The Church

The story of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee is an important part of the early story of the State of Tennessee. The earliest reference to a Presbyterian congregation, in what was later to become Elizabethton, is in the minutes of Hanover Presbytery, dated October 25, 1782. In those minutes the Rev. Samuel Houston (uncle of Sam Houston of Texas) was instructed to "supply [preach] one Sunday at Watauga." This would have been Fort Watauga, recognized by the State of Tennessee with construction of Sycamore Shoals Historical Park within the city limits of Elizabethton. This was also the site of the gathering of the Over-Mountain Men in 1780, which, blessed by the Rev. Samuel Doak (a member of Hanover Presbytery), marched over the mountain and defeated the British at the Battle of King's Mountain, a battle that was decisive in the eventual outcome of the Revolutionary War.

Sometime prior to 1835, the congregation in Elizabethton sensed the need for a new church building and constructed the beautiful brick structure, which still stands on Main Street. In this building the Presbyterians of Elizabethton worshipped God and experienced with the entire country the agonies and ecstasies of nationhood. In 1951 the congregation decided to relocate and to build a new church building. This was to be done in two phases. The educational building was constructed in the first phase and the nave in the second with the steeple being placed on the completed building July 17, 1964. Throughout its history, the people of First Presbyterian Church have been committed to communicating the transforming power of the Christian faith. It has sought to do this through the preaching and teaching ministry of the church as well as through a continuing effort to relieve human suffering within the community, in our nation, and around the world. This commitment has seen the congregation through the 221 years of its history.

[The historical information is taken from A History of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethton, Tennessee (1982) by Robert K. Johns.]

The building

The “Open Arms” that grace the front of the church were designed to be just that - open arms.  We want it known that we welcome everyone.  We reach out to everyone in the community, embracing everyone who enters our doors.  Our new logo incorporates this element as well.