Restoration History

The History of the Restoration and Renovations of First Presbyterian Church



Col. Branner sells land to the building Committee of the Presbyterian Church at Mossy Creek, consisting of members Mr. Sam F. Fain, Mr. R.H. Ashmore,
Mr. William Newman, Mr. B.M. Branner, and Mr. J.M. Rhoten.


Sanctuary completed and first worship service held on December 16. “The sanctuary was originally entered on both the north and south by two doors. The two small rooms on the east and west of the narthex were used as saddle rooms. Aisles ran north and south between these doors. There was no center aisle; the benches ran east and west over the entire center section of the room while very short benches stood toward the walls, with space enough left for walking between
these and the walls. The floor was level. The walls and ceiling were of plain white plaster. The pulpit was located in an oval-shaped alcove. The preacher stood back in this after he arrived by means of narrow steps on both east and west sides attached to a narrow platform fronting the alcove. The choir
sat in the southwest “Amen Corner.” A beautiful chandelier hung from the
center of the ceiling and oil-burning brass lamps swung on heavy brackets from the side walls. Two large pot-bellied stoves furnished heat. The win- dows were tall and arched, with numerous, small, clear panes. Back of the sanctuary on the south was one large room used by the Sunday School.” – Mrs. William H. Quillen


First manse obtained, located a block from the church


Manse constructed on the church lawn


The women of the church gathered money to purchase the church bell.


Under the direction of Mr. Frank Jarnigan, renovations included elevation of the floor on the north end, beams placed in ceiling, new lighting fixtures installed, benches cut to pro- vide a center aisle, pulpit extended out into the sanctuary, the choir loft provided; large room on south and back of sanctuary partitioned into three smaller ones; saddle rooms turned into cloak rooms and doors near them leading into the sanctuary re- placed by one centrally located large door; and a basement dug for furnace. Hand-tooled rail was placed around the choir chancel,
crafted by Mr. Quince Brotherton

1944 – 1946

The Sunday School and recreation addition was started. Both men and women of the congregation and the pastor, Dr. John S. Yelton, did manual labor, such as painting, carpentry, laying of floor tile and finishing of ceiling especially in the basement Fellowship Hall.


A committee was organized to purchase an organ for the church.


At some time the clear window panes in the sanctuary were replaced by larger ones of white and yellow marbleized effect. The present attractive memorial windows of Colonial de- sign with Seedy-Marine glass panes were installed. The shape and size of the window frames have remained unaltered throughout.


Church purchases the 1955, red Hymnbook


Gold cross in sanctuary given in memory of Cornelia Williams Mountcastle, Eula Mountcastle, and Ida Mountcastle Yoe


Church Library opens, set up by Mrs. Rogers. The sanctuary was redecorated and new light fixtures were added


Library expanded, a table added in the Narthex and the baptismal font purchased


Hand-carved wooden chalice and plate presented to the church by Mr. Philip Lamberton. The old Manse was deemed unlivable and a new manse was built on the corner of Church Street and Eastview.


Renovation of the church included pastor’s study- paneled, carpeted, new draperies, and furniture in- stalled. The sanctuary was repainted and re-carpeted. The kitchen was cleaned, repainted, and new cabinets in- stalled. In the education building, all Sunday School rooms were cleaned, repainted, and re-curtained.


The wooden cross in the choir loft was carved and installed by Mr. Philip Lamberton. The cross was made out of a Walnut tree that formerly stood on the church grounds.


A successful “adopt-a-window” campaign was conducted. Members of the congregation signed up to be re- sponsible for the painting of one or more windows and/or doors in the Educational Building, either doing the work themselves or employing the services of a young man
from the church. The new Wurlitzer 4700 Concert Organ was installed.


A new roof was put on the sanctuary, and a fund established to air condi- tion the sanctuary. The Women of the Church purchased the pewter pitcher, chal- ice, and paten tray used for communion.


