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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Bern in Craven County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

First Presbyterian Church

American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site

 
 
First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 21, 2009
1. First Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription. Formally organized on January 6, 1817 in the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Minor, First Presbyterian Church was formed under the leadership of the Rev. John Knox Witherspoon. Included among the charter members were the daughter and granddaughter of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, D.D.

In 1819 log number 309 on New Street was purchased. Construction of the sanctuary began June 9, 1819 with the laying of the cornerstone by Master Masons. Uriah Sandy was contractor, assisted by Martin Stevenson and John Dewey who were members of the church. The building was completed in late 1821 and dedicated on January 6, 1822. Numbered pews were offered for sale or rent with "visitor pews" provided on both sides of the pulpit.

To the right of the sanctuary is the Session House, built in 1858 for the sum of $1500. During the Civil War the sanctuary was used as a hospital for sick and wounded Union soldiers with planks being placed over the pews or beds. Restoration work was required in 1866 and was marked by the installation of Victorian-style gaslights and stained woodwork. In 1936 the restoration and reinstallation of the original pulpit was completed.

In addition to its own growth and outreach, First Presbyterian Church aided in the establishment of Ebenezer Church in 1878 and following World War II in the establishment of Neuse
First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 21, 2009
2. First Presbyterian Church Marker
First Presbyterian Church
New Bern, N.C.
has been placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places
by the United States
Department of the Interior
1819 - 1822
Forest (1946) and West New Bern (1948) churches.
 
Erected by First Presbyterian Church. (Marker Number 228.)
 
Location. 35° 6.589′ N, 77° 2.412′ W. Marker is in New Bern, North Carolina, in Craven County. Marker is on New Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Between Middle Street and Hancock Street. Marker is in this post office area: New Bern NC 28560, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named First Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); New Bern Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); Centenary United Methodist Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Political Duel (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named New Bern Academy (about 400 feet away); George E. Badger (about 600 feet away); Bayard v. Singleton (about 600 feet away); Craven County World Wars 1 and 2 Memorial (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bern.
 
Regarding First Presbyterian Church. First Presbyterian Church is one of 445 American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Sites registered between 1973 and 2003 by the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), headquartered in Philadelphia.
First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 21, 2009
3. First Presbyterian Church Marker
American Presbyterian
and Reformed
Historical Site
No. 228
Registered by the
Presbyterian
Historical Society
Philadelphia, P.A.
Approved sites received a metal plaque featuring John Calvin’s seal and the site’s registry number (PHS marker location in front of church building).

The following text is taken from the Presbyterian Historical Society website:

Organized in 1817, the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church, New Bern, laid the cornerstone of their new building in 1819. Constructed by Uriah Sandy in the Greek Revival style, the two-story wooden church was completed in 1822. It features an Ionic portico, two tiers of windows, and an arcaded octagonal belfry. During the Civil War, the church served as a Union hospital. The building, architecturally unique in the state of North Carolina, is the oldest church structure in New Bern. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
 
Also see . . .  Official First Presbyterian Church web site. (Submitted on October 26, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionWar, US Civil
 
First Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 21, 2009
4. First Presbyterian Church Marker
First Presbyterian Church Marker and the Session House image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 21, 2009
5. First Presbyterian Church Marker and the Session House
First Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 21, 2009
6. First Presbyterian Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 792 times since then and 30 times this year. Last updated on August 18, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 26, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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