History of First Presbyterian Church

LaGrange, Georgia





On March 21, 1829, just 95 days after the village of LaGrange was chartered, Presbyterians in the area came together and organized a church. There were fourteen charter members. The meetinghouse was on the corner of Bull and Broome Streets and was used by the Baptists and the Presbyterians. The purchase price for the land was $10.00.

By 1840, it had become evident that the Presbyterian congregation was growing in numbers and the time had arrived to erect their own church building. During the early 1840’s, the lot on the corner of Church and Haralson Streets was purchased and a white frame building erected. It was around this time that, because a major portion of the church members lived in Long Cane and Hogansville areas and there were no paved roads to travel back and forth from the church, the decision was made to establish the Ebenezer Church in Hogansville (still active today) and the Long Cane Church at Long Cane (later to become the Loyd Church).

Our early congregation had no music to accompany the hymn singing. A choir member pitched the hymns with a tuning fork and her husband led the singing. The Ladies Aid Society raised money to purchase an organ for the church.

In the midst of the Civil War, the Confederate government ordered that the Presbyterian Church as well as the basement of the Baptist Church be used as hospitals for the wounded Confederate soldiers.
In 1919, the church again began to see a need for larger facilities, and construction was begun on a donated lot on the corner of Lewis and Broad Streets. The name of the church was changed from LaGrange Presbyterian Church to First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange in 1922, when the congregation moved into the new Broad Street building. Membership reached 336 and Sunday School enrollment was 333. During the late 1940’s, two additional churches were established by FPC: the Highland Church and the Dallas Church. So a church established in 1829 with 14 members had grown into 5 active churches.

On Sunday morning, April 29, 1951, the First Presbyterian Church building was destroyed by fire. At 11:00 am that same morning, worship was held in the auditorium of LaGrange High School, and the congregation began to formulate plans for a new building. Construction was begun on the same site and the new building was dedicated in February 1953. In 1956 and 1962, the church acquired the lots directly behind the church and on the corner of North Lewis and Haralson Streets.

In 1973, the church elected its first women deacons. In 1976, the church began a Montessori pre-school. The James and Louise Gallant Educational Building was dedicated in October 1988. In February 1998, the renovated sanctuary was dedicated. A child care center was established in 1998. Major renovations to the Broad Street Building were completed in 2002. In 2003, the Eric Brown Youth Fellowship House was dedicated.

It is with great thanksgiving that we remember the people in our community of faith who, by their commitment and contributions, have made First Presbyterian the church we are today. We pray that we may do our part in the years to come to spread the Gospel, teaching the Word of God while caring for one another as Christ taught us.