The Church is listed in the National Register of historic places and notes the following:

 

Built in 1855, Lynburg Presbyterian Church is an excellent example of antebellum Greek revival ecclesiastical architecture. It is one of the few antebellum buildings still extant in the original community of Lynchburg, which is now South Lynchburg. The church is a two story temple form Greek revival style building with engaged tetra-style portico featuring four massive solid brick stucco columns. Set upon an open pier brick foundation and six inch with weather board, the building is a local interpretation of the Tuscan order of architecture. A small triangular-shaped, bifurcated and louvered ventilator interrupts the wide expanse of the portico’s pediment. Corner and wall pilasters adorn each side elevation. The interior is primarily a single room plaster walls and twenty-one foot high ceilings, undecorated except for a large circular plaster medallion in the center, Paneled wainscoting surround the interior space along the outer walls, while a paneled balustrade gallery supported by square pillars with capitals extends along the side of the interior space. The back half of the churches three acre lot is the church cemetery, with plots and monuments of various designs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century through the late twentieth century.  The church was listed in the National Register October 1, 2004

 

The Churches Architecture 

Revolutionary War

The three acre lot was donated by Mrs. Anna E. Law. To the rear of the building is the Lynchburg community cemetery. It was located one mile south of the community of Willow Grove (later English's Crossroads; then Magnolia; now Lynchburg) where the Revolutionary War Battle of Willow Grove was fought in March 1781. In this battle was wounded one of the community's leading citizens, William McIntosh, the father of a charter elder of the Lynchburg Presbyterian Church, James G. McIntosh.

 

 

 

Click the image to read The Battle of Willow Grove

 

The Building is the second oldest remaining buildings in this area, the oldest being the residence that was first a hotel and served as a hospital during the Civil War.

 

The first pastor, Rev. W.W. Wilson, was native of Ireland. The is reported to have ranked as the twelfth oldest of Harmony Presbytery, an organization that was very active in their missionary work with the African American slaves. 

 

During the Civil War (1863)

their pastor, Rev. T.H. Law, was one of the five Presbyterian ministers chosen from Harmony Presbytery to serve as Confederate Army Chaplin. The church was without a pastor during the trying times of the Civil War and the ordeals sustained by the citizens in the ensuing reconstruction period. During this time Mrs. A.H. Frierson is credited in the book "Women of the Civil War" (Camden, SC archives) as the person most responsible for holding together the church, the community cemetery. She founded the first Lynchburg Presbyterian Ladies Mission Society and it is reported in the Montreat, NC archives (Harmony Presbytery) that the strength of the society kept the church alive.  Twenty-nine Confederate veterans are buried in this cemetery. 

 

The building has hand hewn timber forming the floors, pews and the posts that support the old slave galleries that are elevated on both sides of the interior of the church. It is almost an exact replica of the first Methodist Church building which was located about a half mile north on the same road and which also contained slave galleries. The citizens realized their spiritual obligation to the slaves by providing the opportunity for them to worship. 

 

The membership of this church was active for more than one hundred and thirty years in the same building. The building is an integral part of the community cemetery which serves all denominations and citizens of the area, being the only one in Lynchburg.

The 12th Presbyterian Church and the Civil War

Rev. W.W. Wilson  first minister of the Lynchburg Presbyterian Churh

Died Apr. 21, 1861 Aged 40 yrs

Native of Derray CO., Ireland

Lynchburg: As Rememebered by two "old timers" Written by Gee Turner In the Lee County Messenger March 24, 1982

F. A. Cribbs                     &               C. A. Vincent

By Gee Turner

 One dreary March day my spirits were lifted by talking with two lynchburg gentlemen. It is a rare privilege to listen to the reminiscence of two such distinguished men, As I listened to them, Lynchburg came alive in my mind's eye in younger, more prosperous time. It was a Lynchburg of early 1900s; remember by C.A Vincent 87, and F.A. Cribbs, 90.

  Both men are longtime residents of Lynchburg though neither was born there F.A. Cribbs moved to Lynchburg with his family in 1900 from Palmetto, South Carolina when he was eight years old. C.A. Vincent came to town in 1918. 

 

 Cribbs and Vincent agree that Lynchburg was quit

 

a different town in those days. There were more houses and businesses then. At one time Lynchburg was the home of practicing doctors. Cribbs' brother-in-law operated the town's two drugstores. Some of Lynchburg's doctors of yesteryear were Dr. Boydon, Dr. Parrott, Dr. Griffin, Dr Keels and Dr. B.M. Oliver (practiced for 30 years)

 

  "Lynchburg used to be busy a town," remember Cribbs. "You couldn't walk downtown for the crowds on Saturday." He also remembers when Lynchburg was called Magnolia. 

