north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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Essay:
     Hawfields Presbyterian Church in Alamance County, founded around 1755, has a long and distinguished history. It was the home church of Governors W. Kerr Scott and his son, Robert W. Scott. Precisely when the first church began at Hawfields remains uncertain. However, Presbyterian minister Hugh McAden recorded in his journal in August 1755 that he had “rode to the Hawfields, where I preached the fourth Sabbath in August.” An area settled by Scot-Irish immigrants who had traveled from Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Hawfields developed into a functioning community during the years of the French and Indian War.

     In 1765, Henry Patillo accepted the position of minister to the Hawfields, Eno, and Little River communities, joining McAden, James Campbell, and Alexander Craighead as the only Presbyterian ministers in the colony. Under Patillo’s tutelage, the Hawfields community survived the Regulator movement unscathed.

     The original building, a log structure, fell into disrepair by the late 1790s and was replaced by another log sanctuary. In 1852, plans were made to construct a permanent, “substantial brick building 44’ x 66’ feet with side and end galleries which stand in a beautiful grove of 10 acres.” Finished in 1852, the building remains the sanctuary for the church.


References:
Herbert Snipes Turner, Church in the Old Fields: Hawfields Presbyterian Church and Community in North Carolina (1962)
Hawfields Presbyterian Church website: http://www.hawfieldschurch.com
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, V, 38-39—sketch by Durward T. Stokes
Durward T. Stokes, “Henry Pattillo in North Carolina,” North Carolina Historical Review (October 1967): 373-391
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