in 1913 we find 30 names on the roll. At

the end of another decade, in 1923, we find the membership

reaching 100, and in 1933 the roll numbers 106.
The society was also growing in the grace of giving. In 1908

and 1909 they alternated in their gifts to Foreign and Home

144 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

Missions, giving $10 per year. In 1911 they gave $22 to Foreign

Missions and $30 to Glade Valley School. The society was not

forgetting the needs of the home church, and in 1914-1915 they

finished paying for a communion service, which amounted to $35.

They also spent $25 for reupholstering the pulpit furniture,

besides paying on a manse fund each year. The largest amount

disbursed by the Auxiliary in its existence was $1,457, given to

all causes during the year 1927-1928.

The session gave its approval to the work of the women by

the adoption of the following resolution in November, 1920:

"Resolved, that the session and pastor of the church desire to

express their deep felt appreciation of the splendid and excep-

tionally fine work the women of our church are doing through

your Auxiliary and circles, especially in that you are reaching

a much larger number and getting their cooperation in the work

of the church more than ever before in the church's history.

We most heartily commend you one and all and pray God's

blessing richly upon you in all you plan to do. ' '

The first mission study class was organized in 1912, and each

year since the Auxiliary has conducted a class in the spring and

one in the fall.
In order to conform to the organized woman's work of the

Southern Presbyterian Church the society in 1917 once again

changed its name. From that time it has been known as the

Woman's Auxiliary of Buffalo Church.

In 1917 the first Rally Day, now known as Loyalty Day, was


In 1919 the first historian for the Auxiliary was elected when

Mrs. W. J. Hendrix came into office. She began to collect the

old records, and when Mrs. S. M. Rankin was elected in 1930

these records were turned over to her and the history of the

woman's work of Buffalo Church is now written in manuscript

form up to date.

In May, 1920, the Auxiliary adopted the circle plan, the

circles meeting the third Monday of each month. This plan has

been the means of greatest advancement in the work.
Another forward step was taken in 1921-1922 when Mrs.

William L. Wharton began a series of Bible studies, taking up

the book of Genesis. This has grown in later years to a syste-

matic study each year of some book of the Bible.

The Wommi's Work of Buffalo Church 145

In May, 1922, the Auxiliary observed tlie first of the Auxil-

iary birthday parties, and has continued this each year since.

This celebration is in honor of the birth of the woman's organ-

ized work of the Southern Presbyterian Church. This first party

was to celebrate the tenth birthday. An offering is always taken

and given to some home or foreign mission object decided upon

by the Woman's Advisory Committee.
In 1924 the first party with short program, followed by a

social hour, was given in honor of the girls and boys leaving

home for college or to enter some avenue of work. To each was

presented a New Testament, ''Fishers of Men," by Rev. Wade

C. Smith. This has been kept up ever since.
A student loan fund was begun in 1924, and after the death

of Mrs. William L. Wharton, beloved president of the Auxiliary,

in 1930, this fund was called "The Rosa Fields Wharton Student

Loan Fund."

Much of the history of the Auxiliary is written, not in words,

but in deeds which will be revealed in that great day when the

books will be opened and an accounting given.


The Buffalo peoj^le held to the Old Side in the division of the

Presbyterian Church in 1741. They believed that only the

Psalms of David in meter, by Francis Rous, should be used in

the church service. The Alamance people held to the New Side

and used the Hymns of Isaac Watts. This division was a serious

embarrassment to Dr. Caldwell, but he was a prudent man and

conformed to the wishes of his people. Dr. T. C. Anderson says,

"When he preached at Alamance he sang the melodious strains

of Watts, but when at Buffalo he was constrained to chant the

Psalms of David." Some of the more aggressive ministers used

Watts' hymns in the Old Side churches. This was the case with

Rev. James McGready at Stony Creek; and the session there

sent up an overture to the Presbytery to know if this should be

allowed. The Presbytery considered the question too hard for it

to answer and referred the overture to the Synod. The Synod

thought the subject of so much importance that it referred the

overture to the General Assembly for a decision. The great

revival of 1800 began about this time and that led to a decision

on the part of the people in favor of Watts' hymns, without

waiting on the General Assembly. From 1800 Buffalo used

Watts' hymns for many years. Some living now (1934) remem-

ber the old Psalmodist, a large book with shaped notes. For

seventy-five years Buffalo has been using the song books ap-

proved by the Assembly. Until recent years the members owned

their own hymn books, and carried them to and from church.

