Long Cane's origins date to 1771, when the church was established as an Associate Presbyterian congregation, one of several fostered before the American Revolution by Rev. Dr. Thomas Clark, M.D. (d. 1792). Clark and one hundred families had emigrated from Ireland in 1764, and had settled in Stillwater, and then Salem, New York; several families soon moved south, settling near Long Cane Creek in the South Carolina backcountry. Dr. Clark himself moved to South Carolina in 1782 and served as minister of the Long Cane, Cedar Creek (later Cedar Springs), and Little Run (or Little River) congregations until he returned to the North in mid-1783, but returned to the Long Cane and Cedar Creek settlement shortly after the American Revolution, remaining here until his death.
In 1785 the Long Cane, Cedar Springs, and Little Run congregations petitioned to the General Synod of the newly-established Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (created in 1782 by a union of the Associate Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Presbyterian Church) for formal affiliation with that new domination. Long Cane soon took a leading role in the growth and development of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, hosting the meeting to organize the Associate Reformed Presbytery of the Carolinas and Georgia - one of only two presbyteries in the new denomination - on 24 February 1790. Long Cane and her sister congregation at Cedar Springs, led by a single minister and with one bench of elders, were the leading churches in the region, and by the turn of the nineteenth century boasted more than 260 families and more than 520 communicants between them. The Second Presbytery of the Carolinas and Georgia was organized at Cedar Springs in 1801. Lower Long Cane continues to be a member of the Second Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Links are on this page are to various papers written on the history of Long Cane Church. The earliest and most detailed was written in 1940 by Dr. Nora M. Davis M.A., D. Lit. It has lists of early members who signed call petitions and other information of interest to genealogists. Most of the other papers rely heavily on Dr. Davis for history, but each have interesting details not contained in the others. The Statement of Historical Significance by Dr. Tracy Power of the SC Department of History and Archives was part of the application for the National Register of Historic Places.
More information on the history of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church may be found here at the denominational website.