THE MORRISTOWN Presbyterian Church congregation will celebrate the life of
the church family in a final worship service Sunday (Sept. 6, 2009) at 4
p.m. in a brick church constructed 160 years ago.
This celebration, which is open to the public, will honor the congregations of both the past and present.
Participating ministers include the Rev. Tom Armstrong, the Rev. Barry Hall, the Rev. Dr. Jack Visser, the Rev. Ed Mooney, the Rev. Dr. Roberta Croker, Lay Pastor Kenn Sickle, Elder Walter Jancura and Maryann Droll.
Special music also is planned for Sunday's event.
The church had its beginnings in the early 1800s during prayer meetings held in homes.
According to "The History of Belmont and Jefferson Counties" by J.A. Caldwell, those meetings were held to pray "for the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit upon this town." Caldwell also notes that attending those meetings were John Perry, Mrs. Margaret Hazlett, Mrs. Rachel Gaston, Mrs. Martha Eaton and Mrs. Martha Morrison.
Wishing to have preaching, the group decided for Perry to apply to the Presbytery of Steubenville for the appointment of a minister. He had $6, raised by the group, and the Rev. Abram Scott was selected to preach.
"He preached twice for them for the six dollars - two Sabbaths in the spring of 1822," according to Caldwell's book.
Another purse was raised, and Scott continued to preach about one Sabbath a month until the church society was organized Sept. 25, 1824, by the Rev. William McMillen, D.D., president of Franklin College in New Athens. The organization took place in the home of Dr. Alexander Gaston. McMillen served the church one half of his time until his death in 1832.
Preaching was held from 1824 until 1828 in an old log school and in homes, mostly in Mrs. R.S. Clark's home which had been built as an Episcopal Church.
Then, in 1828, a new brick church costing $750 was dedicated. On the building committee were Dr. Ephraim Gaston, Nicholas Rogers and John Perry.
In 1848, that building was torn down, and a new brick church was constructed on the same grounds at a cost of $1,400. That building committee included Gaston, Rogers, Robert S. Clark and John Lippencott.
Completed in 1849, that church was dedicated and has been in use since that time.
For about the last quarter of a century, the church has been a member of the Crossroads Parish with New Athens and Uniontown Presbyterian churches.