Philadelphia Presbyterian Church Celebrates 250 years

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CHARLOTTE – Initially scheduled for September 2020, Philadelphia Church in Mint Hill postponed celebrating 250 years of worship and mission until September 2021. We are excited to now extend our warmest invitation to help us remember our history and celebrate where God is leading our community and congregation.

It was once said that of the six smaller towns surrounding Charlotte, Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, Pineville, Matthews and Mint Hill, five grew and prospered because of a railroad. Mint Hill grew and prospered because of a Church. The history of Mint Hill and the history of the Church have long been intertwined.

This two-day event begins Saturday, September 18 from 1:00 to 4:00. Unique and exciting activities will include Voices from the Past tour, a Gospel Jubilee, historic brick making, colonial hearth cooking, churned ice cream, and horse and buggy rides.

Guests are invited to make brick with creek sand, red dirt, and water from the faucet (not the spring) and put them in the sun to dry. Church history tells that the German settlers from the Morningstar Lutheran Church taught members at Philadelphia to make brick for the construction of the third Sanctuary built-in 1826. Two previous churches, both thoughts to be log structures, burned. That brick structure, now called the Chapel, has been in continuous use for 195 years.

Members dressed in period costumes will portray church and community leaders in our Voices from the Past tour. The Voices include Rev. Alexander Craighead, fiery circuit preacher; John Bain, builder of Bain Academy; Carl McEwen; Anne and Baxter Bigham; Adam Alexander, signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; Peggy Todd Helms; Nancy and Rev. Russell Kerr; Josiah McCall, wounded at Jamestown and died shortly thereafter; Tina and Steve Ross and many more.

Guests are invited to visit the wall of memories inside the rotunda area, see the 250-anniversary quilt in the Sanctuary, listen to a gospel singing medley in the Chapel, enjoy homemade ice cream, ride in a horse-drawn cart, listen to the Charlotte Folk Musicians and purchase a special handmade pottery coffee mug.

On Sunday, Philadelphia will welcome Rev. Mary Jane Kerr Cornell to the pulpit. She is the daughter of Rev. Russell and Nancy Kerr and grew up in Mint Hill, living in the church manse, attending Bain School, and graduating from Independence High School. Following the Scots Irish tradition, approximately 40 members will carry tartans representing their family clan. This beautiful ceremony called Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans will be led by a bagpiper, the clergy and the tartan bearers.

The Session of the Church and the 250 Anniversary Committee cordially invites the entire community to join in this two-day celebration. The purpose of this historic celebration is not to glorify the deeds of our ancestors, but to inspire us all to serve more effectively in the present.

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