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        HISTORY OF MORROW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

                 

 

 In 1964, Atlanta Presbytery envisioned a Presbyterian Church on the Southside of Atlanta. Fifty charter members began meeting in its first home on Lee Street on January 5, 1964. The first Sunday School was held in March.  On April 5, 1964, the Morrow Presbyterian Church was declared a duly constituted congregation of the Presbyterian Church under Atlanta Presbytery. The first Session was elected and met on April 12th, and the Rev. Frank C. Havlicek was installed as the first Pastor on  May 10th.

The congregation soon outgrew its home on Lee Street and the 108 members began planning for a new church building in October, 1965.  Ground was broken in April 1968, and the first service was held in the new facilities at 6171 Huie Drive on February 23, 1969.

Rev. Havlicek accepted a call to a church in Panama City. The Rev. Thomas Dews, of Charleston, West Virginia, accepted the call to be our new Pastor and was installed May 3, 1970. The Sunday School soon began to expand. New classes were formed creating a need for extensive remodeling.    Several Boy and Girl Scout Troops were sponsored by the church and a Young-at-Heart group (for Senior Adults) was organized.  Due to increased membership, an enlarged sanctuary, a multi-purpose room, and more classrooms were soon required. The first Sunday in the new facilities was April 10, 1977.  In April, 1982 Rev. Dews retired from the Pastorate later becoming Pastor Emeritus.

On March 13, 1983, the Rev. Dr. Jerry Tabler preached his first sermon and was duly installed as Pastor on May 22nd.  The Fred Veldsma Memorial Chimes were dedicated in 1985. On June 7, 1987, we had our first Mortgage-Burning Ceremony during the morning worship service.

The Rev. James E. McNaull was called to be Pastor of the church and preached his first sermon on November 19, 1989.  He was installed on March 25, 1990.  Under his leadership, the church began to flourish.  All areas of the church grew.  There was exceptional growth in the area of youth ministry and they participated each summer in Fun in the Son and Great Escape Youth Conferences and Son Servants missions program in Jamaica. 

In 1993 the congregation planned for an addition and renovation to the present facilities.  “A Brick and A Prayer” Building Campaign to finance this project was begun in June.  On December 12, 1993, ground was broken for an expansion which included an enlarged sanctuary, six new classrooms, additional office space, and enlarged kitchen. One of the special highlights was the addition of a bell tower and steeple.  We dedicated these new facilities on October 2, 1994 in conjunction with the celebration of the 30 year anniversary of the church.

 In October 1998, Rev. McNaull accepted a call to a church in Texas.  After a year-long search, Rev. Dr. Earl Bland from Covington, Virginia, accepted the call to become our pastor.  Dr. Bland preached his first sermon on October 10, 1999 and was installed on November 7, 1999.

In June 2001 the Morrow Presbyterian Church Food Pantry opened to the community.  In January 2002, a bell was placed in the bell tower in memory of Dr. Bland’s grandfather and the installation of the bell was provided by Roxie Romine in memory of her husband, Ernie.

In October 2003, the sanctuary and narthex were updated with paint and new carpet.  In November 2003, a cross was placed on the steeple by Fred & Helen Bell in memory of Helen’s sister.

In April 2006, Dr. Bland received a call to a church in Lawrenceville, Georgia.  The congregation was blessed to have Rev. Dr. Earl Stewart serve as our interim pastor leading us to embrace the “Purpose-Driven” church.

In May 2008, Rev. Dr. John Callahan Jr. was called from Saxonburg, Pennsylvania to be our pastor and continues his ministry with us today. Under his leadership, the church is growing and we have expanded our outreach to the community through our continually growing “Helping Hands” Food Pantry.  We have also continued our participation in the annual renewal services with Morrow First United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Morrow.


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