  Cribbs remembers one doctor in particular Dr. O.A. Darley, a past president of the South Carolina Medical Association. Cribbs was just a boy but he remembers vividly hearing of of how Dr. Darley performed an operation in his office on a man who had frostbite in his foot. He later set a man's broken leg by lamp light. "The fellow had fallen out of a tree coon huntin," say Cribbs.

"Dr. Darby set in and the man only had s slight limp afterwards. He was a good doctor and one of the neatest dressers I've ever known".

 

  The railroad that ran through the middle of the main street Lynchburg is now relatively quiet, but C.A. Vincent remembers when "that rail road had us developing ahead of Bishopville. We really thought we were in a position to grow." 

  Passenger trains stopped in Lynchburg four or five times a day and they were always a big attraction. "The young people would crowd around the platform to see who was getting on and off," say Cribbs. "I remember listening to Senator Ellison D. "Cotton Ed" Smith giving a speech from the platform." 

  It was a popular treat to catch the 7 p.m. train, to the Railroad Restaurant in Florence, eat supper, and ride the 9 p.m. train back home.

 Before the arrival of the automobile the trains also provided with a link to entertainment and culture. "The Red Path Players and the Piedmont Lyceum series were popular in the early 1900s," Cribb says. "Money was taken up from the townspeople and the the players or person giving a lecture would usually arrive on the 10 a.m. train.  We had senators, magicians, it was a wonderful

 

They performed in our high school." 

 

  Baseball was another popular form entertainment and the Maysville team was Lynchburg's rival.

"There was some basketball, too." Says Vincent, "And it was all on dirt courts."

"My sister was one of the best shooters around, adds Cribbs.

Mae Antley coached some fine teams on dirt courts." 

  According to Vincent and Cribbs the old Lynchburg High School was completed in 1913 and the newer high school was completed in 1925. The old high school was moved in the 1950s, but collapsed in a field during...

 

...the moving process. Cribbs says the new the newer high school was closed in the 1960s and many of the students were absorbed into Bishopville High School. 

  "I remember once when I was in school a girl had a seizure and the teacher sent me after Dr. Tarrant." says Cribbs. "I was so glad to go because I knew I would ride in his Cadillac. He had one of the first autos in town, only thing is, it broke down before we got very far and we had to walk back to school." 

 Cribbs and Vincent don't agree on the exact year the first automobile came to Lynchburg but they both place the event around 1910.

 "In 1912 my cousin had the first car in Florence," says Vincent. "It was an old Brush and it no top or doors. We use to lap it on foot, it only went 15mph."

  Later, in the '20s, a person could buy a Ford Model T for $20. "It was all dirt roads then, so the mayor built dirt mounds across Main Street to slow the traffic down," laughs Cribbs. "One fellow made his living pulling people of of the bogs with two mules."

 In 1925 a delegation from Lynchburg tried to get the Columbus High Way Department to run US 76 through the middle of town. "We failed at that," says Cribbs, "and later we were glad we did." Cribb says there used to be a lot more cotton planted around Lynchburg than there is today. He harks back to the days when cotton, corn, and tobacco were all farmed by man and mules.

  "Marant Truluck had the first tractor dealership in town." he says. "We were small farmers in Lynchburg, while Maysville had big farmers."

  Cotton used to be the main crop. No fertilizer was used and the crop was harvested by hand. Cribbs remembers the boll weevil's arrival to Lynchburg very well. 

 

"The boll weevil came in 1921 and because we did not know how to deal with it, the cotton crop of '21 and '22 were total loses." 

 But Cribbs adds there were few farmers put out of business back then. Supply merchants renewed farmers' credit from year to year "because back then everything was on credit," he adds.

  During the Depression, Vincent says cotton sold for .05 cents a pound and an acre of farmland sold for $10. Bread was 7 cents a loaf; drink and sardines - a nickel a piece. People who did not have the money to pay were extended credit.

  Vincent and Cribbs are both well informed on the current issues and though both have been retired for many years, they each have offices on the main street Lynchburg. It is obvious they both love their town and they are concerned about the town's present condition and problems.

  It must be painful for them to compare the present Lynchburg to thriving, united, crime-free Lynchburg of yesterday.

Many of the early cotton mills and lumber companies were located in isolated areas and as a result found it necessary to operate company-owned general stores for the convenience of their employees. Some of these mills then saw it to their advantage to issue their own system of token coinage. This benefitted the company primarily in two ways: by offering to pay the employees in tokens instead of cash, it led them to shop at the company store to the exclusion of other establishments; and, by using this system of private money; the mill company could avoid handling large amounts of cash except on paydays. This second point was very important if the closest bank was over 40 miles away, as was the situation in some of the more isolated mill villages and lumber camps.