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Photo Feature By Al Harris


First Presbyterian Church

THEN & NOW: The First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, with its original rectangular tower with flat top, is shown in an undated photo from church archives, and (below) in a modern view photographed on May 10, 2005. A large tree in front prevented the photographer from using the same angle. The following data was excerpted from the church web site: The church was organized on November 15, 1834 with eleven members. The congregationís first house of worship was a log structure located near the intersection of Pelham Road and Vann Street (the present location of Hardeeís). The second house of worship was begun in 1858 and is the present church building of the congregation at 200 Clinton SE. It is constructed of brick, which was hand made at the building site from native clay. All the wood in the structure is heart pine and came from the large virgin forest trees then growing in the area. Before the congregation could meet for worship in their new building, the almost completed structure was converted to use as a hospital for wounded soldiers, both Confederate and Union. The first worship service was held in April 1865. The building as used today is essentially as it was then, except for improvements such as central heat, electric lights, and carpeting. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, the register of the Alabama Historical Commission, and the register of Presbyterian & Reformed historic buildings of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For more THEN & NOW scenes, go to Al Harris' photo blogger. You can subscribe to the service and be notified of new historic photos and their modern comparisons. If you have old photos to share or would like to ask questions about this project, e-mail Al Harris at


All photos copyrighted by the photographer. Please contact Al Harris for permission for commercial use.

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