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Milestones Vol 10 No 1--Winter 1985

January 25th, 1847, Mount Pleasant Church met to consider the matter of Slave holding, as a bar to Church Communion.

A number of the membership feeling that Slave holding was wrong, and against their conscience, decided to remove their membership from the Mount Pleasant Church.

At this meeting a committee consisting of Robert Harbison, Jonathan Smith and George McElhaney was appointed to meet with a committee from the Mount Pleasant Church to negotiate a fair and peaceful settlement of the Church Property.

No settlement was agreed upon and the minority was deprived of the use of the building for worship. On the morning of July 25th they were forcibly prevented from entering the building for worship and withdrew peacefully and worshipped in the Darlington Academy. Signed: Peter Crowl, Secretary. - '

Some years later some small settlement was negotiated.

August 5th, 1847: A meeting of the Free Church was held and it was decided to build a House of Worship, which should be of brick construction, on the plot of ground offered by Dr. Cochran. A building committee was appointed. Signed: George McElhaney, Secy.

January 17th, 1848: The first congregational meeting was held in the Free Presbyterian Church. Other meetings followed at stated times and such matters as, collecting pledges, selling of pews, planting of a grove, placing hitching posts, fencing the church property and such other matters having to do with the well being of the Congregation were disposed of. The building committee and all others having any part in the procuring of this Meeting House were given a vote of thanks. Signed: Wm. S. Cochran Secy.

April 11th, 1849: A meeting of the Free Presbyterian Church was held, at the call of the Session. Various items of business were disposed of, among which was the matter of procuring a plot of ground for a Grave Yard. -

A report of a committee with Dr. Wallace as chairman, previously appointed, made a report. This
committee recommended that the congregation take steps to procure the plot of ground, joining the Church Property on the north, as a Grave Yard. At this meeting a motion was unanimously passed in which the Deacons were to constitute a committee, which committee was instructed to solicit funds for procuring and fencing the Grave Yard. Signed: John Rayl, Secy.

September 3rd, 1849 - Congregational Meeting held in Free Presbyterian Church. Among other items of business the Deacons presented a favorable report on purchasing and fencing the Grave Yard. Signed: John Courtney, Secy.

January 7th, 1850 - Committee on Grave yard reported satisfactory progress. Committee continued. Signed: Rev. A.B. Bradford, Secy.

September 9th, 1850 - Committee on Grave Yard reported progress, but that their work was not completed. Committee continued. Signed: Milo Reed, Secy.

January 5th, 1852 - Congregational meeting of The Free Presbyterian Church. Among other items of business disposed of was a motion passed to instruct the Grave Yard Committee to make a list of those members who were in arrears on the Wallace subscription paper and that this list be turned over to the Deacons and that the Deacons proceed to make collections immediately. Signed: Samuel Mitchell, Secy.

May 24th, 1852 - At this meeting the Grave Yard Committee reported favorably and the Committee was continued. Signed: George Powers, Secy.

October 11 th, 1852 - At a meeting held this date, a motion was passed appointing Dixon Reed and John Courtney a committee to audit the accounts of the Grave Yard Committee. The following motion was presented and carried. Resolved: That the deed for the Grave Yard be made to The Board of Deacons of the Free Presbyterian Church of Darlington and their successors in office. Signed: Wm. King, Secy. -

April 2,1866: At this meeting a motion was made - Resolved: That a change of Ecclesiastical Relations has become necessary. This action resulted in a vote of 37 yes, 14 no. Signed Samuel Mitchell, Secy.

July 12th, 1866 - August 11 th - December 8th - and January 19th, 1867, meetings were held at which the main topic discussed was the matter of Ecclesiastical Relations. No definite decision. Signed: Samuel Mitchell, Secy.

March 9th, 1867: It was moved and carried that the Congregation become New School Presbyterian - Vote 36 yes, 8 no. Signed: John Courtney, Secy.

October 19th, 1867: At this meeting it was moved and carried that the action of the meeting of March 9th, be reconsidered. Signed: Dixon Reed, Secy.

January 13th, 1868: At this meeting a resolution was offered by John Rayl-That henceforth this Congregation, known as the Free Presbyterian Congregation of Darlington, shall unite with the Reformed Presbyterian Church. This resulted in a unanimous vote ninety-five in favor of this resolution.

Signed: Samuel Mitchell, Secy.

Fraser,	Louthan,
Calhoun,	Smith,
Bradshaw,	Courtney,
Cunningham,	Rayl,
Leonard,	McLane,
Boyd,	      Mitchell,
Brittain,	Donovan,
McConnell,	Martin,
Crowl,	Hughes,
Fields,    Struby
Anderson,   Burns
Harbison,	King,
Hannah,	Cochran,
Foster,	Kane,
Cole,	      Rhodes,
Elder,	Veon,
McKinley,	Wallace,
Greer,	McElhaney

In our last letter we listed the names of the men of the community who were men of vision and pioneers, during the early days of Beaver County. These dedicated men sought to establish a community for themselves and those of future generations, founded upon a firm faith in God as the supreme ruler and a dedicated desire that all men, through dedicated efforts, should share in the blessings resulting from their earnest toil.

The foregoing letters will establish the fact that one, if not their first concern, was that the community should have a suitable House of Worship, where they may assemble and through their worship, render due honor to their God and grateful thanksgiving for all His benefits toward them.

They realized that the days of man are uncertain and fleeting, and that the day shall come when his mortal body shall be returned to the earth. Hence one of their first concerns was that a graveyard may be procured wherein may rest the bodies of those who had been called from this earth.

Because of the efforts and labors of those who have gone before us, and who now "rest from their labors" we have received a goodly heritage, one for which we, all too often, fail to recognize and be thankful for.

Many of us have friends and members of our families buried here in this Church, Grave-Yard. Whether this be true or not, do we not have a common obligation toward the care, and the keeping of the final resting place of those who have labored long and hard toward the realization of the goodly heritage which we have received, because of them, in at least a presentable condition.

In this case, as in many others, no provision was made for the care during the future years, therefore we should feel that this is our responsibility.

Through rather recent years there are those, even though none of their families are resting here, have year after year, contributed a great deal of time in soliciting funds, with which to pay for the mowing of the graveyard, straightening stones, building a fence and other items of care are things these interested individuals have given. Not out of any direct obligation, but as labors of love.

All of these, like all who have gone before, will some day, we know not when, be called from their labors. The care of the grave-yard, what then?

A good number of individuals have contributed, each year, an amount of less than two hundred dollars, which has only kept the grave-yard mown without anything being left with which to pay for items of upkeep which should be taken care of each year.

It is the desire of your committee that an amount of money may be subscribed providing for the establishment of a trust fund, the income from which would be sufficient to take care of the upkeep of the graveyard, in a desirable manner each year.

This will then render the solicitation of funds each year unnecessary and place this matter in a sound and satisfactory condition permanently.

We trust that you will study this matter prayerfully and thoughtfully. We are sure that giving to this cause can be a matter of great satisfaction to you.

Some time in the future you will have the opportunity of making a contribution. This may be spread over a period of three years if desired. Such a contribution is of course subject to income tax reduction.

Perhaps you may wish to consider a bequest provided for in your will.

We trust that this matter may merit your generous consideration.