First Presbyterian Church: 1950 to 1977


In 1950 the church began construction of the east wing of the new building on Broad Street. This portion was completed in January, 1951, and was used as an educational building and fellowship hall until the new sanctuary was completed in 1956. The home adjacent to the church property was purchased for use as a manse soon after the opening of the east wing. By November, 1953 funds had been raised to complete the present structure. The formal opening services were held October 7, 1956.

The Rev. C. Knox Poole, formerly of New Orleans, became the pastor of the church on October 1, 1958 and remained until July 31, 1971. During his ministry the church purchased the house at 1430 West Broad Street, thus acquiring the entire block. This house became the new manse and the old manse was converted into part of the educational complex.

In August 1971 the church welcomed the Rev. John C. (Jake) Stemper. Outreach to the community during his ministry included a youth band and Dial-A-Prayer. The women of the church constructed the Chrismons for the church Christmas tree in 1975.

On May 30, 1977 the Rev. Stemper announced his resignation. The Rev. Harry Burch served as interim pastor for several months. The Rev. James P. McCrary was called on January 22, 1978, arrived for service March 24, 1978, and was installed as pastor at an evening service on July 9, 1978.