Our History

First Presbyterian Church 

Trenton, Tennessee 

First Presbyterian Church, Trenton, welcomes all who join us this evening as we celebrate the beginning of a new chapter of His Story in the life of our congregation. FPC-Trenton is a church with a rich heritage. Its history began when a faithful little band of eleven people was organized into a church by the Reverend Alexander Campbell on the 20th day of October, 1833. A residence on High Street (about where Anderson Furniture is now) was rented and used as a place of worship. A few short years later, the property was purchased for the exclusive use and benefit of the Presbyteri-an Church of Trenton. In 1845, a little frame church was erected on the site. According to one historian, “it had a steeple, a bell that was rung each Sabbath morning, a pulpit several steps high, a car-peted floor, pews and pulpit furnished in good taste, and an organ. Music was a big part of the church which always had a choir of “fine voices”. 
The church endured the Civil War, and even witnessed the “Battle of Trenton” from the top of the “Neil House” , which was also located on High Street. During this era, Presbyterian churches of the southern states formed the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America, which later became the Presbyterian Church U.S.—and so began the southern Presbyterian Church. Following the war, under the leadership of Rev. J.T. Rothrock, the current sanctuary (at 503 S. High St.) was constructed (at a cost of $9,000) and dedicated in early 1893. With the new church building in use, the little white frame church building was acquired by the Bethany Church of Christ and moved about four miles west of town, and is still in use today. 
Over the years, the church installed electricity (1896), purchased a Kil-gan three-manual pipe organ (1956 and still in use today), air condition-ing, added an education building (1948 and renovated in 1979), new offices, classrooms and Fellowship Hall (2012).  In January of 2011, the congregation voted to be dismissed from the Presbyterian Church, USA, and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
In July of that year, the church was officially installed as a member of the EPC.  “When a church survives building programs, hardships, wars, and indifference, as well as the many good times, and comes through with One Hundred, Eighty-six years of continuous service to our Lord, it is a time of celebration.  It has survived only with the help of our dear Father who hears our pleas and heeds them when we pray in faith. Just as there are high peaks and low valleys in the lives of people, or states, or nations, churches have them, too. But God in His infinite wisdom and love has so ordained that these things happen for the best.  Our church marches onward, grateful for the faith of our forefathers, our ministers, our officers, and our families who have courageously brought us through One Hun-dred, Eighty-six years with God’s guidance.  We look to the future with hope and enthusiasm and courage and thanksgiving, feeling that God is ‘able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.’ (Ephesians 3:20)”  -taken from The First Presbyterian Church, Trenton, TN Sesquicentennial His-tory  (pub. 1983)