Previous: First Meeting Places
Turn of the Century, Early 20th Century
Rev. W. T. Palmer (1895-1900) served as the first pastor of FPC, being both the son and brother of pastors. Interestingly, his brother, the famous Dr. Benjamin Morgan Palmer, of FPC New Orleans, served as moderator of the First General Assembly of the Southern PCUSA when the denomination split in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Rev. George P. Scott (1902-1912, 1919-1942) was called and faithfully served FPC for ten years before accepting a call from the Presbyterian Church in Tupelo, MS. FPC called him back as pastor, this time with his new bride, the former Miss Lora Carruth, and he faithfully served the flock until his retirement in September 1942.
God blessed FPC immensely under the ministry of Rev. Scott and his wife. The church had a steady growth, largely due to his evangelistic spirit, and the church grew to its largest in FPC history, 164 members in 1925.
Current member, Mrs. Ann Alexander, still remembers Rev. Scott, who officiated her wedding.
Rev. J. W. Powell (1913-1918)
Rev. George L. Kerns (1919)
Rev. Francis B. Benton (1942-1946)
Rev. Adrian Kolean (1946-1951)
Leadership through Decline
On the eve of the Great Depression, FPC also began to show a decline in membership. The financial depression throughout the nation had its effect on the members of FPC as reflected in the official records as early as 1936.
Mr. W. P. Alexander was named clerk of the session April 5, 1936, and served until April 1943, when he was succeeded by Mr. A. D. Walker. Other elders who provided leadership through the following years included Mr. L. O. Brayton and Mr. R. H. Wheeler.
Latta Richards, who became Superintendent of Sunday School March 1, 1949, would be the first funeral conducted by FPC’s current pastor, Rev. Wally Bumpas.