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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wood's Chapel

Great-grandma Johnson was a Westmoreland before she married. And her mother was a Wood, the great-great-granddaughter of Rev. William Henry Wood, an American Revolutionary War Patriot and pioneer Methodist minister in the South Carolina backcountry. Last month the Mecklenburg Chapter, (NCSSAR) of the Sons of the American Revolution honored his memory with a marker ceremony at the Wood’s Chapel United Methodist Church cemetery on Brown Wood Road, Greer, SC. That’s right near the intersection of Interstate-85 and Highway-101, practically across the street from the BMW plant entrance. (Yes, they build German cars on top of my ancestral stomping grounds.)

Born December 16 (same as brother, Keith), 1756, in what is now Warren County, NC, he served in the struggle for American freedom as a member of the Third Division of N.C. Militia under Lieutenant Henry Shurrin and Colonel Hebert Haynes. He participated at the battle of Guilford Court House and other engagements during his service in the Revolution.

He married Elizabeth Mayfield in July 1777 in Warren County, N.C. She died soon after the marriage and he remarried Nancy Burns. He and his second wife moved to the Spartan District in South Carolina after the Revolution where he started a Methodist meeting house near the Greer area which is now called Wood’s Chapel United Methodist Church.

In 1803 during a trip through South Carolina, Bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal that on Nov. 1 he rode to the Reverend’s home and preached there the next day. William Henry Wood lived in the same home until his death on June 12, 1843.

All my life, I’ve lived within 8 miles of Wood’s Chapel but have not attended services there. I’ve been a member at Startex United Methodist, now First United Methodist Church – Startex.
I’ve visited the Wood's Chapel graveyard several times, especially when I lived in Greer. I told my children the same thing my Papa Kuykendall used to tell me whenever we visited the graveyards at Mud Creek Baptist in Flat Rock, NC or Double Springs Baptist down the road from there. “You’re blood kin to most of these bones under your feet.” The exception being that these bones are on my Johnson side, not the Kuykendall side.

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