Concord Presbyterian Church

Monroe County, Illinois

This history was extracted from the following book on:


Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois

Published by J. L. McDonough & Co.

Philadelphia 1883



Concord Presbyterian Church

By John C. Blair

The Reformed Presbyterian Church was constituted in America during the year 1774, by Rev. Messrs.  John Cuthberson, Matthew Lin and Alexander Dobbin (with ruling elders).  She traces her history from the period between 1638-1649, and adheres to the doctrines held by the Church of Scotland, as protesters against Popery, Prelacy and Erastianism supported by other Presbyterians of that age.  In 1806 they (the Reformed Presbyterians) adopted their present Standards and Testimony.  One of her laws excluded slaveholders from her communion, and her ministers preached in favor of the abolition of slavery in the United States.

The Concord congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized Nov. 9, 1842, and the following named persons (heads of families) made a call of Rev. M. Harshaw, of Pennsylvania, to be their pastor:  Thomas Blair and John Richmond, ruling elders:  Matthew Richmond, John Cunningham, M. J. Cunningham, Robert Cunningham, Andrew Cooper, George Campbell, Matthew McClure, David McClure, William McClure, Samuel McClure, John McClure, Thomas McClure, James McMillan, Milton McMillan, Matthew McMillan, William Campbell, Matthew Munford, Hugh Cooper and James Cunningham.  The call was accepted, and Rev. Harshaw was installed as pastor, remaining in charge until 1870, during which time he gathered together a large and influential congregation.  Rev. Harshaw was born in county Armagh, Ireland, in 1807; crossed to America in 1826; attended the Western University, at or near Pittsburgh; graduated with honor in 183, pursued his theological course under Dr. Black and was licensed to preach in 1840 by the Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Mr. Harshaw was a thorough Biblical Scholar, and his mind was well stored with useful knowledge.  In 1870 he and part of his congregation connected themselves with the United Presbyterian Church, and remained in it until his death, Aug 11, 1874.

During seven years the Concord congregation was without a pastor, and at intervals had preaching from a number of ministers- Revs. Samuel Wylie, D. D., LLD., Eden, Ill.;  David Steele, D. D., Philadelphia; J. F. Morton, D. D., Ohio;  S. M. Ramsey, Chicago; Mattew and William Gailey, Philadelphia, and Mr. David Murdock, Ohio.  Mr. Alexander Raulstone (licentiate) was sent to the congregation for the spring and summer of 1877.  In May, 1878, he was ordained and installed pastor.  After nearly four years, on account of ill health, he resigned his charge and removed to St. Johns, N. B., a more congenial climate, taking charge of a congregation there.

The membership of the Concord congregation now numbers 110, with 6 ruling elders.  During Rev. Harshaw's pastorate the membership numbered about 160.  The following are the names of the ruling elders ordained since its organization:  D. S. McClure, Milton McMillan, James McMillan, Hugh Cooper, Henry Irvine, David Stevenson, W. R. Blair, John S. Faris, J. C. Blair, Riley McClure, A. Y. Richmond and John B. Gordon, M. D.