est. 1831

In 1831 Shiloh Presbyterian Church was organized by a traveling missionary agent, The Reverend Alex McIver who then became the first minister of the congregation. The church was built on land donated by founding member, Samuel A. Bunting, and was located four miles east of Clinton on the old Warsaw Road. There were nine organizing members including the family of the Honorable Governor Gabriel Holmes. The first elders of the congregation in 1831 were Patrick Murphy who transferred membership from South River, John Sellers who transferred from Black River Presbyterian and Isaiah Thompson who was received by baptism. Murphy and Thompson both served as Clerks of Session.

The church and adjacent school house were destroyed by fire in 1849. Members then began to worship in the Masonic Lodge at the corner of Chestnutt and Sycamore Streets in Clinton. They changed the name of the congregation to Clinton Presbyterian Church. Several ministers served the church on a part time or temporary basis including The Reverend Licentiate Duncan Campbell (1832), The Reverend Hector McNeill and The Reverend Robert Tate (1840), The Reverend M.C. Conoley (1842), The Reverend Colon Shaw (1843) and The Reverend James M. Sprunt (1853). In 1855, a new church manse was built at 112 N. Chestnutt Street, on a lot donated by Josiah Johnson. The Reverend George M. Gibbs served as pastor from 1855 to 1873. A series of pastors followed Reverend Gibbs including The Reverend Alexander Kirkland, The Reverend Nelson Z. Graves (brother of L. C. Graves), The Reverend Doctor B. F. Marable, The Reverend Peter MacIntyre, The Reverend George Dempster, The Reverend Joseph Evans and The Reverend R.M. Mann.

Prominent early elders were: L. C. Graves, W. H. Holmes, Warren Johnson, James W. Wright, B. F. Grady, Thomas C. Graves, Thomas J. Morisey, Edwin W. Kerr, James K. Morisey, W. K. Pigford, William Gastonia Rackley and A. F. Johnson. Clerks of Session included Josiah Johnson, William H. Holmes, L. C. Graves, Warren Johnson, and A. F. Johnson who was followed by his son, Ferdinand Badger Johnson (and known as Mr. Ferd) who served continually for 41 years from 1916 to 1957.

The church was once again destroyed by fire in 1906. A solicitation for a small contribution of $.50 to help rebuild the church from Mrs. John D. Kerr was answered in full by N. Z. Graves, a contractor in Philadelphia. Graves had multiple connections to the church. His uncle, Nelson Z. Graves, for who he had been named had been a minister at the Goldsboro Presbyterian Church and had served temporarily in Clinton. Nelson Z. Graves married Ida Johnson who was the aunt of future long serving Clerk of Session Ferdinand B. Johnson. The younger N. Z. Graves was the son of L. C. Graves, a former prominent Elder and Clerk of Session. N. Z. decided to fully fund the new church building as a way 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.” The new church building was built on the same property as the previous one, thou in a different location. The building was renamed as the L. C. Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church and was dedicated on November 28, 1908 with The Reverend P. L. Clark as pastor. Other ministers to follow in the early 20th century included The Reverend James Thomas, a son of the congregation, The Reverend George M. Matthis in 1917 as well as The Reverend M.O. Sonnets in 1931. In 1936 Sunday School rooms were added to the back of the sanctuary.

In November of 1938 The Reverend Mack C. MacQueen began his 33 years of service at Graves Memorial where he served until his death on December 18, 1971. Clerks of Session were Ferdinand B. Johnson (1916-1957) and Croom M. Faircloth (1957-1977). Co-Treasurers were J. R. Hubbard and Carey S. Robinson (1965-1969) and Carey S. Robinson (1969-1977). Lucile Wilson was church organist (1958-1970). Choir directors were Edward Taylor (1956-1959, 1972-1977) and Lucile Wilson (1960’s-1972). Louise Tyson was the first church secretary serving in the 1960s, Betty Berley (1968-1969), Ruth Jimmie Jones (1969-1971) and Lucy McMillan (1971). In 1948 the sanctuary was remodeled and enlarged. Extensive improvements were made on the entire building. In 1960 the education building and fellowship hall was constructed. That building was dedicated on October 14, 1971 as the “Mack C. MacQueen Education Building”. In 1970 GMPC purchased a second manse located at 317 West Main Street where Mrs. Memory MacQueen, widow of Rev. MacQueen, lived until Hurricane Fran demolished the house in 1996. At that time she once again moved back into the original manse, 112 N. Chestnutt Street, until her death in March of 2002.

The Reverend Edward Johnston, Jr, served as pastor from April 9, 1972 to January 30, 1989. Clerks of Session were Croom M. Faircloth (1957 to 1977) and Donald Gray (1977-1993). Church treasurers were Carey S. Robinson (1969-1977), Donald Gray (1977-1978) and Sam Foushee (1978-2001). Organists were Lucile Wilson and Neal Sinclair (1979-2010). Choir directors were Edward Taylor, Patsy Waters (1977-1978) and Kathryn Smith (1978-1993). Church secretary was Faye Carr (1971-1993). The Reverend Dr. Robert F. Sloop of Lumberton served as interim until May 1980 when Rev. McKeithen began his pastorate.

