Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers. by William Henry Foote (1846)

439

POPLAR TENT.

is evident from the fact that he was one of the members that prepared resolutions to be submitted to the convention, which resolutions, after consultation, were amended and adopted by the committee, and by the convention, and published to the world. This gentleman was reported by the Presbytery of Donegall as a licentiate in the spring of 1768. In the year 1769 the minutes of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia have this record: "The Rev. Messrs. John Harris, John Clark, Jeremiah Halsey, James Latta, Jonathan Elmore, Thomas Lewis, and Josiah Lewis a licensed candidate, are appointed to supply the vacancies in Virginia, North Carolina, and those parts of South Carolina under our care, to set off as soon, and spend as much time among them, as they conveniently can on this important mission."

"Mr. Hezekiah James Balch, a licensed candidate, under the care of Donegall Presbytery, is appointed on the same mission, and the Presbytery to which he belongs are authorized to ordain him, if upon trial he acquits himself according to their satisfaction, and accepts a call from Carolina."

"Ordered, that our stated clerk give these missionaries proper testimonials."

What time Mr. Balch first visited Carolina is not precisely known. But from the records of Synod it appears that he had been ordained by the Presbytery of Donegall previous to the meeting of the Synod in 1770. At the meeting of the Synod in that year the Presbytery of Orange was set-off, by taking from the Presbytery of Hanover Rev. Messrs. Hugh McAden, Henry Pattillo, James Criswell, Joseph Alexander, and Hezekiah Balch,—and from the Presbytery of Donegall, Hezekiah James Balch. This Presbytery embraced the ministers in the entire State of North Carolina; and until the year 1784, those ministers in connection with the Synod residing in the state of South Carolina. At that period the State lines became the boundary.

Mr. Balch served the two congregations, Rocky River and Poplar Tent, during his life, which was brought to a close some time in the year 1776. He saw the commencement of that war which ended with all the honor and independence to his country he ever desired; but before the strife of blood and plunder that followed the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, reached Carolina, he slept with those whose sleep shall not be awakened till the resurrection. His time of service was about six years.

Rocky River congregation is prior in point of time to Sugar Creek, and the first of all the churches of Concord Presbytery.



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