1879 - 1933
    Hugh McMaster Henry was born at Hazelwood, Chester County, South Carolina, on December 9, 1852.  He was the son of William J. and Sarah Henry.  In his childhood he experienced some remarkable escapes from death - once from drowning, once from a coal-kiln with a burned leg, and again from the accidental discharge of a shotgun in the hands of Rev. John A. White, then a boy with him.
    He enjoyed good educational advantages for the times, having several notable teachers.  He graduated from Erskine College in 1874.  He joined the church at Hopewell, South Carolina.  He was received as a student of theology by the Second Presbytery at Due West, South Carolina, in the fall of 1874, and was licensed to preach by the same Presbytery September 20, 1876, in Newberry or Prosperity, South Carolina, and was ordained at Due West, South Carolina, September 28, 1878.  In the minutes of Bethel Church, Oak Hill, Alabama, September 18, 1887, is this note regarding the further education of Dr. Henry:  "Mr. Henry was granted a six months' leave of absence to go to Alleghaney Seminary for the purpose of improving himself in Hebrew and other branches of Theological study."
    For sixteen months he labored in the Arkansas Presbytery, in Drew, Bradley, Dorsey, and Lincoln counties, Arkansas, and for three months at Salem church, Covington County, Alabama.  He declined a call to the pastorate of Saline, Arkansas.  In May, 1879 Mr. Henry accepted a call from Bethel Church, Oak Hill, Alabama.  He was installed pastor at Bethel on October 25, 1879.  He served Bethel for fifty-four years and seven months, until his death, one of the longest pastorates in the A. R. P. Synod's history.
    During the First World War, 1914-1918, Dr. Henry spent some time preaching at various military camps.  Synod met with Dr. Henry's church, Bethel, September 23, 1880, and again in April, 1931 when Camden and Bethel entertained it jointly.  The Woman's Synodical Union met with Bethel and Camden in May, 1933.  The present church building at Oak Hill was built and dedicated during Dr. Henry's ministry.  It was dedicated November 9, 1895, with appropriate services conducted by Rev. E. P. McClintock of Newberry, South Carolina and Rev. J. A. Lowry of Marion Junction, Alabama and Dr. Henry.
    From Dr. Henry's congregation and under his ministry three men have entered the ministry, Dr. J. G. Dale, missionary to Mexico, Rev. W. R. Carothers, and Rev. W. J. Bonner, both of whom entered other Presbyterian denominations.  Mr. Bonner also was a missionary to Mexico.  Mrs. Flora Harper Halliday is a third missionary to Mexico from Dr. Henry's congregation.
    On October 4, 1881, at Due West, South Carolina, Dr. Henry married Miss Mary Evelyn Young, a daughter of Rev. John N. and Mrs. Euphemia E. Strong Young.  She was born in Due West, September 14, 1855.  Eight children were born to them.  The following survived them:  Dr. Jonathan Edward Henry, U. S. Navy, Mrs. Euphemia Henry Moore, Marion Junction, Alabama, Mrs. Sara Henry Nicholson, Centerville, Alabama, Dr. W. John Henry, Tucson, Arizona, Mrs. Jamie Henry Reynolds, Montevallo, Alabama, John Torbit Henry, Marion Junction, Alabama.
    Dr. Henry installed three of the men who have been pastor of the Camden, Alabama church, viz. Dr. Richard Lee Robinson, November, 1899, Dr. Boyce Hemphill Grier, January 8, 1911, and Rev. Renwick Carlisle Kennedy, July 3, 1927.
    Mrs. Henry died August 26, 1932, after months of illness.  Dr. Henry dies November 2, 1933, in a hospital in Selma, Alabama.  The funeral service was conducted on November 3rd by Rev. R. C. Kennedy, assisted by Rev. J. L. Pressly and Rev. W. A. Hayes.  Dr. Henry and Mrs. Henry are buried in the cemetery of Bethel Church at Oak Hill, in the first lot directly behind the pulpit.  On their tombstone, besides the names and dates, are the words, "Faithful keepers of His flock."
    On December 17, 1933, a memorial service for Dr. and Mrs. Henry was held at Bethel Church.  A marble tablet to the left of the pulpit was unveiled.  On it were these words:  "In Memory of Rev. H. M. Henry, D.D., Pastor of this Church 54 years and 7 months.  Born December 9, 1852, died November 2, 1933.  The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."  Mr. John T. Dale and Rev. R. C. Kennedy selected the verse of scripture for the tablet.
    On a page of the session book of Bethel Church, in the resolutions adopted by the congregation shortly after Dr. Henry's death, are these words:  "Dr. Henry had the unusual distinction of having served the Oak Hill (Bethel) Church most faithfully for 54 years.  Most of the present members were baptized and married by him, and most of the dead in Oak Hill cemetery were buried by him.  In a real sense the life of the church and the community centered around him.  His influence has been incalculable during these 54 years.  Dr. Henry was an eloquent preacher and a most excellent pastor, a worthy citizen, a good Presbyter, a strong character.  He loved his church to which he was loyal at all times.  Without a shadow of turning he upheld her policies all his life.  he was a faithful shepherd of his flock."
    Dr. Henry received his degree of Doctor of Divinity from Erskine College.  He was a man of strong personality, an original and striking personality, a bit eccentric in some respects, devoted to his Church and its institutions.  He was unusually gifted in prayer.  He trained his people in church attendance, and in the giving of their means.  Bethel has never failed to meet its obligations to Synod's budget, nor pastor's salary.  Dr. Henry's influence lives on at Bethel in the life of the people.
    Dr. Henry's grandfather was a Covenanter.  Mrs. Henry was a granddaughter of the Rev. Charles Strong.  One of her ancestors was killed while at worship during the Revolutionary War.

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