Above the springs, called Seven Springs is a “Light set upon a Hill” by God’s Grace and for God’s Glory. This light is the Seven Springs Presbyterian Church. Its history is a history of God’s providence, His divine guidance, His intervention and His sustaining mercy and grace.
Seven Springs Presbyterian Church is located in Washington County, Virginia, just north of Glade Spring near a gap in the Little Walker Mountain. About one fourth of a mile west of the Church are located seven springs of water, all situated within about one hundred feet of each other. From these seven springs flow six different types of water: sulphur, iron, alum, limestone, freestone, and chalybeate(ka-lib-e-at). Seven Springs Presbyterian Church derives its name from these springs.
The Church is situated on a small knoll at the intersection of Old Mill Road and Seven Springs Road. The view from the church yard is quite impressive. The Little Walker Mountain is just a short distance to the west and north. Looking to the south, part of the town of Glade Spring can be seen. In the distance, Iron Mountain, Whitetop Mountain, Pond Mountain, and the mountains of East Tennessee are visible. The rolling fields of the adjacent farm give a very pastoral setting for the church.
This church work began with the efforts of a humble and devoted servant of the Lord, Mrs. Nancy Robinson McGlocklin.
Mrs. Nancy McGlocklin was born in the South Fork District of Washington County. Her first husband, a Mr. Willis, deserted her. Her second husband, Henry McGlocklin, was born in McCall’s Gap. They lived in the vicinity of the Glade Spring Church when she became a member there. After the family moved to their mountain farm, Nancy continued to walk to Old Glade to Sunday School and Church, a distance of approximately four miles, taking her own children and those of her neighbors with her.
It is believed that Mrs. Nancy McGlocklin lived in the area near the present day water tank in McCall’s Gap. She was born in 1819 and died in 1899. She was buried in the cemetery at the Glade Spring Presbyterian Church. The records of the church indicate that Mrs. Nancy McLaughlin was received into the church after examination and baptism on October 14, 1866.
Later the records indicate that a Henry McLaughlin and Annie McLaughlin were also received into the church. This information added to the previous data leads us to believe that Nancy McLaughlin was actually Nancy McGlocklin. Her name was either spelled incorrectly in the records or the spelling of the family name had been changed.
Mrs. McGlockilin was blessed with four children: three daughters, Mary, Annie, and Sally; and one son, Hal. Miss Bradley Thomas, who is one of Annie’s granddaughters, recalls that Mary married a Mr. Powers, Sally married a Mr. Moore, and Annie married Mr. Lilburn Thomas. Many present members of the church are descendants of Mrs. McGlocklin.
As a tribute to Mrs. McGlocklin, we present the following article which we believe was written in 1886 by Dr. Henry M. White, a former pastor of the Glade Spring Presbyterian Church. It was first published in The Central Presbyterian. It also appeared in “The Appalachian Appeal: Official Home Mission Organ of the Synod of Appalachia, Article No. 11,” Bristol, Va-Tenn., August 1923, written by Dr. White and titled, The Beginning of Seven Springs Chapel at Glade Spring. In addition, it appeared in the “Christian Observer,” dated September 9, 1903, submitted by P.H. Gwinn, and titled, A Remarkable Christian Woman. As one can see from this story, Mrs. Nancy McGlocklin, the founder of Seven Springs Presbyterian Church, had a great love for her Lord and Savior, and a wonderful desire that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would bring others to experience the wonderful saving grace of her loving Lord.
The article which appeared in “The Appalachian Appeal” also included the following comment about the Seven Springs Chapel and Mrs. Nancy McGlocklin.
“On this hill consecrated by the faith, prayer, and love of this woman, the Presbyterian Chapel has been standing for nearly thirty years. Here during all of these years the pastor of the Old Glade Church has been accustomed to holding
a monthly service. And of the Old Glade Church has been going out, consecrated men and women in the summer’s heat and the winter’s cold gathering others in the
Sunday School and teaching them the way to God. During these thirty years
literally hundreds of souls have been won to Christ. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever”–Nancy’s will shine on.”