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Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church
est. 1831

About Us

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Our Mission Statement
Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church was established in Clinton, North Carolina in 1831. Our sole purpose is to glorify God, proclaiming through word and deed the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. We trust God’s Spirit to lead and nurture us in all our community and congregational endeavors. While we are a traditional congregation, we continue to seek ways to serve God faithfully and joyfully.
Vision Statements
FAITH: We commit ourselves to becoming a more dynamic and faithful congregation and will worship in an open and accessible way that invites people into a deeper relationship with God and with the Church. We seek to be responsive to the changing worship and education needs of our children, our youth, our adults, and our elderly while holding onto our traditions and our core beliefs.
FELLOWSHIP: We acknowledge that Christianity is multi-cultural, and at the heart of all expressions of God’s glorification lie core truths and faith. We desire that all that enter our doors will find comfort, companionship, love, and acceptance. We will strive to make our facilities adequate and conducive to worship and fellowship. As we seek to maintain our integrity among ourselves and our neighbors, we will work towards open and honest communication.

MISSIONS: We are here for the people of our community and world. We will emphasize our common connections with God and each other, not those things that separate us. We will be evangelical, seeking to make disciples of people near and far, serving all those in need: the poor, the sick, the lonely and the powerless. We will look for opportunities for mission at our doorstep and beyond.

A Brief Historical Sketch

Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church has a long and storied tradition that since its organization in 1831, has seen it through three names, three locations, and three denominations.

The congregation was originally named, “Shiloh Presbyterian Church” when founded in 1831 with the help of Presbyterian missionaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, a denomination that was itself only forty-two years old. The Shiloh Church sanctuary building was located approximately four miles from Clinton on what is now the old Warsaw Road, before it was claimed by fire eighteen years later in 1849.

In 1855, a new building was completed on the site of the present manse lot at 112 N. Chesnutt Street and the congregation was renamed, “Clinton Presbyterian Church.” Only six years in their new location and with their new name, Clinton Presbyterians found themselves part of the newly formed denomination, the “Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America,” a denomination that would last for only five years, the length of the Civil War, whereupon it was renamed the “Presbyterian Church in the United States.” The sanctuary would last longer than both the “Confederate” denomination and the original sanctuary, fifty-one years in fact, before it also fell victim to a devastating fire.

On November 28, 1908, our present sanctuary building, only shortly down the street and on the same property as the previous one, was dedicated and renamed, “L.C. Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church.” The building was underwritten and built by a former member and Philadelphia contractor, N.Z. Graves, who wished to “memorialize my father (a former clerk of session) by establishing a Presbyterian Church at Clinton of proper magnitude and comfort and attached thereto a Sunday School library in memory of my daughter, Lottie K. Graves.”

In 1983, Graves Memorial became part a newly formed denomination, the “Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,” which is commonly referred to by the acronym, PC (U.S.A.). This is not the “fourth” denomination, for in actual fact Graves Memorial had come full circle to the original denomination in which it was chartered. Through its one hundred and seventy plus years, the saints of Graves Memorial in the Church on earth and the Church in heaven, say with the Psalmist:

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage. (Psalm 16:6)

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