Handrails installed in narthex by Mrs. Samuel W. Forney and Mrs. Charles Oder in memory of their husbands. Pew cushions added in sanctuary, a gift from Mr. J. D. Hale in memory of his wife Mary Lee Nance Hale and in honor of his daughters Julianne Hale Cross and Mary Alice Hale Corkran.
Insulation of Sanctuary, education wing and Manse Installation of air-conditioning in Sanctuary Renovation of Education Wing
New ceilings and wall coverings including paneling as wainscoating on main and upper floors
Remodeling of kitchen, new floor and cabinets
New storage cabinets in fellowship hall
Installation of handicapped restroom on main floor
Installation of wheelchair ramp to Education wing
Installation of storm windows in Education wing
Installation of four new steel insulated exterior doors in Education wing


Installed sump pump in Fellowship Hall, carpeted the organ pit, installed lights behind the choir


Organ committee established to oversee the purchase of a new organ. Chaired by Ted Folsom, the committee selected W. Zimmer and Sons from Charlotte, North Carolina to build a pipe organ for worship in the


Maple tree at front entrance to sanctuary had to be cut down. Led by Doug Moody, plans were made to move pastor’s study and secre- tary’s offices from second floor to first floor and move the parlor to the room behind the sanctuary. This opened up the entire second floor for Sunday school rooms. New Bibles were purchased for the sanctuary. The New Presbyterian Hymnal was purchased and dedicated. The church manse was sold and money distributed to fund future mission projects, help to purchase the new organ, and support the general operating budget of the church.


Church nursery was refurbished. A new library table was built and donated by Mary Ellen and Pat Patton. In preparation for the new organ installation a program of “renewing, redoing and redecorating” the sanctuary was un- dertaken. Carpet was replaced, the walls and woodwork painted, the plaster repaired, and the saddle rooms, library, narthex, and handbell choir room were made more presentable. New
railings and moldings were installed in the narthex. The new organ was dedicated on December 13.


The organ was completed. Jefferson City carries out work to provide more handicapped accessibility to the church. The “Easter Morning” stained glass window was added above doorway in the sanctuary in memory of Sarah Alexander Sanders.


Additional parking lot across Manning Street added. 2001 Playground installed


Children’s Sunday school classrooms cleaned out and re-carpeted and painted. The church offices were refurnished, and the parlor redecorated.


Memorial garden in east lawn constructed


Kitchen remodeled


Nursery renovated (cabinetry finished in 2008) and bathroom in Fellowship Hall completed 2009 New landscaping at the entrance to the sanctuary


Completed the grading of the west lawn of the church.
Restoration and Renovation for 2013 McSpadden, Inc., General Contractors, Dandridge, TN
Sanctuary and Narthex
Repair and paint windows, install protective cover on outside – for energy savings and preservation of old glass
Repair and paint front doors
Repair and paint sanctuary walls
Refinish pews and install new cushions, book racks, envelope holders, and communion cup holders Refinish wood floor and replace carpet in sanctuary and three rooms at the back of the sanctuary Install insulation over sanctuary and three rooms at the back of the sanctuary
Rooms Behind Sanctuary
Construct new music room in current handbell room–to hold handbells, music library, and choir robes and music Renovate middle room as a welcome center, to accommodate the large number of worshipers who enter and leave
the sanctuary from this direction
Make minor changes to the library to accommodate a wider door entering the welcome center Replace carpet, conceal ductwork, and repair/paint walls in these three rooms
Education Wing Hallways, Offices, and Parlor
Sheetrock walls with old paneling and install trim where needed Paint walls of each room
Replace lighting and dropped ceilings in hallways
Replace windows on all three floors
Fellowship Hall
Lay new floor
Renovate cabinets to blend into the wall
Install new ceiling with additional lighting and speakers for a sound system Sheetrock walls and install more electrical outlets
Replace doors
Provide storage for chairs, tables, and grill
Exterior of Building
Install foundation waterproofing and drain system at east end of building Repair brick joints

Our Church History

Significant Events

Founders and Pastors

Fun Facts

Present Day