Glenn Springs Presbyterian Church – also called the Old Stone Church – is part of the former resort village of Glenn Springs in Spartanburg County, once known for its healing waters and famous hotel. In 1877 three Presbyterian elders and their families met in the lobby of the Glenn Springs Hotel once a month to conduct a Presbyterian service. By 1879 the Reverend A.A. James from neighboring Fairforest Presbyterian Church (in what is now Union County) was leading services in Glenn Springs. In 1881 James led the effort to build a church for the local Presbyterians, which was completed in the summer of that year. Glenn Springs Presbyterian received its formal charter from the state in 1883.
By 1905 the congregation had grown, and a fundraising effort was underway to build a new church. In 1908 the new church was complete and services were held in this stone edifice. As the decades went by, it was determined that a more modern church was necessary.
In 1961 a new brick church was built, where the congregation currently worships. The bell that once sounded in the stone bell tower of the old church now hangs in the new church. Restoration of the church began in 2007, and in May of 2018 the church held its first wedding in 60 years.
Glenn Springs Presbyterian Church was a part of Glenn Springs Academy, formerly known as the Spartanburg Boys’ Home. Glenn Springs Academy was instrumental in the restoration of the church until the academy closed in 2013. The Glenn Springs Preservation Society then purchased the church property and completed the project. The Old Stone Church is available for weddings and special events through the Glenn Springs Preservation Society.
Glenn Springs Presbyterian Church is listed in the National Register as part of the Glenn Springs Historic District:
Glenn Springs Historic District is located in the community of Glenn Springs, which is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The history of the community focuses around the reputation of the mineral springs for their medicinal value and the related development of a popular resort hotel. The district contains nineteen properties, including several residences, two boarding houses, the ruins of a residence, two churches, a store, a post office, a pavilion, a cemetery, and the site of the Glenn Springs Hotel. Historically, the district represents the nineteenth and early twentieth century (ca. 1840-ca. 1940) development of Glenn Springs as a health resort and the community that grew up around it. Several buildings in the district are of local architectural significance as well, representing various vernacular and high styles of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Bungalow.
The building seen below stands directly adjacent to Glenn Springs Presbyterian Church, or Old Stone Church. Originally starting out as a home when it was constructed in 1885, the building became known as Cates Store by the late nineteenth-century and was ran by Robert Allen Cates. Cates was the first postmaster for Glenn Springs and also operated the billiard table at the Glenn Springs Hotel.
After the store closed, the building was used as Sunday School classrooms for the church starting in 1938 and continued until the church relocated to its new building. The old Cates Store sat empty for decades, except to be used as hay storage, and continued to deteriorate until the Glenn Springs Preservation Society stepped in. The Preservation Society is now focusing its efforts on restoring this old landmark to its former glory in hopes of using the space for meetings, historic events, as well as a museum for visitors to learn about the history of the Glenn Springs Historic District.
Warren Smith says
Our stewardship of this beautiful place continues. We are trying to complete a restroom and bridal room addition presently. Details can be found at website in the article above. Warren Smith, Co-Chairman Glenn Springs Preservation Society
John wise says
I have an old bottle that says Glenn Springs Mineral Water Spartanburg County SC
Marilyn Regentin says
So beautiful….another hidden treasure in my home state of SC.