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



Marker Text:

     Centre Church in Iredell County, so named because of its central location among eighteenth-century Presbyterian churches in western North Carolina, was organized in 1765. Originally the church was named the Osbourne Meeting House, as it stood on the land of Col. Alexander Osbourne, two miles north of present-day Davidson College. The first official pastor was Thomas Harris McCaule, a Princeton graduate, who arrived in 1777. Before his arrival a series of itinerant preachers ministered to the congregation including missionary John Thomson.

     Fire destroyed the original wooden structure in 1774, and Osbourne Meeting House was rebuilt as Centre Church at the present location. In 1854, the second building was replaced with a brick structure that remains today. Important members of the church congregation included James Hall, Presbyterian minister of Fourth Creek Meeting House and founder of Clio’s Nursery; R. H. Chapman, president of the University of North Carolina; and Hugh Lawson White, Whig Presidential candidate in the 1836 election. In 1980, the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

George W. Alexander, History of Centre Presbyterian Church (1982)Blackwell P. Robinson, ed., The North Carolina Guide (1955)
William H. Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, Both Biographical and Historical (1846)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

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