FPCW:  The Year in Review - 2021

by Rev. Dr. W. Riley Covin

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For historical perspective,

the article below traces the

church history from its beginnings.



"Church is not something you go to,

it's a family you belong to."



First Presbyterian Church Waynesville began with eight stalwart Presbyterians, who worshipped together and were led from time to time by a missionary circuit preacher during the 1860's.  By 1875, just ten years after the end of the Civil War and with the arrival of a preacher from the Charlotte area, a more organized church was formed as the Waynesville Presbyterian Church.  There were eight charter members and two ruling elders.  As this small congregation endured and grew, they worshipped once a month in the old Methodist Church on Cemetery Hill.  Finally in 1882, now numbering twenty-three, FPC Waynesville moved into its own building -- a white frame church with a bell tower on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets.    During those early years, the church shared a pastor with the Bethel church until 1904, when the growing congregation undertook the building of a new, larger sanctuary.

1882 - Small White Framed Church  

Corner of Main & Walnut Streets

New Sanctuary Building - 1907

Sanctuary Building - 1991

Present Day - First Presbyterian Waynesville

Present Day - Rendering of New Lower Entrance/Parking

In early 1907 the new sanctuary building - complete with red terra cotta roof tiles - was dedicated to the worship of God.  The bell that had occupied the first belfry was placed in the new bell tower, and is in use today.  The addition which includes the church office, a Fellowship Hall, kitchen and classrooms was completed in 1988. 


First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville has survived the post-Civil War era, two world wars and conflicts within the church hierarchy.  The church has seen generations of congregants from youth to old age.   We truly are blessed to be part of such a history.