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our history


First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1811. It is the oldest Christian congregation in the city of Columbia. It was founded by Gideon Blackburn, an energetic missionary who traveled through this area and founded several Presbyterian churches.

The first church building was located at the corner of Garden and West 6th Streets, where Columbia City Hall now stands.

Mrs. Samuel (Jane Knox) Polk, the mother of the president, was a member of the church during that time. When that building burned, a second building was built on the same site. In 1915 that building also burned, and the decision was made to build a new church building at the present location of West 7th and High Streets.

That building, the current sanctuary, was dedicated in 1916. An educational building was added in the early 1950’s. The church underwent a major renovation in the year 2000, and replaced its old organ with the Carolyn Reynolds Fisher pipe organ, built by the B. Rule Organ Company of New Market, Tennessee.


To the right is a photograph of the original First Presbyterian Church located on the corner of Garden and West 6th Street.

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