First Presbyterian Church
Walking Tour Prepared By Kevin & Lisa Ragland
With History By: Yolanda Reid & Linda Dean
The First Presbyterian Church in Springfield is located at 200 Fifth Ave W and the historic marker was established on April 4, 1976. It is the oldest public building in the county in current use. The date of completion of the Presbyterian Church is not known, but the probable date is 1839. The Church was organized in 1837 with first meetings held in the Courthouse. The lot on which the church stands was #17 of the original town plat and was purchased in 1807 by I. Pinckey. It is unknown when the Cheatham family acquired the property but in 1843 John G. and Martha Cheatham Keeble conveyed property with a brick building for the use and benefit of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. They were paid $200 and the 1st pastor of the church was William Harris.
The original church was constructed of hand-fired bricks and had a partition down the middle to divide men from women. A bell (still in use today) was the gift of Mrs. Richard Cheatham. During the Civil War the church was used by the Federal forces as a stable leaving the imprint of horses' hooves on the church floor. A Sanctuary was added in 1897 in memory of Mary F. Pepper and the older structure was converted to Sunday School rooms. On March 6, 1898 the church changed its name to Mary F. Pepper Memorial Presbyterian Church. On January 3, 1971 it became the First United Presbyterian Church. In 1983 when the United Presbyterian Church denominations re-united with the Presbyterian Church it became the First Presbyterian Church.