Brief History

First Presbyterian Church SanctuaryHow is it that a handful of Christians in a sleepy country hamlet would become a congregation of over 700, with a vibrant ministry and dozens of mission endeavors? God is at work! The history of First Presbyterian Church is truly “his-story.” Yet God has used many to accomplish his purpose.
 
In 1959 the Lord stirred a group of Douglas County Christians to talk and pray about forming a Presbyterian Church. They began to meet in 1960 in a funeral home with the help of C.K. (Bud) Little, the Pastor of the Villa Rica Church. The group acquired land at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and the (then) proposed Interstate 20.  A neighbor, Julia Sutton, deeded the church some adjoining land, and thus First Presbyterian Church came to be where it is.
 
The Church was formally organized by Atlanta Presbytery on October 23, 1960, with four elders and twenty three charter members. Soon after the congregation built its first structure, the current chapel and parlor, which was completed in 1965.
 
Bud Little’s pastoral leadership was followed briefly in 1963 by Edward Mullins, who shared a call with the Douglasville and Villa Rica Churches. Max Ecke was the first full time Pastor, serving from 1964 until 1966. The truly formative pastorate for the church began in 1969 with the calling of Leon Jeffords. Under his twenty nine years of leadership the congregation grew to over 800 members.
 
Keith Hill was called in 1997 as Co-Pastor with Leon Jeffords, leading up to Leon’s retirement in 1998. Keith Hill continued as Senior Pastor until June 2007.  Tim Rogers-Martin served as Interim Senior Pastor August 2007 through April 2009. James B. Harper was welcomed as Senior Pastor on June 14, 2009.
 
After a congregational vote in September of 2014 and a vote of the presbytery in November of that same year, the congregation was dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and it joined a, then, new denomination called ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
 
While new buildings and increasing numbers may be a visible indicator of God’s work at First Presbyterian Church, it is the unseen growth that truly testifies to his goodness: namely the people called to faith, healed, encouraged, trained, and sent into mission. First Church’s current mission statement is both a statement of intent, and a description of what God is doing: “Growing as a community established by Jesus Christ, we will convey his love and truth through hospitality, celebration, nurture, and outreach.” So it has been. So it will be all the more to the glory of God!