First Presbyterian Church — Greenwood, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Greenwood County | First Presbyterian Church
In 1770, when Presbyterians minsters first arrived from New York and Philadelphia to the area known as Long Cane – now Abbeville, Greenwood, and McCormick counties – they helped form a Presbyterian congregation in Rocky Creek, just north of present-day Greenwood. The new congregation, called Rocky Creek Church, quickly built a frame structure for worship followed by a newer, larger frame church in 1815. Incorporated in 1844, the church officially changed its name to Rock Presbyterian Church in 1845.
By the mid-nineteenth century, the area south of Rocky Creek, which would become chartered as Greenwood in 1857, was becoming more populated. A small group of Presbyterians from the burgeoning town began meeting in a central building around 1850, which was simply called The Chapel. The Chapel was used by various denominations, including the Methodists who would form Main Street United Methodist Church. As Greenwood grew, members from Rock Church began traveling to Greenwood to attend Presbyterian services at The Chapel. From this group, First Presbyterian Church formed and was officially organized in 1883. The Reverend John McLees, who ministered to both First Presbyterian and Rock Presbyterian Church before his death in 1882, was a founding father of First Presbyterian Church of Greenwood.
By the time a building was ready for the new church, in 1899, Rock Presbyterian Church had been closed for seven years, largely due to dwindling membership. As the new church in Greenwood continued to grow, an educational building was added in 1924, and the present sanctuary was built in 1957. The original 1899 sanctuary is still used by the church and is presently called Alexander Hall.
With the help of First Presbyterian Church members, Rock Presbyterian Church was reorganized and opened again in 1956. That church’s present stone edifice, completed in 1960, replaced the historic frame church, which burned the year before. First Presbyterian Church of Greenwood is also the mother church of Fraser Presbyterian Church (now Faith Christian Center Church), which was formed in 1947 as Second Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, formed in 1981.
First Presbyterian Church Info
Address: 108 East Cambridge Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29646
GPS Coordinates: 34.194982,-82.160785