I have run across several references to Seceder (sometimes spelled Seceeder) or Associate churches in association with the Montgomery line. This section will try to pull them together.

In very brief summary, two branches of the Presbyterians split from the Church of Scotland. They were the Associate (Seceder) and the Reformed (Covenanters). Both branches were Scotch-Irish. As early as 1685, these "Covenanters" and "Seceders" began settling along the eastern seaboard in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania was organized in 1753. The two branches merged in 1782, to form the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The years following the merger appear to have been rather turbulent; not all Seceders joined the merged organization.

The relevance of the Seceders to this work started with the DAR magazine:
DAR v 55 p 106 (Feb 1921)
"... I have much data about Samuel Montgomery & his w Magdalene Shook who came from N.C. to Blount or Knox Co. Tenn early 1800 & participated in the founding of the Seceeder Presbyterian Church. ... Mrs. Reed Holloman, Santa Fe, N.M."
[I have determined that this was Minnie Bassett Holloman, who died in 1974. Neither the national DAR library nor the DAR Santa Fe chapter has her papers.]

Then, we have from "Sketches of Congregations," in The Centennial History of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1803-1903, Prepared and Published by order of the Synod; Charleston, SC, Presses of Walker et al., 1905. [p.568]
"Salem, Knox Co., TN -- A considerable number of Associate Presbyterians settled in Blount and Knox Counties, TN, and were visited by Rev. Robt. Armstrong 1799. Rev. James Kennedy came from Ireland, 1796, and ... was ordained by the Associate Presbytery of Kentucky and installed pastor of Salem and connections, 1807, ... Passed from roll about '79 [1879]."

Glen Beckwith, a descendant of Rev. James Kennedy Jr. who built and preached at the Salem Seceder Presbyterian Church, reports that the church was in Riverdale, located on Wayland Road near the junction with Thorngrove Pike, across the road from Kennedyís-Frazierís-Riverdale Gristmill. He says that the church burned in the late 1800s or early 1900s but the cemetery is still in use and holds many of the Kennedy people including the pastor. (Glen adds that the Kennedy family lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania, before coming to Knox County in 1797.)

Modern maps do show an "Old Salem" Cemetery about 4 miles northeast of Shooks, on the north shore of the French Broad River. The Tennessee web site credits Robert McGinnis with identifying that location (Wayland Road near Thorngrove Pike) with the Old Salem Seceder Church.

So the Salem Church established before 1800 was near Shooks, close enough for Samuel to have been involved in its founding.

Although the old map I have been using shows the "Salem 'Seceder' Ch-Cemet'y" less than a mile east of Shooks, that cemetery did not adjoin the Riverdale Salem church. The closest existing Salem Presbyterian Church I have found is in Limestone, TN (near Washington College); in response to my inquiry to them, they knew of no connection with a Salem Church in Knox County. (In other incidental information, there is a Shook Cemetery on modern maps about 5.5 miles NNE of Shooks.)

Recall that Elizabeth Elston in 1862 said that William, James, and Margaret (Hull) live near her, all presumably in Carroll Co., Indiana near Delphi, the county seat. These were children of Samuel. William S. Montgomery and family were buried in the Pleasant Run cemetery, Tippecanoe township.

My source on the following is Virginia McKnight, of Delphi. That cemetery was close to the "Associate Presbyterian church at Pleasant Run." "Wm S. and S. W. or M. are listed many times in the minutes of the church records. However they give no details as to the family. The Associate church split and one group became the Burnett's Creek church in White County." The Associate Presbyterian Church was located above the town of Pittsburg which was across the river from Delphi. Pittsburg has a bluff that runs to the river which separated White and Carroll Counties.
John Love, born near Yorkville, SC in 1776, moved near Pittsburg shortly after 1828 and founded that Seceders Church. "History of the Wabash and Valley" by Stuart has a section on the Associate Presbyterian Church, complete with a picture of an old structure by a cemetery labeled, "Old Seceder Church on Burnetts Creek. Built 1851." Said building replaced the log cabin used as their meeting house previously.
The book then reproduces the minutes of a number of sessions of the Associate Presbyterian Congregation of Burnett's Creek. I see no names I recognize until 1832, when a number of people were admitted to membership, including "Samuel Montgomery from Salem, Tennessee" [I assume this is the son of our Samuel, Sr., born about 1807]; a number of Dicksons including Mary Dickson and "Nancy Hamil, from Big Spring, Tennessee." I interpret Salem to mean the church near Burnett's/Shook's Creek, Knox County, TN.

A history of Tippecanoe township implies that it was settled by Associate Presbyterians. See it here.

