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Sharon Presbyterian Church Records

Filing title: 
Sharon Presbyterian Church Records

Inventory of the Sharon Presbyterian Church records
MS0385

Summary Information

Repository
J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Creator
Sharon Presbyterian Church (Charlotte, N.C.).
Title
Sharon Presbyterian Church records
ID
MS0385
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1840-1985
Date [inclusive]
1840-2006
Extent
2.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
Records of the Sharon Presbyterian Church, of Charlotte, NC, from 1840 to 2006, including minutes of the Session, 1840-1984; the congregation, 1967-1976; deacons, 1950-1991; and Christian Education Committee, 1956-1965; records of women’s auxiliary organizations, 1870-1983; and correspondence, 1970-1973.

Preferred Citation note

Sharon Presbyterian Church records. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

As an area settled predominantly by Scots and Scotch-Irish, Charlotte is a city with a strong Presbyterian history. The origins of Sharon Presbyterian Church can be traced to a petition addressed to the Concord Presbytery on April 7, 1830. This petition was presented by Presbyterians residing mainly in south-central Mecklenburg County who traditionally had been served by Providence Presbyterian Church and by Steele Creek Presbyterian Church. These planter and farming families had determined that they needed a more convenient meeting house —hence, the petition to the Concord Presbytery. Evidently, religious services for a brief time were led by Presbyterian missionary Dougald McIntyre in local homes or possibly in the open air. In the fall of 1831, the Sharon Presbyterian Church congregation began holding worship services in their newly-constructed meeting house. On October 22, 1831, congregational seats were distributed and the congregation elected five ruling elders - Paris Alexander, Robert Kirkpatrick, Dr. Joseph W. Ross, William Ross and William Walker. William Lee, Jr. was elected treasurer. Sharon Church was “regularly organized by the ordination according to our Confession of Faith” and church elders Joseph W. Ross, William Ross and Paris Alexander ordained and installed, on November 4, 1831. Uniting with Providence Presbyterian Church, Sharon’s congregation thereby obtained “one third of the ministerial labor” of Providence’s pastor Rev. Samuel Williamson. The Sharon Church congregation elected their first deacons - Joseph Weeks, Robert Kirkpatrick and Augustus Alexander - in December 1840. The church had been established on land eventually owned by founding elder Dr. Joseph W. Ross. In November of 1857, Ross formally deeded to the church approximately 185 acres “with appurtenances” for the nominal fee of ten dollars. Dr. Ross was a very prominent and influential man in his community and his church. As the Southern states began seceding from the Union in 1861, the Synod of North Carolina met in Raleigh in November of that year to approve a bill that broke its connection with the General Assembly. Subsequently, the Southern synods convened in Atlanta to establish the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America. Though sectional politics were a major issue of the preceding decades, it does not appear in the Session minutes. Moreover, the Sharon Church’s session minutes do note those members who fell in combat for the Confederate cause. After the war, the Sharon Church held a day of fasting on August 10, 1865. The Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America reorganized itself as the Presbyterian Church of the United States, remaining separate from the Presbyterian Church of the USA until 1983. During the late nineteenth century, three new Presbyterian congregations were established at the outer boundaries of Sharon Township. These were Pineville Presbyterian Church, Amity Presbyterian Church and Ebenezer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1874, the Sharon congregation built on their church property the first of two manses. The congregation in 1891 completed a Gothic Revival-style brick sanctuary, simultaneously razing their original meeting house. Prior to World War II, the 1891 sanctuary was expanded to include space for Sunday school classrooms. Following the war, a brick manse complete with indoor plumbing replaced the 1874 wood-frame manse. The Sharon Church congregation by 1990 had grown to such an extent that plans for a new sanctuary were initiated. The Sharon session voted to establish a building committee to hire an architect and a contractor to build a new facility; and a finance committee to determine the cost and devise a way to finance construction. The congregation dedicated the new building on Sunday, September 11, 1994, by processing from the sanctuary of the 1891 building to the new one, carrying with them the communion table cross and the pulpit Bible. The completed structure features a rounded sanctuary intended to create a feeling of inclusiveness among the worshippers, and unlike the previous building, this one has a center aisle. The 1891 structure has been preserved as a chapel. The membership of this church produced several ministers over the years, including Rev. John Cannon, Rev. Robert L. Brown, Rev. C.C. Brown, Rev. Wilbur Nicholson, Rev. Lunsford Reed, Rev. Clayton Alexander, Rev. Eugene Alexander (who served as a chaplain in WWII), Rev. Walter Garrison, Rev. Oscar Sample, Rev. John Yandell, Rev. Conrad Caldwell, and Rev. William W. David, junior. [Sources: Brockmann, Charles Raven, Mecklenburg Presbytery: A History. Heritage Printers, Inc., Charlotte, NC, 1962 ; Sharon Presbyterian Church records, 1840-2006, Mss 385, UNC Charlotte Library ; Sharon Presbyterian Church, Sharing Our Heritage: 175 Years of Faith, Fellowship and Food. Published by the Sharon Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC, 2006.]

