Sunday, October 28, 2007

Universalist Church in Georgia

All we know about this photograph is that it is an Universalist Church, probably in Georgia.
- the design makes identification harder, as this was a popular style for rural Universalist southern Churches. It is NOT the Saluda SC church, nor does it appear to be Woodington NC. It doesnt seem to be Liberty in Mississippi (all of those churches have this design).

Do you know what church this is?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ephrata Cloisters -yet more

Being the 275th anniversary of the Ephrata Cloisters, I decided to celebrate in my usual style - by getting a book. In this case, VOICES OF THE TURTLEDOVES (2003) by Jeff Bach. This illustration is from the historic site giftshop

There is a brief mention from cloister documents about universalism and George de Benneville is mentioned. There is plenty about mysticism and even pages about alchemy. Looks good.

There is also a map of Cloister colonies - including 4 in South Carolina
Beaver Creek (c1748-)
Broad River (c1754-)
Cloud's Creek (c1768-)
Edesto (c1770-)
he defines these as "Mixed Congregations of Seventh-Day and First Day Dunkers and English and German Sabbatarians").

He doesnt mention his reference for this, but it's slightly possible it's the Brethren Encyclopedia, Volume 3 (1984) which lists those four congregations -although the BE had Edisto spelled the usual way. The BE map was titled "the Colonial Brethren Congregations and Settlements 1719-1770".
and also lists the nearby Georgia and NC congregations, of which one in NC was small u universalist and the one in Georgia a 7th day group. the Georgia folks moved to Cloud's Creek and Broad River area of SC prior to the American Revolution

for those of you confused - these Churches above were the founding blocks of the churches later affliated with the "Universalist Church of America".

The Ephrata Cloisters was a German Pietist settlement near what is now Lancaster Pa in the mid 1700s. It consisted mainly of folks formerly associated with what we now called the Church of the Brethren. It is believed by some that David Martin, founder of those SC churches above, was the son of George Adam Martin. G. A. Martin was hand picked by the founder to be the leader of Ephrata, and GA Martin was a leader at Snow Hill. Thus the importance to Universalist history.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ephrata 275th Anniversary October 13 and 14th

The Ephrata Cloister
is apparently celebrating it's 275 anniversary this weekend. This group, a spin off of the German Fraternity of Baptists (German Baptist Brethren, Church of the Brethren) had a cloister or commune in early Pennsylvania. Yes, they did believe in universalism, and yes, former residents moved to the South and Midwest. And yes, some of those former Ephrata members and their descendants founded Universalist Churches. George Adam Martin was even known to preach in the New Jersey coast - prior to 1770.

from the press release

Ephrata Cloister to Mark 275 Years With Special Ceremony, Interactive Tours

Launching a weekend of unique tours, the Ephrata Cloister will host a
commemorative ceremony and press conference at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday,
Oct. 13, to mark its 275th anniversary.

The celebration will include a performance by the Ephrata Cloister
chorus, a public cake-cutting and remarks by Barbara Franco, executive
director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, as well
as local dignitaries.

Interactive tours will feature performances by the chorus. Guests will
have the chance to assume the roles of the area's original immigrants as
they learn about life in historic Ephrata, one of America's earliest
religious communities.

LOCATION: Ephrata Cloister
Welcome Center Auditorium
632 West Main St.

Directions and tour information are available at

Source: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Web Site:

from the Ephrata website:

* Second Sunday Series

October 13 (Saturday)
6:00-9:00 p.m.
October 14 (Sunday)
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Discover Ephrata’s musical heritage with a special program that combines a first-person style tour with music performed by members of the Ephrata Cloister Chorus in several locations on the historic site. This special anniversary event will be offered by candlelight on Saturday evening in addition to Sunday. Tours are limited in size and advance registration is strongly suggested. Admission charged.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cloud's Creek, SC questions without answers

I was reading Volume 3 of Patrick O'Kelly's four volume "NOTHING BUT BLOOD AND SLAUGHTER The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas (2005); when I came accross a mention of the Cloud Creek Massacre. I knew of the massacre, but it hadn't occured to me how late this was.
This was a month after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and two months after the battle of Eutaw Springs, SC (with General Greene losing the battle but winning the victor as usual).
Of course the last fighting in SC was over a year after the massacre....

let's see what we can see...
here's a picture of Padgett's Lake, a millpond on Cloud's Creek; and where the Padgett family (under a variety of spellings) had a mill....

googlemaps of lake

Cloud's creek itself - starts between Monetta and Ridge Sping, SC (off SC 23) goes northworth for a few miles then turns north east toward what used to be the Little Saluda River (and is now
the western side of Lake Murray. Easiest to say that Cloud's Creek is between the town of Saluda and Batesburg-Leesville in SC.

below a google map of
The massacre site

David Martin was an universalist restoration minister of the German Baptist Brethren, and did circuit preaching from his home near Newberry. Towsend's history is the source of most of the below non-war information.

1768 Martin held "first love feast" in this area (this is a specific type of communion)
among those recieving were Snowden and Sybil Kirkland. Kirkland until recently had been with a group of 7th Day Baptists on the Savannah River.
1770 James Warden has two hundred acres on Cloud's Creek.
1772 the Cloud's Creek church has 42 baptized members and -in 30 families. Members included James Warren (leader of the church) and Snowden Kirkland. All were English ethnic background. Cloud's Creek celebrated both Saturday and Sunday as days of worship.
1780 Martin was known to be preaching universal restoration.
November 1781 Cloud's Creek Massacre - at Carter's house (log cabin) on Cloud's Creek.
After the surrender of Captain Turner's remaining militia to Major Cunningham, Cunningham had them killed.
May 1782 Cloud's Creek militia in fight at Dean's Swamp Creek (near Wagener and Salley SC)
against Cunningham.
1790 a Cloud's Creek Baptist Church exists. It does not seem to be the same as the 1770s church. Although the minister there may have some very mild connections with the 1820s Universalist Convention of SC.
1803 original Warren and Padgett landgrants sold to others. Kirkland witness.
1804 death of Snowden Kirkland at Cloud's Creek. Kirkland's grandson called the father's family 7th Day Baptists in his declaration in 1847.
Three of Kirkland's sons were Tories. One of his great great grandsons married into the Dennis-Lester family that was associated with the Dunkers-Universalists of Newberry. I have conflicting reports as to Snowden being the brother of Moses Kirkland, an infamous in SC Loyalists.

We know little about Cloud's Creek - the question that I've wondered in putting this timeline together, is does the war and the massacres (of which Cloud's Creek is just one local one from just one side) affect David Martin and his universalist views?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

TarHeel Universalist 1947 - 1955

I found some TarHeel Universalists in a library in North Carolina this past weekend (for those of you not from around here: Tar heel is a nickname for North Carolinians). this was a fair run of most issues from 1947 to 1955. Since this was an unexpected bonanza, I wasnt prepared with tons of dimes to make copies - but I did skim and make some notes.

Rev O. E. Bryant and Rev Lyman Ward died in 1948. Rev Bryant had retired, but was preaching one Sunday a month at Inman's Chapel in the mountains. Dr Bishop was living in Aberdeen and commuting (Aberdeen was my father's home place from the 1920s and I still have an aunt living there now. Our family farm is now condos in Pinehurst). Rev Thomas Chapman was a vegetarian, Rev L. C. "Tex" Prather was a scoutmaster. Woodington was still known as Clayton Memorial in 1947, there was a Goldsboro Fellowship in 1953,
- and I know three of the UYF (I assume this is Universalist Youth Fellowship) officers in the early 1950s. Still active in UU over 50 years later. good for them!
I will go back to make some copies of articles later -