First Presbyterian Church of Greer was organized as Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church on September 5, 1841. It was located on land given by Hugh Bailey near Bailey’s Crossroads which is southeast of the present Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Dr. E.T. Buist from Nazareth Presbyterian Church was the first pastor. Some families came from Nazareth to be a part of the Mt. Tabor congregation. Hugh Bailey, John Thomas Smith, Nathaniel Smith, and James Kinnier Dickson were the first Elders elected. Descendants of these early members have been active in this church for many years. John Thomas Smith has had eight generations of descendents who continue to serve faithfully in this church.
In 1880, the building was moved two miles to its present site on land given by W.T. Shumate. It was rolled to the site on logs pulled by 40 mules! In 1910 the name was changed to Greer’s Presbyterian Church, located in Greer’s Station. In 1923, a new building was built and the first pipe organ in town was installed. When the Depression of 1931-32 hit, the bank called for the remainder of the building loan to be paid. A lawsuit was filed against six church members for the loan. The case went all the way to the S.C. State Supreme Court and the bank won. The church members rallied behind a second loan, and all worked to pay it off in one year!
In 1937, First Presbyterian Church of Greer filed Articles of Incorporation with the state. This church made state history being the first church to be incorporated to protect individual members. Greer First Presbyterian has always been a church that emphasized missions and education. This is still true today. The well-educated ministers who preach God’s word, the strong Christian Education program, and the many mission opportunities all bear witness to the love of Jesus Christ here.
This church has deep roots, but it continually welcomes new members who bring a rich and exciting energy. It takes both the old and the new to be the church that God calls us to be. We are thankful to God for the people of faith throughout our history who have kept this church going and growing and we are thankful for those of faith that will come in the future.
If interested, A People and Their Faith, by Johanna DuBose Blackwell, chronicles the history of our church and is available in the church office.