Fahan Presbyterian Church

Jesus is Lord - Romans 10: 9

William Rhea legacy of some 125 ministers


In Honor of Rev. Joseph Rhea

Joseph Rhea, son of Matthew Rhea of tha ancient Mouse Campbell and his wife Elizabeth McClain, was born in Parish Laughlin, Ireland in 1715. He was educated and graduated with homor and destinction from the University of Glasglow, Scotalnd in 1742. He was married to Elizabeth Mcllwaine in 1752 and to this union eight children were born: John, Matthew, Margaret, William, Joseph, Elizabeth, Samuel and James Rhea. John, the oldest and perhaps the most destinguished of the family, was never married. He was a prominant member of Congress for thirty (30) years and played an important part in the early and pioneer history of Tennessee. Matthew, the second oldest, married Jane Preston and Margaret Rhea married Jane Preston's boother, Robert Preston, William married Elizabeth Breden, Joseph married Frances Breden, Elizabeth Rhea married her cousin Major Robert Rhea, Samuel Rhea married Nancy Breden, and James Rhea married Elizabeth Snapo —all leaving large families from whom descended our present clan numbering into the hundreds.

Rev. Joseph was an emminent minister of the Presbyterian chorch of Scotland before coming with his family to America in 1769. His first pastorate on this new land was at Piney Creek , Maryland. Tradition tells us that he paid his first visit to this fair Molston land in 1771 and that by his preaching the foundation of this church was laid. He served as chaplin under General Christian in the Revolutionary War and he with severla of his sons fought at the Battle of King's Mountain.

He was so favorably impressed with this fait Holston country that he acquired 1800 acres of land, the most of which is still ownes by his descendents, built a home, and returned to Maryland for his family but was striken ill and dies there in 1777. Today he lies sleeping in the church yard at Piney Creek, Maryland. His family came to their new home the following year in 1778.

A survey made some years ago by our beloved kinsman, Mr. William L. Rhea to whom we owe much for the most of our family record, shows us that more than one hundred and twenty-five ministers have descended from these pioneere to whom .we have met to ^ay tribute and homor today.

Give by Thomas C. Rhea at a Rhea- Breden reunion held at the new Weavers church August 19th, 1934