The Eatonton Presbyterian Church is now 200 years old. It had its beginning in the old Union Church building. The Union Church was constructed in 1819 on a lot directly behind the present church. The church actually housed four denominations: Baptist, Christian, Methodist and Presbyterian. Each denomination met once per month and the Masons met on the fifth Sunday. The building was not heated until 1865 when two stoves were installed. The Presbyterian membership at that time was 20.
Records show that the Rising Star Lodge F.A.M. laid the cornerstone, which was preserved and built into the foundation of our present church. Among other things preserved in the corner stone was a poem written in 1862 by Col. W.H. Sparks entitled, “The Old Church Bell.” It was a tribute to the church bell that still hangs in the bell tower in its original cradle and is still rung every Sunday. Cast in Philadelphia, it was hung in 1824 and is of the “English” type.
In 1857, the Methodists left to build their church. In 1895, The Baptists sold their interest in the building to the Presbyterians for $200. The building was then torn down to avoid desecration. Through the land exchange with the Mayor and alderman of the city of Eatonton, the Presbyterian obtained 80’ x 100’ lot on Madison Avenue in exchange for the land on which the Union Church stood. In 1896, contractor C.D. Leonard erected the “handsome and commodious” Queen Anne Victorian Church from the modified plans made by Repress and Company of Atlanta. The cost was $2,800!
The beautiful chandelier, which is original, was purchased in 1896 and was presented to the church by the “Young People’s Society.” The chandelier was originally an oil lantern type, and it could be lowered from the ceiling to the floor to replenish the oil. In 1940, the chandelier was restored and converted to electric lights.
In 1970, the church bought land, in the rear of the building, from the Putnam County Board of Education for a sum of $91.83. This land was to be used later for the Fellowship Hall addition. The addition was completed and dedicated in 1992.
In the year 2000, a major renovation of the church sanctuary took place, restoring much of the sanctuary’s former Queen Anne Victorian elegance and grace. The renovated sanctuary was rededicated on December 10, 2000.