410 East Carolina Ave.
P.O. Box 29
Clinton, SC,  29325


History & Traditions

First Presbyterian Church, Clinton, South Carolina

Great oaks from little acorns grow

The First Presbyterian Church of Clinton was founded in 1855 by a group of hard working Scotch-Irish settlers in the upstate of South Carolina.   In 1864 the Rev. William Plumer Jacobs was called to become the first pastor of the church in Clinton where he lived the remainder of his days.  He was a visionary whose prayers and perseverance were instrumental in the development of the town of Clinton and of Presbyterianism in the upstate of South Carolina.

Dr.  Jacobs envisioned a home for children who had been orphaned by the War Between the States, a school for his charges and other children in the area, and understanding the growing importance of education, an institution of higher learning.  The session and members of the First Presbyterian Church in Clinton supported these initiatives both spiritually and financially and in later years, the congregation once again contributed to the establishment of the Presbyterian Community of SC retirement home in Clinton.

As the congregation grew, First Presbyterian Church physically expanded by 1901 from a 40 x 50 foot wood frame building into a beautiful granite structure with stained glass windows and oak pews.  In December of  1929 the church was destroyed by fire, and in the midst of The Great Depression, First Presbyterian Church rebuilt their structure, cleaning and reusing the granite which had been provided by a church member.  Members were petitioned for subscriptions to rebuild and the second granite sanctuary which stands today was dedicated in 1940 after the construction debt was retired.   By 1959 an education building was completed; in 1974 a bell tower and carillon graced the courtyard of the sanctuary; and the Christian Life Center, a bustling center of activity for the church and the community, was completed in 1998. 

First Presbyterian cares for its surrounding community by supporting United Ministries of Clinton, The Open Door Christian Center, CHAMPS, and by offering  C.A.M.P.  (Christ As My Pal), a two-week day camp for underprivileged children in our community each summer.  During the school year, “Snack Backpacks” containing healthy snacks are provided to many of these same children in order to provide healthy weekend meals.  In addition, each year our youth group and advisors carry out a mission trip fundraising campaign and spend one week assisting  a community in need.

Not only has the church provided assistance locally, but an alliance was forged with a sister church in Saltykovka, Russia, where an educational building was constructed in 1993 using funds raised by First Presbyterian Church,  the Presbyterian Outreach Foundation, and Worldwide Ministries of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.  By 1996, this outreach was to become a model for the Strategy for Congregational Twinning in Russia  which was launched by the PC USA General Assembly in 1996.

We welcome all to join us and become a part of our great history.

Great things can come from small beginnings

  FPC original building       FPC first granite church 1901-1929       church after fire 

First 2 photographs courtesy of the Presbyterian College Archives

Third photograph courtesy of First Presbyterian Church Archives

Last Published: September 28, 2012 11:56 AM
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