72 Year History






The history of Peace Presbyterian Church dates back to November 11, 1946, at which time there were 68 charter members enrolled at Circle Court Presbyterian Church. The dissolving of the Gilmore Memorial Church some three miles north gave a nucleus for the new church. Some valuable church furniture was given to Circle Court Church.

The Rev. J. F. Menius was instrumental in forming the Circle Court Church. Among charter members is Jeanetta Relyea, who is still active in the church.

By Janary 1947 the Women's Auxillary was organized, Mrs. Leah Smith was the first president elected from this congregation.

Other first were:
Don Eller- the first person baptized in the church
The first deacons- Mr. George Little, Mr. Berry Scott, and Mr. Guy Moore
The first Bible School- July 1947 with 46 children
The first newsletter, "The Chimes" in 1952
The first marriage – Ernest Beard to Betty Jean Early, June 1, 1948


It is interesting to note the finances back then. In 1949, $1,000.00 was borrowed to complete the Educational Building. In 1950 the manse was purchased for $2,600.00 down and $40.00 a month.


In January 1950, the Reverend Menius resigned due to illness, and our first pulpit committee was formed: Mr. And Mrs. Guy Moore, J. Lewis Parker, Mrs. A. R. Eller, and J. J. Bronson. During the summer of 1950, the Reverend Leighton McKeithen served as supply pastor, and student minister Anthony Leslie came to help with the work of the church.


In 1951 the Rev. J. T. Haynes Jr. was called as the pastor. We shared him in a two church field with Campbellton Presbyterian Church. The budget at that time was $25,659.00. In 1953 the Rev. Haynes was called for full time pastor. The budget was $6,760.80 at this time. In 1955 it was $10,000.00.


In 1956 the Rev. Haynes resigned and Dr. Leslie Bullock, professor of Bible at Flora McDonald College, served as supply pastor for this year.


The Reverend Claire S. Albright came to Circle Court in August, 1957. A new manse was constructed before his arrival. The lot was donated by Mr. And Mrs. Eugene Blount, and special recognition went to Mr. W. T. Pettus, Cecil Butler, Jim McLeod, Ted Ingraham, and others for labor in their respective fields. The total cost was $14, 025.00.


In 1958 there was need for expansion, and with much help from Rev. Leighton McKeithen, Presbytery challenged us with an offer of $20,000.00 toward a new building at a new site. We adopted a budget of nearly $19,000.00 and exceeded it by $25,000.00.

In the spring of 1959 a Building Fund Committee was elected to raise $100,000.00. Mr. Boyce Helmes was chairman. Architects Harold Wagnor of Philadelphia, and Mason Hicks of Fayetteville were chosen to plan and design the church. Mr. Robert E. McNeill was chairman of the building committee.


On September 13, 1959 we gathered for a building program consecration service, and one day's cash offering amounted to $6,603.27 (a lot of money back then). January 16, 1961 was the last service at Circle Court. It was sold to Johnson Memorial Methodist Church for $34,000.00.

This meant we had to get out, so we secured the facilities of Camp Carroll, F.I.L.I. Fayetteville Light Infantry Camp until March, 1962. It was here that we really experienced the wilderness. We were crowded and cold and hot. However, our spirits were high and we continued on our journey to Lucille Souders School and remained there until August 1963.

Groundbreaking ceremonies was set for April 8, 1962. A cavalcade was formed at Camp Carroll, led by Mr. Albright, and proceeded to the site. (How many of you were in that cavalcade?) This was our long awaited "Promise Land". We had been wandering in the wilderness for two years.


Among those present were the following:
Robert O. Johnson – President of Men of the Church
Mrs. J.D. Barbour Jr. – President of Women of the Church
Penny Davis Cooper- President of Pioneer Class
Richard Player – Contractor
Mason Hicks – Architect


The plan of the church was designed to symbolize the cross in all aspects. The structure of the church is in the shape of the cross and also the communion table. The groundbreaking spot is denoted by a cross in the floor design at the northern end of the hallway.


We are indebted to Mr. Albright for leading us through this transition period, and to those who have followed. The Reverend James R. Black, the Reverend Thomas K. Spence, Dr. Jacob Kincaid, Dr. Williams E. Pauley, Dr. Hal Hyde, among our interim ministers and the Reverend Jeffrey Mercer, Reverend Leighton McKeithen and our present pastor Annelle Waldron.


In 1988 we began our new Fellowship Hall, and in 1994 the debt was completely retired. Also pews were installed in the back of the sanctuary. We have a beautiful structure here which we have enjoyed for the past 55 years. After 72 years of history of Peace Church, the message is still clear: To build up His church, and to extend His Kingdom around us.