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Gatesville was a rapidly growing frontier town of about one thousand inhabitants when the First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1885. Outstanding Presbyterian evangelists were instrumental in organizing many churches in the vast area that was then included in the Central Texas Presbytery. Gatesville remained a part of it until 1972, when it became part of the Presbytery of the Trinity and Presbytery of the Covenant. In 1987 it became a part of the Grace Presbytery.
Clippings from the "Christian Observer" in 1885 and 1887 give accounts of the progress of the church. They state that the church organized in March of 1885 with sixteen members and they were concerned considerably about finding a suitable place to meet. The little band of Presbyterians bought a lot at a cost of $150.00, and built a neat church, ceiled and painted it, bought an organ, stove, a marble-top table, and put blinds to the windows, costing forty dollars.
The present site of the First Presbyterian Church was purchased in 1899. The J. C. Chrisman "cow lot" on Main Street and his home on Leon Street were purchased and the church was moved to this location.
At the turn of the century the church membership numbered seventy-two. The first Vacation Bible School in Gatesville was held at the First Presbyterian Church in 1929. On March 10, 1935, the church celebrated its 50th anniversary with a pageant depicting many interesting events in its history. In 1950 it was decided that a new building should be constructed. It was a happy occasion when, on March 2, 1952, the congregation celebrated its 67th anniversary in the new church.
On April 28, 1985, the church celebrated its 100th anniversary. The centennial year was an exciting year for the congregation with all of the special activities and work that went on in preparation for the celebration. In 1986, a fund drive was initiated to build a church annex, that would include needed Sunday School rooms and kitchen and dining facilities.
The membership numbers of the church have never been large, but throughout its history it has remained a loyal, devout, and close-knit family.
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