First Presbyterian Church
The town of Cross Plains was already in existence in 1847 when Captain
Edward White purchased land and laid out a city, to which he gave his
mother’s maiden name – Dalton.
On the triangular lot where five roads intersected stood a small frame
building known as the Town House. This building was not only used for town
meetings, but also for worship by many groups, including Presbyterians,
Baptists and Methodists. During 1847 the Baptists and Methodists purchased
other properties and began building separate churches.
The Presbyterians purchased the Town Hall and became the first organized
church within the city. The organizational meeting was held on October 31,
1847. The first members consisted of five men, six women and one young boy.
The original frame building was destroyed by Union soldiers before they
withdrew from Dalton at the close of the Civil War. In 1868 a small red
brick building was erected with most of the labor being furnished by the
church members; a steeple was added in 1893.
During 1913, with a membership of over 225, the single room sanctuary was
veneered over with white brick, the steeple removed, and education space
added. The building remained essentially unchanged until 1954, when the
sanctuary was again remodeled, an education wing added, and a chapel
constructed. In 1972 a new contemporary sanctuary was constructed and the
former sanctuary was remodeled to become a fellowship hall and kitchen. In
1986 the congregation voted to relocate the church facilities to a 9.5 acre
lot on Tibbs Road. On October 29, 1989, services were held for the first
time in the new sanctuary of the impressive contemporary-colonial facility.
The first known organ for the church was a 2/8 Pilcher, Op. 1835, installed
in 1937. It was rebuilt and enlarged by Moller, with a new console, as a
2/12 in 1952. It was removed with the completion of the new sanctuary,
which had a 3/42 Schlicker installed in the rear gallery in 1972. The
Schlicker was moved a couple of miles to the new facility, where it was
installed in the gallery of the new sanctuary in 1989. The nave is airy and
light, with large clear windows. The choir suite, located off the balcony,
must be one of the finest and most spacious in the South. They even have
their own large terrace, which is an open space in the base of the tower.
A new 4-manual dawknob console was added in 2005 by
Parkey Organ Builders.
Schlicker Organ Company, Opus 7482, 1972, 3/42
8′ Trompeta Real PO
8′ Voix Celeste
2 2/3′ Nasat
1 3/5′ Terz
1 1/3′ Kleinnasat
16′ Trompeta Real tc
8′ Trompeta Real
4′ Trompeta Real —