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Township, Lancaster County, Pa

"Churches of Today and Yesterday in Southern Lancaster County" by Fellowship of Solanco Churches, Raymond Dunlap, George Herbert, & Richard Yates , Sr. printed 1968

This historic old Church is situated on the road from Rawlinsville to Holtwood in Martic Township. The story of its past is a mixture of tradition and the writings of various historians. The first is always interesting for almost without exception there were actual happenings upon which it is based, although the account sometimes suffers by repetition. Sometimes also the writers do not agree exactly as to names and dates, as we shall see later. By recording both accounts in such instances the reader may take his choice and the writer escape criticism. In Klein's History of Lancaster County Volume Two it is stated that the land on which the Church stands was patented in 1742 to David Jones, John Marshall and William Andrews, and a log house built the same year. It is further stated that difficulties with the Indians at the time of the French and Indian War caused many settlers to migrate to South Carolina. Tradition enters here with the statement that the Meeting House was burned by marauding Indians. This seems quite possible and very probable. This tradition would account for the fact that the second Meeting House, also of logs, was erected in 1760, at which time the first building should have been still in Rood repair, it being only eighteen years old. By this time also the Indian threat had subsided somewhat and the remnant of The Congregation felt justified in commencing again. This log structure stood until 1820, according to Klein, or 1818, according to Reverend Everit Boice in his paper entitled "History of this old Congregation" written May 12, 1900, when the church was replaced by a stone structure. Klein says it was built at the cost of one Henry Galen while the Reverend William Easton, pastor from 1827 to 1869, in his Memorial Sermon delivered in 1872, and also the Reverend Boice in his paper, give the credit to Mr. Gregory Farmer; let him who reads take his choice. The important fact is that it stood as a House of Worship until 1853. The Reverend Thomas Clarkson was the first to preach within its walls and is said to have been accustomed to refer to it as "Gregory's Monument." The fourth and present building, like the one which pre-ceded it, was also of stone construction, and erected in 1853 during the pastorate of Pastor Easton, who preached the first sermon in it on Christmas day of that year from the text found in the second and third verses of the eighty-seventh Psalm.

This building, when visited in 1966 by the Solanco Church History Committee, was found to be in need of considerable repair, with exception of the walls which appeared sound. The pulpit, pews and long Communion table and benches were removed and placed in the "Shrine" Church at Middle Octorara when it was restored in 1961.

While the first recorded date is 1742, there were, without doubt, religious services held in the vicinity of Muddy Run for some time prior to that date at some settler's home or in a "Tent." These were most likely conducted by such Ministers as could be secured or who visited them in their travels from place to place. The Reverend John Cuthbertson, the first Covenanter Minister in America, records in his diary that he preached in the Muddy Run Meeting House on October 2, 1751, just two months after landing in America. It is not known exactly when this Congregation and the one at Octoraro were, with Oxford, combined in one pastorate, but we know that the Reverend Robert Annan, who died in 1819, preached here as well as at Octoraro. With the coming of the Reverend William Easton to this field, these Churches were definitely joined in one pastorate; others who occupied this pulpit following Mr. Easton were the Reverend David Anderson, the Reverend Everit S. Boice and others, of whose names we are not informed. With the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed Synods in 1858, this Church became a United Presbyterian Church of North America.

The grave yard, at the rear of the Church, is well kept and contains burials dating from 1754. It appears that the log Meeting Houses were situated close to the early burials, judging from the appearance of the surroundings.

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