The Reverend Luke Dorland, the first President of Barber-Scotia College, Concord, North Carolina, organized Bellefonte United Presbyterian Church in May 1867. Prior to the establishment of the church, the Negroes of the community were members of the Rocky River Presbyterian Church. The white minister of the community refused to let the Negroes hear a speech by Reverend Dorland in an integrated audience, so the Negro ladies requested that Reverend Dorland meet with them the next Sunday to help organize a church.
The ruling Elders elected at the first formal organizational meeting was Elinor Parks, Albert Morrison, Anthony Stafford, Silas Davis, and William Caldwell. The Policy Committee consisted of Jessie Harris, George Melchor, Christopher Boger, Nathaniel Boger and Winifred Phifer. After the organization, the congregation met in a little log cabin located to the right of the present structure. In 1871, the church name became Bellefonte Presbyterian Church, which means "Beautiful Fountain".
The first minister of note was Rev. George Patterson who served from 1878-1885. Dr. Frank T, Logan of Concord, N.C., served the longest term from 1890-1931. In between, professors and students served the church from J.C. Smith University, Charlotte, N.C. The Rev. J.H. Stokes served from 1934 to 1943. The Rev. W.A. Griggs served from 1944 to 1951 and the Rev. Seth Vanlandingham served from 1953 to 1961.
Seminarians served until the calling of Rev. Samuel L Fulwood on June 1, 1966. Rev. Fulwood served for 22 years. Under his leadership, the sanctuary was remodeled, new pews and carpet were installed, German siding was applied to the outside of the sanctuary; the fellowship hall, pastor's study, ladies lounge, rest rooms were constructed, and the grounds were landscaped.
On May 6,1990, the church elected the present pastor, Dr. Gregory Davis. He is truly a man called by God and has been a spiritual uplift to the congregation. During his tenure, many new members have been added to the church roll as well as former members reuniting. Under Rev. Davis’, leadership, a Tape Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Tutorial Program, Bible Study, Year-End Awards Banquet, New Members Classes, Disciple Classes and Computerized Record Keeping have been implemented.
Also under Dr. Davis’ leadership, after much prayer, plans were implemented to build a new church structure. A $275,000 loan was secured from United Carolina Bank and the membership launched the ground breaking on September 24, 1995 and construction began in December 1995. Being obedient to the will of God through tithes and offerings, Bellefonte burned the mortgage on this current structure on May 21, 2000.
In November 2002 the church voted unanimously as a body to begin investigating the building of a Family Life Center to broaden our ministry within the Harrisburg community. A Redevelopment Ministry Team was established and extensive work has been done and is still being performed by this ministry team to make this dream a reality. This new structure will include a daycare center, after-school program, student tutorial program, senior citizens program and other community outreach programs.
The church declared May 31st through June 1st of 2003 as “Appreciation Weekend” for our Pastor and First Lady. Along with other activities, a gala banquet was held in the First Family’s honor as we celebrated their 13th year with us.
Again, on June 5th through June 6th the church again declared this time as “Appreciation Weekend for our Pastor and First Lady. This celebration started with a fashion show to honor our First Lady of Fashion at the Barber Scotia College in the Faith Hall and concluded on Sunday with a glorious celebration of God’s word, and fellowship.
A church grows because of the spiritual guidance through the Pastor, attendance, and support of its members. The members of Bellefonte Presbyterian Church, USA are grateful for the untiring efforts of our local membership, friends and those who are away and still remember us in special ways.