Formation of the Associate Reformed Presbytery, or "Seceders"
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Time Period
1782
Description
Unlike its much larger American Presbyterian cousin, the Associate Reformed Presbytery traces its lineage to a group of dissidents within the Church of Scotland. In looking back toward the old country, it echoed the Scottish "covenanter" tradition, although the controversy that birthed the Associate Reformed Presbytery happened significantly later.

In 1733, a group of Scottish dissidents, led by Ebenezer Erskine, seceded from the Church of Scotland over the issue of "lay patronage," or the appointment of ministers by large landowners. This new group, nicknamed the "seceders," called itself the Associate Presbytery and began to grow. They were well known for refusing to sing hymns, and instead only chanted psalms.

As Scots-Irish immigration to the American colonies swelled during the mid-18th century, a handful of churches from both the "covenanter" and "seceder" traditions formed a synod in Philadelphia in 1782.

Today, a small seceder denomination remains in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP), which was Billy Graham's childhood denomination.

Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Associate Reformed Presbyterian centennial synod- Hathi Trust- from The Centennial History of the Associate Reformed Presbytery

Ebenezer Erskine portrait- Internet Archive- from The Life and Diary of the Reverend Ebenezer Erskine by Donald Fraser

Ebenezer Church, SC, where the Associate Reformed Synod of the South was organized- Hathi Trust- from The Centennial History of the Associate Reformed Presbytery

Camden Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Alabama- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-highsm-09127
Book/Journal Source(s)
Ahlstrom, Sydney, 2004. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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