FPCK_church history

March 18, 1917 – Our church’s history began with an organizational meeting that was held at the Hufford home with 52 people wanting to establish a “Southern” Presbyterian Church. Early services were held in a revival tent and the old Gaiety Theater.

1918    – Under the leadership of Dr. Robert King, the congregation moved to small frame schoolhouse between Watauga and Holston streets. This building was renovated and used until December 1940.

December 14, 1941 – The first worship service was held in the sanctuary we still enjoy. Allen Dryden, Sr., a church member, was the architect.

1946 – Cedarview, a chapel formed by First Presbyterian in 1917, became a full-fledged church. Since then we have actively supported the establishment of eleven additional churches.

1950’s – A Clothes Closet was established to provide free clothing to those in need. It continues today and serves over 2,000 area households.

1963 – Construction of the three-story education wing completed the original architectural plan. The first female elders, Mrs. J. Fred Johnson and Mrs. James Rigby, were elected to the Session, the church’s governing body.

1970’s – A refugee resettlement ministry began with assistance to the first of seven families. Several families have maintained a long-term relationship with the church and its members.

1984  – Church leaders establish the Kingsport Community Ministry Center (KCMC) to assist the public with emergency financial needs. Currently KCMC and the Family Promise of Greater Kingsport share space in the Hufford House, which was moved in 1993 to the corner of Charlemont and Holston streets.

1980’s – An after school program was begun for K – 5th graders.

1989 – The first of 10 Habitat for Humanity houses was built with church funding and volunteers.

1996 – The Church Circle First Presbyterian Children’s Center, Inc. opened, using our facilities.

2001 – The Meals on Wheels program began preparing an average of 130 meals in our kitchen five days per week.

2004 – The Deacon Care Ministry Program began, with each deacon responsible for caring for a portion of the congregation through regular contact.

2005 – David Cagle became the tenth head of staff, leading a congregation of 745 members.