St. Marys First Presbyterian Church – Kathy From KeppenArt

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    Some of you who keep up with my blog posts will remember that earlier this year I embarked on a road trip to scout out possible retirement locations.

    The last possible retirement city that my friend and I visited was St. Marys, Georgia (USA). When we were still in South Carolina, we met a lady who had moved to St. Marys and insisted that we check out that area.

    Walking around the historic riverfront area we found friendly people, dog friendly establishments and many restored homes and inns.

    Although I photographed several churches, my favorite was the First Presbyterian Church. 

    The church was built in 1808. It is the second oldest church in the state of Georgia and the state’s oldest building in continuous use as a church. The first pastor was ordained and installed in June 1822.

    On December 20, 1828, the church was incorporated under the name of the Independent Presbyterian Church of St. Marys.

    On December 5, 1832, The Independent Church was incorporated as the First Presbyterian Church of St. Marys in the Georgia Presbytery.

    A photograph inside the building shows a flat front to the church with the stairs angled down to the left side. A plaque on the photograph states that the picture was taken prior to 1898. A little research found that the photograph was actually showing a back entrance to a gallery for the enslaved.

    In December 1956, a fire destroyed the original east side entrance. The church was restored with wood as old as the original church and rededicated within a few months of the fire.

    Today the First Presbyterian Church of St. Marys, Georgia is admired both for its architecture and its members’ determination and faith to preserve the building for future parishioners.  

    Interestingly, the lady who first insisted we check out St. Marys is a member of this church and I spoke with her briefly as she left service the Sunday morning that I was taking photographs of the church.

    I look forward to a return trip to this charming city in the near future to introduce my husband to this city as a possible retirement location. We will be driving past this historic structure as we slowly cruise into town.

    To view a larger image of the church click here:

    Be sure and leave a comment and/or suggestions if you have visited or lived in the St. Marys area.


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