First Presbyterian Church History

During 1901-1902, a group of Presbyterians in Douglas met occasionally for services conducted by Rev. Edgar Tufts and Rev. John McDowell Alexander Lacy, who served as pastors of the Hazlehurst Church.  These services were conducted in the Methodist Churches and Baptist Church.  Two trustees for the group, F.S. Hart and Dr. John M. Hall purchased a building site on the NE corner of Ward Street at Coffee Avenue for $40; construction began March 8, 1902. At the 1903 meeting of Presbytery, Rev. J. M. A. Lacy reported that the church had been organized and it was enrolled by Presbytery

Charter members included: Mr. and Mrs. T. O. Hart, Mr. and Mrs. T.S. Hart, Helen LaPrade Hart, Mrs. LaPrade, Mr. W.P> (Euphenia Sloan) Bellinger, and Mr. McHargue.  William Sumner Harden, a ministerial student, served the Douglas Church during 1904--1095 and became pastor in 1906, conduction services and organizing a Sunday School.  Following this, the Home Missions Committee sent ministers and laymen to conduct services in the Douglas Church.

The Douglas Presbyterian Church became self-supporting during the pastorate of Rev. Frank L. Elvery (1940-1945).  Plans for a combination of an educational building and worship service facility was made during the pastorate of Rev. James L. McGirt (1946-1952).  This facility was erected in 1953 at a cost of $30,000.  The new sanctuary was planned and erected in 1963-1964 during the pastorate of Rev. Flay Riddle (1962-1968).   The building, which is the present sanctuary, cost $100,000 and was consecrated on September 13, 1964.  On September 12, 1982, the church celebrated the retirement of the construction cost mortgage in full and the dedication of the sanctuary along with the burning of the note.

Douglas First Presbyterian Church celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2003 during the pastorate of Rev. Bart Thigpen.