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Pisgah Presbyterian Church

The History

Our race headquarters and start/finish area is the historic and beautiful grounds of Pisgah Presbyterian Church. We are grateful to have this church as an integral part of our community and partner for our inaugural race.

Sitting on thirty acres of land, historic Pisgah Presbyterian Church was founded in 1784. In 1785 it was built of log on the land donated by the Samuel Stevenson family. The rough hewn log building with a shingled roof was located where the large taxus bushes are in what is now the cemetery. The finish of the building and the furnishing were primitive which most likely made it uncomfortable in wet or cold weather.

The current building was constructed in 1812 when war was breaking out with England in an area with a great deal of political excitement. The Stevenson family gave the land to the congregation for the construction of a church allowing construction to continue in spite of the war. The building is made of Kentucky limestone and was remodeled to the Gothic style in 1868. You can see the Gothic style is displayed in the shape of the windows, doors and the pitched roof. Additionally, the pulpit was placed on a podium at one end of the church with a narthex at the other end similar to other Gothic styles. One central door was placed at the entrance to the narthex, plus two doors placed through which to enter the sanctuary.

The lovely stained glass windows that grace the building were installed in 1888-89 and donated by Dr. Robert C. James in memory of his mother, Nannie, who had been a devoted member of the church for years. The stain glass windows were created by George Barnes of Philadelphia and emulate colored glass windows of large eastern firms such as john Lafarge or L.C. Tiffany. Nannie is speculated to be a plant devotee since the windows have flowers that depict various seasons in the life of Christ: Christmas rose for His birth, the palm for Palm Sunday, and His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Easter lily for His resurrection, and the iris for the Trinity. The stained glass window above the pulpit was donated in honor of long-term minister Rutherford Douglas, who served Pisgah Church faithfully from 1858 until 1890.

A full picture of Pisgah Presbyterian Church can be found below.

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