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Church Timeline



The decades
1700's     1800's     1900's     2000's



1732 First settlement in Poplar Tent.
1751 Church organized by Rev. John Thompson.  Poplar Tent was established by early Scotch-Irish immigrants from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
1753 Rev. John Thompson passed.
May 3, 1765 The tract of land on which the buildings of the church now stand was conveyed to Poplar Tent congregation by the Crown of England.  The land deed was recorded at the courthouse in Concord.  It is not known what became of that deed, but the transaction is recorded at the Cabarrus County Courthouse.
1768 Classical school opened at Poplar Tent, remaining open for a century and producing some of the leading scholars of that time.
1765 Minister was requested for Poplar Tent.
1769-1776 Hezekiah James Balch - first official minister of Poplar Tent.
May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence signed.  The declaration was written by Rev. Hezekiah James Balch.
1775 American Revolution begins.  English Colonists vs. Great Britain.
1778-1792 Robert Archibald
1783 American Revolution ends.
1792-1801 Alexander Caldwell
1792 Cabarrus County formed when the northeastern corner of Mecklenburg County was cut off.
January 1793 Cabarrus County records begin.
1799 Gold found in Cabarrus County.
1801-1806 John Robinson
1802 The poplar tree under which  Rev. John Thompson preached fell just 51 years after its grateful shade sheltered those who gathered to hear God's word.
1809-1841 John Robinson
1812 War of 1812 begins.  United States vs. Great Britain.
1815 War of 1812 ends.
1817 The first women's organization of the Presbytery Church, US was started at Poplar Tent and was called "Female Tract Society of Poplar Tent Church".
1819 Female Tract Society of Poplar Tent Church reorganized as the Female Benevolent Society.
1843-1857 Walter Wellington Pharr
1847 Memorial to Rev. Hezekial Balch erected.
April 1852 Present sanctuary completed at a cost of $2,600.00.  This colonial brick building was constructed under the pastorate of Rev. Walter Pharr.  One interesting note regarding the architecture itself.  The gallery was originally built to accommodate the slaves of the congregation.  It has two sets of stairs, one from the vestibule and another that begins at what is thought to be the slaves’ entrance at the south entrance of the church. 
1858-1873 Daniel Allen Penick, Jr. D.D.
1861 Civil War begins.  Union vs. Confederacy.
1865 Civil War ends.
1867 Records show there were 163 white members and 104 black members.
1868 Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church formed when most of the black members asked for a letter of dismissal from Poplar Tent to form a church of their own.
July 21, 1871 Instrumental music in church voted on- Question – Is it Right?  Answer – Yes.  Shall we use it – Answer – No.
1871 Elder William S. Harris was appointed at the spring session to write a historical sketch of Poplar Tent.
1874-1878 James Henry Thornwell, D.D.
1879 Trustees of Poplar Tent Church bought the “manse” from Joseph Young.  After moving it to its present site it was the home of 15 ministers before a new manse was built across from the church in 1949.
1881-1883 James N. H. Summerell, D.D.
1885-1888 J. L. Williamson
1887 Cannon Mills Company founded.
1889-1892 Henry Gilland
1893-1894 H. D. Lequex
1897-1900 George L. Cook
1898 Spanish-American War begins.  United States vs. Spain
1900-1906 J. M. McLain
1901 Spanish-American War ends.
Oct.11, 1903 On account of scarcity of hymn books a meeting of the people was called to consider the adoption of The New Psalms and Hymns.
July 16, 1905 Session unanimously voted to give pastor a vacation of four weeks of rest.
1907-1909 Charles B. Ratchford
Aug. 19, 1907 County-wide Sunday School convention was held at Poplar Tent.
1910-1914 James E. Summers
1910 Boy Scouts of America was organized.
1912 Girl Scouts of America was organized.
1914 World War I begins.  Triple Alliance:  Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary vs. Triple Entente:  Britain, France and Russia.
1915-1920 R. W. Culbertson
1917 The United States enters World War I and sides with the Triple Entente.
1918 World War I ends.
May 11, 1919 The common cup for communion was discontinued (probably because of the influenza epidemic) and since then individual cups have been used.  The first time individual communion cups were used at Poplar Tent was the second Sunday in May, 1919.
1922-1924 Wade H. Eubank
1924-1929 L. K. McIver
April 26, 1926 Session ordered congregational meeting to be held May 2nd to consider raising an endowment fund for the purpose of keeping the cemetery in repair.
Sept. 10, 1925 “The Ladies Aid Society” was first organized into the Women’s Auxiliary of Poplar Tent and held its first meeting in the church October 15, 1925.
April 14, 1929 At a congregational meeting held after services the trustees were ordered to lay off the newly acquired addition to the cemetery in plats and dispose of the said plats as best suited to the needs of the congregation.
1930-1932 M. R. Gibson
1933-1940 Marion Graham Lyerly
Oct. 2, 1935 At a congregational meeting, a motion was made to make the term of officers three years.  A motion that all officers be eligible for reelection immediately after their retirement was submitted and carried.  A motion that six elder and six deacons be elected prevailed.
