The History


First Presbyterian Church

Russellville, Alabama

     The local Presbyterian congregation was first formed by families who came to this

area of Alabama because of  growing mining activities.  In 1889 the church was first

formed and then organized in 1898.   Due to the soon downturn in the mining industry many of the members were forced to move away and the congregation disbanded.

     In 1916 the mines were again flourishing and the church reorganized.  It met in three separate places for several years -- the courthouse, the Methodist Church, and the

upstairs of what was formerly a department store on Jackson Avenue.  

   The Methodist Church had built a new church building in 1904 and in 1924 the land

on Green Avenue that the Methodist Church had been on was donated to the

Presbyterian congregation by James E. Wilson.  Soon afterward a block frame

structure was erected and the Presbyterians could now say that they had a home of

their own.

     On Sunday, September 12, 1948 a dedication service was held for the new modern

brick sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church.  At the time it was the largest

Presbyterian church structure in Franklin County with the greatest seating capacity.

It still holds those two distinctions!  Since that date, the congregation has added a

fellowship hall and an educational wing.

     First Presbyterian since its founding days was an active congregation in the

Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and later was part of the North Alabama Union Presbytery.  In July, 1984 the congregation voted to leave its former affiliation to join the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a more conservative

and Bible centered nationwide denomination.

    Since its founding in 1973 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, the

PCA has been one of the fastest growing church denominations in the nation with

many home, foreign and student mission outreaches.  As of 2009, the PCA had an

active membership of over 342,000 in 1,666 churches pastored by 3,541 ministers who belong to 77 presbyteries or area districts.  The denomination supported 7,662

missionaries including long-term,short-term, and indigenous church planters.  

They also had 172 chaplains and 110 campus ministers.