The Reverend Leighton B. McKeithen served as pastor from May 11, 1980 until his retirement on December 31, 1987. Clerk of Session was Donald Gray (1977-1993). Church treasurer was Sam Foushee. Neal Sinclair was church organist. Kathryn Smith was choir director and Faye Carr was secretary. In 1982 the congregation approved the purchase of the Rich house at 203 N. Chestnutt Street. In 1983 GMPC became part of the newly formed denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the United State of America (PC-USA). The Reverend Frank Elliott served as interim in the first six months of 1988 until Dr. Hawkins began his pastorate.

The Reverend Dr. William L. Hawkins served as pastor from July 1, 1988 to May 20, 2001. Clerks of Session were Donald Gray (1977-1993) and Monte Bristow (1993-2003). Church treasurer was Sam Foushee. Organist was Neal Sinclair and choir directors were Kathryn Smith, Mary Goodwin (1994) and Ellen Tew (1993-2016). In 1993 Mary Ann Shelton began a handbell choir and served as the director for the first two years. Ellen Tew followed her as director of handbells and remained as such until her death in November of 2016. Church secretaries were Faye Carr and Lisa Spell (1994-2011). In December 1989 the congregation purchased the property in front of the education building and the backyard of the manse lot for use as a parking lot. Diana (Dee) Askins served as the first Director of Christian Education at GMPC from April 1989 to April 2005. In April of 1994 several building projects were completed including a new music room and a renovation of both the education building and the sanctuary building. On May 20, 2001 Dr. Hawkins was called to First Presbyterian Church in New Bern, N.C. The Reverend Neil Bain served as interim for the next year until August of 2002 when Dr. Andrews began his pastorate.

The Reverend Dr. Louie V. Andrews, III served as pastor from August 4, 2002 to December 31, 2012. Clerks of Session were Monte Bristow, Joel Coleman (2004-2007), Grady Broadwell (2008-2009) and Tommy Newton (2009-2016). At the end of his service as church treasurer Sam Foushee designated Bill Scott (2001-July 2019) as his chosen successor. Organists were Neal Sinclair and Pam Langston (2011-2015). Choir director and handbell director was Ellen Tew. Secretaries were Lisa Spell and Melissa Griffin (2005-present). The “Honeycutt” manse, 110 N. Chestnutt Street, was purchased in October of 2004. Church Street which had separated the sanctuary and education buildings was closed in 2005. The Rich house rental property at 203 N. Chestnutt Street was sold in 2006. An extensive addition and major improvements were made to the MacQueen Education Building/Fellowship Hall and it was rededicated on October 26, 2008, a day that also marked the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the sanctuary building. On December 31, 2012 Dr. Andrews was called to Rockfish Presbyterian Church in Nellysford, VA. The Reverend Dr. David A. Walker served as interim January-March 2012, The Reverend Dr. Richard McDuffie served as interim June 2012-July 2013, and The Reverend Elizabeth Forester served as interim August-September 2013 when Dr. Moran began his pastorate.

The Reverend Dr. James A. Moran served as pastor from September 15, 2014 to January 15, 2017. Clerks of Session were Tommy Newton and Carl Barr (2016-present). Church treasurer was Bill Scott. Pam Langston served in dual positions as organist and Program Ministries Director (2013-2015). Neal Sinclair and Jean Hatch shared the position of organist (2015-2016). Lara Capparuccia followed them as organist (2016-present). Ellen Tew was choir and handbell director upon the arrival of Dr. Moran. Followed by Sean and Lara Capparuccia serving as co-directors of music (May, 2016-present). Louise Johnson served as the second Director of Christian Education from August 2015 to May 2017. Melissa Griffin was secretary. On January 15, 2017, Dr. Moran was called to Pineda Presbyterian Church in Melbourne, FL. The Reverend Dr. P. Joseph Ward, pastor at Warsaw Presbyterian Church, served as GMPC interim moderator January 2017-June 2017. The Reverend Dr. Jerry Bron served as interim July 2017-January 2018 when Dr. Wilkins began his pastorate.

The Reverend Dr. Steve H. Wilkins served as pastor from January 8, 2018 to January 5, 2022. Clerk of Session was Carl Barr. Church treasurer was Bill Scott upon the arrival of Dr. Wilkins, followed by Brooks Barwick (August 2019-present). Bill Scott served as the first OPS Recorder (Offerings, Pledges, Statements) (August 2019-February 2022). Followed by Neal Sinclair serving as OPS Recorder (March 2022-present). Organist was Lara Capparuccia. Co-directors of music were Sean and Lara Capparuccia. Handbell director was Sean Capparuccia. Melissa Griffin was secretary. In March 2018 GMPC moved from a bicameral board of 18 elders and 18 deacons to a unicameral board of 18 serving elders. On January 5, 2022, Dr. Wilkins was called to The Village at Summerville in Summerville, SC. The Reverend Dr. William L. Hawkins served as interim from March 2022-June 2023. The Reverend Thomas Wesley Moore, IV served as bridge pastor September 2023-January 2024. The Reverend Dari V. Rowen, pastor at Red Springs Presbyterian Church, served as GMPC interim moderator February 2024 when Rev. Katherine W. Rives began her pastorate.

The Reverend Katheirne W. Rives began as pastor March 1, 2024 to present. Clerk of Session is Carl Barr. Church treasurer is Brooks Barwick. OPS Recorder (Offerings, Pledges, Statements) is Neal Sinclair. Organist is Lara Capparuccia. Co-directors of music are Sean and Lara Capparuccia. Handbell director is Sean Capparuccia. Melissa Griffin is the secretary. We look forward to where God leads us…

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