A Brief History of Cypress

In 1823 a group of Scottish Presbyterians started meeting for worship in a house on a hill in the Sandhills of North Carolina.  Rev. Angus McDiarmid was the minister.  The group purchased seven acres of land, including a spring, from John Shaw for $2.50.  In 1824-1825 a “Meeting House” was built on the site where our church now stands.  Thus began Cypress Presbyterian Church.
 
            The church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1853 and rebuilt again in 1882.  The pews and podium we use today were made by members at that time.  Four classrooms were added in 1937.  The vestibule and bell tower were added in 1946-47.  The bell came from a train which the Rockefeller family traveled on to and from their estate at Overhills, between Vass and Spring Lake.  A new educational wing and basement (with the church’s first indoor plumbing!) replaced the original Sunday School rooms in 1957.  The fellowship hall was built in 1977 and was expanded in 1998.
 
            In the early years there may have been several weeks between preaching services;  some were even held on Saturday because that was when the minister was available, as his time was shared by the other Presbyterian churches in the area.  Even as late as the 1950’s Cypress shared her minister with two other churches, Cameron Hill and The Church of the Covenant at Spring Lake.  At that time we had preaching two Sundays a month and on fifth Sundays it was sometimes at 2:00 in the afternoon.  In the 1970’s we began having services every Sunday, by having 9:00 services for six months of the year, while Cameron Hill had 11:00 services.  In the 1980’s we became a one church field with regular services at 11:00.  We even held 8:00 AM services in the summer for a couple of years.  Special communion services on Maundy Thursday and Christmas Eve were also started in the 1980’s at Cypress.  In the 1990’s we began a new annual tradition, the Cypress Memorial Sunday when we remember past members of the church.
 
            The year 1998 saw Cypress celebrate its 175th Anniversary.  Several special events were held throughout the year including: an ice cream social with speakers from our “sister” and “daughter” churches, the publication of a book containing favorite memories of Cypress members, and a wonderful celebration of our Scottish heritage with our first “Kirkin’ of the Tartans” at Homecoming. 
 
            The earliest mention of a women’s organization was 1890-91.  Except for a few years from 1927-1931, the Cypress women have had a strong organization and accomplished much.  One of the biggest contributions initiated by the Women of the Church is the annual Harvest Sale.  The first Harvest Sale and Supper was held in 1953.    
 
            Children and their Christian development have always been an important part of Cypress life.  Sunday School was first mentioned in the records of 1886, but the children were being taught the Catechism from the early days of the church.  Vacation Bible School has long been a part of the education of Cypress children.  The children and youth have also enjoyed their own organizations throughout the years.  As an outreach to children in the larger community, Cypress members organized Cypress House in Vass in the 1980’s;  a school Headstart Program has been located there since that time.  Another children’s ministry that started in the 1980’s was the Summer Enrichment Program;  this was a morning “camp” where children were taught Bible stories, songs, crafts and many life lessons. 
 
            Cypress has seen lean times and prosperous times, times when our numbers dwindled and times of great revival when many members have been added.  As we pass our church’s rich heritage on to future generations, may we also be faithful in spreading God's Word and His love.