Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in Abbeville County. The original congregation was comprised of eight families who arrived from Pennsylvania in the late 1750s, but membership quickly grew. Soon Upper Long Cane Presbyterian became the largest congregation in the settlement. On February 1, 1760, Cherokee Indians attacked settlers from the congregation in what is known as the Long Canes Massacre. Twenty-three people were killed, 14 were captured, and others fled, many to the Lowcountry.
In 1763 those who had escaped the massacre returned to Abbeville, bringing new church members with them. Worship services resumed, and despite subsequent Cherokee attacks, Reverend William Richardson helped formally organize the church in 1764. During the American Revolution, the Reverend John Harris led the church. The Reverend Harris was a voracious member of the Whig party and often boasted of his congregation’s loyalty to the Whig cause. He is said to have preached with a gun in the pulpit and ammunition around his neck.
The current church building was constructed in 1964, replacing one that had stood on the site since 1813. However, the Session House (seen above), where the church’s elders once met, remains on the church campus and is open for tours. Upper Long Cane Presbyterian is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PC-USA).
Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church Info
Address: 194 South Carolina Highway 20, Abbeville, SC 29620
GPS Coordinates: 34.200331,-82.388810
Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church Map
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