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Rocky River Presbyterian Church Books

Slaves and Free Blacks Known to be Associated with Rocky River Presbyterian Church Prior to 1870

Compiled by Janet Morrison in 2004, with a 2010 addendum.

85 pages, softcover, spiral-bound.

Price:  $25

Alphabetical list of 917 slaves who were communing and/or baptized members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church, Concord, NC.

11 free blacks who were communing and/or baptized members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church, Concord, NC prior to 1870.

Addendum listing two additional freedmen who transferred their church membership from Rocky River to Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church in 1866, additional information about two former slaves who had been members of Rocky River Church and went on to be two of the five ruling elders elected at the organizational meeting of Bellefonte Presbyterian Church in 1867; and a possible identification in the 1870 US Census of a former slave who was a member of Rocky River.

Additional information about some of the slaves, free blacks, and masters of slaves associated with Rocky River Presbyterian Church, 1832-1865, as found in such resources as the church's session minutes and the 1863 Cabarrus County, NC, Tax Assessment List.

May 30, 1867, letter the Rev. Daniel Allen Penick wrote about the separation that had taken place between the white and black members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church after the War Between the States.

Rocky River Presbyterian Church membership statistics for 1835-1870.

Rocky River Presbyterian Church and The War Between the States

Compiled by Janet Morrison in 1999; revised in 2003.

33 pages, softcover, spiral-bound.

Price:  $25

Quote from Part I of the book, which is an overview:

"Imagine for a moment that you were a member of a church of 600 members in the South in 1861.  Now, imagine that during a thirty-eight month period in the early 1860s seventy-two of the church's communing or baptized members died while serving in the Confederate Army during the War Between the States.  A member of Rocky River Presbyterian Church in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, in 1865 would not have had to imagine such a scenario.  It actually happened.  This becomes an even more impressive statistic when one takes into account the fact that 170 of the 600 members of the congregation in 1861 were enslaved or free black members.

The average age of the 72 men Rocky River lost in the War was 28 years, with the youngest being 16 and the oldest being 44 years old." 

The overview also includes a very brief pre-1866 history of Rocky River Presbyterian Church, which was organized in 1751.

Part II of the book is a collection of biographical sketches of the 72 men.

Rocky River Presbyterian Church's 250th Anniversary Historical Plays

Three plays written by Janet Morrison and presented as part of the congregation's 250th anniversary celebration in 2001.

Winner of The Paul Green Multimedia Award given by the North Carolina Society of Historians in 2002.

78 pages, softcover; spiral-bound.

Price:  $25

Play #1:  "A Visit from Elizabeth McKinley"

The main character in this play, which was performed at the church on May 5, 2001, was a time traveler from Rocky River's history.  Elizabeth Morrison McKinley (1816-1892) grew up in the Rocky River congregation and married "Sandy" McKinley, a successful planter.  She walks in on a group of youth who are planning a play to celebrate the church's 250th anniversary.  The youth learn the church's history and some local history by asking Mrs. McKinley questions. 

Play #2:  "Anna Jackson Visits Elizabeth McKinley"

This play was performed at the church on August 18, 2001.  Janet Morrison wrote Part I of the play by weaving the fictionalized memories of Elizabeth Morrison McKinley with the letters Janet's great-grandfather, Pvt. William Leroy Morrison, wrote to his parents and sister during the War Between the States. 

Part II of the performance was researched, created, and performed by Nora Brooks as she took on the persona of Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, widow of Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.  (Anna Morrison Jackson's father and earlier ancestors were members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church.)  Ms. Brooks is highly-acclaimed for her first-person performances as Mrs. Jackson and as Mildred Childe Lee, a daughter of Gen. Robert E. Lee.  She debuted her presentation as Mrs. Jackson at Rocky River on August 18, 2001.

Play #3:  "Elizabeth McKinley and Friends"

This play was performed at the church on September 8, 2001, as part of a weekend celebrating and recognizing all the former and present pastors of Rocky River Presbyterian Church and their descendants.  The history of the congregation was presented through two of the church youth, Jeanne Howie portraying Elizabeth Morrison McKinley, and various church members portraying seven of the early pastors and a number of memorable church members.

In addition to the three plays, the book includes a three-page timeline researched by Janet Morrison.  It includes not only highlights from Rocky River Church's past but also national and world events and inventions to help the reader put the church's history in a wider context.

Rocky River Presbyterian Church Session Minutes, September 18, 1835 - September, 1870

Transcribed by Janet Morrison from microfilmed copy of the original handwritten minutes

351 pages, softcover, spiral-bound, indexed.

This book must be ordered from Rocky River Presbyterian Church, 7940 Rocky River Road, Concord, NC  28025.  The price is $30 by mail.  Make your check for this book payable to Rocky River Presbyterian Church.