A Historical Sketch of Coddle Creek Associate Reformed Presbyterian ChurchBy L. M. Allison, Jr.
The following history was read by the Rev. Leon McDill Allison, Jr., at the Bi-Centennial Anniversary Celebration observed at Coddle Creek Church on August 2, 1953.
The Date of Organization
From the available records, it is not possible to determine the exact date of the organization of Coddle Creek Church. The earliest congregational records were lost; the earliest county records were destroyed by fire. But it is possible to determine the approximate date of organization. Concrete evidence as to the date of organization comes from a diary left by Rev. Hugh McAden, pioneer Presbyterian missionary from Pennsylvania. Mr. McAden travelled through North Carolina in 1755. On this trip he visited in the home of Justice Carruth and on the following Sabbath, September 21, 1755, preached at the meeting-house “about two miles off to a pretty large congregation of people, who seemed pretty regular and discreet.” On his way back home from South Carolina, Mr. McAden again visited in the home of Justice Carruth and again preached to the same congregation of people, this time on December 21, 1755. Mr. McAden referred to the congregation as Coddle Creek. There was therefore, a house of worship and an organized congregation at Coddle Creek in the year 1755. Another bit of evidence comes from the diary of Mr. McAden. He preached at Thyatira one week before he preached at Coddle Creek. The deed to Thyatira, then called “Cathey Meeting House”, was made in January 1753. It seems safe to assume that the two churches were organized about the same time. It is certainly not a serious error to hold the bi-centennial anniversary celebration in this year 1953. The oldest legible inscription on a tombstone is that of a member of the Carruth family, which bears the date 1757. Community tradition says that two graves to the rear of the pulpit are earlier. On the basis of rather strong evidence, it seems safe to say that Coddle Creek Church is two hundred years old and is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, existing Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in the world.
Early Community Settlers and Families
Members of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Reformed Presbyterians (Covenanters) and Associate Presbyterians (Seceders) began to settle in the section between 1735 and 1740. These early settlers came into contact with various Indian tribes, the Catawbas being predominant. The relationship between these early settlers and the Indians was friendly. A much larger stream of white settlers began to flow into the section in the early fifties. These early settlers were of Scotch-Irish, Welsh and German descent. The early records reveal these family names: Carruth, Caudle, Parks, McKnight, Kerr, Sloan, Moore, Black, Carrigan, Bell, Wallace, Smith, Emerson, Neel, Irwin, Torrence, Riley, Robinson, Chisolm and others. It would be most interesting if we knew more of the life of these early settlers. They lived on widely scattered farms and traded at cross-roads stores. Blacksmiths, hatters, tanners and tailers did good business. These people insisted on wearing the best to church. Social life was not neglected. At log-rollings and barn raisings, they talked about the things they had read in Ben Franklin’s paper, “The Pennsylvania Gazette.” They married and were given in marriage. On September 5, 1758, John Braly and Sarah Carruth were married, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Richard Sankey, a minister about whom we know little else. About the same time Jane Parks was married to John McDowell. Walter Bell and Margaret Duncan were married January 5, 1767. Agnes Kerr was married to James Graham, November 27, 1771. Thomas Goodman and Mary Coddle were married, September 1, 1797. The Revolutionary War brought forth some stirring events in the section. General Cornwallis in pursuit of General Greene marched along the old Wilmington Road, about three miles west of Coddle Creek. One of the residents decided to hide the horses and cattle in the canebrakes. His wife, who had a baby daughter in the cradle, became greatly alarmed. General Cornwallis, in some way, heard about it, walked to the steps of the house and assured the anxious mother that his soldiers would not molest them. For many years the step on which the General stood was preserved by the family.
