Historic Markers Across Tennessee

First Presbyterian Church

Marker ID: THC 2A 100
Location: on McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN
County: Hamilton
Coordinates: N 35° 2.764    W 085° 18.134
  35.04606666    -85.30223333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


This church, founded June 21, 1840, by missionaries to the Cherokee Indians from the brainerd Mission and others, is Chattanooga's oldest with record of its founding date. During the Civil War, its building at 7th and Market streets was shelled by the Union Army and used as a hospital. During that time, the Reverend Thomas H. McCallie, pastor, ministered from his home one block west of here. Completed in 1910, this church building at the church's fifth location was designed by the noted New York firm of McKim, Mead, and White. (continued)

In 1981, the Medical Arts building, erected in 1928, was added as a part of the church. This church began Chattanooga's first Sunday School, began many other Presbyterian churches in the area, and on January 17, 1926, while Dr. Joseph G. Venable was pastor, began a Sunday radio broadcast, among the longest running radio broadcasts in the United States. Three pastors- Dr. Jonathan W. Bachman, Dr. James L. Fowle, and Ben Haden - served over 120 years.

Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission.