To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours; ... 1 Corinthians 1:2
Through letters and visits, Paul connected new Christian communities to the larger church, helping them deal with issues key to their survival. He also strengthened congregations by sending leaders to assist them. In Romans, he lists those he is sending ahead of his own visit: the deacon Phoebe, his dear friends Prisca and Aquilla, Andronicus and Junia (prominent among the apostles), and others.
We have inherited this scriptural model of congregation-building through the Presbyterian Church and its presbyteries. When the Scots-Irish who settled near the Tyger River wanted to form a church (now Nazareth), they got approval and assistance from the Presbytery of Philadelphia. As more people moved here, members of Nazareth helped form new congregations, including First Spartanburg and First Woodruff. Elder families from First Spartanburg helped with the establishment of Second, Covenant, and Tyger River.
Our congregation histories show the importance of “ordinary saints” in our origins: James and Margaret Means, hosts of planning meetings for First Spartanburg; Mr. and Mrs. J. Walter Allen and Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Ravenal, major contributors to Second’s origins; the Browns, the Fosters, the McChesneys, and others who helped form Landrum.
Although separate congregations, we continue to work together. For example, through Foothills Presbytery a First Spartanburg Ruling Elder serves as Stated Supply for Unity. First, Second and Covenant are three of the sponsors of UKirk, our college ministry. Together we eight congregations are developing this book of devotions for Lent.
May our connections strengthen and encourage us and enhance our ministry in this place.
Nan McDaniel (with researchers De Calvert, Gene Lassiter, Scott Neely, and Mike Turner)
About the Contributor
Nan is a Ruling Elder, currently Associate Clerk of Session and member of the Adult Education and Discipleship Committee. She helps teach the Bible Alive! Sunday School class and, with husband Tom, the Tuesday/Thursday noon adult study groups.