In January 1789 Rev. Peter McMullen immigrated to South Carolina and settled on the north side of Chickasaw Creek very near the future location of the Due West ARP Church. He was attracted to the area because several family members and others from his church in Ahoghil, Ireland had preceded him to this area. He held religious services near his home and in 1789 or 1790 he and his parishioners built a rough log church on the site of the current building. He named his church in a forest the Due West Corner Church and served it until he moved to Tennessee in 1804 or 1805. The church pulpit was empty until Ebenezer Erskine Pressly accepted a call to serve the church in 1830. The second dressed log church built by McMullen was dilapidated and replaced with a weatherboard building shortly after Pressly arrived.
The congregation grew and a more substantial building, the fourth church building, was built in 1852. Between 1839 and 1850 the Due West ARP Church raised sufficient money to establish Clark and Erskine Seminary, a school for young girls and a preparatory school for boys that matured into Erskine College by 1839. The church has continued an outreach to young men and women who enter Erskine College.
Between 1850 and 1870 there were more black members of the Due West ARP than white members. Between 1869 and 1872 black members withdrew their memberships and, with the support of white members, began two new churches, Mt. Zion ARP Church, the first black ARP Church, and Mount Lebanon AME Church.
The congregation of the Due West ARP Church had fluctuated in numbers over its 225 years of existence generally following the financial fluctuations of the community. Today under the leadership of Rev. Calvin Draffin the congregation has developed numerous outreach activities on global (foreign missionary) and local (community outreach) scales. Through the two and a quarter centuries of its existence the congregation has faithfully attempted to follow the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through worship and outreach.
Due West ARP Church Cemetery Association
The Secretary of State of South Carolina incorporated the Due West A. R. P. Church Cemetery Association’s Board of Directors as an eleemosynary entity in 1959. The Board manages the cemetery that is located around the church building on its west and north sides.
The congregation elects the Board of Directors of the Due West Cemetery Association. The current membership (as of 2015) consists of Hillard Allen, Chairman; R. D. McDill, Vice-Chairman; Mary Jenkins, Secretary; Toney Storey, Treasurer; Herbert Jordan, Alpha Smith and Reba Stille.
Information pertinent to the cemetery may be obtained by calling the church office (864) 379-8159 or by visiting the listing on-line. You may also find more information at the Find A Grave Website.