Faithful Service a Treasure Stored in Heaven
Bethel Presbyterian Church, in Clover, South Carolina, is one of the oldest churches in the PCA, having been established in 1764. The Rev. George Gray McWhorter served as the fourth pastor of this church which has been so greatly blessed by God over the centuries.
George Gray McWhorter was born in 1762. One source states that his parents were possibly Jacob McWhorter and Elizabeth Gray McWhorter. He was married to Eliza Drusilla Cooper and they were the parents of eight children. One child, James Miller McWhorter, died while Rev. McWhorter was the pastor at Bethel. This child died January 15, 1800 at the age of 4 years 11 months and 1 day and is buried in the Bethel Cemetery.
George Gray McWhorter served Bethel from July 7, 1796 until September 29, 1801. Bethel had united with Beersheba Presbyterian Church in calling Rev. McWhorter and he served both congregations concurrently during his term as pastor.
Little is known about Rev. McWhorter’s education except that he was trained for the ministry under Dr. James Hall.
After serving Bethel and Beersheba for five years, he resigned the charge in 1801, moved south, and served several different churches in South Carolina. At a later period he moved to the state of Alabama. Historical accounts state that in about 1823 Rev. McWhorter reorganized Lowndesboro Presbyterian Church, Lowndesboro, Alabama. Then later about 1825 Rev. McWhorter became the first pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, Alabama.
In his fading days he remained strong in faith and hope. Like most of God’s ministers in that era, he was poor. Though destitute of the luxuries and almost all of the necessities of life, he continued to preach the gospel to the destitute with all the vigor of youth.
Rev. McWhorter died June 18, 1829 in Washington (Autauga County), Alabama. He is buried beside his wife in Oakwood Cemetery, Montgomery, Alabama. The inscription on his tombstone reads:
“He was a Patriot and soldier in the Revolutionary War . . . Sacred to the memory of Rev. George Gray McWhorter – he was a minister of the Gospel of the Presbyterian order forty years . . . Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord . . Let angels trim their lamps and watch his sleeping clay till the last trumpet bid him rise to bright celestial day . . . Also, Mrs. Eliza McWhorter . . . Born February 4, 1769 . . . Died February 3, 1810”
Words to Live By:
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”—Philippians 3:7-11.