Our History

Brief History of Presbyterianism

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“Presbyterians were among the earliest Reformed immigrants to America. They settled up and down the East Coast, and began to push westward into the American wilderness, founding congregations as early as the 1630s. In 1706, seven Presbyterian ministers formed the first Presbyterian presbytery in the New World. The clergy assumed the freedom to organize and the right to worship, preach, teach, and administer the sacraments. Growing population and immigration prompted the presbytery to organize a synod in 1717, with four constituent presbyteries....Presbyterianism is the name given to one of the groups of ecclesiastical bodies that represent the features of Protestantism emphasized by French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.”

Read more at https://www.history.pcusa.org/history-online/

The Settling of Lockhart

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“Lockhart, county seat of Caldwell County, is at the intersection of U. S. Highway 183 and State Highway 142, thirty miles southeast of Austin. It was named for Byrd Lockhart, who in 1831 received the land that later became the Lockhart townsite as partial payment for his surveying work for the Mexican government. During the 1830s settlement in the area was limited by the threat of Indian raids, but after the battle of Plum Creek  in 1840, more settlers began to arrive. By the mid-1840s, several families had made their home near Lockhart Springs, and when Caldwell County was established in 1848, the new town of Lockhart became the county seat. The Plum Creek post office, which had served the area since the previous year, was transferred to Lockhart. Lockhart was incorporated in 1852 with a mayor-council government.” 

Read more at https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfl07

Building FPC Lockhart

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“In the days when tuning forks helped hymns off to a melodious start, the. Rev. H. M. Charlot and his family boarded their covered wagon in Indiana and journeyed to Texas. The result of that trip was the founding of the [church]. Maybe the Charlots were attracted by the springs of the land, maybe by the live oak trees, but in ay case they decided to settle in the struggling little village. Before long Rev. Charlot discovered nine other Presbyterians in town, and on the fourth Sunday in June 1849, he organized them into a church....The little congregation was on its way, but there was the problem of where to meet since the town claimed no church building. The dilemma was solved by the Masonic fraternity, which owned a two-story lodge hall and rented the lower floor to the town’s religious groups....Under the leadership of Rev. Robert McCurdy, the church leaders decided to build. A church more in keeping with the congregation’s size, and so the present brick structure was erected in 1914.” From the Lockhart Post-Register, 6/24/1999

Building Development

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In 1856, a “concrete structure was completed on a lot donated by J. T. Storey...The first building cost $737 to erect...The winds of change dealt the congregation a blow on January 26, 1979, when the church building was completely destroyed by a cyclone...only the pulpit remained untouched, with a Bible and two kerosene lamps on either side...Members of the Christian and Episcopal churches shared their houses of worship with the Presbyterians until a new church could be built the following year.” Later, the growing church decided to “build a church more in keeping with the congregation’s size, and so the present brick structure was erected in 1914....[There were additions] to the church completed in 1960, to house classrooms and offices; a new ramp and glass entry installed in 1984; and the. 1992 purchase of the Glosserman showroom which has been remodeled and dedicated as the Presbyterian Life Center. This 5500-square foot building at. 919 N. Commerce includes a 2700-square-foot air conditioned recreation area for youth [or other] activities.” From the Lockhart Post-Register, 6/24/1999

Former Pastors

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1849-1950 Rev. H. M. Charlot

1850-? Rev. William M. Baker

1853-1857 Rev. W. Addison Smith

1859-? Rev. James Wallis

1859-1860 Rev. George K. Scott

1862-1865 Rev. M. W. McFeatters

1866-? Rev. J. McMurray

1871-1876 Rev. W. W. C. Kelly

1877-1882 Rev. W. L. Kennedy

1882-1886 Rev. A. H. P. McCurdy 

1886-1887 Rev. Junius B. French

1887-1888 Rev. J. R. Howerton

1889-1892 Rev. S. J. McMurray

1893-1894 Rev. J. G. Cunningham

1894-1908 Rev. J. M. Purcell

1909-1911 Rev. James Drummond

1911-1923 Rev. R. A. McCurdy

1924-1926 Rev. James Waite

1928-1954 Rev. Dr. Samuel Joekel

1955-1957 Rev. A. S. Tippit 

1958-1959 Rev. Robert A. Dickey

1960-1976 Rev. R. Louis Solomon

1977-1980 Rev. William T. Hamilton 

1981-1987 Rev. Conway T. Wharton, Jr. 

1989- Rev. Dr. John T. Bozarth

Historical & Future Significance

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“FPC Lockhart is one of the oldest churches in Texas, having been organized in 1849, in the same decade as: 1) Lockhart became a town, 2)Caldwell was established as a county, and 3) Texas became part of the United States. The church buildings were envisioned, financed, and constructed three times by members which included the pioneer families of the region. FPC continues to serve descendants of those families as well as members and visitors [and] continues the heritage of making their” community a priority as the church participates in “several projects locally such as helping furnish back-to-school shoes for local children and providing the Presbyterian Life Center for community activities. They also support mission projects worldwide.” Excerpt from History of First Presbyterian Church of Lockhart, TX, by Donnelly Looger, 9/1/2010