As early as 1822, there was a Presbyterian congregation in Newberry, SC. Aveleigh, however, was not officially organized until thirteen years later on May 30, 1835. The origin of the name “Aveleigh” is uncertain although tradition says the name was selected by Job Johnstone, one of Aveleigh’s early chief supporters in honor of his parents’ home church in Ireland.
A church with a rich history, Aveleigh has had several church buildings and three major renovations and additions to the present edifice, which was originally constructed in 1907 after “the great fire”. A pictorial history is on display outside the Director of Christian Education’s office.
Currently the church facilities consist of the main facility on Calhoun Street, the Kirk House on Martin Street (used for office space and Sunday School classrooms), and the Clubhouse on Main Street, which houses Aveleigh Youth Ministry, YoungLife Outreach, and the AWC worship service. In 1998 the sanctuary underwent a complete renovation, adding needed space for worship attendance and for fellowship, as well as improvements to the organ.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s, under the leadership of the Reverend Claude Calcote, Aveleigh was responsible for starting four other Presbyterian churches in the area and reviving two other churches (Bethany in Laurens County and Little River Dominick in Newberry County). The Queens Memorial Presbyterian Church outside Newberry and McCullough Presbyterian Church outside Whitmire are presently active churches, which Aveleigh members started during this period of church extension.
More recently Aveleigh has continued to grow in both a fully-developed program of Christian Education as well as outreach to the community, foreign missions, and in evangelistic outreach. Major emphasis is placed on personal relationship, growth in personal faith, and leadership development. With long-range plans and goals reaching out toward the future, Aveleigh builds on a strong base provided by faithful ancestors stretching back into the past.