Ebenezer Presbyterian Church was founded circa 1785 as a centerpiece to the community of Ebenezerville, near the same location where its buildings stand today. It is one of the oldest churches in York County.
Four buildings have served Ebenezer. The first log structure was located somewhere in front of the present building across the road. The second structure, used from 1826 to 1890, was a wooden frame building which stood to the left of the present sanctuary. The first brick sanctuary was constructed near the same site in 1890 and in use until 1955 when the current brick sanctuary was dedicated. The John C. Bailey Activities Building was completed in 1972.
In 1819 (and probably earlier) the Academy Building (bottom, right) for the teaching of rudimentary education was constructed at Ebenezer. The building currently standing was erected in 1859-60 to replace an earlier building which was destroyed by fire when a chemistry experiment went awry. The Academy Building has been listed on the National Register of Historical Sites.
The cemetery adjacent to the church has been used as a community burial ground since the time of the first settlement. The oldest marked grave is that of Stephen McCorkle, who died on September 22, 1790 at the age of 55.
Ebenezer is blessed to have been shepherded by many godly men over the years. These include Rev. James Henley Thornwell Jr., Rev. John Bailey who served Ebenezer for 27 years, and most recently Dr. Boyce Wilson.
In the Bible, the prophet Samuel erected a stone monument and called it Ebenezer (meaning “stone of help”) and said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” How true that is about Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. For more than 225 years, God has sustained the congregation at Ebenezer through both difficult and prosperous days. Ebenezer has lived up to its name as a “stone of help” in this community and in the world because it stands firmly upon the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ, our help in ages past and our hope for years to come.
For additional historical information about the Ebenezer ARP Church, please ckick here.