File submitted for USGenWeb/MOGenWeb Lincoln Co. page by Russell M. Reid, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, 1998.


Elsberry, Missouri

Friday, April 25, 1913


The Associate Reform Presbyterian church at Elsberry has a history which dates back to the early settlement of the state. Among the first Psalm-singers who located in what is now Lincoln County were Peter Galloway, a ruling elder of an Associate Reform Presbyterian church in York County, S.C., and his family. These came about the year 1818. They were followed by David Wilson, a ruling elder in Fairfield County, S.C., in the year 1820. Also Samuel Gladney, whose descendants have played an important part in the history of the church, came with his family from the same place in the same year. Then came James Finley in 1829, James Alexander in 1830, and Alexander Reid in 1833, all of whom were elders of the A. R. P. church in Shelbyville, Ky.

About the year 1824, efforts were made to supplied with preaching occasionally by ministers of their faith. Accordingly they were supplied during the years 1825-1834 by Reverends Adams, Walker, Miller, ????on, Kendell, Engles, McCarroll, ??????, Bruce, Pollock, and perhaps others from the A. R. P. church.

No organization was effected until the first day of August, 1834, when Rev. Andrew Bower, a supply from the A.R.P. Synod of the West, organized Auburn, the first A.R.P. church west of the Mississippi river about four miles southeast of the village now known as Auburn. The following fourteen charter members were enrolled: Alexander Reid, Sr., James Alexander, James Finley, Elders, Jane Reid, Martha Alexander, Marx Finley, Samuel Alexander, Anne Alexander, Jane Alexander, Matilda Reid, Alexander Reid, Jr., Jane Finley, Haddassah Finley, Mary Steele Finley.

The church was supplied by various itinerating ministers, among whom may be mentioned, Reverends Turner, Parks, Wallace, Thompson, Finley and Freatly until 1840. These ministers were all members of the A.R.P. Synod of the West.

In the year 1840, the members of the Auburn Congregation met to consider their destitute situation, feeling that they were being neglected by the Western Synod in that they had left them destitute of the word for such long intervals. It was unanimously resolved by the members that they could no longer remain under the care of the Western Synod and they instructed James Finley to open communication with the South whom they believed to act more in accordance with the spirit and meaning of the constitution and standards of the A.R.P. church. As a result of this correspondence, the church was received into the Sounthern Synod.

From June, 1840, to 1843, they were supplied by Reverends John S. Pressley and Robert McCoy. Following these supplies Rev. S. S. Rawlston was installed as their first pastor, Aug. 2, 1843. At this time it was unanimously resolved that the church be known and designated as Mt. Zion. Rev. S. S. Rawlston was pastor until the fall of 1860 when he was succeeded (by) Rev. J. B. Miller, who served the congregation as stated supply for fourteen years.

Following Rev. Miller, Reverends F. Y. Pressley, J. L. Young, William A. Wilson, and J. S. Mills served as supplies from 1875 to 1880, at which time Rev. F. Y. Pressley returned to Mt. Zion and was formally installed pastor in 1882 and continued as such until 1886. Next came Rev. D. P. Pressley who preached as his health would permit until his death on Sept. 24, 1888. After one year Rev. B. H. Grier came as stated supply, was installed pastor Oct. 5, 1889. He demitted the charge in 1894, and was succeeded by Rev. W. S. Castles, who after one year and a half became pastor and died one year later. Then came Rev. R. L. Grier, who remained two years and was followed by Rev. H. Rabb in Dec. 1899. He served as supply for about one year. From this time until the present pastorate the congregation was supplied by Reverends D. P. Pressley, C. Y. Love, J. L. Pressley, J. R. McCormic, Lewis Hickman and O. W. Carmichael.

A few years ago, some of the Mt. Zion members having moved to Elsberry, it was decided by session upon their request that services be held at Elsberry once per month, if a suitable place for worship could be secured.

The U.S.A. Presbyterian people kindly consented to these services to be held in their building. Services continued for some time which resulted in a movement to organize an A.R.P. church. This movement being indorsed by the Home Mission board and the Kentucky Presbytery was heartily supported by an overwealming majority of the members, and resulted in an organization on the 21st day of August, 1911, with thirteen charter members. viz: Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Reid, Mr. and Mrs. Salem Reid, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Reid, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery Reid, Mrs. Howard Alexander, Ernest Alexander, Charles Alexander, Miss Addie Reid and Salem S. Reid. The organization having been effected and having been endorsed by the Kentucky Presbytery of which it ?????? endorsed by the A. R. P. church of Elsberry.

This congregation at Elsberry feeling the need of a house of worship of their own purchased a lot and erected a building suited to their needs at the cost of about $7,500.

An interesting and prosperous Sabbath school, Young Peoples' Christian Union, mid-week prayer meeting and Ladies Aid Society are working vigorously for the furtherance of God's Kingdom and for the moral and spiritual uplift of the town in which they exist.

The church will be informally opened for the public on Sabbath, April 27, at 3:30 o'clock. All are invited to be present.

File submitted for USGenWeb/MOGenWeb Lincoln Co. page by Russell M. Reid, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, 1998.

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