Preachers of the Congregation
For a long time, the preaching was done by supply preachers. It is not known who preached the first sermon. As the church was first an Associate Church, the early preaching was done largely by Associate Ministers from Pennsylvania. About the year 1762 a request went from Coddle Creek to the Associate Presbytery in Pennsylvania for “supplies of sermons.” The request was heeded. A Rev. Mr. Lyle preached here on February 19, 1775, using as his text, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized in 1782. The following year, the forty Associate churches and the twenty Reformed Churches in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia were received into this denomination. A Presbytery embracing the churches in the Carolinas and Georgia was organized at Old Long Cane, S.C., February 2, 1790. A later division placed Coddle Creek in the First Presbytery with Broad River as the boundary. Later still the First Presbytery came to comprise only the churches in North Carolina.In Addition to Rev. Hugh McAden and the Rev. Mr. Lyle, the following ministers preached at Coddle Creek, during this early supply period: James Proudfoot, Robert Annan, John Rodgers, Andrew Patten, Thomas Clark, James Martin and John Jamison. Fourth Creek and Coddle Creek made out a call for Rev. James Martin but it was not accepted. Rev. John Jamison declined a call from Coddle Creek and Hopewell. The supply period ended in 1788 when Rev. John Boyse, who was born in Ireland and reared in Long Cane, S.C., became pastor of Coddle Creek and Hopewell. He was installed the following year. The father of the present pastor (Rev. Walter Armstrong Kennedy, Jr.) of Coddle Creek is the present pastor of Hopewell, located in Chester County, S.C. Mr. Boyse died in 1793. The second pastor, Rev. James McKnight, son of James and Ann McKee McKnight, was reared in the congregation. He received his college and seminary training in Pennsylvania. He was big in body, weighing 300 pounds, and strong in spirit. He had the reputation of riding like Jehu. Needless to say he rode a sway-backed horse. Like all the preachers of his day, he preached long sermons. The stars were out and the chickens at roost when the people reached home after his second sermon. His marriage ceremony was usually an hour. This pastorate ended with the death of Mr. McKnight in 1831. Rev. John Graham Witherspoon was installed as pastor of Coddle Creek, New Perth and Gilead on August 20, 1834. He was born in the bounds of Sugar Creek. He attended Jefferson College and Allegheny Seminary. His theological training was completed under the teaching of Rev. Issac Grier, the pastor at Sardis. An outstanding event of this pastorate was the erection of a new church building. The pastorate ended with Mr. Witherspoon’s death on January 6, 1846. The next pastorate was the longest in the history of the church. Rev. John E. Pressly was installed as pastor of Coddle Creek and New Perth on February 12, 1851, and remained pastor until his resignation in 1886. Dr. Pressly, the son of John and Martha Devlin Pressly, was born in the bounds of Cedar Springs Congregation, thirty-nine days after the death of his father. He was reared largely in the home of his uncle, Dr. E. E. Pressly, President of Erskine College. He received his college and seminary training at Erskine College. The records of the first part of the Pressly pastorate reveal the division of the members into two groups, “Whites” and “Blacks.” The Blacks were servants of many of the White families of the congregation. They sat in the galleries of the church and many of them are buried in the graveyard just outside the White cemetery. Toward the close of this pastorate the church building was burned and the present structure was erected. Dr. Pressly bought a Robison house, which has long been known as “The Pressly Place.” It was subsequently bought by Rev. W. Y. Love and by Mr. W. P. Rogers. Mr. Rogers’ daughter, Mrs. J. D. Collins, is the present owner. Two missionaries were reared in this house, Rev. Neil Erskine Pressly, the first ARP missionary to Mexico, and Miss Janie Love. An injury, sustained from a falling bale of cotton at Nesbit and Pressly’s gin, caused Dr. Pressly to submit his resignation on April 13, 1886. He continued to preach for a year or more, preaching from a revolving chair. He died May 16, 1897. The next pastor was Rev. T. B. Stewart, a native of Anderson County, S.C. He served from November 19, 1887 to April 7, 1891. Mr. Stewart served the newly-organized church at Mooresville, along with the other two churches. The Mooresville church was discontinued for a time but was reorganized during the next pastorate. Rev. W. Y. Love of Sharon, S.C. became the next pastor in April 1892. His pastorate continued until October 30, 1900. Mr. Love was instrumental in reorganizing the church at Mooresville and in building a house of worship for that congregation. Rev. Robert C. Davidson, a son of New Perth, began his pastorate at Coddle Creek and Mooresville on May 24, 1901. This pastorate was the third longest in the history of the church, ending in 1920. During this pastorate a manse was purchased in Mooresville. This manse continued to be the home of the pastor until the two churches became separate charges. Rev. Ebenezer