Happy Anniversary, Second Pres! This year marks our 150th and we are celebrating! Our church was founded on September 4, 1871 and here we are – 150 years later! We can look forward to hearing from members and many others who will share the rich history of Second and God’s faithfulness.
“Serving Christ in Downtown Chattanooga since 1871.” This phrase is on our small pamphlet, letterhead, and publications. It says a lot about us. We are serving. Any visitor to the church building this month was witness to that.
Boxes of food and clothing, a tree with scarves and hats, a changing table full of baby blankets gave witness to this congregation’s serving. In all of that giving,
it is Christ we serve. A stained-glass window in our chapel memorializes one who gave her life to His service.
We are here in downtown Chattanooga…and have been for a long time! We have seen this area grow and change, including the location of our own church. People and structures and streets have come and gone. Yet downtown is still our community. The need to be a presence and have an active outreach continues.
In 1871, Ulysses S. Grant was President. Fire burned most of Chicago. The United States was recovering from the Civil War. People were displaced, cities were destroyed, an economy was unstable, racial tensions were prevalent despite emancipation. Second Presbyterian was founded amidst all these events. Fourteen charter members! Hope – in spite of difficult circumstances and uncertainty – was made real.
This is our legacy. This is what we will build on. Service to Christ in downtown Chattanooga until 2171! Let us be about equipping the saints for the work of ministry, asking “When did we see you?” And let us develop this legacy for generations to come.