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.
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
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.