Now the church provides books for every pew.

For a hundred years the session selected a precentor or clerk

to lead the music. He stood on a platform in front of the pulpit

and directed the singing. He would read two lines of the hymn

at a time and lead the music. The practice of lining out the

hymns was necessary because of the scarcity of books. Later

when more books were secured the clerk sat on the front pew and

led the music. Samuel Denny, son of Thomas, is the first

clerk whose name we have recorded. After him David Wharton

was clerk. In 1855 William D. Wharton, then only fifteen
I 146 ]

Music 147

years of age, became clerk, and lie sat on the front pew and

led the music until his death in 1907.

It was the custom during the pastorates of Dr. Caruthers

and Rev. C. K. Caldwell to hold a ten days' school at the church,

almost every year, to teach the younger members of the church

to sing. These were fine social gatherings, and were also very

beneficial to the church music. When the writer was a boy

nearly everybody in the large congregation sang and the music

was fine.
No musical instrument was used until 1886. In that year

her mother's organ was loaned to the church and Mary Lee

Wharton, daughter of William D., became organist and served

until she married and left the community in 1894. Miss Mamie

McMillan, a public school teacher in the Rankin School, supplied

for two years. Mrs. James R. A. Wilson, nee Martha McKnight,

was organist from 1896 to 1903, and during this time a new

organ was bought. Mrs. J. I. Medearis, nee Hattie Wharton,

was organist from 1903 to 1912. Mrs. George Oldham was

organist from 1912 to 1913. Mrs. T. N. Sellars supplied for a

while. Mrs. J. I. Medearis served again from 1915 to 1919.

The piano was bought in 1920. Then Miss Mary Hendrix sup-

plied for a time. Mrs. E. Frank Lee was pianist part of the

time from 1919 to 1922. The pipe organ was installed in 1921

and Mrs. Lee played this for a while. Mrs. Linda Hendrix Gor-

rell was organist from 1922 to 1927. Miss Virginia Fields was

organist from 1927 to 1929. Miss Catherine Wharton served

from 1929 to 1931. Miss Mildred Knight served from 1931 to

1932. Mrs. R. B. Morrisett is now organist. Mrs. J. Lawson

Dick, nee Mary Hendrix, was choir leader from 1922 until she

moved to Burlington in 1929. At this time Mrs. Harry F.

Bynum, nee Ortrude Doggett, became choir leader. Miss Car-

lotta Barnes is choir director.
It was during the pastorate of Rev. E. F. Lee that the cus-

tom of standing for the song service was adopted. Before that

the people sat to sing and stood during the prayer ; now they sit

during prayer and stand to sing.


We give here a list of the sainted dead who dearly loved old

Buffalo, and deeply desired the good work to go on that their

children and others might receive the same rich spiritual bless-

ings that they themselves had received at this place. There are

many more of the sainted dead who had earnestly poured out

their prayers that God might bless and continue to bless the

dear old church, but these made bequests in their wills to assist

in maintaining the preached word here:
James Creswell— 1746-1822 $100
William Donnell— 1749-1822 50
Dr. David Caldwell— 1725-1824 100
Daniel Gillespie, Jr.— 1766-1833 50
Andrew Donnell— 1757-1833 50
John Mitchell— 1773-1841 300
Major Robert Donnell— 1766-1847 200
Samuel Mitchell— 1771-1851 50
Robert C. Caldwell— 1789-1878 200
David Wharton— 1803-1902 300
Mrs. Mary Jane Wharton Motley— 1843-1923 100
Mrs. Cornelia Mitchell Gallahan— 1854-1924 75
Miss Alice May— -1914 100
Mrs. Martha Mitchell Hegwood— 1846-1924 100
Mrs. Julia Rankin Forbis, who is still living, has added $300

to this fund. A list of those who have given to the cemetery

fund is on page 176.



During the pastorates of Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Caruthers

Buffalo was grouped with Alamance, Buffalo having preaching

the second and fourth Sabbaths. In 1847 Buffalo was grouped

with Bethel, and this grouping remained during the pastorates

of Rev. C. K. Caldwell, Rev. J. C. Alexander, Rev. R. W. Cul-

bertson and Rev. J. McL. Seabrook, Buffalo having preaching

the first and third Sabbaths. Midway Church was organized in

1888, and Messrs. Culbertson and Seabrook supplied there two

afternoons per month. In 1905 Buffalo was grouped with Bes-

semer Avenue and Midway. In 1909 Bessemer Avenue was

dropped from the group, and during the pastorate of Rev. E. F.