Given the relationships between these churches and the family of Samuel Montgomery, it is reasonable to expect that Samuel had been associated with an Associate church before he went to Tennessee. I went through a description of early congregations, pulling out any that could have been his. Here is the result:
     From "Sketches of Congregations," in The Centennial History
of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1803-1903,
Prepared and Published by order of the Synod; Charleston, SC,
Presses of Walker et al., 1905. [pp 407-613]

These congregations appear to have formed before 1800:

Bethany Church, York Co., SC; before 1796
Bethel, Burke Co., GA; organized 1770
Bethel, (Ora), Laurens Co., SC; "vacancy" in 1790
Bottetout, Bottetout Co., VA; congregations of James River &    
     Bottetout, 1793
Brick Church, Fairfield Co., SC; called Little River & Ebenezar,  
     log church built 1788 (Synod of Carolinas org here 1803)
Cedar Springs, Abbeville Co., SC; 1780
Coddle Creek, Iredell Co., NC; settled from Western Pennsylvania  
     1755 as Associates [This is just north of the border with
     Mecklenburg Co.]
Concord SC; 1796 or before
Diamond Hill, Anderson Co., SC; 1790
Due West, SC; before 1794
Ebenezer Church, York Co., SC; 1786 as Reformed
Ebenezer, GA; 1770?
Ebenezer, Rockbridge Co., VA; 1790
Ebenezer, Jessamine Co., KY; transferred to AR 1801
Eighteen Mile Creek, GA; before 1789
Eno, Gaston Co., NC; with New Hope & Goshen before 1790
Flemingsburg Church, KY [near Shiloh?]; transferred to AR 1801
Forks of the James, VA, 1-1/2 miles NE of Natural Bridge; built
     during the Revolution; Montgomeries were early members;
     pastor in 1793 also had church across the James River, in
     Bottolout [sic] Co.; emigration in about 1800 to Ohio;
     graveyard remains
Gilead, Mecklenburg Co., NC; "A petition from Catawba River in    
     Mecklenburg Co. for supply of sermon went up to the
     Presbytery of Pennsylvania April 13, 1764." connections with
     Hopewell and Coddle Creek
Goshen, Gaston Co., NC; before 1790, associated with New Hope, below
Hinkston, Bourbon Co., KY; 1775
Hopewell, Chester Co.[?], SC; 1787/88
Joppa, Lincoln Co., GA; before 1790
King's Creek and Cannon's Creek, Newberry Co., SC; in 1767 part   
    of a congregation came from Ireland
Little River and Rocky Springs, Abbeville Co., SC; before 1801
Long Cane, Abbeville Co., SC; 1779/80, 1786 united with Cedar     
Mt. Olivet, Bath Co., KY; 1796/97
Neely's Creek, SC [near Steel Creek?]; 1790, some time in 1804-47
     church left the AR and joined the Associate Presbytery
New Hope, Madison Co., KY; 1801?
New Hope, Fairfield Co., SC; 1796, originally part of Hopewell,   
    above, connection with Brick Church
New Hope, Gaston Co., NC; 1775
New Lebanon, Monroe Co., WV; 1795 or before
New Stirling, Iredell Co., NC; "About 1775 ... Jas. Martin
     itinerated in Mecklenburg, Gaston, and Iredell Counties, N.C."
Nob Creek, Cleveland Co., NC; asked for minister 1801
Old Providence, Augusta Co., VA; "Very early after the
     organization of the Associate Presbytery of Penn., many in   
     this valley sought of her supplies." petitions 1762-80
Pisgah, Gaston Co., NC; settlement around Pisgah of Scotch-Irish  
     (from Gettysburg, PA) began 1750; "Prior to 1793, all the  
     Presb. in that section worshiped either at Beersheba, York 
     Co., SC, or at Long Creek, Lincoln Co., NC."  About 1803, 
     left the AR Presbytery for the Associate Presbytery of the
Prosperity, Mecklenburg Co., NC; 1788
Providence, Mecklenburg Co., SC; prior to 1790
Rocky Springs, Alexander Co., NC; ...visited the Associates 1776-79
Salem, Knox Co., TN; "... number of Associate Presbyterians
     settled in Blount and Knox Counties, TN, and were visited by
     Rev. Robt. Armstrong 1799.   Rev. James Kennedy came from  
     Ireland, 1796, and ... was installed pastor of Salem ..." [p.568]
Sardis, Mecklenburg Co., NC; on the roll 1790
Sharon, York Co., SC; 1796
Steele Creek, Mecklenburg Co., NC; 1775 settlement from Antrim
     Co., Ireland, 1792/93 split off a church over the state line
     in York Co., SC
Timber Ridge, Rockbridge Co., VA; 1778
Tirzah, (Waxhaw), Union Co., NC; before 1790
Twenty-six Mile Creek, Pendleton Co., SC; "one of the earliest"   
    (before 1801)
Union, Chester Co., SC; originally Reformed, before 1795.
[AR = Associate Reformed]
Trying to apply the logic in order to find the origins of John Montgomery, before he moved to North Carolina, I have started to extend the search to Pennsylvania.
    I find a Seceder church in Mercer Co., PA. The Old Rocky Spring Church was located "by the side of the public road from Sandy Lake to New Lebanon." "When the congregation was first organized is not recorded, or exactly known. The old 'Session Book' records the minutes back to July 21, 1811." A ruling elder there as of 1811 was a John Montgomery.
    Further, in Chester Co., PA, I see reference to an Associate church.
    In 1792, the Associates had established a seminary in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
    The above reference to Pisgah implies possible relevance of Gettysburg, PA (Adams County).
This page, on migration from NC to TN and the connection to H. L. White, suggests that - after all this - the Seceder connection may be coincidental.

To the family of Samuel Montgomery
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