Up & Coming Weekly

June 21, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 20 UCW JUNE 22 - 28, 2022 e landscape of what is now Fort Bragg looked very different just over 100 years ago when the War Depart- ment purchased it. It was once a thriving community of Highland Scot immigrants. A glimpse of this past remains at Long Street Presbyterian Church, the oldest standing structure on Fort Bragg, constructed as a place of wor- ship for this long-ago community in 1847. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in the adjacent cemetery, the oldest readable marker dates to 1773. e cemetery comprises 232 known graves. When the War Department pur- chased the land, some six acres, the church, the cemetery and the adjacent school in 1923, the community was granted a handshake agreement. is agreement granted the heritage families the ability to maintain their connection with the landscape and the ancestors laid to rest on the grounds. e War Department committed to not moving any of the existing burials and assumed the stewardship for these cemeteries. e last internment, dated 1932, reflects the War Department's hand- shake agreement in continuing to allow heritage families access to the church and cemetery. According to Fort Bragg Cultural Resources Management Program Archaeologist and Curator Linda Carnes-McNaughton, McFadyen fam- ily descendants held annual gatherings at the church during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the 1970s to 1980s other heri- tage families joined in the reunions. In 1995 the Fort Bragg CRMP office was created. With the addition of the program, Fort Bragg was able to allow families access to the grounds for wor- ship and support the event. Since 1995 the Garrison Chaplain's office has pro- vided additional support for the family reunions, and CRMP has provided ac- cess to the church grounds and helped coordinate the gatherings. e modern iteration, with a two- year pandemic hiatus, sees attendance of upwards of 120 heritage family members, soldiers and members of the public. Each summer the families gather and worship in the same pews as their ancestors alongside any who choose to come and join them. Military members and the public are invited to participate in this year's special worship service and a picnic lunch on the church grounds. All faiths are welcome, and par- ticipants are encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share for the picnic. Carnes-McNaughton feels there is much to gain for members of the pub- lic choosing to attend. "ey gain a greater appreciation of the depth and longevity of this land- scape and its cultural heritage, and an understanding of the diversity of early settlers, the importance of religion in their lives in good times and bad times and how churches of this type served entire communities as cultural hearths, uniting families past and pres- ent," Carnes-McNaughton said. Over the years Carnes-McNaughton has attended and provided support for many reunions. She has observed many special moments. "One of my favorite moments came when I witnessed (along with the con- gregants attending) the baptism of a McDiarmid descendant, a 5-month old boy," Carnes-McNaughton recounted. "Watching that child's face as Rev- erend Clark Remsburg touched his forehead with cool water, and declared him to us all to accept into the fold, walking him up and down each aisle singing Jesus Loves Me, and everyone standing to welcome this child, was so moving and meaningful, especially as I glanced out the open window into the graveyard and spotted his ances- tor Rev. Angus McDiarmid's marker, knowing that he too was witnessing this event and the newest generation of McDiarmid of the Sandhills." e descendant congregation of the Long Street Presbyterian Church, the Fort Bragg CRMP and Fort Bragg's Garrison Religious Support Office will host their annual reunion in celebra- tion of the historic Argyle community on Sunday, June 26th at 11 a.m. e church has no electricity or cli- mate controls, so those in attendance should dress appropriately for warm weather conditions. Parking is avail- able near the church with assistance from the Chaplain's Office for elderly and physically challenged patrons. Patrons entering Fort Bragg through an access control point should review installation access procedures prior to arrival to avoid delays. is year's reunion will feature some historical highlights of early settlement in the region and Carnes-McNaughton will have an 1826 Gaelic Bible, on hand. e bible was donated to the church by Donald McDonald of Edinburgh. McDonald donated a Gaelic bible to every church who once had Gaelic language services. e bible is housed at the Fort Bragg CRMP Artifact Curation Facility for permanent care and will be at the event in a protective case to share with the attendees. For more information, contact the Fort Bragg CRMP at 910-396-6680. EVENT Left: Krista Elise McDiarmid and her son Lauchlin James McDiarmid, 1, sit in a pew during the sermon at the Long Street Presbyterian Church reunion, Sunday. Lauchlin was baptized after the sermon. Right: e Remsburg Family sings a hymn during the Long Street Presbyterian Church's annual re- union, Sunday. e Family are descendants of Alexander Wilbur Clark, who first began the reunions after the Army bought the land for Fort Bragg. e church was built between 1845 and 1847 and is one of the oldest structures on Fort Bragg. (Photos by Alyson Hansen, courtesy of Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office.) Long street Presbyterian Church is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest struc- ture on Fort Bragg. e church replaced an older structure in 1847. (Photo courtesy of Fort Bragg Cultural Resources.) Long Street Presbyterian Church reunion open to all, June 26 by EMILY SUSSMAN EMILY SUSSMAN, Editor. COMMENTS? editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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