One of the most important events in history was the Protestant Reformation. It began when a monk named Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five articles to the door of theCastleChurchinWittenberg,Germany. Luther wanted to stir debate on what he considered abuses within the Church of his day. Little did he realize the firestorm he would ignite around the world and through the centuries. Out of the reformation two great traditions of faith and service to God emerged. One was called Lutheranism. The other came to be known as Reformed, after the idea that the Church was reforming and must always be reforming according to the Word of God. To this second tradition the First Presbyterian Church of Demopolis belongs. It is a long and glorious history, a history of struggle for freedom to worship as we believe the Bible teaches, a history that is coated red with the blood of Christ and the martyrs who gave their lives for His Church, a history that must be remembered and honored so that we do not repeat the errors that made it necessary.
It is to this history that we strive to remain true in worship and service to God. The beginning was inauspicious, just nine members banded together on November 11, 1839, to commit themselves to the proposition that the sacrifices of preceding generations would not be in vain and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be manifest in their teachings and lives. The more that 160 years that followed that humble start have been marked by struggle and triumph as illustrated by the following:
1843 Construction of a house of worship which was confiscated during the War Between the States and never returned to the congregation. Today the building houses the Demopolis Fire Department.
1869 The congregation built a new sanctuary at the corner of Strawberry and Capitol streets, the present church stie. A period of recovery for the congregation began at this time and by the turn of the century a resident pastor was the norm rather than the exception.
1905 The wooden house of worship was remodeled and brick was added. The sanctuary still retains essentially the same character as established at that time.
1985 Saw the most momentous events in the history of the Church since its founding. The congregation affiliated with a relatively new movement know as the Presbyterian Church of America which had as its goal to return to the traditions established by the Reformed branch of the Reformation. Also, the congregation began an emphasis on reaching the world for Christ by establishing an annual World Missions Conference and supporting the work of missionaries through giving above and beyond their regular commitment to the Church. Today the congregation supports fifteen missionaries at home and around the world.
1986 First World Missions Conference and Began Supporting Missionaries through Faith-Promise Giving
1989 Due to increasing membership, the congregation added a kitchen, classroom, office, conference and fellowship space and in the Fall, celebrated 150 years of service to God.
1996 God enabled the congregation to pay off the mortgage on the addition in only seven years.
1997 Commissioned Our First “home grown” Missionaries to Ecuador (Coburns)
1998 – 1999 Extensive renovations to the Sanctuary interior were completed.
2004 Bell Tower Renovations
2005 Youth Director / Evangelist hired
2005 First Evangelism Conference Held
2006 Commissioned 17 members to missions trips to Peru, Cuba, Honduras and other countries.
2007 – 2009 Commissioned many members for trips to Peru, Uganda, El Salvador, Monterrey MX
We acknowledge with profound humility and gratitude the blessings of God upon this congregation for more than 160 years, and give thanks that He has allowed us to continue in the tradition of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. We pray that He will continue to use us to His glory and the saving of many.