|More New England than Southern in appearance, this tall-spired little church has served the town of Washington for over 150 years, having been erected in 1825. The lot was donated by Dr. Joel Abbott who owned the adjoining property. Abbott and his neighbor did not live peaceably so close together, so the deed to the church provided for a street between the neighbor's yard and the church.
The Washington Presbyterian Church was organized in 1790 by Rev. John Springer, the first Presbyterian minister to be ordained in the state of Georgia. This ordination took place under a poplar tree on land belonging to the Gilberts. The tree is gone, but a stone, placed by Dr. A. W. Simpson Sr., marks the place on Poplar Drive.
The building has been changed only to add a vestibule and the Sunday School annex. The sanctuary remains virtually untouched. Visitors are entranced with the balustrated choir loft in the rear, the original oil lamps (now wired), the handblown window panes and the large empire sofa so completely at home in the pulpit.
Dr. Robert Simpson gave the Hook and Hastings organ which was installed in 1888 and has been in constant service since that time.
The marble tablets on the walls of the sanctuary recall some of the illustrious men who have served this church. The original building had two front doors and the first pastor, Rev. Alexander Webster, was buried between them. In 1836, when the vestibule and porch were added, the slabe from Mr. Webster's grave was raised to the vestibule.
Woodrow Wilson attended services here when his father came from Augusta to preach during the time the church was without a pastor.
206 E. Robert Toombs Ave.
Washington, Georgia 30673