The Church had its origin in a log building on its present site at the corner of Sixteenth and Church Streets, in 1756.
The church was named for the nearby Buffalo Creek. The present sanctuary was erected in 1827 and has since been enlarged and renovated several times. In its history of 249+ years, the Buffalo Church has had only 15 pastors. Dr. David Caldwell served as its first pastor. He was a very influential man in religious, educational and political affairs of this state. He served as pastor of Buffalo Church for 56 years.
Buffalo Presbyterian Church has served both the community and the city of Greensboro for over 250 years.
Established in 1756, Buffalo Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest churches in North Carolina. Its people were mostly Scotch – Irish whose forefathers left them a desire for education and determination to worship God as they believed the Holy Bible taught – without restrictions from any source.
During the 16th century Scotland was gradually brought under the rule of England; this in itself was wrong to the freedom loving Scots. As the restrictions on their civil and religious liberties became unbearable , they began emigrating to Ulster, in Ireland, early in the 1600’s where they had access to substantial land acreages and enjoyed much more freedom from hateful restrictions for some 90 years. By 1640, the population had grown to considerable numbers due to emigration and birth rate; so much so, that the English government began increasing taxes and restricting the freedom of the ministry of their churches.
In the early 1700’s both Scots and Scotch – Irish began emigrating from the old countries into Pennsylvania. During the late 1740’s some members of Nottingham Presbyterian Church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, formed a company which they named Nottingham Colony. An agent representing this group was appointed to visit the Earl of Granville’s grant of land located in the upper part of North Carolina. Negotiations resulted in the securing of a lease on 21,000 acres of land on the waters of North Buffalo and Reedy Fork Creeks. The land was divided into 33 plots where 19 families had settled by the mid 1750’s.
Eventually, a site of one acre was deeded to a trustee for a meeting house which was built of logs and stood in the North – West corner of our present cemetery. This structure served as a meeting house for many years until a frame building was erected.
The older section of the present sanctuary (American Colonial Style) was erected in 1826 – 27. When the walls were extended in 1956 to increase the seating capacity, great care was taken to match the old hand made bricks. The restful tones of the interior, a choir loft with its pipe organ and space to accommodate 50 singers, and splendid acoustic qualities contribute to more meaningful worship.
We are fortunate to have two splendid educational buildings. The David Caldwell Building, originally constructed in 1920 was completely rebuilt in 1966, houses the administrative offices of the church, the church library, children’s Sunday School rooms, an adult Sunday School room, the choir rehearsal room, and the fellowship hall. The Rachel Caldwell Building was constructed in 1954 and contains class rooms, the Albright auditorium, and a large basement. The David Caldwell building and the Sanctuary are accessible to wheelchairs.
The Barnes Historical Room, located in the church building to the right of the choir loft, was named in honor of Mr. H. A. Barnes. This room contains a vast amount of valuable information in books, clippings, old records, pictures, and other relics which provide an opportunity to browse in another century and time. Buffalo Church is indeed fortunate to have such well – kept records of its long history.
The Rachel and David Caldwell House, 801 16th Street, Greensboro, is the renovated manse of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and sits at the corner of N. Church and 16th Streets.
During this time 17 Pastors have proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to each generation. The ministers who have served as pastor of Buffalo Church are as follows: Dr. David Caldwell (for 56 years); The Rev. Eli W. Caruthers, D. D.; The Rev. Cyrus K. Caldwell (grandson of David Caldwell); The Rev. James C. Alexander; The Rev. R. Watt Culbertson; The Rev. Josiah M. Seabrook; The Rev. J. W.. Goodman; The Rev. E. Frank Lee; The Rev. A. P. Dickson; The Rev. E. Lee Willingham, III; The Rev. Gray W. Hampton, Jr.; The Rev. Edsel M. Huffstetler; The Rev. Christopher F. East; Dr. Max Deal (Interim);Rev. Dr. Jesse W.Bledsoe; Rev. Alex McFarland (Interim); Rev. Ron Horgan (Interim).