SPC Senior Pastors: N. J. Holmes, 1847-1919
In 1852, Zelotes moved his family to Laurens County where he supplied the First Presbyterian Church, Clinton, when it was organized in 1855 and supplied several other churches in the area. The family continued to live in Laurens County while Zelotes, along with his ministerial duties, operated a farm, built his own concrete home, and taught in a school for women. Nickels enjoyed growing up on the farm and sometimes, as did many boys, played hooky to engage in the more Tom Sawyer-like activities of rural life.
At an evangelistic meeting in 1863 held by Rev. W. P. Jacobs, Nickels professed his faith in Christ and united with the Clinton congregation. He almost immediately believed that he should become a minister, but he would wrestle with his call for several years. Not long after he joined the church, Olive died, which was a heavy blow to Nickels because they had been very close. Just before her death Olive encouraged Nickels to become a minister. Olive’s counsel played a significant part in shaping N. J. Holmes in his later years.