Samuel LeRoy McKay was born October
15, 1913, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. His father was Elmer
Ransom McKay, of pure Scotch blood. His mother was Mrs. Arlena Benfield
McKay, of Scotch-English blood. She died in November, 1915, when
Samuel LeRoy was two years old.
Samuel LeRoy was born within
the bounds of Prosperity, North Carolina, where he grew up and was baptized
and was received into the membership of the Church by the Rev. P. A. Stroup
in 1921, at the age of eight years. In 1929, when he was fifteen
years of age, he with his parents moved to Concord, North Carolina, where
his pastor was Rev. M. R. Gibson, and later Dr. L. I. Echols.
He attended the Mallard Creek
Graded School six and a half years. His high school work was done
in the Concord High School, whereupon in September, 1933, he entered Erskine
College, graduating cum laude in 1937.
"A childhood aspiration that
grew through the years" turned his attention toward the Gospel Ministry.
Consequently in the fall of 1937 he entered Erskine Theological Seminary.
He completed the course in 1939. In April, 1939, he was licensed
by the First Presbytery, and in 1940, November, at the request of the First
Presbytery, he was ordained by the Second Presbytery.
Having finished the Seminary
course, in September, 1939, he became Instructor of Bible and Assistant
Pastor at De La Howe State School. In this work he continued through
June, 1941, and possible through another year. Receiving a call to
Prosperity A.R.P. Church, Lincoln County, Tennessee, he took up the work
there some time during the year 1942-43, and continued there pastor of
this rather large country church till some time in 1945, when he accepted
a call to Oak Hill, Alabama, Bethel Church. He resigned his work
at Oak Hill in July, 1950, to accept a call to Salisbury, North Carolina.
After his pastorate in Salisbury, Rev. McKay transferred to the Presbyterian
Church, U.S., where he served four churches. He retired in 1980 from
the pastorate of the Broadway Presbyterian Church, Broadway, North Carolina.
Reverend McKay died August 3, 1997.
On April 29, 1939, at Smyrna,
South Carolina, he married Miss Martha Elizabeth Caldwell, daughter of
Samuel L. Caldwell, elder of Smyrna Church, and a descendant of Dr. R.
A. Ross. Mrs. McKay is a graduate of Erskine College. She taught
in Bethany School of York County, South Carolina, Folkston, Georgia, and
in North Carolina.
Rev. McKay served two terms
as president of the North Carolina Poetry Society.