Lee Buffalo had preaching three Sabbaths per month, Midway

was dropped from the group in 1924, and Rev. A. P. Dickson

was called for all his time.



Buffalo had but one communion service per year during the

pastorates of Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Caruthers. At these seasons

there was preaching for two or three days by some visiting min-

ister. It was at these services that most of the new members

were received. When Rev. C. K. Caldwell became pastor in

1847 it was decided to hold two communions per year. It was

after Rev. E. Frank Lee became pastor in 1913 that the custom

of holding four communion services per year was adopted.



Buffalo has given a number of very fine and valuable men to

the gospel ministry, who have gone out to preach Jesus and his

saving grace to all parts of the country ; and their lives and

labors have reflected honor on their home church.
Rev. John Anderson (1768-1840) was the son of William and

Anne Denny Anderson, and a grandson of William Anderson

and James Denny. He received his classical and theological

education in Dr. Caldwell's school. He was ordained by Orange

Presbytery in 1799, and was dismissed to the Presbytery of

South Carolina in 1800. A few years later he moved to Penn-

sylvania and became pastor of Upper Buffalo Church in Wash-

ington County, where he had a long and useful ministry. His

son, William Caldwell Anderson, and his grandson, John A.

Anderson, and his great-great-grandson, Harrison Ray Ander-

son, and perhaps others of his descendants entered the ministry.

Rev. Harrison Ray Anderson, D.D., is now pastor of the Fourth

Presbyterian Church, Chicago.
Rev. James McGready was born in 1763, and his parents

came to North Carolina from Pennsylvania shortly thereafter,

and settled in the bounds of Buffalo Church. James united with

Buffalo at the age of seventeen, and was partially educated in

Dr. Caldwell's school. About 1784 his uncle carried him back

to Pennsylvania and placed him in the school of Dr. McMillan

at Cannonsburg, where he finished his preparation for the min-

istry. He was ordained by Orange Presbytery in 1793, and

became pastor of Stony Creek and Haw River Churches. His

home was near High Rock, on Haw River, and there he estab-

lished a school. He was very evangelistic in his preaching, and

held many successful meetings in the churches of the Presby-

tery. His sermons were directed largely to members of the

church, for he thought most of them had been formally received

into the church like himself, without any vital religious expe-

rience of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Because of his strong

convictions and aggressive methods he met with opposition in

152 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

his churches. The Haw River Church was so divided that grad-

ually it dwindled away and died. McGready moved to the

frontier and located in Logan County, Kentucky, where he found

' ' sheep without a shepherd, ' ' and organized several churches,

and became pastor of Gasper, Muddy and Red River Churches.

Here the great revival of 1800 began. It is rather strange that

God should have used a boy reared in the conservative Old Side

congregation of Buffalo to inaugurate the greatest religious

revival this country has ever experienced.
Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, D.D., (1768-1826) was the

son of Dr. David Caldwell. He was educated in his father's

school and at Princeton, New Jersey. He was ordained by

Orange Presbytery in 1792, and became pastor of Sugaw Creek

Church, which he served until his death, giving it three Sabbaths

per month. The other Sabbath he served mission points, one

after another, until they were organized into churches, namely:

Charlotte, Paw Creek and Mallard Creek. He was moderator of

the Synod the second year after its organization. Four of his

sons entered the ministry : John M. M., Andrew Harper, Robert

Lindsay, and Cyrus K.
Rev. Alexander Caldwell (1769-1841) was the son of Dr.

David, and was educated in his father's school and at Princeton.

He was ordained by Orange Presbytery in 1793, and became

pastor of Rocky River and Poplar Tent Churches, with every

indication of a most useful pastorate, but in 1797 "his mind

became eclipsed and reason tottered from its throne never again

to resume its sway," and he was brought back to his father's

where he lived a quiet and inoffensive life until his death in

Rev. Andrew Caldwell (1771-1845) was the son of Dr. David,

and was educated in his father's school and at Princeton. He

was licensed by Orange Presbytery in 1798, but gave most of

his life to teaching. He assisted his father in his school, and

after his father's death he continued the school for many years.
Rev. Samuel Donnell was the son of Robert, the second, and

a brother of Major Robert Donnell, long a ruling elder in this

church. He was born in York County, Pa., about 1760, and

came to North Carolina with his father in 1771. He received

both his classical and theological training in Dr. Caldwell's

Rev. Jesse Rankin

1802- 1S76

Ministers from. Buffalo 153

school. In 1802 he became pastor of the newly organized church

of Spring Creek, Wilson County, Tenn. There he established a

school and served the community as pastor and teacher, very

much as his old pastor in North Carolina had done. The com-

munity was largely made up of emigrants from Buffalo and

Alamance congregations.

