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Middle Spring Presbyterian Church History

Middle Spring (so called because of its location between Big Spring and Rocky Spring) has been the site of Presbyterian preaching at least since 1736. The Middle Spring Presbyterian Church was formally established in 1738 by a group of Scots-Irish immigrant families who had been settled in the region since 1730. Beginning with Reverend Thomas Craighead (1738-9), Middle Spring has been served by 17 installed pastors, many of whom were distinguished clergymen. Dr. Robert Cooper (1765-1797), was a scholar of considerable merit, served for a brief time in the Revolutionary Army, and was on the committee that drew up plans for the establishment of the General Assembly. Dr. John Moody (1803-54) served the Middle Spring congregation for 50 years and eight months. Dr. Isaac Newton Hays (1854-68), after distinguished service at Middle Spring, went on the become the principal of the Cumberland Valley Normal School, now Shippensburg University. Dr. Samuel S. Wylie served as a soldier in the Civil War and was pastor at Middle Spring from 1872 until 1913, and pastor emeritus from 1913 until 1930.

There have been four church buildings in Middle Spring's history: the first log church, built in 1738; the second log church, erected during the 1760's; the Old Stone Church, completed in 1781 and demolished in 1847 owing to a structural defect; and the present church which was completed and dedicated in 1847. A Christian Education building was added to the church building in 1964. The nine-room manse was built in 1855, and has been home to the families of thirteen Middle Spring pastors.

Middle Spring possesses four cemeteries: the Lower Cemetery, the Upper Cemetery, the Modern Cemetery, and Hannah's Cemetery, located outside of Newburg.

A number of monuments grace the church grounds. First of these was the Pastors' Monument, erected to honor Dr. John Moody, but to which have been added the names of subsequent deceased Middle Spring pastors. Shortly after the war's conclusion the Civil War Monument was dedicated to commemorate the twelve men from Middle Spring area who died during that conflict. The Soldier's Monument (dedicated in 1905) and Tablet (dedicated in 1910) honor the men from the Middle Spring area who served in the French and Indian, the Revolutionary, the 1812, and the Mexican Wars.

Having celebrated its 275 anniversary in 2013, the congregation of the Middle Spring Presbyterian Church is aware of its distinguished heritage, and as its members look toward the future they can hope that:

    Youth, what man's age is like to be doth show;

    We may our ends by our beginnings know.

The noble beginnings of Middle Spring Presbyterian Church demand of its current and future members an even nobler future


To view a transcript of the 1742 Session record of Reverend John Blair, click on the link below. (takes circa 2 minutes with DSL; with dial-up expect a much longer downloading time)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

1742 Session Record