The services will be led by former pastor, the Rev. Pete Paulsen of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Marietta, and Elder Ben Atha of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Acworth. Attendees will be welcomed by the sound of bagpipes, which will also be played during dinner on the grounds immediately following worship.
Former members and friends of the church are invited to attend the worship service starting at 11 a.m. and to stay for lunch. The congregation of Rockmart Presbyterian Church will be special guests.
Silver Creek Presbyterian Church was organized on Aug. 31, 1875, with fourteen charter members. At that time, E.R. Lumpkin and R.H. Porter were elected, ordained and installed as ruling elders. In 1875 the Rev. S.E. Axson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Rome, often filled the pulpit until the first full time minister was called.
Axson’s daughter, Ellen, married Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States. Church lore has it that Wilson and Ellen Axson courted on the grounds of Silver Creek Presbyterian Church.
The exact date of the original building of the church is uncertain. The record at the courthouse of the date has been obscured. Officials do know that a church was built by Larkin Barnett soon after he acquired the land as a result of the Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832. Family stories tell of his building the church because his wife was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church and they had no house of worship.
Also of note, on Aug. 12, 1861. Company G, 22nd Georgia Regiment, Wright Brigade, Mahonse Division, Hill Corps of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was formed, then later marched away from the grounds of Silver Creek Church. A monument commemorating this occasion is located at the rear of the church.
In a deed dated Dec. 30, 1875, C.P. Whitehead and his wife Georgia Ann Whitehead (granddaughter of Barnett) gave the land, “the site of the old Primitive Church,” to elders Lumpkin and Porter. It is not known if there was a building still on the property.
According to the Historical Foundation, located in Montreat, N.C., the church was dedicated on Sunday, Sept. 29, 1878. The first minister, the Rev. J.E. Jones, served the church from 1876 to 1886.
During this time, Silver Creek area was comprised of farms and gristmills, since the Massachusetts Mills in Georgia had not set up business in Lindale. Silver Creek Presbyterian Church was the only house of worship in that part of the county. Baptists and Methodists used the church often.
The building itself remained pretty much the same until 1950, when it was turned from a southerly direction to the east. The two-story annex was added and the sanctuary was refurbished. On Oct. 1, 1950 — the 75th anniversary — the new church was dedicated at a homecoming celebration.
In 1982 Silver Creek Presbyterian Church’s representative to Cherokee Presbytery voted, along with a majority of those attending, to re-unite with the northern Presbyterian Church to form the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
Since 1875 Silver Creek Presbyterian Church has been an integral part of the community. In addition to sponsoring a Cub Scout Pack and a Boy Scout Troop there is also an active engagement with area schools. Each year Thanksgiving food boxes are made available to families who need them. At Christmas, families are “adopted” and gifts provided to make the holiday more festive.
Throughout the year money is provided so students can buy books. A Peacemaking Award is given at one of the primary schools and mentors serve the school population. The congregation has made a renewed commitment to remove any barriers that would keep a person from finding a home at the Silver Creek Presbyterian Church and to make all visitors feel welcome when they attend the worship of God with them on any Sunday, but especially on Homecoming Sunday.