History Fill Old Church (Featured in Daily Corinthian in 1973)

History Fill Old Church

(Featured in Daily Corinthian in 1973)

A featured historical stop for the Crossroads Bus Tour during Jubilee ’73 will be the Fillmore Street United Presbyterian Church, built in 1871.

Continuous secular and sacred organ music will be presented at the church, 711 Fillmore Street, May 4th and 5th by local organists from various Corinth churches, and at 4 p.m. on May 4th, the church will host a "Laurel and Hardy" silent film made in the 1920’s with Bill Oberg playing the background music on the theatre organ.

The history of the congregation which built the oldest remaining church building in Corinth began in 1857, when a brush arbor revival was held on East Waldron Street. A Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized from this gathering.

Three years later, in 1860, the first Presbyterian building was constructed. It was a two-story building where the old Cruise Street School (now being torn down) was located.

The building was hardly finished when it was taken over and used as a Civil War arsenal in 1862.

In 1865, the congregation returned to claim their church building, which was in very poor condition, and due to the scattering of the congregation the church had to be reorganized.

In 1870, the Presbyterian congregation and the city school occupied the building, and in 1871, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church sold this building on Cruise Street to F.A. Bealey, County Superintendent of Education.

When it was remodeled for a school building, under the floor boards were found live explosives from the Civil War. For five years the congregation had been praying over live explosives.

In 1871, the congregation moved to the Borroum Building, and in March, the Presbyterians bought the present lot on Fillmore Street for $300. Prices for construction were; brickwork-$1,730.80; carpenters-$1,350.00; and tin at $11.50 per square.

On March 10, 1872, the congregation moved into the Fillmore Street building and the Rev. Gillenwater was requested to preach.

About 1898, the single steeple on the front of the church showed signs of weakness and it was decided to remove it and to erect the present vestibule with the two towners. At this time the windows were changed from round to pointed.

With more work in 1908, the floor was made sloping, the arches were put at the front, and the first pipe organ installed. In 1922, the education building was added.

About 1900, the church was changed from Cumberland Presbyterian to Presbyterian U.S.A., and then, around 10 to 15 years ago, the church became the United Presbyterian.

The latest change was made in 1963 when Bill McPeters extensively redecorated the inside of the church and the educational building. For example, the gold organ pipes were painted black and the green oak paneling behind the organ and the surrounding oak walls were painted white.

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