St. James (Lybrand) Church

Saluda County, South Carolina

Use these records in your research but, please, do not publish without permission of the chapter.

On January 1, 1821 Henry  Lybrand deeded to the Elders of St. James (Lybrand) church 1 acre of land, surrounded on all sides by lands of Henry Lybrand. The  Church was probably already built at this time.  The location of  the Church was on the southern edge of  Doc.  Hamilton's Point, near the Timberlake Plantation. There  are graves there  (1 grave marked and 14 marked with rough  stones  when  Lake Murray was built). The marked grave is  for George Lybrand born 1798 died 1948. The known graves are:

1. George Lybrand 1798-1848

2. Henry Lybrand ca. 1765-1837

3. Mary  Barbara Ballentine Lybrand   ca. 1770-1842 Wife of Henry Lybrand

4. William Haltiwanger 1803-9/7/1878

5. Kesiah Lybrand Haltiwanger  6/4/1808-9/7/1873

6. Annie Coogler ca. 1875-1880

7. Daniel Lybrand  ca. 1795-1818 Son of Henry and Barbara.

8. Male  Lybrand childname  unknown   ca. 1793-180? Son of Henry and Barbara.

9. Male  Lybrand childname  unknown   ca. 1795-180? Son of Henry and Barbara

My Grandmother told  me  that  the grave of Kisiah Haltiwanger was robbed by grave robbers  and they left the body on top of the ground. They  were  never  caught for this. In those days many valuables were buried with the bodies. The body  of  Annie    Coogler   was moved to Bethel Lutheran Cemetery at white Rock.

When the Lake  Murray  water level is at 362, the Cemetery is covered, but  the location where  the Church stood is above water. The Church is described as being 20 to 40 feet, but in 1960 the corner stones were still there, and measured 24 by 40 feet. The Church was built of hewn logs and was described as a neat building. There were two doors, one on the north side and one on the east end. It had a goblet like Pulpit over which hung a large  sounding  board.  The sounding board was made in the shape of a star and painted red.

The Church was used as a place of worship until after 1870. About 1890 when my father Walter E. Rauch was 8 years old, the Church was still standing, but the roof had fallen in. He and his brothers and  friends would  pass the location going to Saluda river to fish.

The Church was Lutheran  and in 1842 was served by Rev. Herman Aull. Rev.  Jesse Lowman and  Rev. Godfrey Dreher were also known to preach  there.  The Church was abandoned probably due to the establishment  of  Macedonia Church in 1847. Also, many

of the older members had died by the 1870's. The building was surely in a poor condition by that time.

The home of Henry  Lybrand was located approximately 150 yards east of the Church. It has been said that some of the stones for pillars, chimney, etc.  are visible when the water is very low. The Church Cemetery must have been started as a Lybrand Family Cemetery, since Henry had two sons who died before the Census of 1820. This would be before the Church was built.

This Church History was written by William B Rauch and appeared in the Dutch Fork Digest in the July-Aug-Sep issue of 2002


In 1842 the South Carolina Synod met in St. Mark Church in Edgefield District, now Saluda County. In the minutes of Synod for that year, mention is made of the Lybrand Church and it is listed as "St. James (Lybrand) Church". At this time it was served by Rev. George Haltiwanger, Sr. The congregation is mentioned in connection with contributions made to "The Cemetery Fund" of Synod. The names of the contributors given in the report are: Dr. P. H. Todd, Jeremiah Drehr, Hezekiah Drehr, Jno,. M. Sulton (perhaps Mike Sulton), Jacob Bates, Mrs. Singly and Mrs Jacob Harman. This is the only historic record found on the "Lybrand Church".

Posted 5 November 2004

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