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Cornelius Washington Grafton (1846-1934) was a Presbyterian pastor in the country village of Union Church, Mississippi, from 1873-1934. At the forty-three year mark, he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The address he gave as Moderator is published in this booklet. A Foreword by Mr. David Irving introduces Grafton to the reader.


“Growing up in rural northern Madison County, near the old Concord Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian ministers in the family were regular topics of conversation among the old folks.  The most notable was C. W. Grafton, Uncle Corny to us. There were many stories of his Biblical faithfulness, his devotion to his Union Church folk, his commitment to education (both religious and secular) with what we would now call a Christian world and life view, and his being a revered Presbyterian churchman.”

Samuel J. Duncan, ruling elder at Bay Street Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, MS, and great-great-nephew of C. W. Grafton

 “C. W. Grafton was the dean of Mississippi Presbyterian ministers. As the oldest and longest-serving of the PCUS Synod’s pastors, this humble but scholarly man was the last country church pastor to be elected moderator of the General Assembly. He was a well-prepared preacher and a dedicated lay historian. So many years later, his story is worth reading as an inspiration to thoughtful pastors everywhere.”

Dr. Milton Winter, retired pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Holly Springs, MS

 “Dr. Grafton shows the value of an extended ministry. His holy life and diligent churchmanship continue to influence Mississippi Presbyterians today. Like his father and grandfather, he was a child of the covenant – one of God’s primary ways of bringing his elect unto himself.”

James R. “Sonny” Peaster III, Presbyterian ruling elder, former Banner of Truth trustee, and descendant of the Grafton family