B. McGill, a son of Smyrna, S.C., served as pastor from April 1921 to Oct. 1924. Mr. McGill’s mother was a member of the Boyce family, prominently known in the denomination. He received his collegiate training at the University of South Carolina and his theological training at Erskine Seminary. Upon his resignation as pastor, he did a year of graduate study at Princeton. While pastor at Coddle Creek, he taught school in the Coddle Creek School. Mr. McGill took the lead in setting out a number of young trees to replace some of the old giants of the church grove. Rev. Mark B. Grier of York, S.C. was installed on August 21, 1925, and served as pastor until 1931. Dr. Grier was educated at Erskine College and Princeton Seminary. He did graduate work at Edinburg, Scotland and at Davidson College. During the greater part of his pastorate, Dr. Grier served the congregation at Kannapolis. Also, during this time he lived in Kannapolis. Near the end of the pastorate, he began to devote fulltime to the work at Coddle Creek. During this time he lived in Mooresville. Rev. Leon M. Allison, Sr., of Hickory Grove, S. C. was pastor from 1932 to 1944. Mr. Allison was educated at the University of South Carolina and at Erskine Seminary. During his pastorate, the first manse within the bounds of the congregation was built and a hut for educational and recreational purposes was constructed. Coddle Creek became a self-supporting church, early in this pastorate. Rev. Dallas A. Alexander, of Gilead, began his ministry at Coddle Creek on November 1, 1944. He was installed on January 28, 1945, and remained as pastor until the time of his death on September 14, 1949. During his pastorate, many improvements were made on the manse, the hut, and in the cemetery. After Mr. Alexander’s death the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Ian Wilson, professor at Davidson College and Rev. W. B. Copeland of Davidson, N.C. Mr. Robert Cater, a native of New York and a graduate of Faith Theological Seminary, in Wilmington, Delaware, supplied in the pulpit from June 17, 1951, to February 1, 1952. The Caters lived in the manse. The present pastor, Rev. W. A. Kennedy, Jr., of Hopewell, S.C. began his ministry at Coddle Creek in June 1952. He was installed on July 13, 1952. Mr. Kennedy was educated at Erskine College and Erskine Theological Seminary and did graduate work at the University of South Carolina and Princeton. The church is taking on new life under his leadership. The membership is growing numerically and spiritually. Attendance at Sabbath School and worship services is on the increase. The interior and the exterior of the church have a new look as a result of much work. The grounds have been greatly improved. A program is in progress to construct Sabbath School rooms. A building fund is growing rapidly.
Elders of the Church
James Carrigan and James McKnight, the father of the second pastor, served as elders under Rev. John Boyse; Robert Neel, Sr., Robert Neel, Jr., and Adam Ross served under Mr. McKnight; Hugh Gillen, Neil McAulay, Elam Neel, William Knox and James Gray served under Mr. Witherspoon. Serving under Dr. Pressly were James Bradford, George McKnight, W. N. Bell, Dr. Edwin McAulay, W. A. Kerr, W. G. Townson, and possibly Alfred Riley and others already named. Other elders serving under Mr. Stewart were J. B. Wallace, Jas. H. Smith, R. M. Kistler and T. D. Miller. W. M. Mellon, J. O. Witherspoon, Dr. A. E. Bell, W. P. Rodgers, T. W. Kistler, E. R. Graham and T. A. Fleming were made elders under Mr. Love. J. A. Cashion, Ralph Alexander, and E. C. Johnston became elders during the Davidson pastorate. Elders added under Mr. McGill were W. F. Smith, J. C. Wallace and E. B. Smith, R. G. Johnston, J. G. Rogers and R. L. Patterson became elders under Dr. Grier. Joseph Ewart and L. M. Allison, Jr. were made elders during the Alexander pastorate. The present session is composed of C. A. Graham, G. W. Kistler, J. T. Patterson, Sr., S. P. Patterson, R. L. Patterson, J. G. Rogers, L. F. Christenbury and E. S. Rogers, Sr.
The first house of worship was built about 1753 and was used until 1839. It was a large, log building, which was later weather-boarded. Its interior of logs and rafters remained until the end. This first building stood for 86 or 87 years.The second building was erected in 1839, during the Witherspoon pastorate. Like the first building, it stood East and West but the pulpit, instead of being on the North side, was in the West end, the entrance being toward the East. This second building was very similar in structure to the Prospect Church building, recently replaced by a new building. Two hundred acres of land, from the tract given by Mr. Hugh Parks, were sold and the proceeds used in the erection of the new building. This second building was destroyed by fire on February 24, 1884, having stood for forty-five years. The third and present structure was erected in 1884 during the Pressly pastorate. It was dedicated on June 29, 1884, the dedicatory sermon being preached by Rev. W. T. Waller of Charlotte. The present building is 69 years old. The manse was built in 1939 during the Allison pastorate. The hut was constructed in 1941, during the same pastorate. At present plans are in progress for the construction of Sabbath School rooms.
