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First Presbyterian Church (USA) of Johnson City


The First Presbyterian Church (USA) of Johnson City was founded on April 23, 1869. Prior to that time a small group of Presbyterians held services in a log school house on "Rome" (Roan) Hill, now Buffalo Street. Every three weeks, Rev. J. D. Tadlock of King College, Bristol, Tennessee, came to Johnson's Depot, as Johnson City was then known, to conduct worship services.

During the spring 1869 meeting of the Holston Presbytery the organization of the church was completed. John W. Seehorn, one of the church's charter members, was admitted to a seat in the presbytery. Other charter members included the following: Harriet Rhea Seehorn, E. W. King, Nancy J. King, Susan Thomas White, Loretta Lyle Smith, Sarah Theresa Lyle, Sarah M. Hoss, Rebecca Jane Bowman, and John and Elizabeth Rankin.

After the completion in 1868 of the Science Hill Male and Female Institute, the church held services in the school building. In the fall of 1872, the congregation occupied its own building at the corner of Boone and West Main Streets. In 1890 the congregation added on to this building, and in 1914 erected a new building. Not too many years later, in 1927, an addition was built on to the 1914 structure. The 1914 sanctuary was torn down and a new one completed in 1955.

Although the congregation had its own building by 1872, it did not have a full-time pastor until 1889 when Rev. J. C. Cowan accepted the call to become pastor. Until that time the congregation relied upon supply ministers to conduct services. At times the minister from the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church came to Johnson City to conduct services.

First Presbyterian Church has grown steadily through the years, with membership approaching approximately 2000 at the present time. Moreover, the church has spawned five additional congregations in Johnson City. Calvary, Asbury, Keystone, Princeton and Midway Presbyterian Churches all were originally "missions" of the First Presbyterian Church. Of these congregations, all except Asbury are still functioning Presbyterian churches, affiliated either with the Presbyterian Church-USA or the Presbyterian Church in America.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

First Presbyterian Church (USA) Photographs

 Collection — other: 1 folder in Box 4
Identifier: 500-AppMs 279
Arrangement The prints are arranged as one series.
Dates: undated