Old Brick Church

Old Brick Church stands in a beautiful grove on the banks of Little River in Fairfield County. There is an image of peace and rest among its graves. It was here that the Synod of the Carolinas, which is now the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, was organized on May 9, 1803. The church was first called Little River Church, and afterwards Ebenezer, but for many years has been known as the Brick Church. The exact time of its organization is not known, but it dates to the late seventeen eighties.

The building of this church tells the story of the love our forefathers had for their houses of worship. It is said that these men gathered together at the brickyard and trampled the mud into mortar with their bare feet, made it into molds with their hands, dried it and then burned it in kilns by day and night. They worked together to erect a building which stands today, after one hundred and fifty-three years, as strong and solid as ever. In 1852 the church and graveyard were inclosed with a granite wall, which is still in good condition.

The Confederate War left the community in a state of disorganization. Many of its men were killed in action; the homes of its people were left in ashes by Sherman's army. The church itself was dismantled and used as quarters for the invading troops.

When the Federal forces came to Little River they found that the Confederates, whom they were pursuing, had destroyed the bridge, which they rebuilt from the flooring and sleepers of the church. Some Northern soldier was stirred in heart as he saw the desecration of the Lord's House, and he wrote in pencil on the door facing these words, which are legible today:

"Citizens of this community—
Please excuse us for Defacing your house of worship so much. It was absolutely necessary to effect a crossing over the creek.
A Yankee"

So great was the blow from the war that the church declined until it finally disappeared from the roll of the Presbytery without any formal act of disorganization. However, it was not to remain dead forever. About the year 1891 the Reverend A. G. Kirkpatrick, the pastor of New Hope, began to cultivate the field again. It revived rapidly, and on August 25, 1893, was reorganized with twenty-one members.

The communion  service,  with  its  waiter,  tankard,  cups,  and  Irish inen, more than a century old, is still in possession of the congregation, whose members gather here several times a year and worship together in one of the loveliest old churches in the South.

BY HAZEL CROWSON SELLERS South Carolina Churches

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