Our History

Presbyterians began worshiping in Marianna in the early 1830’s while Florida was still a territory. In 1835, the First Presbyterian Church was organized by nine women, among whom were Mrs. George Q. Tillinghast; her sister, Mrs. Jordan; Mrs. Kilbee; Mrs. Elizabeth Pope Tanner; and two other sisters, the Misses Thomas; and one man, Captain Bryan Erwin, the first ruling elder. It is recorded that Mr. Erwin came to Jackson County from Scotland Neque, North Carolina.
The first church constructed by the Presbyterians was a wood frame structure built in 1840 one block north of the present church on the southeast corner of Jefferson and Broad Streets. The second sanctuary was constructed on the present site in 1898 and was dismantled to make way for the present grey brick sanctuary built in 1923. One of the first beloved ministers was the Rev. Mr. N.P. Quarterman who was stated supply for 16 years. Mr. Quarterman was minister of the Quincy First Presbyterian Church, and faithfully came to the Marianna church once a month beginning about 1883.
In 1899 it was decided that the Marianna church needed a minister who could conduct more frequent services. The Rev. Mr. W.G. Wallace was called to conduct worship services twice a month. He served as stated supply for two years. Following the Rev. Wallace were Rev. Mr. J.W. Lafferty (1901-1906) and Rev. Mr. Clyde Johnson (1906-1913). With increasing membership the Marianna church called the next pastors, the Rev. Mr. J. Marion Stafford (1913-1915), and the Rev. J.W. Roseborough, Jr. (1916-1922) to conduct services on three Sundays each month.
During the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. B.O. Shannon, the first full time minister (1922-1924), the present church building was erected in February 1923. With all outstanding debts paid the sanctuary was dedicated at the Spring Meeting of Presbytery in April 1924. The church was subsequently served by the Rev. Mr. H.R. Foster (1925-1927), the Rev. E. E. Grimshaw (1927-1928), the Rev. A.C. Windham (1929-1933), the Rev. C.B. Toombs (1933-1940), and the Rev. Moody Holmes (1940-1941).
During the pastorate of the Rev. Marion A. DuRant (1942-1971), the Daffin Chapel and educational building were added in 1950. During the pastorate of the Rev. James Lowry (April 1971 to August 1976) the present manse was constructed. A remodeling and redecoration program was completed in 1979 during the pastorate of the Rev. William Barron (March 1977-March 1981). During the pastorate of the Rev. R. Proctor Chambless, Jr. (July 1982-August 1990) Stanley Littleton began his service as our church organist on the second Sunday of September in 1984. The Rev. Preston S. Shealy served from June 1992 through August 1996, and the Rev. Dr. Buran F. Phillips from August 1997 through December 2002. The Rev. Dr. Huw Christopher began his pastorate on September 1, 2004. In July 2012, he finished a long standing career of service to the Lord at this church and has now retired to California to be closer to his son & daughter-in-law. His legacy will live on with all he touched in his ministry to us all and to the Lord.