Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church
Date Established: 1838
In November of 1835, the Rev. S.K. Snead, pastor, First Presbyterian Church of New Albany, IN began preaching in a private home in the neighborhood of the present Mt. Tabor church on alternate Tuesday evenings. He formed a Bible class of young people that met on Sunday afternoons. On September 13, 1836, a committee from First Presbyterian Church purchased three acres of land from James and Sarah Davis for $60.00 to be set apart as a campground and named Mt. Tabor in commemoration of the place where our Saviour was transfigured. In 1838, a church building was constructed which served as a school during the week and a meeting house on Sundays. Dr. Charles Hutchinson, pastor of Third Presbyterian Church in New Albany preached intermittently at Mt. Tabor from 1853 to 1861 and regularly twice monthly in 1862 and 1863. In 1869, the church building was remodeled and school was discontinued here because of the establishment of public schools by the state Legislature in 1852. For the next 20 years, laymen such as James Hains of Third Presbyterian Church and others led worship services at Mt. Tabor. In 1893, a new church building was constructed by architect Thomas Gifford and contractors Jacob and Oliver Emery at a cost of $2165.00. The old church building was sold to John S. Mann for $30.00. The first church manse was built just prior to 1908 by Harry L. Mann. Dr. Charles H. Kiracofe pastored at Mt. Tabor part time and as late as 1927 the Rev. Thomas Tehune of Hutchinson Presbyterian Church (Second and Third churches combined in 1917) preached at Mt. Tabor on Sunday evenings.
Present day Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church was organized on December 13, 1914 when 43 citizens of the community signed a petition asking the Presbytery for the right to do so. The Rev. H. McCarroll became the pastor at that time. In 1926, screens were added to the church windows so the bugs would not destroy the mantles on the Coleman gas lamps. In 1930, the Ladies Aid paid on the wiring for the church and the old lamps were sold. A full basement was dug and built under the church building in 1940 with the leadership of Rev. A. E. Bailey and members and friends of Mt. Tabor. Church membership by January 1952 was 234 members A new manse was built in 1952-1953 by church members Lawrence and Winifred Payne. The Rev. Depew became pastor at Mt. Tabor in 1952 and in August 1953, six acres of the Klerner Farm were purchased for $3,000.00 and plans were in the making for a new building. A church organ was purchased for $2,500.00 and installed as a memorial to the Rev. A. E. Bailey who died May 12, 1952. The Rev. John Hart became pastor in 1955 and an educational unit of a new church building was constructed by Cox & Ettel at a cost of $70,000.00 in 1958 on the six acres purchased from the Klerner Farm.
The Rev. David Downton was installed as pastor in 1974 and a new sanctuary was built onto the educational unit in 1978 by Don Baldwin, architect and Shepherd & Rogers, contractors. The Rev. Dr. Nicholas Adams was installed in 1989 and a children's daycare, named the Mt. Tabor Wee Care Learning Center, was established at Mt. Tabor in August 1991. This community outreach is the longest-running daycare in the City of New Albany. The Rev. Jack Cormack was installed in 1997 at Mt. Tabor and became actively involved in training Seminary students thru the Field Education Project of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. Rev. Cormack is the longest serving pastor in Mt. Tabor history.
Throughout the past 99 years, Mt. Tabor Church has carried on an unbroken line of service to the Lord. In this Bicentennial year for New Albany, Mt. Tabor celebrates 175 years of Christian service to the community and beyond. As we look back on the history of our church, perhaps this quote summarizes it all: "The Heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future." This heritage of freedom, so intangible, yet so precious, is ours to preserve. Upon all of us rests that responsibility.