Rev. Thomas Donnell was born in 1754 and was the son of

Robert, Sr., who came here in 1753. He was educated in Dr.

Caldwell's school, and was licensed by Orange Presbytery in

1778. He went as a missionary to the frontier in Tennessee,

and when the frontier moved westward he moved with it and

located in Missouri. Nothing more is known of him.

We have but little definite information about Rev. David

Barr. There is a record in the court house of where James Barr

gave Rev. David Barr a negro slave in 1796. Slaves in those

days were worth $400. This indicates that David was the son

of James. James Barr, Sr., was a member of the Nottingham

Colony and a member of Buffalo Church. David Barr must

have been educated in Dr. Caldwell's school. He was ordained

by Orange Presbytery in 1784, and became pastor of Sandy

River Church in South Carolina ; he later served New Provi-

dence Church, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and

after that moved to Tennessee.
We are uncertain about Rev. Francis Cummins. Thomas

Donnell sold Francis Cummins 400 acres in this community in

1766. We know Francis Cummins, Sr., had a son named Fran-

cis to whom he made a grant of land in 1785. Rev. Francis

Cummins must have been a son of the Francis who settled here

in 1766. He was ordained by Orange Presbytery in 1784, and

became the pastor of Bethel Church in South Carolina. Bethel

Church was at that time in the territory of Orange Presbytery.

In 1803 Rev. Mr. Cummins moved to Tennessee.
Rev. John Gillespie was the son of Col. Daniel Gillespie. He

received both his classical and theological education in Dr.

Caldwell's school. He was ordained by Orange Presbytery in

1798, and became pastor of Centre, Laurel Hill and Raft Swamp

(now Antioch) Churches in Robeson County, which were at

that time in Orange Presbytery. When Presbytery met at

Buffalo in 1801, his home church, as a special token of respect

154 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

Eev. John Gillespie was elected moderator. In 1810 he was

transferred to Transylvania Presbytery, Kentucky. In his will

dated 1806, Col. John Gillespie gives his nephew, Rev. John

Gillespie, one hundred dollars.

Rev. John Rankin was the son of ruling elder George Rankin.

He received his classical and theological education in the school

of Dr. Caldwell. He married Rebecca, daughter of John and

Hannah Carson Rankin. He was licensed by Orange Presby-

tery in 1793, and in 1796 was sent as a missionary to Tennessee.

He later united with the Society of Quakers, and settled at

Shakertown, Ky., where he was living in 1822.
Rev. Jesse Rankin (1802-1876) was the son of John C. and

Tabitha Wharton Rankin. He was educated in Dr. Caldwell's

school, the Greensboro Academy, and Union Theological Semi-

nary, Virginia. He was ordained by Orange Presbytery in 1825.

He was stated supply of Harmony Church, 1825-1827 ; of Salis-

bury and Concord Churches, 1827-1831 ; missionary in Rock-

ingham County, 1831-1834 ; stated supply of Oxford Church,

1835-1837 ; of Nutbush Church, 1837-1839 ; of Lexington, 1839-

1843 ; home missionary in mountain counties of North Carolina,

1844-1847 ; taught in Lexington and supplied home mission

churches, 1848-1854; teacher in Salisbury, 1854-1857; stated

supply of Lenoir and Newton Churches, 1857-1869 ; pastor of

the Lenoir Church, 1869-1874, and was infirm from 1874 until

his death in 1876. He was moderator of Orange Presbytery in

1833, and again in 1847. He was moderator of the Synod in

1869. By choice he spent his life in serving weak and mission

Rev. John Chambers Rankin, D.D., (1816-1900) was the son

of John C. and Tabitha Wharton Rankin. He graduated at the

University of North Carolina in 1836, and at Princeton Theo-

logical Seminary in 1839 ; was ordained by Orange Presbytery

that same year. He was a foreign missionary to India from

1840 to 1848. His health failed and he had to return to America.

He was the agent of the Publication Board of Foreign Missions

from 1848 to 1851 ; pastor of the church at Basking Ridge, N. J.,

from 1851 to 1895 ; and then pastor emeritus from 1895 until

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