Members of Newnan Presbyterian Church have a new facet to their historic church – one dedicated on a recent Sunday.
On April 9, members of the church gathered for the much-anticipated celebration and dedication of their recently-completed Cornerstone Project. The $900,000 project involved securing and shoring up the foundation of the existing sanctuary building, building a handicapped accessible ramp from the parking lot to the sanctuary and creating a space for a courtyard and prayer garden.
The morning began with member Brady Taylor playing “Highland Cathedral” on bagpipes. Susan Haynes, interim pastor, welcomed those gathered. Micah Nutter Dowling, associate pastor, read from Ephesians 2.
“Friends, it is with joy that we gather to dedicate this Cornerstone Project to the glory of God, to the strengthening of God’s reign in this community, and to serve as a place of welcome and hospitality to all who come this way,” Haynes said.
“We are grateful for this addition to NPC so the life of our congregation may be enhanced, deepened, and enriched and all in our community will find this a space of peace and a place for communion with God and one another,” she said.
The ribbon cutting took place at the entrance of the ramp. Those participating in the ribbon cutting were: Frances Bowie, one of the longest tenured members of Newnan Presbyterian Church; Scott Colomb, landscape architect; John Carey, project manager, Headley Construction; Neal Davis, NPC construction manager; and Haynes.
Once the ribbon was cut, members of the congregation processed up the ramp into the sanctuary waving palm branches for their Palm Sunday worship service. Following the worship service, members gathered in the courtyard for a reception.
The second phase of the project involves the planting of trees and shrubs in the courtyard. These plantings will include Japanese snowbell trees, European hornbeam trees, crepe myrtles and Japanese maples. Benches for people to sit and enjoy the beauty of the courtyard and garden, are also a part of the second phase.
Church members who served on the Cornerstone Project Design Team and Construction Team were: Tim Bowyer, Neal Davis, Skin Edge IV, John Gray, Dr. Tom Moynahan, Lissa Rand, Frank Reece and Kim Wise.
Moynahan spoke prior to the ribbon cutting, saying the Cornerstone Project began as a dream seven years ago as the church looked for ways to make their buildings more accessible and provide an outdoor space for worship and prayer.
Newnan Presbyterian Church has a long history. In 1828, the church began with 15 members located in the little town of Bullsboro, which was near the northeast intersection of Bullsboro Drive and Farmer Industrial Boulevard. The first members met in a log cabin.
In 1834, as Newnan grew and Bullsboro faded back into the forest, the church moved to a small building on the corner of Jackson and Clark Streets. The Presbyterian Cemetery was across the street from this structure.
In 1845, the “new church” was built on Jackson Street, where McKoon Funeral Home is now located. During the Civil War, a number of homes and buildings served as hospitals for wounded soldiers. The downtown churches, including Newnan Presbyterian, were used for that purpose.
In 1873, the church moved to its current location on the corner of Salbide and Greenville Streets. In June 1926, the current sanctuary was built and dedicated.