Jonesborough Presbyterian Church

Jonesborough Presbyterian Church1790 t0 Present


128 Main St., Jonesborough, Tn 37659


In 1790 the Rev. Samuel Doak and the Rev. Hezekiah Balch organized what was known as the “Hebron” Church about four miles northeast of Jonesborough. In 1816 the church came to Jonesborough and constructed a building at the corner of Main and Washington St. following the 1831 construction of a second building on that site, the church changed its name to Jonesborough Presbyterian in 1840. In 1846 the church decided to move to its present site.

In 1868 a division occurred as a result of intense feelings brought about by the war between the North and South. Both Northern and Southern sympathizers continued to use the building until 1880 when the Southern branch bought out th PC USA branch which then erected a building at Main and Fox Streets.

In 1926 the PC US Presbytery finally disbanded its church in Jonesborough and offered the building to the PC USA church. The offer was refused and for twenty years the historic building was used only for special occasions.

In 1943 the PC USA church was made another offer which was accepted and purchased the old building. They then sold their building at Main and Fox Sts. and began to restore the present sanctuary and building. In August 1943 the union was completed and the two congregations became one again. Some Church School rooms were added when the old building was restored. The church was formally rededicated 5 Oct 1944. An addition educational building was constructed in the rear of the old building in 1952.

The church has the historical background of being both PC USA and PC US Presbyterian denominations. In 1983 he two denominations voted to reunite as the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the two Holston Presbyteries became the one Holston Presbytery again.


[courtesy of W. Eugene Cox and Joyce Cox, Oct 2006]

November 25, 1908Samuel Doak, D.D.Served Hebron Chruch, four miles from Jonesborough
December 1, 1908Samuel Lake, John Cosson, D.D., James WitherspoonServed for two years
7 Sep 1800-12 Apr 1801Charles Coffin, D.D.
1802-10 Jul 1808John W. DoakSon of Samuel Doak
1808-1818Charles Coffin, D.D.1816 church built
Feb 1820-Aug 1825Robert Glenn
Fall 1826-5 Oct 1832Lancelot Bell1831 church built
ÐÐVacant one year
Apr 1833-Apr 1834Henry M. Kerr
Oct 1834-Feb 1845J. Whitfield Cunningham9 Apr 1840 name changed from Hebron to Jonesborough Presbyterian Church
28 Sep 1845-19 Oct 1862Rufus P. Wells1847-1850 church constructed
Jun 1863-Jun 1865J. D. Tadlock
25 Nov 1865-21 Oct 1866Calvin Waterbury
9 Jun 1867-28 Jul 1872James G. MasonSplit in church, 1868. Now Second Presbyterian Church
1 Dec 1872-Nov 1877Perez D. Cowan
8 Dec 1877-5 Jun 1892Calvin A. DuncanSecond Presbyterian build church in 1881 at 126 E. Main Street
May 1892-25 Jun 1893C. H. Polheumus
Jul 1893-Nov 1893Temporary pastors
Dec 1893-1894George F. Ayers
1 Apr 1894-1896B. B. Bigler
1897-1904John S. Eakin
June 1, 1904Jonathan C. Day
1904-1905M. W. Graham
March 20, 1909O. C. Peyton
1905-1907J. A. Frances
16 Apr 1908-Fall 1909Roy Ewing Vale, D.D., LLDModerator, 156th General Assembly
March 24, 1909Calvin A. Duncan, D.D., LLD
1909-1910J. C. Ritter
1910-1911Fred F. Schell
1912-1913Robert L. Bachman
1913-1915John N. Crawford
1915-1921Robert L. BachmanProposed Ten Commandments be placed on courthouse wall
April 5, 1909A. C. Holt
1 Aug 1922-Dec 1922Thomas Freeman Dixon, D.D.
9 Jul 1925-1930Garner R. MartinFirst to live at 504 W. Main St. parsonage
4 Jan 1931-1935William E. Harrison
1937-1940Charles Marston
8 Sep 1940-Nov 1942George K. Neff
2 Jun 1943-Sep 1946Clarence L. Shelby, D.D.Led 1944 restoration of church and merger of the two churches. Name changed to Jonesboro Presbyterian Church


First Presbyterian Pastors

1867William B. Carter
1868-1872J. D. Tadlock
1872J. P. Gammon
1872-1874W. W. Morrison
1874-1876J. Albert Wallace
1876-1883D. O. Byers
1883-1885C. W. Johnson
1886-1888J. B. Converse
1891-1892P. D. Kennedy
1892O. J. Jones
1892-1896J. P. Doggett
1897-1899W. J. Lewis
1900-1901K. A. Roane
1901-1903J. P. Doggett - second time
1904J. M. Clark
1904-1906A. H. Doak
1909-1910J. W. Hethron
1912-1917D. O. Byers - second time
1920-W. C. Young

Hash, Judith Haws, A History of the First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro, Tennessee, M.A. thesis, East Tennessee State University, 1965, p. 332-334. All First Presbyterian Church pastors from Hash.
Jonesborough Presbyterian Church Session Minutes, 1845-1862. p. 325, 330, and 338.
Historic Sketch and Directory of the Second Presbyterian Church” Jonesborough, TN: Herald and Tribune.
Ruth Broyles, Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Herald and Tribune, Jonesborough, Tennessee, various issues.
Cox, W. Eugene and Joyce Cox. Jonesborough’s Historic Churches.
Jonesborough Presbyterian Church 1990 Directory.

Posted 29 May 2005. Updated 12 Sep 2007

Also see Tour of Historic Jonesborough for more photos and history.