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Scope and Contents note

The 141 year span of Sharon Presbyterian Church records in this collection contains a wide variety of materials, including minutes of the Session meetings, the Deacons meetings, the congregational meetings, various women’s auxiliary groups, the Christian Education Committee, correspondence for the early 1970s and the 1974 membership directory. There are no birth, baptismal, confirmation, marriage or death records, aside from what was recorded in the Session minutes (which often recorded such events); and church financial records are included in the Session minutes. The Session minutes also include several antebellum era white and black communicant rolls. The early Session minute books were numbered, but here things become confusing. The third “book” (which is bound, but has no cover) was not numbered, but fits chronologically in between books two and three. Books six through ten originally existed in the form of loose pages bound into binder notebooks so that the minutes could be typed and the pages could be inserted into the binders. In order to fit these records into standard size archival storage boxes and also to save space, the pages were removed from their binders. The most recent Session minutes date to 1984. Minutes of congregational meetings from 1967 to 1976 were also originally found among the Session minutes and have been placed in their own series in this collection. Series III contains minutes from the Board of Deacons. The first book of deacons’ minutes contained many loose papers that had been taped into the pages. Unfortunately, the tape holding in these papers was dry, brittle and were falling out of place. During processing, those papers were removed and unfolded, and have been placed in their own folder, following the bound volume. There were a few different women’s auxiliary groups within Sharon Presbyterian Church, beginning in 1870, and the names of these groups varied slightly, though their essential nature and purpose was basically the same—to provide an organized venue for SPC women’s charitable work. Series IV contains constitutions, minute books, and financial ledgers for these organizations. Series V contains four church bulletins from special occasions at SPC, such as the centennial celebration in 1931, the 125th anniversary, the dedication of the Charles Little Activity Building in 1975 and the 175th anniversary celebration in 2006. Series VI contains minutes from the Christian Education Committee from 1956 to 1965, which is followed by a series of church correspondence (mostly pastoral correspondence from Oliver W. Carmichael) from 1970 to 1974. The collection concludes with the 1974 membership directory.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 2007

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223
704-687-1170
spec-coll@uncc.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

On indefinite loan from the Sharon Presbyterian Church, in June 2007.

Processing Information note

Processed by Robert A. McInnes

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Hopewell Presbyterian Church records (mss 248).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Sharon Presbyterian Church (Charlotte, N.C.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Church history
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Religion

Subject(s)

  • Church records and registers

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Collection Inventory

Session Minute Books 1840-1984

Box Folder

Book 1 “Sharon Church Book” 1840-1855

Scope and Contents note

7/8/1840 – 1/6/1855

1 1

Book 2 “Records of Sharon Church” 1855-1874

Scope and Contents note

5/19/1855 – 3/28/1874

1 2

Uncovered bound volume 1874-1884

Scope and Contents note

10/4/1874 – 7/18/1884

1 3

Book 3 1882-1923

Scope and Contents note

6/11/1882 – 4/16/1923

1 4

Book 4 1923-1943

Scope and Contents note

4/8/1923 – 4/8/1943

1 5

Book 5 1943-1948

Scope and Contents note

5/16/1943 – 4/11/1948

1 6

Book 6 1948-1960

Scope and Contents note

4/18/1948 – 1/15/1960 (unbound)

1 7-8

Book 7 1960-1965

Scope and Contents note

12/1960 – 12/26/1965 (unbound)

1 9-10

Book 8 1965-1973

Scope and Contents note

12/26/1965 – 11/25/1973 (unbound)

1 11-12

Book 9 1973-1980

Scope and Contents note

12/2/1973 – 12/14/1980 (unbound)

1 13-14

Book 10 1981-1984

Scope and Contents note

1/4/1981 – 3/11/1984 (unbound)

1 15

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Congregational Meetings minutes 1967-1976

Scope and Contents note

10/15/1967-11/21/1976 (unbound)

Box
1
Folder
16

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Deacons Minute Books 1950-1991

Box Folder

Book 1 1950-1978

Scope and Contents note

4/28/1950 – 11/13/1978

1 17

Book 1 1950-1978

Scope and Contents note

4/28/1950 – 11/13/1978 (loose papers)

2 1

Book 2 1967-1991

Scope and Contents note

1/8/1967 – 9/8/1991

2 2-3

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Women’s auxiliary organizations 1870-1983

Box Folder

The Organization of the Female Working Society February 19, 1870

2 4

Financial Record of the Sharon Female Working Society 1870-1871

2 5

Financial Record of the Women’s Auxiliary of Pres. Church of Sharon 1920-1935

2 6

Minute Book – Auxiliary of Sharon Church 1920-1925

2 7

Minute Book of Women’s Work 1925-1931

2 8

Minute Book of Women’s Work 1931-1936

2 9

Minute Book of Women’s Work 1936-1942

2 10

Constitution & Bylaws of Sharon Presbyterian Women, adopted October 10, 1983 (after the merger of PCUS and PCUSA). October 10, 1983

2 11

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Bulletins 1831-2006

Box Folder

Centennial Celebration 1831-1931

2 12

125th Anniversary Celebration 1831-1956

2 12

Dedication of the Charles Little Activity Building 1975

2 12

175th Anniversary Celebration 1831-Oct. 29, 2006

2 12

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Christian Education Committee minutes 1956-1965

Scope and Contents note

12/7/1956 – 8/6/1965

Box
2
Folder
13

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Correspondence (primarily from Rev. Oliver W. Carmichael) 1970-1973

Box Folder

Correspondence 1970

2 14

Correspondence 1971

2 15

Correspondence 1972

2 16

Correspondence 1973

2 17

Correspondence, miscellaneous

2 18

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Directory 1974

Box
2
Folder
19

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