Presybterian Church of Jeffersonville was founded on May 22,
1830 with 12 members. Dr. Samuel Meriwether was elected the
elder of the church that same year. Early on, services were
the county courthouse. Construction of the first church
located on West Market Street began on September 24, 1832.
the faciltiy we currently occupy at
the corner of Walnut and Chestnut Streets, began
on August 13, 1860. The orginal section, the south portion of
building, was dedicated on the first Sunday of December in 1860.
Civil War delayed the completion of the remainder of the building until
Church membership increased
greatly during this time. From the
orginal 12 members in 1830, First Presbyterian Church grew to 134
members by 1855, and by 1880 there were 275 members. During
the ministry of the Reverend Joseph M. Hutchinson (1871 to 1896), the
membership increased dramatically to 482.
improvements were made to the church in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. In anticipation of the first stained
glass windows, the balcony at the north end of the sanctuary was
removed, walls and ceilings were re-frescoed, woodwork and pews were
refinished and the chandeliers were converted from gas to electricity.
A new water-powered organ was installed in September 1908.
In the summer of
1902, the Ann Hutchinson house was
built next door to the church building on Walnut Street as a residence
the pastor. The house was later occupied by the church office
and Sunday School, and also used for various meetings and functions of
the Women's Association. It was torn down in 1983.
On December 14, 1930, the James E. Taggart addition, known as Taggart
Hall, became part of the church. This provided needed space
for many programs and activities.
January 1937, The Ohio River flooded and caused considerable damage to
the building. More than 12 feet of water stood in the
sanctuary. In fact, a crack that is still visible today in
the wall next to the plaque at the back of the sanctuary marks the
flood's crest. As part of the rehabilitation and repairs
after the flood, the sanctuary seating was reversed to provide a better
view of the large stained-glass window (the Good
Shepherd window) facing Chestnut Street.
Space was also made for the new organ in the front of the sanctuary.
The restored and remodeled church was dedicated on September
renovation was completed in 1987 when a new addition was
built on the south side of the church. The entire facility
was repainted, re-carpeted and modernized.
organ, a 22 rank Shantz organ, was dedicated on May 15, 1994.
Pictures of our organ can be viewed at the Southern
Indiana Chapter of the American Guild of Organist website.
In 1998, a
capital campaign raised $150,000 to provide ongoing
maintenance, repair, and improvement of the church's property.
In light of all
this, we believe that First Presybterian Church of
Jeffersonville is a congregation with a rich history, a vibrant
present, and a bright future. We invite you to join us as we
continue our faith journey together.