...Horace successfully graduated with honors from N.C. State College in 1939.
At N.C. State he
joined the debate club and effectively was the ACC debate champion.He debated and defeated a truly strong opponent, a man who years later would became the Bishop of WNCC and his boss.He was also vice president of his class and in that capacity gave the dedication speech for the NCSU Bell tower lights, was president of the college YMCA and received many honors and awards, notably "30 and 3", Blue Key and Golden Chain.He
was known to listen to NCSU football and basketball games in the church office while waiting to perform Saturday afternoon weddings.So far as he
told it, he
never missed the start of a wedding.Having obtained his textile degree, he chose to enter the ministry and attended Oberlin College, earning his divinity degree. He
married high school sweetheart Margaret Lee Liles on Sept. 10 1939.When World War II started he joined the Navy as a chaplain and served in many of the battle zones of the South Pacific.He
was also stationed in Shanghai, China.After the war he
served in the Western North Carolina Conference
of the UMC
was appointed to the following congregations: the Gold Hill Charge; Bryson City UMC, Bryson City; Central UMC, Mount Airy; First UMC, Wadesboro; First UMC, Forest City; Forest Hills UMC, Concord; and Locust UMC, Locust.
appointment at Bryson City, he
was promoted to be the executive secretary of the WNCC
Methodist Board of Missions.From 1951-1969 he
served in that position in Statesville.While in that position he
created a significant program that is still in place today: Methodist Building Teams.What began as a single trip to Puerto Rico is now one of the biggest and best lay mission programs in the United Methodist Church
.He was also instrumental in the creation of Hinton Rural Life Cente at Hayesville and served as its first president.
In 1966 Phieffer University
works for the Methodist Church
and bestowed an honorary doctorate on him.In 1969, Dr. McSwain
local church ministry at First Church
, Mount Airy.He
finally retired in 1980, returning to Forest City, near the place where his
ancestor David McSwain immigrated from Scotland in 1725.He
retirement years enjoying his
church, genealogy, swimming and flea markets.