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Springfield Presbyterian celebrates history with 220th anniversary

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By Jimmie Earls

Springfield Presbyterian Church celebrated its 220th anniversary on Nov. 16. The church is one of the oldest churches in the area, being founded in 1788 by a colony of Scotch-Irish pioneers who also played a role in the founding of Washington County.

The roots of the church date back to the missionary work of Rev. Terah Templin, who came to Kentucky before 1781 and acquired 600 acres of land about five miles north of Springfield. He is believed to have given the first sermon ever delivered in Kentucky.

The church has been at its present location since 1827, although the building was razed a few times over the next few years due to fire and an increase in membership. The current building has been standing since 1888 with the bell tower from 1836 still attached.

“The challenge of this church is to not look at the past as our best days being behind us,” said Rev. Clay S. Stevens, the church’s pastor since 1992. “It’s nice to have a historic building, but it’s more important to focus on worship.”

It’s an old church steeped in area history. Many families who attend the church can trace their families back to the formation of the church.

In 2000, Springfield Presbyterian Church became the fourth Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to become part of the Confessing Church Movement.

“That’s a public declaration saying that we stand for the authority of the scripture, the unique worship of Jesus Christ and that marriage is a gift from God between a man and a woman,” Stevens added.

The church has plans to expand, having acquired the adjacent Cunningham building and is slowly renovating the property for fellowship purposes.

While the church has 220 years of history to look back on, it’s clear that Stevens is focused on the needs of future generations of believers and what the next 220 years has to offer.