The following is taken from the LibraryIreland website and was originally written by the Hon. W. S. Fleming, Columbia, Tenn. in From The Scotch-Irish in America: Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress at Columbia, Tennessee, May, 1889.
From 1730 to 1734, this colony, the parent of one in this county of Maury, to be mentioned presently, migrated to Williamsburg District, South Carolina, of which Kingstree is the county seat. Of those who came during the above period were the following heads of families: James McClelland, William and Robert Wilson, James Bradley, William Frierson, John James, Roger Gordon, James Armstrong, Erwin, Stuart, McDonald, Dobbins, Blakely, Dickey, and perhaps a few others. In the last named year, to wit, 1734, John Witherspoon, of the same family with the distinguished signer of the Declaration of Independence, born near Glasgow, Scotland, in 1670, and who had removed to County Down, Ireland, came to Williamsburg, bringing with him his four sons, David, James, Robert and Gavin, and his daughters, Jennet, Elizabeth and Mary, with their husbands, John Fleming, William James (father of Major John James, of revolutionary memory and distinction) and David Wilson. All these colonists were from County Down, Ireland. They were all members of the Presbyterian Church, or reared and indoctrinated in its faith. Consequently one of their first cares was the erection of a house for the worship of God; and the present, known as Bethel Church, is the representative and successor of the original body constituted and established by them. In 1849 three of the original elders, to wit, William James, David Witherspoon, and John Fleming, died of a singular epidemic, known as the "Great Mortality," which ravaged the country, carrying off no less than eighty persons of the little township. For many of the foregoing facts I am indebted to a historical discourse delivered on the 120th anniversary of this church, in 1856, by Rev. James A. Wallace, its then pastor.