The Presbyterian church in Milledgeville was organized in
June 1826. This church, as well as the Baptist and Methodist was
built on State House Square by an act of the General Assembly approved
December 6, 1822, which authorized all Christian denominations to build
upon the State house square houses of worship on half acre lots. These
churches were located on Greene St. facing North. See
Statehouse pictures and 1830 Map of Milledgeville.
The church was incorporated in 1828 and the first trustees were James Camak, William Y. Hansell, Thomas W. Baxter, Hugh Craft, Richard J. Nichols, Richard K. Hines, Samuel Boykin, Peter J. Williams, and Seaton Grantland. (ACTS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE State of Georgia, PASSED IN MILLEDGEVILLE AT AN ANNUAL SESSION IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, 1828.) Trustees in 1850 were Ebenezer M. Cowles, Daniel R. Tucker, Miller Grieve, Alfred M. Nisbet, Richard M. Orme, Olney Eldridge, and George D. Case. (ACTS OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, 1849-50)
According to Dr. J. C. Bonner, Milledgeville, Georgia's Antebellum Capital " Among those who gave the Presbyterians early leadership were Dr. John Brown and Dr. Moses Waddell, both of whom had been president of the University of Georgia, and Joseph C. Stiles, a Yale alumnus who was among the earliest ministers of this faith to preach in Milledgeville. On the early rolls of the church were such statehouse officials as Governor Herschel V. Johnon, Peterson Thweatt, David C. Campbell, and Charles C. Mills. Prominently identified with its early history int he town were the families of Peter J. Williams, Benjamin A. White, Elijah H. Burritt, Seaton Grantland, William Y. Hansell, Iverson L. Harris, William McKinley, Miller Grieve, R. J. Nichols, William Flinn, Samuel Rockwell, Carlisle Pollock Beman, Charles W. Howard, Samuel K. Talmadge, and James Woodrow. The last four were residents of Midway Community were they taught at Oglethorpe University, a Presbyterian college which operated largely under the aegis of the Milledgeville church."
The church on the square was remodeled in 1860 according to the WPA Church Records, Baldwin County, White Churches, 9/19/1939, Georgia Archives.
In 1903, desiring a larger church, (see design) the present location of the church was finalized and a new church was built by J. W. McMillian Brick Company, who also contributed the cornerstone from Scotland. The cornerstone of the present church was laid October 20, 1904. Additions were made to the church in 1945.
The WPA Church Records, Baldwin County, White Churches, 9/19/1939, Georgia Archives. list the pastors from 1826 to 1939 as Rev. Joseph C. Stiles 1826-1827; Rev. James C. Patterson 1827 - 1828; Rev. Lawson C. Clinton 1829 - 1830; Rev. Willet Preston 1820-1832; Rev. Benjamin Burroughs 1832 - 1834; Rev. C. W. Howard 1834 - 1836; Rev. John W. Baker 1836 - 1854; Rev. William Flinn 1854 - 1869 (served church during War Between The States, and was chaplin of his regiment); Rev. Charles W. Lane 1869 - 1872; Rev. George T. Geotchius 1872 - 1879; Rev. Donald McQueen 1879 - 1892; Rev. Denton Brannan 1892- 1920; Rev. Thomas Gordon Watts 1921 - 1926; Rev. George B. Thompson 1926 - 1931; Rev. Albert Grady Harris 1931 -1936; Rev. Rufus W. Oakley 1936 - 1939.
Genealogical Gleanings from the Minutes Of The Session of
First Presbyterian Church, Milledgeville, Ga 1826-1900
Eileen Babb McAdams copyright 2004