Warrenton Presbyterian Church (Abbeville, South Carolina)

Warrenton Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation located at 133 Watts Road near Abbeville in Abbeville County, South Carolina.

The church was organized in 1884 by a group of Presbyterians meeting at the Warrenton High School. This group was officially constituted by Presbytery as a congregation on October 31, 1884, with 14 charter members. The first elders of the church were Mr. F. A. Wilson and Mr. George S. Wilson. The Reverend H. Curtis Fennel was the first minister.

W. H. Brooks gave an acre of land to the church in November 1884. F. A. Wilson, often called the "father of the Warrenton Church," directed the construction of the church building. The building was in use by August, 1886, but it was still not completed until 1890. The church building was officially dedicated in May, 1891.

In 1895, The Reverend Fennel accepted a call to a church in Toccoa, Georgia. Warrenton Presbyterian Church then joined with Rocky River, Lowndesville and Willington churches to call the Reverend Luther Link to serve as pastor. Warrenton held worship twice monthly during this time.

The Reverend Fennell returned in 1896 and continued to serve Warrenton until his death in 1927. The Warrenton Presbyterian Church struggled to continue after its longtime pastor died. James Bradley served until his death in 1930, just a few months after being called as Warrenton's pastor. For a few months in 1931, the Reverend A. F. Doty supplied the church with pastoral leadership. The Abbeville Presbyterian Church permitted their pastor, George Telford, to provide two afternoon services each month and served the church for a few months.

The Reverend M. A. Durant began serving as the pastor of the little church in 1934 and continued until 1941. He returned to the church and served again from 1976 until 1978. He attended both the 50th and the 100th celebrations of the church's anniversary.

The Reverend Harry B. Fraser served the church beginning in 1942. He was followed by Ben F. Ogletree. Under Ogletree's leadership, the church voted to build additional Sunday School classrooms, which were completed in 1951 at the cost of $4,000.

When Ogletree left in 1952, he was replaced by Allen B. Wells, who served until 1954. Wells was followed by the Reverend Roy Coker.

The Reverend Roy Coker led the Warrenton Church into a period of growth. Work on a new Sanctuary began in 1957. The church was completed in 1960 at the cost of $22,000. The fist service held in the sanctuary was the funeral of Mr. James C. Morris (February 6, 1960).

At the departure of Rev. Coker, two seminary students from Erskine Theological Seminary, Frank Neil and George McGill, began providing alternating preaching services at the rural church.

The Reverend Bob Pettit was called to serve the Warrenton Church in January, 1962. When he left late in 1965, the church called Timothy Fortner as a regular supply to serve until a full-time pastor could be secured. Sidney Ayer was called in 1967, while construction on a manse or parsonage was still being completed. During his ministry the church reached its highest membership, 151 members.

After Ayer, Charles Brown, Marion Canfield, and M.A. Durant served the church.

In 1978, Charles W. Davenport was called to serve as pastor. During his ministry, the Session and Diaconate combined into a single unicameral Session.

When Davenport left in 1983, the church called Maynard Pittendreigh as pastor. During his ministry, the buildings were refurbished, including the addition of a choir room and a museum. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary and a history of the church was written by Pittendreigh. A Presbyterian People was published by Commercial Press in 1986. The church also elected and ordained its first female elder, Helen Bosler.

Famous quotes containing the words south, church and/or presbyterian:

    Biography is a very definite region bounded on the north by history, on the south by fiction, on the east by obituary, and on the west by tedium.
    Philip Guedalla (1889–1944)

    The meaningful role of the father of the bride was played out long before the church music began. It stretched across those years of infancy and puberty, adolescence and young adulthood. That’s when she needs you at her side.
    Tom Brokaw (20th century)

    What I often forget about students, especially undergraduates, is that surface appearances are misleading. Most of them are at base as conventional as Presbyterian deacons.
    Muriel Beadle (b. 1915)