Gifted Blind Pastor-Evangelist Builds Up Chatham Church:
The Rev. R.G. McLees, D.D., in Pittsylvania Work 25 Years

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, May 27, 1934.


Chatham, May 26 — The Chatham Presbyterian Church will observe home-coming day tomorrow at which time the chapels at Fairview and Beverley will unite with the Chatham church for a special service.

The Presbyterian church in Chatham was built in 1844. In 1846 this church was organized by a commission from the West Hanover Presbytery with the church having nine members and two elders. The present building, which stands on North Main Street, was erected about fifty years ago and was enlarged in 1911. Those who have been largely instrumental in the growth of this church and who were former prominent members include Major David H. Clark, Richard Jones, Colonel Thomas S. Jones, Dr. John Wilson, William Marshall Tredway, James Lewis Tredway, Thomas A. Watkins and the present clerk of the Circuit Court of Pittsylvania County, S.S. Hurt, who has served the Sunday school of this church as secretary for the past forty-two years.

The ministers who have served this church since its organization are the Rev. Jacob H. Smith, D.D., the Rev. John Milton Henry, the Rev. W.H. Matthews, the Rev. L.A. McLain, the Rev. George W. Belk, the Rev. W.R. Doggett, the Rev. James Arthur, the Rev. Virgil P. Gaston and the present pastor, the Rev. R.G. McLees, D.D., who came to Chatham from Greenwood, S.C. in 1909 to take charge of this pastorate.

During the twenty-five years that Dr. McLees has been pastor the Chatham church has grown each year, until at present the membership numbers more than 300. Dr. McLees, gifted blind minister, is one of the most noted evangelists of the Southern Presbyterian Church and has a magnetic hold on the people of Chatham and of this county and has done a remarkable work in this section of the State. It was through his untiring efforts that the work began at Fairview and Beverley was begun and the chapels built. The Fairview Sunday school is one of the largest in Pittsylvania County and has accomplished an untold amount of good in that community. Dr. McLees preaches there on two Sunday afternoons in each month to large congregations.

On Sunday morning these two chapels will unite with the mother church at Chatham for the morning service at which time a record crowd is expected. Both chapels will have a part on the program after which Dr. McLees will deliver the sermon.


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