First Presbyterian Church of Waskom, Texas is the oldest church in the area, described in historical records as “Waskom’s first house of worship.”
The original church was created on May 24, 1888, with a manse (parsonage) added in 1920. The existing House of worship was re-built and re-dedicated to the Lord in 1930.
First Presbyterian Church was originally founded by five community members, along with men and women of the clergy:
- Rev. H.D. Little, D.D.
- Rev. H. K. Marshall, D.D.
- Dr. M.H. Jones
- Ruling Elder Mrs. E.J. Jones
- W.L. Grimes
- Mrs. E. L. Grimes
- Mrs. Myra Rhodes
Col. John M. Waskom and John Furrh were instrumental in establishing the First Presbyterian Church. Col. Waskom donated the lot on which Waskom’s first house of worship was built. John Furrh received much credit for the success of the project.
The first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Rev. J.N. Cunningham, served until he went home to be with our Heavenly Father in 1897.
The rich history of the First Presbyterian Church is inextricably intertwined with the history of Waskom itself.
The community was founded about 1850 as Powell Town, named after Jonathan S. Powell, who owned a land grant in the area. It had a post office as Powellton from 1850 to 1872. In 1872, the name was changed to Waskom Station and in 1881 – to Waskom, in honor of J. M. Waskom, a director of the Southern Pacific Railroad who was instrumental in bringing the railroad to the area.
From Badlands – to Godlands
The countryside is known as a Gateway to Texas and as a former Badlands, before being cleared of desperados by Texas Rangers.
In 1920, a five room brick building, an annex was built that has served as a children’s ministry, pastor’s office and Sunday School room. In 2016, this facility provides the Food and Clothing Ministries for the First Presbyterian Church that serves the growing needs of the community.
The church celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1929. The first church service in the newly re-built sanctuary took place on March 29, 1930. The First Presbyterian Church was debt free in 1940, and re-dedicated to the Lord in 1947, with an all-day service and celebration.
During WWI, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam, men and women, members from the church congregation served God and their country in the military service.
The First Presbyterian Church list of pastors includes:
- Rev. J.N. Cunningham
- Dr. W.K. Marshall
- Rev. H.S. Little
- Rev. S.W. Patterson
- Rev. Gilmore J. Smith
- Rev. Hudson
- Warner Riggs
- Rev. J. Gilmore Smith (1900 – 1902)
- Rev. W.K. Johnston (1902 – 1904)
- Rev. J.H. Bellott (1904-1906)
- Rev. Keach (1906-1907)
- Franklin Henderson (1908-1909)
- Rev. George C. Moore (1909-1911)
- Rev. R. Miller (1911-1912)
- Conway T. Wharton (1912-1914)
- Rev. Dr. Eugene W. Laurin (1914-1916)
- Rev. W.C. Hagan (1916-1919)
- Rev. J.N. Cunningham (1919-1929)
- Rev. Dr. J.C. Hines (1930-1941)
- Rev. Edward Bayless (1941-1942)
- Pastor Eugene G. Culley (1942-1944)
- Rev. Wilson Keenan (1947-1949)
- Rev. James Hardin (1950-1953)
- Rev. Joe Cooper (1955-1956)
- Rev. Dr. Joe Ramsey (1956-1959)
- Rev. Martin L. Baker (1959-1967)
- George H. Walker (1968-1970)
- James D. Bell (1972-1973)
- Fleet G. Cook (1977)
- Eugen McLaurin
- Henry Pollard
- James Vincent (1988-1990)
- Pastor Chris Keepe (1992-1995)
- Mike Davis (1996)
- Jonathan Smith (1997-1998)
- Pastor W. T. Permenter (2000-2006)
- Pastor Ed Bowman (2006-2012)
- T.J. Rose (2012)
- Pastor Gary Miller (2013)
- Pastor Jim Brackman (current)
In 2013, First Presbyterian Church celebrated its 125th anniversary.
Historically, Waskom, Texas has had many churches and the First Presbyterian Church remains faithfully, standing upon the Word of God, with a legacy to serve the Lord and the people from the area with a servant’s heart of Christ. From ministering to those in need, to those in bondage by sin, addictions, to be set free and live a life in Christ, as part of your destiny, to repent, then forgiven, redeemed, made new and worthy, in Jesus Christ’s name. The Word of God is alive, full of power and might.
“And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
2 Samuel 7:16
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”