The General Synod met at Coddle Creek in 1841 with Dr. E. E. Pressly as Moderator and John Witherspoon as Clerk. At that time there were twenty-seven ministers and probationers, twenty-two of whom were present, in the denomination. Those, along with ten elders, composed the church court of this year. Several noteworthy events transpired. Dr. Williamson, the new President of Davidson College was present, as a delegate from the Presbyterian Assembly, and offered an overture for the organic union of the two denominations. The matter was placed in the hands of a committee, which was instructed “to report the doings of this Synod on the subject to the Synod to meet at Charleston, S.C.” The issue of church union is not a new issue. A committee, consisting of J. Boyce and J. Galloway, was appointed to make a report concerning the establishment of a “church magazine.” The Synod adopted the report which recommended to establishment of the magazine, to be called “The Christian Magazine of the South.” The price was fixed not to exceed one dollar and a half a year. The magazine, of which Rev. James Boyce was editor, continued for a number of years. A committee was appointed to draft a form for a diploma to be used by Erskine College on the occasion of its first commencement exercises. The draft was prepared and adopted and the college faculty was instructed to have the diplomas “struck either by plate, or some form of stereotype, and have them ready for the class next September.” The Synod, the only one in the history of the church, adjourned to meet in Due West on the second Monday in October 1852.
The First Presbytery has held four meetings at Coddle Creek. Rev. J. H. Pressly, the new pastor at Statesville, moderated the meetings in the fall of 1893. Rev. W. S. Patterson moderated the meeting in October 1915. Dr. G. R. White moderated the meeting in April 1928. Rev. W. L. Pressly moderated the meeting in April 1948. Several “Homecoming Days” have been observed. Among these was the one held during the Love pastorate with Dr. J. E. Pressly as speaker and the one held during the Davidson pastorate with Dr. W. W. Orr as speaker. Typical of these occasions was the one held in 1931 near the end of the Grier pastorate. It was held on a week day and the program was carried out in the yard. Stamey Torrence built temporary seats and a platform for the occasion. Rev. N. E. Smith was the principal speaker and Rev. G. L. Kerr gave the history of the church. A similar occasion was held on the ninth of August 1934, early in the Allison pastorate. Addresses were made by Rev. E. B. McGill and Rev. L. I. Echols. This occasion came during a week of special services, conducted by Rev. B. Dale White.
A classical school was begun at Coddle Creek by Rev. John Witherspoon about 1838. It was known as Poplar Grove Academy. R. C. Grier, Sr., R. A. Ross, W. M. McElwee and other prominent ministers studied in this school. Other teachers were W. H. Stanley and Jethro Rumple. After the War Between the States, this school was revived under the guidance of Dr. J. E. Pressly. For a period of more than forty years, boys and girls were prepared for college on the church grounds. Coddle Creek has given a number of “sons” to the Gospel Ministry.
Among these are William W. Orr, Robert Calvin Grier, Sr., W. M. McElwee, Jr., Robert Armstrong Ross, Neill Erskine Pressly, Mason Wiley Pressly, Hugh Roderic McAuley, Nat Erskine Smith, Clarence Young Love, Gilbreath Lawson Kerr, Robert Torrentine Kerr, William Calvin Kerr, John Patterson Johnston and Leon McDill Allison, Jr. Two missionaries, Miss Janie Love and Mrs. L. M. Shedd, were reared at Coddle Creek.
A History of Coddle Creek Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church 1953-2003Written for the 250th Anniversary Celebration, October 19, 2003 By Tom Patterson
The Rev. Walter Armstrong Kennedy, Jr., (1915-1964) became pastor at Coddle Creek in 1952. Dr. Kennedy had served on the faculty of Erskine Seminary (1946-1952) where he taught Systematic Theology, Hebrew, and Greek. Prior to that he had served as pastor of the Kannapolis ARP Church. In the early 50s,the Kannapolis congregation began to decline, and by 1957 that church had dissolved. Many of the Kannapolis people had a strong affection for Dr. Kennedy. One by one, families from the Kannapolis Church left that church and followed Dr. Kennedy to Coddle Creek. The Bost, Dickson, Litaker, McConnell, Weaver and related families became a vital part of the Coddle Creek congregation. They numbered some 50 individuals. Toward the end of the pastorate of the Rev. Dallas Alexander, he had remarked to his wife that he thought Coddle Creek would eventually wither away and cease to be a viable congregation. The infusion of the Kannapolis people and an aggressive evangelistic outreach during the Kennedy years, turned the congregation around and made it a thriving rural church.
