The Washington Presbyterian Church of Washington, Georgia, was organized in early 1790 (exact date unknown). In April, 1790, the Providence, Smyrna, and Washington Presbyterian churches issued a call to John Springer to be their pastor, which he accepted. At that time he was president of Cambridge College in Ninety-Six, South Carolina and a supply preacher in South Carolina and Georgia. On July 22, 1790, Springer became the first Presbyterian minister to be ordained in Georgia. The ordination took place under a poplar tree one mile east of the present church building. The tree has become famous as “the Presbyterian Poplar”. Wood from that tree was used to make the cross that now hangs in the chancel as well as the offering plates. Presentation gavels for distinguished speakers in the pulpit are made from the same wood. The Sanctuary was erected in 1825. It was a single room building with two front doors. The vestibule and steeple were added in 1839 and the front porch was added in the 1890’s. The fellowship hall was added in 1940. Rev. Alexander Hamilton Webster was stated supply, 1824-1827. He was serving as rector of the Academy (in Washington) during that time and accepted a call to be pastor, but died in an epidemic before he could be installed as pastor. He was buried between the two front doors of the church. When the vestibule was added in 1839, his grave stone was elevated to its present position in the narthex. The Hook & Hastings organ, Opus 1382, was installed in 1888. It was manually pumped until this century when an electric blower was added. It was completely reconditioned in 1990.
Frances Benjamin Johnston made this interior shot of the church for the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1939.
This excellent history is from Washington Presbyterian’s Facebook page. For a list of the congregation’s ministers over the years, and more about the church, visit the link below.
National Register of Historic Places