On October 1, 1887, the Rev. G.W. McKinney heard band music coming out of a schoolhouse one mile north of the city of Bancroft, South Dakota. McKinney stopped and found a gathering of people inside who were willing for him to lead them in a worship service, the band accompanying the hymns. The eight member group eventually became the First Presbyterian Society of Bancroft with Robert Hackit serving as ruling elder.
In 1892, the Dakota Land and Townsite Company gifted the congregation some land and Mrs. Emeline F. Murdock supplied a monetary gift for a building. In light of Mrs. Murdock's gift, the church's name was changed to Murdock Memorial at the dedication service for the building on August 21, 1892.
Forty-four years later, the congregation voted unanimously to join the new Presbyterian Church of America (renamed Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1939). OPC pastors over the years have included George Heaton, A. Culver Gordon, Daniel Van Houte, Melvin Nonhof, Robert Sander, Stanford Sutton, and Edward Eppinger. The Rev. Young J. Son currently serves as pastor.
Picture: Murdock Memorial Church building in Bancroft, South Dakota.