1937 Men from the church erected a log building for a fellowship hall, called "The Hut".
1939 World War II begins.  Axis Powers:  Germany, Italy and Japan vs. Major Allied Powers:  Great Britain, France and Russia.
1940-1941 Waldo P. Robertson
1941-1945 J. T. Barham
Dec. 7, 1941 The United States enters World War II and sides with the Major Allied Powers.
1941 Manse wired for electric range.
1945 World War II ends.
1945 First Annual BBQ.
1946-1947 Mary and Martha circle formed - meeting at night..
1947-1948 Millard M. Miller
1948-1949 New manse built.
July 18, 1948 Classes for children under 16 were ordered discontinued for the duration due to the polio epidemic.
Dec. 17,. 1949 Manse dedicated.
1949-1961 L. T. Edgerton
1950 Korean War begins.  United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China.
March 27, 1951 Poplar Tent congregation voted to incorporate the cemetery.
1953 Korean War ends.
Nov. 4, 1954 10th annual barbecue.
Feb. 6, 1955 Groundbreaking ceremony for the $53,000.00 educational building annex.
May 8, 1955 Mr. W. A. Morris, Sr. presented a Baldwin organ in memory of his father and mother whose bodies rest in the Poplar Tent cemetery.
June 1955 Beginning June 14-15-16 a historical drama "Voice in the Wilderness" by Legett Blythe was presented at the Southern States Fair grounds in Charlotte, sponsored by Mecklenburg Presbytery.  Several members from Poplar Tent participated in this presentation.
July 14, 1955 The Baldwin organ was played for the first time for services.
Aug. 12, 1957 The grand piano in the sanctuary was given by the family of the late Mrs. R. S. Young.
Jan. 19, 1958 The first official session meeting was held in the new session room which was part of the new educational building.
1960 Vietnam War begins.  United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam
1961-1966 George S. Calhoun
Jan. 2, 1961 Artificial flower arrangements were used for the first time during the Sunday service.
1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.  United States vs. Cuba.
Nov. 5, 1964 20th annual barbecue.
Jan 30, 1966 Twelve inches of snow fell and the temperature was minus 3 degrees, no church service was held this Sunday.
May 8, 1966 Mrs. Jane Morrison Harris Nierenberg presented a gold cross to the church.  The cross hangs behind the pulpit.
1966-1978 E. Pressley Love
1969 Existing "Fellowship Building" was built at a cost of $41,192.00.
1969 Boy Scout Troop 38 chartered.
1970 Large wooden cross made from hand-hewn planks donated by Mr. J. Y. Johnston.
1971 Boy Scout Troop 38 awarded the Frank Liske trophy having achieved the highest score of points in the various skills and competitions during summer camp.
Feb. 7, 1971 Steve Poplin first scout from Boy Scout Troop 38 to be awarded the Eagle Scout award.
April 27-28, 1971 The 65th annual Presbyterial meeting was held at Poplar Tent.
1973 First female elder, Mrs. Mary King Smith, was elected.
Nov. 7, 1974 30th annual barbecue.
Jan. 10, 1975 Death of Mrs. Georgia Isenhour Weddington, widow of Boyden Monroe Weddington.  Georgia was the last living spouse of a Civil War Veteran in North Carolina at her death.
1975 Vietnam War ends.
1979-1988 Joel D. Cherry
1983 Grenada - United States Intervention.
Jan. 1, 1984 Beginning January 1, 1984, church was ruled by one board called the Session which consisted of 18 members.
Nov. 1, 1984 40th annual BBQ.
Nov. 20, 1984 Display case in the history room was made and donated by Buren Efird.
Nov. 1984 From the will of Clyde Widenhouse - $36,000.00 in trust to Poplar Tent with the request that the church make adequate provision for the upkeep of the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Boyden Weddington and generally maintain and beautify the old portion of the church cemetery.
1985 Bibles for the church were bought.  They were placed in the church pews to be used during the worship service.
1988 Mike Edwards crafted and donated a cherry table for the church history room.
1989 United States Invasion of Panama.  United States vs. Panama.
Sept. 21, 1989 Hurricane Hugo makes landfall, comes inland and passes over Concord.
Jan. 1990 Mrs. Diane Carriker presented a drawing of Poplar Tent Church that had previously hung in the H&M Medical Clinic which Dr. Ladd Hamrick wished to donate to the church.
1990-2002 Peter R. Hale
1990 Persian Gulf war begins.  United States  and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq.
1991 Persian Gulf war ends.
Nov. 3, 1994 50th annual BBQ.
1995 Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina begins.  United States as part of NATO acted as peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia.
1996 Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina ends.
Jan. 2000 Poplar Tent took supplies to Edgemont Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount following floods in that area.
2001 United States invasion of Afghanistan begins.  United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism.
2003 Iraqi War begins.  United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq.
Nov. 4, 2004 60th annual barbecue.
2005-2012 Jay D. Smith
2007 Fellowship Building remodeled.
2012 Sanctuary remodeled.