First Christian Church of Princeton
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Building the Kingdom of God

HISTORY OF FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH

(DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)

PRINCETON, KENTUCKY

 

These words written by Avery and Marsh may tell it best.

 
I am the church!
You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
All around the world,
Yes, we’re the church together.
The church is not a building,
The church is not a steeple,
The church is not a resting place,
The church is the people!

 

 

 

 

The church has a great history of participation!


 
 

 Choir

 Theater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Christian Church in Princeton had its beginnings in 1829 when two preachers, Messengers Lindsey and Davenport held a series of meetings. These meetings were held in what was then the old seminary. Their first convert was W. D. Calloway. Several were added during these meetings, but not enough however to build a church.  Not being able to build a house of worship, they met regularly every first day of the week at Mrs. Rachael Barnard’s residence and held communion service. A nice little congregation resulted, but in 1834, an outbreak of cholera claimed nearly all of their membership.

When Mrs. Angeline Henry moved to Princeton in 1849, she could only find one member of the "faith." Through Mrs. Henry’s dedication and hard work, a small group was again formed.  By 1854, their membership had grown to eleven.  Under her leadership, they worked diligently. They increased their numbers and in June 1859, they moved into their first church building. This church building was a three-story structure located on the corner of Main and Franklin Streets.

The church was used during the civil war as a hospital. The floor of the church was blood stained from the wounded soldiers.

 

In 1866, the Christian Church bought the old Princeton College. The dormitory was used for an apartment house until the summer of 1938 when it was torn down and the materials used in the erection of a new Negro school building. The Christian Church had control of the college until 1881, when it was sold to the Presbyterians.  The college later gave way to the Princeton High School. The Princeton High School was later renamed the Butler High School in 1924, and it is still known as the Butler Building. The church had membership of 125 in 1891.  Around that same time the church building was destroyed by fire from a spark in a neighboring laundry.

The building, that is now the Princeton Tourist and Convention Center, was built in 1899.  In 1920, the building consisted of sanctuary with the choir loft directly behind the pulpit. A pump organ accompanied all singing.  A basement was added to the building in 1936. Nine separate classrooms were attached to the building in 1948 making twelve separate classrooms.

 

 

During 1960, a gift of $10,000 from the estate of Mrs. C E Gaddie started a "building fund" towards the construction of a new church. In the summer of 1965, the congregation purchased the property on Hopkinsville Street with plans to relocate. Construction began in April.  The completed church was dedicated on Sunday, March 24, 1974.

 

 

Yes, these buildings were but brick and mortar, but it was determination, love, and faith in Jesus Christ that sustained them.  Today we look to our ancestors’ determination, and continue to love Jesus Christ and live our faith.