On August 2, 1953, the congregation observed its bi-centennial celebration. Dr. Mark B. Grier, former pastor, preached at the morning service which concluded with the observance of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. At 2:30 PM, a bi-centennial program was held in the Sanctuary. The Rev. W. A. Kennedy, Jr., presided. The Rev. Russell M.Kerr, a son of Dr. Gilbreath L. Kerr, who was a son of the congregation, conducted the devotional service. The Rev. L.M. Allison, Jr., a son of the congregation read the history of the church. Elder
Crawford A. Graham spoke on “Coddle Creek Today and Tomorrow”. Two sons of the congregation, the Rev. John P. Johnston and the Rev. R. T.Kerr, spoke. The Rev. E. B.McGill, and the Rev. Mark B. Grier, former pastors, gave brief addresses.
The growing congregation required additional meeting space. In 1953, an educational complex consisting of 6 classrooms and a full basement were added to the Hut which was built in 1941. Prior to the construction of the Educational Building, the Hut was used as educational space for the children. The children would begin Sunday School with an opening exercise and then divide up into classes utilizing the various corners of the building as their meeting space. Once the new building was completed, the Hut was used as the meeting place for the opening exercise of the Children’s Department, as a room for one youth class, and as a Chapel for the Wednesday evening Prayer & Praise Service. A small kitchen and bathrooms were added to the Hut. This kitchen later became another children’s Sunday School room. The Hut had also been used as a small Fellowship Hall on various occasions. The new Educational Building utilized the basement as an expanded kitchen and Fellowship Hall. A Sunday School class also met there. A son of the congregation, R. Wayne Dickson, answered the call to the Gospel ministry and was ordained by Second Presbytery of the ARP Church in 1965.
Dr. Kennedy’s pastorate came to an end on February 20, 1964, when he succombed to cancer.
Membership at the beginning of Dr. Kennedy’s pastorate was 122. At the end of his ministry, it had grown to 249.
In the fall of 1964, the congregation called the Rev. William Laurens Pressly, D. D., (1902-1994) to be its pastor. The congregation continued to grow, and the need to expand the facilities was recognized. An addition to the Educational Building was completed in November of 1966. Four classrooms, two restrooms, and a pastor’s study were added. The Educational Building was then connected to the Sanctuary by a breezeway. The Fall meeting of First Presbytery was held here in 1967. The congregation was faced with the reality of building a new manse to replace the one built in 1939. In 1972 the congregation’s property/lot at Bonclarken Conference Center was sold, and the proceeds used to establish a Manse Fund. During the Pressly years, the community began to shift from rural to suburban. Farm land became housing developments. As the community changed, the church began to change as it reached out to new residents. From a church which had drawn its membership from established families whose primary occupation was agriculture related, the congregation began to attract more and more people who had moved here from other places and whose livelihood was from the business and professional sectors. Dr. Pressly resigned the work in 1977 and retired from the ministry.
Membership at the beginning of Dr. Pressly’s ministry was 249. At the end of his ministry, there were 290 members.
In 1978, the congregation voted to call seminary graduate, John Jeffrey Hoeprich (1949- ) to be its pastor. The presbytery named Mr. Hoeprich student supply pastor for a period of six months. He was then ordained and installed as pastor of the Coddle Creek congregation in March, 1979. Shortly thereafter, a division arose in the church, and Mr. Hoeprich resigned in December, 1979. In the year following Mr. Hoeprich’s resignation, seventeen members left Coddle Creek and dispersed into 3 other congregations. The new manse was constructed as Mr. Hoeprich came onto the field. He and his family moved in to the manse shortly after arriving at Coddle Creek. In 1978 a Missions Fund, honoring Mr. & Mrs. T. W. Kistler, was established to encourage the congregation’s role in the work of foreign missions. Over the years, this fund has produced financial support for missionaries, assisted in funding short-term mission trips involving Coddle Creek members, and encouraged greater participation and involvement in the cause of the Great Commission.
Membership at the beginning of Mr. Hoeprich’s pastorate was 295. At the end of the pastorate, the membership was 294.
In 1980, Dr. Kenneth C. Seawright (1903-1988), retired ARP minister living in Davidson, became interim pastor and began the work of healing the congregation. During this time, Dr. W. P. Grier, Jr., (1917-1998), retired ARP minister living in Mooresville, conducted the Wednesday evening services.
