Our Church History

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) 

 

The Franklin Presbyterian Church had two beginnings.  The first was around 1820 when a Cumberland  Presbyterian congregation was organized in Franklin.  The congregation first shared a union meeting house with the Methodist Church, but in 1867 built its own church on south Main Street.  
 
The second beginning was in 1870 when a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. was organized.  

Both the Cumberland Presbyterian and the U. S. Presbyterian erected brick church structures about 1885.  The U.S. church sat at the corner of Main Street and Washington Street and was known as the “Main Street Church”.  The Cumberland church sat at the corner of College and Kentucky Streets.  In 1944 the two congregations merged to become the present Franklin Presbyterian Church.

The design of the College Street church was commissioned to the McDonald Brother’s architectural firm out of Louisville.  Other MacDonald Brother structures in Franklin are the Courthouse, the Goodnight House (present Chamber of Commerce), the old stone jail and the former Franklin Female College (present F.S.M.S. campus). This is no longer standing and was torn down in the last FSMS renovation.  Franklin had many more McDonald Bros.' buildings that have been torn down.  There are only four that are still standing.
 
The Franklin Presbyterian Church was built in 1885 by Forbes and Bros. of Bowling Green, completed and dedicated in 1886. The interior of the sanctuary was described in an 1886 newspaper article as follows: “The new C.P. Church at this place will be dedicated next Sunday by the Rev. M.B. DeWitt of Nashville. MacDonald Brothers, Louisville, are the architects, and the entire conception is unique and elegant. The walls are supported and relieved by very heavy pilasters, giving great strength 
of solid timbers, all exposed and so curved and adjusted as to produce a most pleasing effect. The windows are of cathedral and colored glass, softening and beautifying the light. The floor is inclined, giving those removed from the altar an equal chance of sight and hearing. The acoustics is pronounced perfect which by the virtue of most of all to be coveted. It is elegantly carpeted throughout. The pews are hardwood, curved in bottom and back, and set at an angle to make them exact in comfort.” The sanctuary is the oldest in the community which has remained in continual use since 1886.

 

For more historic detail on the MacDonald Brothers, historic buildings or the history of local churches, visit the Simpson County Archives and Museum.