Today marks the 181st anniversary of the founding of First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City.
The church has its beginnings in the protracted meetings that once played a vital role in the religious and social life of Southern protestants. Believers from various denominations, some traveling many miles on shabby, bone-jarring roads, gathered to pitch camp and enjoy several days of fellowship, fine cooking, and the preaching of God’s word.
In late summer 1841, the kind Methodists of Benton, Mississippi hosted one such meeting. Gathering with them was a handful of Presbyterians from Yazoo City, who organized Yazoo Church on August 15, 1841. The church’s name was changed in 1843 to First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City.
The Rev. Richmond McInnis was called as the church’s founding pastor and would stay until 1851.
Among the six charter members was Mrs. Sophia T. Whitman. Her descendant, Sam B. Olden, remained a member of the church throughout his life until his death last Friday at age 103.
I am grateful to serve as the 18th pastor of a church that sings in worship,
Great is the Lord and greatly praised,
Greatness which none can comprehend.
Age unto age will tell your deeds,
Wonders and mighty acts commend.*
Source: A Brief History of The First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City, Mississippi (1841-1991).
* From our Psalter, John Hatton’s rendering of Psalm 145:3-4.