The Red Banks Presbyterian Church was organized in 1844 under the name of Philadelphia Church, by the Presbytery of Chickasaw, Synod of Mississippi. It was the 15th church to be organized in the North Mississippi Presbytery. In the first statistical report, that of 1857, the members numbered 44.
No mention of the minister who organized the church could be found, and neither was there a list of the charter members kept. All were destroyed when the first book of minutes of the Session was burned.
The name, Philadelphia, was given this church because some of the earliest communicants had earlier been members of Old Philadelphia Church, built on Clear Creek in North Carolina, by their ancestors who migrated there from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Members of this congregation had fond memories of their "old meeting house" (Philadelphia) in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, so it was natural that they should call their new church by that name.
A Brief history of
RED BANKS, MISSISSIPPI
MSSPI has taken on the project to help Mr Hendrix clean-up and preserve this historic cemetery. Angela has documented some of the headstone photos on FindAGrave as well. Mrs Sarah Perry of Vicksburg Ms. who, also has family ancestors buried here, has been a wonderful resource in helping Angela with some of the history and contacts with this project.
The Old Red Brick Church once sat adjacent to the cemetery and was later moved to Red Banks. There are 3 unmarked headstones at the back of the cemetery seperate from all the others, which Mr. Hendrix suggested could possibly be the gravesites of former slaves. This has not been confirmed at this time.
Buried in Wedding Dress
The following account was taken from The Commercial Appeal on May 2, 1935
Another, sadder story tells of a young lady whose wedding day was not far away when she became ill and died. (This is Laura B.A. Canon, daughter of M.H. and Eliza Canon). Shrouded in her wedding dress, she was laid to rest in the old cemetary on the Canon Plantation, before the Civil War. (The cemetary is the Philadelphia Presbyterian cemetary ). Seventy years later ghoulds uncovered her grave.
Apparently incited by a 70 year-old tale of buried antebellum treasure, ghouls yesterday descrated the graves of aristrocratic Southerners who were buried in the private cemetary before the Civil War.
Early this week, residents of the Red Banks community in the vicinity of the old Canon Plantation, reported seeing the strangers with 'diving rods", which are supposed to be sensitized to buried metal.
Yesterday , a farmer in search of a lost calf, found that half a dozen or more graves had been laid bare. Several bodies were missing.
In one of the graves, and in a copper coffin, lay the body of a young girl, supposed to have been Larua Canon, who died before the Civil War. ( Canon, Laura B. A., July 27, 1846 - Nov. 19, 1869, dau. of Moses Harvey & Eliza Houston Canon of Mecklenburg co, NC.)
She was richly dressed, her face and features perfectly preserved. A net, like a bridal veil, covered her bright red hair.
Shortly after the war, stories were circulated that valuable jewels and gold coins had been hidden in the grave yard. Many had searched fruitlessly in the vicinity, but until yesterday non had viloated the sleep of the dead.
Contributed by Mrs. Sarah Perry of Vicksburg Ms
On October 2, 2009 members David & Shelly Beard, Tony B and Angela L spent a beautiful day, raking leaves and debris at the Old Philadelphia Cemetery. The morning was eventful as a large doe ran thru the cemetery, unfortunately we were not quick enough on the draw to photograph it. There is still much to be done, the rain has been a hinderance but MSSPI is dedicated to finish this project as soon as the weather allows.
Photo of Angela and David of MSSPI working hard to get the place cleaned up.
To see a list of all those known to be interred at the Old Philadelphia Presbyterian Cemetery Click Here