The roots of First Presbyterian Church of Lincolnton predate the American Revolution. Hundreds upon hundreds of Scotch-Irish and German settlers moved into the Catawba River Valley during the colonial period. Many of these first generation Americans were Presbyterians.
Lincolnton was one of the first towns settled west of the Catawba River. By 1771 its early residents had constructed a log building, the “Meeting House”, where the Lutheran, Reformed, and Presbyterian congregations worshipped. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, the Reverend Doctor Humphrey Hunter became the first Presbyterian minister to serve as stated supply for the unofficial Presbyterian church in Lincolnton.
On September 5, 1815, the Presbytery of Concord, meeting in Salisbury, acted favorably on a petition presented by Dr. Hunter that the Presbyterian congregation in Lincolnton be recognized as a church.
In 1819, the “Meeting House”, known as Emanuels Church, was raised a story higher, weather-boarded, and painted white. It soon became known as the “Old White Church” and was used by our church until 1839.
In June 1839, the Lincolnton Presbyterians completed construction of their first church building in the 200 block of West Water Street. The beautiful sanctuary was dominated by a highly elevated pulpit. This is also when the church’s name was changed from Emanuels to Lincolnton Presbyterian Church.
Following the War Between the States, the Reverend Doctor Robert Zenas Johnston answered the call to our church. For almost 36 years, Dr. Johnston lovingly guided the church into the modern era.
In 1892, the congregation erected a new building at the corner of West Main Street and Government Street (our current location). Twenty-five years later, on July 9, 1917, construction began on our current Sanctuary building. The Church continued to enjoy vigorous membership growth. In 1957, the congregation built the current educational building/fellowship hall complex.
The Lord has blessed our church throughout its long distinguished history and we are proud of accomplishments in His holy name. As our Church prepares to enter its fourth century in Lincolnton, our congregation remains committed to continue the long-standing tradition of Christian service and witness.