150 years of faith

First Presbyterian Church of Currie celebrates 150 years

By Tara Brandl

Church pews full of people on Sunday morning is not an uncommon sight, but on this particular Sunday, the pews at First Presbyterian Church of Currie held many more people than normal.

About 50 parishioners, former pastors and friends from as far as Topeka, KS, filled the pews this past Sunday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first church in Murray County.

The church, originally known as Lake Shetek Church, began on Sept. 3, 1871, in a grove at the outlet of Lake Shetek. Rev. Ransom Waite of Ghent was the first pastor, and the church began with six charter members, with services in the grove at the outlet in log cabins until 1873.

The first church building was constructed on two lots in the village known as Shetek on land donated by Mr. & Mrs. Neil Currie, who built the first general store and grist mill. The building was 20’x 30’ and cost $900 to build.

Eventually, the village name was changed to Currie, a result of the generosity of the Currie family. The congregation grew as the village of Currie grew.

Later, the church’s ladies aid built a manse next to the church and painted both buildings with the help of the youth group. The ladies aid helped the church flourish through fellowship dinners, box socials, bake sales, soup suppers and bazaars. The ladies aid and memorial gifts provided most of the church furnishings.

The name of the church was changed to the First Presbyterian Church in 1907 and was incorporated in 1928. In 1929, the church was moved to the back lot. Volunteers dug a basement, put in new flooring, stained glass windows and a furnace room. In 1953, restrooms were added.

The congregation continued to grow and most pews were filled on Sundays. The church hosted bible studies for men and women along with Sunday School and youth group.

Slowly, the number of parishioners declined and First Presbyterian was no longer able to afford a full time pastor. The church shared a pastor with Westbrook for a time and then Tracy.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.