The Rev. James Avery Hunt (1947- ) was called to be pastor in 1981. The membership at that time was 269. Mr. Hunt faced the challenge of re-establishing unity among the membership and leading the church forward. Membership and attendance showed significant increase, and the wounds of the past faded away. An addition to the manse was completed in 1986. The Spring Meeting of First Presbytery was held at Coddle Creek in 1984. The Spring Meeting of First Presbytery was held here in 1990. Sensing a need for additional facilities, the congregation voted to construct a Fellowship Hall. This building was completed in 1996. In order to provide adequate space for the new building, the Hut/Chapel was removed from the Educational Building and moved up to Gary Patterson’s farm where it has been renovated into a house. The Fellowship Hall was built on the site formerly occupied by the Hut/Chapel.
At the time the Fellowship Hall was being constructed and paid for, the Graham property which is adjacent to the church property became available, and the congregation purposed to purchase it and use it for ministry. The debt on the Graham property and the Fellowship Hall was paid in full within two years. Today, Student Intern Ron Eastes and his family reside in this house.
In the early 1980s, the Rev. W. P. “Kit” Grier and Tom Patterson had discussed the need for establishing a new ARP congregation on Lake Norman. In the spring of 1985, a recommendation was made to the Coddle Creek Session to undertake an exploratory work on the lake. In June, a group of 13 people met to discuss the possibility. A Sunday evening worship service was initiated in mid-June at Mt. Mourne Elementary School. The Rev. James Hunt provided the preaching and Tom Patterson provided the music. A group of Coddle Creek people faithfully supported these services. In August, the work moved to an office complex in the headquarters of Southern Construction Company owned by Mr. Richard Skaff, a PCUSA ruling elder. Mr. Skaff offered his facilities to the “Lake Mission of Coddle Creek ARP Church” for a sum of $1 a month. By September, a group of 35-40 people were involved in this work. In October, the evening services were discontinued, and a 9:30 AM morning service and a 10:30 AM Sunday School were added. The name “Lakeside Fellowship ARP Church” was selected. First Presbytery was contacted and in January of 1986, the group was received as a mission congregation of the ARP Church. Mr. Hunt continued to preach through April of 1986 when the Rev. Robert J. Hamilton was called to be the mission developer. Mr. Patterson continued to provide the music for the group for 2 additional years. The Presbytery appointed Coddle Creek elders J. C. Wallace and Tom Patterson to the Provisional Session of the mission. They were joined by elders George Smith from the New Perth Church and Frank Porter from the Lakeside Fellowship Church and the Rev. W. P. Grier from First Presbytery.
With an emphasis on missions, Coddle Creek has sent out several of its own for foreign service. Miss Karen Kistler served two years (1987-1989) with the ARP Board of World Witness in Mexico. Shea Alexander served a summer (2002) in China teaching at a university and is now (2003-2004) back in China teaching again — this time for a year. Michael and Mary Hazeltine have served a year teaching in Java (2002-2003) and left for a second year in August (2003-2004). A number of our youth and adults have gone on work trips to Mexico and Jamaica.
In 1992, an Heritage Museum was built for the congregation, a gift from Mr. & Mrs. Locke Neel. Memorbilia and historical information connected to Coddle Creek Church are housed in the Museum.
In the 1990s, another bold step was taken in the adding of a part-time pastoral intern/youth director position. Reformed Seminary students Matt Richardson, Andy Garner, Justin Kendrick, and Ron Eastes have served the congregation in this capacity.
In 1994, the Church Extension Committee of First Presbytery approached the Session and asked it to give oversight to the Calvary Church in Kannapolis. The Calvary Church had been established by the Presbyterian Church in America, but had left that denomination and was seeking to unite with the ARP Church. In November of that year, First Presbytery received the Calvary Church as a Mission. Coddle Creek elders Richard Jarvis, Donald Kistler, and J. C. Wallace were appointed as the Provisional Session.
Currently two members of the congregation, Stephen Myers and Ron Eastes, are enrolled at Reformed Seminary in preparation for the ministry.
In recent years, Coddle Creek has provided Moderators for First Presbytery on 4 occassions. The Rev. James Hunt served as Moderator in 1985. Elder Tom Patterson served as Moderator in 1990 and again in 1995. Elder Mick Houck served in 1999.