Our History

Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church

Established in 1838

November 1835

Rev. S.K. Snead, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, New Albany, IN began preaching in a private home in the neighborhood of the present Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church on alternate Tuesday evenings. He formed a Bible class of young people that met on Sunday afternoons.

September 13, 1836

A committee from First Presbyterian Church purchased three acres of land from James and Sarah Davis for $60.00 for the use and benefit of the Body of Christians called Presbyterians, attached to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, residing in the counties of Clark and Floyd. The land was set apart as a campground and named Mount Tabor in commemoration of the place where our Savior was transfigured. Camp meetings we were held annually until 1843.

1838

A church building was constructed which served as a school during the week and a meeting house on Sundays. This was one of the four earliest schools in the county.

1840

By order of the Presbytery of Salem, thirty-nine members from Second Presbyterian Church, New Albany, IN were organized into a church at Mount Tabor.

1853-1861

A Third Presbyterian church was formed in New Albany, and in 1854 Mount Tabor was dissolved and the two remaining members were transferred to the newly organized Third Church. Dr. Charles Hutchinson, pastor of Third Presbyterian Church, New Albany preached intermittently at Mount Tabor, and regularly in 1862 and 1863. Mount Tabor and Third Church were soon joined as a collegiate church, so designated because members of each session were members of the joint session, and all members belonged to the collegiate church.

1869

The old church building was remodeled and the private school was discontinued because of the establishment of public schools by the State Legislature in 1852.

1869-1889

Laymen, such as James Hains of Third Presbyterian Church and others, led worship services at Mount Tabor.

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 with the stipulation that he remove it.

1906

A community church of 78 members was organized here. The Presbytery dissolved the church and commended its members to Third Church. Dr. Charles H. Kiracofe pastored the church during a part of this time.

Prior to 1908

The first church manse was built by Harry L. Mann. As late as 1927 the Rev. Thomas Tehune of Hutchinson Presbyterian Church (Second and Third Churches combined in 1917) preached at Mount Tabor on Sunday evenings.

December 13, 1914

The present-day Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church was organized when 43 citizens of the community signed a petition asking the Presbytery for the right to do so, and worship services have been continuous since that time. The Rev. H. McCarroll became the stated supply pastor.

1918

The Rev. Ira Holt became the stated supply pastor at Mount Tabor. In 1923 the Rev. David Barnett was called to be the pastor.

1926

Screens were added to the church windows so the bugs would not destroy the mantles on the Coleman gas lamps. Rev. E.P. Downey, a student at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary was the pastor from February to October 1928. In 1930, the Ladies Aid paid for the wiring in the church and the old lamps were sold.

December 1928

Reverend Newland came to fill the pulpit. Lay people led three active Christian Endeavor groups that met just before the worship service on Sunday evenings.

1930

Rev. W.R. Jacoby was the pastor during years of the Great Depression, and the status of the pastor was changed from stated supply to full time in 1934. Rev. Horn was the pastor from 1936-1937.

1937

Rev. A.E. Bailey was called to be the Mount Tabor pastor. In 1940 he helped members and friends of Mount Tabor to dig a full basement under the church building He also did much to improve the cemetery and church grounds, too. Rev. Bailey accepted a call to a church in Kentucky in 1941, but was recalled to Mount Tabor for the remainder of his life. He died in 1952. This was a period of real growth in membership and in a spirit of cooperation for Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church.

1952

Church membership was 234. A new manse was built in 1952-1953 by church members Lawrence and Winifred Payne, contractors. The Rev. Depew became the pastor at Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church in December.

August 1953

Six acres of the Klerner Farm were purchased for $3,000.00 and plans were underway for a new building. The educational building was constructed first. 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.

1955

The Rev. John Hart became the pastor at Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church.

1958

The education unit of a new church building, standing on the present site, was dedicated. It was constructed by Cox & Ettel at a cost of $70,000.00 on the six acres purchased from the Klerner Farm.

1961-1967

Rev. William Hennessey was the pastor who transitioned the church from a more informal church program to a more highly structured one.

1970-1972

Rev. William Barnes served as the pastor. A young Baptist seminarian, Thomas Hill, worked with the young people as the youth pastor.

1974

The Rev. David Downton was installed as pastor and a new sanctuary was built onto the education unit by Don Baldwin, architect and Shepherd & Rogers Construction Company, contractors. The dedication took place on July 8, 1979.

1982

Mrs. Sylvan (Maxine) Payne was elected Moderator of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley, the first from Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church to receive such recognition.

December 13, 1987

Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church became incorporated and adopted by-laws for the corporation.

1989

The Rev. Dr. Nicholas Adams was installed as the Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church Pastor.

August 1991

A children’s daycare ministry, named the Mt. Tabor Wee Care Learning Center, was established at Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church. This community outreach was said to be the longest-running daycare in the City of New Albany.

1995

The Rev. Bob Coleman began serving as Interim Pastor on September 15.

February 1997

The Rev. Jack Cormack was called to be the pastor at Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church. He became actively involved in training Seminary students through the Field Education Program of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Rev. Cormack was the longest serving pastor in Mount Tabor history.

March 2006

Andy Traister was commissioned as Temporary Supply Commissioned Lay Pastor through Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church.

September 2016

The Session called the Rev. Karen McDonald Smith as the Transitional Pastor for Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church.

Through the years, Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church has carried on an unbroken line of service to the Lord and Christian service to the New Albany community and beyond. Surely God has been with this congregation, guiding and strengthening those who gather here through many years of change. It is with faith in God’s providence that we look to the future with hope, celebrating God’s love and giving glory to God.

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