|Birth: ||Jul. 6, 1760|
|Death: ||Aug. 26, 1811|
1760-1811; Rev. JOHN BRICE; First Pastor of West Alexander Presbyterian Church (Three Ridges) and Stone Presbyterian Church of Elm Grove (Forks of Wheeling); REBECCA KERR BRICE, his Consort, Died June 1, 1794.
"Rev. John Brice was a native of Harford county, Maryland, and was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Redstone April 15, 1788, and was ordained and installed pastor of the congregations of "Three Ridges" and the "Forks of Wheeling" April 22, 1790. He labored in these congregations until about the year 1807, when on account of ill health the pastoral relation was dissolved. He died August 26, 1811, at the age of fifty-one."
From: "History of Wheeling City & Ohio County, West Virginia", www.wvgenweb.org/ohio
The Old Stone Church
by Mrs. W. E. Allen
(Explanatory Note. -- For information given in this article, the writer is indebted to Histories of Washington and Redstone Presbyteries; an article written by Prof. John Hervey, in 1876, and to interviews with aged members of the church.)
"In 1787, the same year in which the convention that framed our National Constitution sat in Philadelphia and in which the unbroken wilderness lying northwest of the Ohio river, was organized into the great Northwest Territory, the "Forks of Wheeling" commonly known as "The Old Stone Church" was organized, one year prior to the organization of "The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America."
This church, with West Alexander -- formerly known as "Three Ridges" -- and West Liberty, are known as the eldest church organizations in this community, and like West Alexander has the unusual record of being only in the fifth pastorate after so long a time. During the century and two decades of her history the church as an organization has seen the territorial lines of the Synod, with church she has been connected, changed seven times and that of the Presbytery four times.
The early pioneers gathered from their cabins in the wilderness, first as a congregation, to worship God, under the wide spreading branches of the venerable oak tree still standing in front of the "Old Stone Church," and here, seated on rudely constructed seats, they listened, perhaps, to the first public proclamations of the Gospel as it broke the silence of the preceding ages from the lips of Rev. John Brice, who received his theological training from Rev. Joseph Smith of Upper Buffalo - the Rev. Smith of New Orleans flour fame.
Those were the days when it required bravery as well as piety to meet in holy convocation, when Bibles and Psalm books were for devotion and rifles for protection. An old congregational minute book gives this record: "Ohio County no sooner began to be settled than the settlers provided for themselves a place of public worship obtained the preached gospel even in perilous times, receiving the Spiritual Bread with the weapons of defense in their hands to protect themselves from a ruthless savage."
Rev. Brice was frequently escorted from West Alexander to Elm Grove by armed men of his congregation and as they assembled for worship, at first in the woods and later in a church building, it was with stacked arms and sentries to guard that they listened to the Word preached, but what a change has occurred during the last six score years of the life of that stately old oak that towers above the entrance of that historic edifice, "The Stone Church?" It has afforded peaceful shade for the babe as the anxious mother tarries for a moment, bearing it to be dedicated to God in baptism to the church within, and after a long life of usefulness as friends bear the tenantless body of the loved one to the cemetery beyond, its rustling eaves suggest the moving of angel wings as they bear the spirit to God who gave it. Men has come and gone and still it grows in strength and beauty.
Soon after the organization, Mr. Brice was called as pastor and divided his labors between Forks of Wheeling and Three Ridges - now West Alexander - and continued as pastor over both fields until his death."
Rebecca Kerr Brice (1760 - 1794)
Jane Stockton Brice (1769 - 1853)*
John Brice (1797 - 1881)*
Old Presbyterian Cemetery
Created by: Dave & Joyce Humphrey
Record added: Nov 16, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31448004
Added: Jan. 4, 2011