An Authentic History of Donegal Presbyterian Church - Mt. Joy, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 06.061 W 076° 33.966
18T E 366512 N 4440144
Quick Description: Donegal Presbyterian Church Complex is a historic Presbyterian church complex with deep ties to the Revolutionary War. The church was built in 1732 and has been going strong ever since. This book provides an early account of the church.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/10/2013 3:21:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMGV0P
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Bryan
Views: 2

Long Description:

This book was very handy, from a waymarker's perspective. it offered me a vintage 1902 picture as well as a full and comprehensive history of the church from its beginnings in the early 18th century up to is publication in 1902. The book was published out of Philadelphia by F. McManus, Jr. & Co, Printers & Publishers. The book was written by J.L. Ziegler.

Right from Maytown 0.2m. on an unmarked road to a junction with another road; L. here 1.2 m. to a junction with another road; R. here 0.9 m to the DONEGAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, a well-proportioned Colonial structure, with stuccoed walls and gambrel roof, erected about 1740 for a congregation organized about 20 years earlier. In front of the church is the WITNESS TREE, beneath which, in June 1777, the Tory pastor was forced to raise his hat in allegiance to the Revolution. On a Sunday morning Colonel Alexander Lowrey rode up to the church and interrupted the singing with shouts of 'Orders to march!' The congregation began filing from the church; Lowrey stated that he had orders to proceed to the brandywine, where Washington was opposing Howe's advance on Philadelphia. To the pastor, the Reverend Mr. McFarquhar, he said, 'No more shall you pray for the King.' McFarquhar refused to deny fealty to King George but was made to retract under the oak tree. --- Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940, p. 443

This is an exciting place to visit if you love American history and if you are an avid waymarker who likes to crosspost; there is something here for everyone. There are several historical markers, including an NRHP sign as well as several interpretives and markers which speak to the storied history of this site. There is also a witness tree, now chopped down, where church folk gathered under to pledge allegiance to their new country. An obelisk/monument for the Revolutionary War is also on the grounds as well as a very old cemetery.

and now a word from Wikipedia:

The church was built in 1732, and is a 1 1/2-story, three bay by five bay, stuccoed stone building with a gambrel roof. The chapel underwent a remodeling in 1851. The adjacent cemetery is enclosed in a rough hewn stone wall built in 1791. The property also includes the William Kerr Study House, a 1 1/2-story, five bay brick dwelling originally built in 1810 and expanded in the early 20th century. The building was restored in 1976. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

In 1777, during worship services, word came to the congregation by way of an express rider, that the British General Howe was about to invade Pennsylvania. The message relayed was that the British army had advanced and had forced Washington's troops to retreat to Chadds Ford. The rider found Colonel Alexander Lowry, who was attending worship at Donegal that Sunday, and shared the news with him, to encourage Lowry to organize his men to come to General Washington's defense. Upon learning this news, the congregation gathered around a white oak tree just outside the sanctuary. With hands joined, they vowed allegiance to the cause of the patriots, and their minister, Rev. Colin McFarquhar, who up until that time had always prayed for the King of England, united with them. From that time onward, the tree was known as the “Witness Tree.” The original Witness Tree grew and flourished for nearly three centuries, but sadly succumbed to disease. A cast iron memorial exists in its place now. SOURCE

ISBN Number: B009U9VJSY

Author(s): J.L. Ziegler

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mars888 visited An Authentic History of Donegal Presbyterian Church - Mt. Joy, PA 10/12/2014 mars888 visited it