Local church celebrates its 175th anniversary
PADUCAH, KY- Weathering wars, a fire, and a massive flood, the First Presbyterian Church in Paducah is a piece of history. On Sunday, its congregation held a special worship service honoring those who started the church while looking ahead to the future of the church. The church started in October of 1842 when eight people met for worship in a home with James Campbell, a Paducah judge. The group would later discuss the need for a Presbyterian church in he city and later established the church’s first permanent location—the corner of Locust and Court Streets that is now the intersection of 3rd and Kentucky Streets.
The congregation grew to over 400 members which called for the a new building. The church moved to its current location on North 7th street. It’s after this move that the members and the church would go through some of its most challenging years. The church survived World War I and the Great Depression. It’s greatest trial came in January of 1932 when the church was destroyed by a fire. Members were adamant about rebuilding at the same location and nearly two years later, a new building was constructed. In the cornerstone of that building, the church’s motto was inscribed.
“The motto of our church is ‘to know him and make him known’. So our heart is really to be a mission church. It’s to serve not just our members but to really carry that spirit of love and kindness and service into the world.” Reverend Dr. Jenna Goggins said.
Goggins has been pastor of the church for a year. She said the church also endured a flood in 1937 and served as a hospital to 180 patients that had been evacuated from a nearby hospital. Goggins also said the church is expanding and she hopes that it will continue to live out it’s mission through the additions.
“Understand that as important as a building is and we’re excited about that, the real construction is the joining of other people into our church being knitted together as a living congregation. So as important as our building is, really the heart of all that we do is just our members and the community of faith that we’re gathering here.” Goggins said.