The Benbow Family of the United Kingdom,
and Selected Allied Families
Thyatira is located in western Rowan County at 220 White Road. The mailing address is Salisbury NC, but the church is situated out in the county ten miles west of Salisbury, between Salisbury and Mooresville, just off Highway 150.
From the church's website:
"Thyatira is believed to be the oldest Presbyterian Church west of the Yadkin River. In fact, it is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in North Carolina, and is known as the 'Mother of Presbyterianism' in North Carolina...."
"A land entry dated 1750 in Anson County records reveals that a 'meeting House and burial ground' were in existence here by theat date. This means the meeting house was probably in existence as early as 1747. For many years it was known as Cathey's Meeting House. The name was changed to Thyatira Church during the pastorate of Dr. Samuel McCorkle, in the late eighteenth century...."
"Thyatira's historical cemetery dates back to the mid-1700s. The oldest known stone is that of a settler who died in 1755...."
||Clarisa H. Brandon, wife of Thomas Kincaid|
Aug 31, 1853
||Matthew Troy, infant son of Matthew & Ann Troy|
Here Lies the
Remains of ~
Matthew & Ann
Troy Born 14th
of Feby: 1773, &
Died 7th April Fol. [following]
This headstone revealed a birth and death previously unknown. Matthew's only known wife is Jean/Jane Potts. I have been unable to find a record of a previous wife, but perhaps there was one -- or else Jean/Jane was also known as Ann. She would have been 14 at the time of this death -- not impossible, but it is sufficient reason to look for an earlier wife/marriage.
||Thomas Kincaid's gravemarker at Thyatira Presbyterian Church Cemetery|
stone is eroded, but it seems to read:
June 23d. 1856
53 Years, 2. Months
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church sign|
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church Cemetery right gate marker|
This gate was made by
Walter W. Erwin
by hand in his shop in
Mill Bridge as a
labor of love 1978
This stone placed by
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church Cemetery, old section, west side|
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church Cemetery, old section, east side|
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church history marker located in the cemetery's older section|
Four houses of worship have served the Thyatira congregation. The first, called "Lower Meeting House," was constructed of logs approximately 100 yards west of this site around 1749. The name was changed to "Cathey's Meeting House" around 1755. The second, a log building, was built at the same site sometime later in the 1700s. The third, a frame structure, was erected on the site of this marker during the pastorate of Dr. Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, 1777-1805. The present sanctuary was built in 1860.
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church marker with names of ministers during the third building's existence|
Ministers Who Preached at the Third Church
Dr. S. E. McCorkle 1777-1805
Rev. John Brown 1807-1809
Rev. John Carrigan 1814-1822
Rev. James Stafford 1822-1830
Rev. Elijah Morrison 1831-1832
Rev. Thomas Espy 1832-1833
Rev. P. J. Sparrow 1833-1834
Rev. James D. Hall 1835-1846
Rev. Stephen Frontis 1846-1851
Rev. Robert Agnew 1852-1854
Rev. S. C. Alexander 1854-1858
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church marker|
Ye Lower Meeting House and Burial Ground 1749
Cathey's Meeting House
1753 received deed for 12 acres from John Linn
name changed to Thyatira 1764
a frame church building built ca. 1770 in lower
part of cemetery
present building built 1860
Thyatira Mem. Assoc.
||Thyatira Presbyterian Church, four pirate graves in the old cemetery|
These four stones, three of which bear skulls and crossbones, and the fourth bearing only crossbones, are a source of great interest to the children in the church.
"According to legend, the pirates were executed, and court allowed their burial only if their stones carried the pirate symbol, and bore no names."
Due to the distance from the coast, some have speculated that these men may have been highwaymen instead. Some have said that the men were former pirates who moved to the area, and that they were found out, and hung for their past crimes. Also, some say that the elders of the church were the ones forbidding the names on the stones. It would be interesting to find the court records for this case, if this is the truth. Yet others have said that the images actually indicate deaths from an epidemic disease. Without the dates for the deaths, it is difficult to verify the information.