History Of Long Cane Church

     A short “History of Long Cane Church”, written and read by Mrs. W. P. Long, at the County Council of Farm Women of McCormick County, in April 10, 1952, which was held at Long Cane Church:
     Long Cane Church was organized in the year 1771; first service was held by Dr. Thomas Clark. There being no church, an improvised pulpit was made by putting a board between two young trees behind the present church. A log church was later built. It stood to the right of the church near the entrance gate to the cemetery, and many years later the present church was built. The trees first used for a pulpit stood strong and sound until a few years ago one of them became diseased and died. It was cut away by Mr. J A. Young, and the board, the Plaque over the pulpit bearing the former pastors’ names was cut from this tree, Mr. Young sawing the lumber and making the plaque himself and having a Mr. James to do the printing. Then later the other tree was killed by lightning; it still stands today.
     The church has a slave gallery where many slaves worshipped along with their owners, many colored people being members of the church. Records show no colored members after the year of 1880. It will be recalled by some of the older members of the church that on communion days after the white people had been served the elders would meet the colored people at the foot of the stairs and bring them to the Lord’s table and serve them also.
     The road formerly went in front of the church entering the gate at the right side of the church and passing out a gate at the left. Just outside the left hand gate is the colored cemetery where many slaves as well as colored people are buried. The last slave to be buried there was, as he was called by both white and colored “Uncle Dick Wideman”, who died on December 16, 1933, at the age of 95.
     The only time anyone can recall night service being held, Dr. W. W. Orr came here around 1892 and carried on a two weeks’ revival. It is said he preached to an overcrowded audience even though kerosene lamps provided the light and horse and buggy was the only transportation.
     It was always the custom to pound the preacher at Christmas, a custom that still holds true today even though very few of the older members are still here.
     In 1855 Long Cane lost it’s last charter member, Miss Ann McCracken at the age of 92. In 1850 Dr. H. T. Sloan accepted a call to Long Cane, serving the congregation for 40 years. During his ministry he organized the first Sabbath School at Long Cane and the missionary society. He also organized 3 churches, Troy, Bradley, and (Lodiment) Mt. Carmel. A member of Long Cane congregation hearing her mother remark during Dr. Sloan’s pastorate in the midst of one of his sermons one of the neighbor’s hens had stole away up in the gallery and built a nest, and off she came with her loud cackling, announcing an egg had been laid, she cackled so loud and long Dr. Sloan became angry and threw a Psalm book at the hen (That reminds us ministers can get angry too). The present church was erected during Dr. Sloan’s pastorate and was dedicated by Dr. Sloan on July 20, 1856. During the Confederate war Dr. Sloan served one year as chaplain and returned home very much emaciated by sickness and exposure. Long Cane has 22 men to either die or get killed during the war. Dr. Sloan resigned the charge on account of failing health.
     On December 5, 1891, the Rev. R. F. Bradley of Troy became pastor of Long Cane, serving 39 years, resigning on account of the infirmaties of age in October 1930. He died March 7, 1932, and is buried just in front of the church, the only pastor to be buried in Long Cane cemetery. During Rev. Bradley’s ministry the country suffered Would War I, and Long Cane had 14 young men to answer the call and defend their country. Of this number all came home but one, John Henry Young. He died of pneumonia on September 23, 1918, in France. His body was later brought home and laid to rest in Long Cane Cemetery.
     Then in World War II Long Cane again answered the call of her country with six young men going. Of this number all came home in good health but one, Charlie Dansby, being wounded in the Battle of St. Lo, coming back to America and spending a long time in a government hospital before being discharged. And now Long Cane has one young man in uniform, Ansel B. Talbert. He is now stationed at Camp Polk, La.
     In December of 1930, the Rev. W. C. Kerr began serving Long Cane as stated supply and was still serving faithfully when he passed away. The Rev. W. C. Kerr being a brother to the Rev. R. T. Kerr, now pastor of Troy A. R. P. Church, we naturally have a warm feeling in our hearts for him. Since Mr. Kerr’s death Long Cane has been steadily supplied by seminary students, two of these students now serving in the mission field, The Rev. Frank Pressly and Mrs. Pressly in Pakistan, and the Rev. P. G. Cavone and Mrs. Cavone in Mexico.
     Long Cane has had only two weddings, that of Miss Roberta Wilson and Mathew Moore Cox, and Miss Martha Bradley and Robert Moody, Miss Bradley being the granddaughter of the Rev. R. F. Bradley, former pastor of the church for 39 years.
     At Christmas of 1945, a Christmas tree was held at Long Cane, the second ever to be held here. This was during the pastorate of the Rev. W. L. (Bill) Pressly.
     A few years ago when the Government began sending refugee families to the United States, Misses Jennie and Clara Wideman opened their hearts to the need and requested a family. They built a nice little new home and furnished it throughout, and when the Latvian family arrived the Long Cane congregation and friends in the community held a reception at Long Cane church. A pounding followed the reception and much food and other household articles were contributed to the need of this family who had been run away from their home, leaving all they had and all their loved ones behind.The happiness on these people’s faces to h◊ave a home and some one to look after them would make anyone glad to be able to help. Some families observe their annual reunion at Long Cane church. Among these are, The Brown family, The Dansbys and The Youngs. Each year during the revival meeting Sabbath is more or less observed as homecoming day. Former members who have moved away usually find their way back to Old Long Cane to worship and meet old friends and enjoy an old fashioned picnic lunch.
     The new highway now leading to Long Cane from both ways is very much appreciated by the people after not being able to even get to Long Cane to worship for a month in the winter months. Much credit is given E. L. Long, while highway commissioner for this district. He immediately went to work to get this road construction project underway. Electricity is another project to work on which may become a realization in the near future.
     Rev. Andy Gray, seminary student is now serving the Long Cane congregation as pastor.