First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church was built in 1910 and is the only church in Valdosta designed in the Greek Revival.
Backstory and Context
Presbyterians arrived in Valdosta during the Civil War. They had arrived from Midway, Georgia, where they settled in the 1700s. The congregation was founded on December 3, 1864. The first church building was constructed the next year. It is unclear when the second church was built but construction of the third and current one began 1907.
In addition to architecture, the church also has connections to the city's social history. Two members, James O. Varnedoe and Judge J.G. Cranford both served as mayor. Cranford's wife and a local African American educator in, Rev. James L. Lomax, established an integrated school called Daily Vacation Bible School at the church in 1927, which was integral in establishing stable race relations in Valdosta. Lomax was an elementary and high school principal. As a prominent local figure, he played an important role in the religious, civic, education, and fraternal life of the city's African American community.
"Our History." First Presbyterian Church. Accessed December 1, 2020. http://firstpresvaldosta.org/history.
Wilson-Martin, Catherine. "First Presbyterian Church." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. November 2, 1987. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/87001912_text.
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Valdosta_GA_1st_Presby_Church01.jpg