The greatest source of strength for Cabarrus County's early settlers came from their strong religious traditions. Although the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Lutheran and Reformed Germans moved into the wilderness without ministers, they brought with them their Bibles, their catechisms, and books of devotion. They built homes, planted crops and began to build houses of worship and petition for ministers. The first of the country's great colonial churches, St. John's Lutheran Church, dates from about 1745, while Poplar Tent and Rocky River Presbyterian churches were in existence about 1751. Cold Water Church apparently began as a union church, with both German Reformed and Lutheran members, by 1766. Bethel Methodist was organized as Taylor's Meeting House between 1780 and 1783. By 1790, a Baptist congregation along Cold Water Creek had been formed. That the doors of those early churches are still open - and the churches growing - is a tribute to the strong religious foundations laid down by our ancestors.