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]
YEAR PASTOR COMMENTS
November 25, 1908 Samuel Doak, D.D. Served Hebron Chruch, four miles from Jonesborough
December 1, 1908 Samuel Lake, John Cosson, D.D., James Witherspoon Served for two years
7 Sep 1800-12 Apr 1801 Charles Coffin, D.D. 1802-10 Jul 1808 John W. Doak Son of Samuel Doak
1808-1818 Charles Coffin, D.D. 1816 church built
Feb 1820-Aug 1825 Robert Glenn Fall 1826-5 Oct 1832 Lancelot Bell 1831 church built
Ð Ð Vacant one year
Apr 1833-Apr 1834 Henry M. Kerr Oct 1834-Feb 1845 J. Whitfield Cunningham 9 Apr 1840 name changed from Hebron to Jonesborough Presbyterian Church
28 Sep 1845-19 Oct 1862 Rufus P. Wells 1847-1850 church constructed
Jun 1863-Jun 1865 J. D. Tadlock 25 Nov 1865-21 Oct 1866 Calvin Waterbury 9 Jun 1867-28 Jul 1872 James G. Mason Split in church, 1868. Now Second Presbyterian Church
1 Dec 1872-Nov 1877 Perez D. Cowan 8 Dec 1877-5 Jun 1892 Calvin A. Duncan Second Presbyterian build church in 1881 at 126 E. Main Street
May 1892-25 Jun 1893 C. H. Polheumus Jul 1893-Nov 1893 Temporary pastors Dec 1893-1894 George F. Ayers 1 Apr 1894-1896 B. B. Bigler 1897-1904 John S. Eakin June 1, 1904 Jonathan C. Day 1904-1905 M. W. Graham March 20, 1909 O. C. Peyton 1905-1907 J. A. Frances 16 Apr 1908-Fall 1909 Roy Ewing Vale, D.D., LLD Moderator, 156th General Assembly
March 24, 1909 Calvin A. Duncan, D.D., LLD 1909-1910 J. C. Ritter 1910-1911 Fred F. Schell 1912-1913 Robert L. Bachman 1913-1915 John N. Crawford 1915-1921 Robert L. Bachman Proposed Ten Commandments be placed on courthouse wall
April 5, 1909 A. C. Holt 1 Aug 1922-Dec 1922 Thomas Freeman Dixon, D.D. 9 Jul 1925-1930 Garner R. Martin First to live at 504 W. Main St. parsonage
4 Jan 1931-1935 William E. Harrison 1937-1940 Charles Marston 8 Sep 1940-Nov 1942 George K. Neff 2 Jun 1943-Sep 1946 Clarence L. Shelby, D.D. Led 1944 restoration of church and merger of the two churches. Name changed to Jonesboro Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Pastors
1867 William B. Carter
1868-1872 J. D. Tadlock
1872 J. P. Gammon
1872-1874 W. W. Morrison
1874-1876 J. Albert Wallace
1876-1883 D. O. Byers
1883-1885 C. W. Johnson
1886-1888 J. B. Converse
1891-1892 P. D. Kennedy
1892 O. J. Jones
1892-1896 J. P. Doggett
1897-1899 W. J. Lewis
1900-1901 K. A. Roane
1901-1903 J. P. Doggett - second time
1904 J. M. Clark
1904-1906 A. H. Doak
1909-1910 J. W. Hethron
1912-1917 D. 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.