Our History

 

The  church was established in 1826 in the midst of the Second Great Awakening only seven years after Alabama became a state and only 50 years after the Declaration of Independence. 

  

In the Fall of 1826, the Rev. James S. Guthrie and the Rev. John Williams held a camp meeting in a barn belonging to Mr. Salim Green, about two miles southwest of Green Pond. Folks came from miles around in their covered wagons, with all kinds of camping equipment and essentials. The camp meeting lasted two weeks and proved to be a great religious awakening. In the Spring of 1827, as the direct result of the camp meeting, a Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Green Pond, called Bethany C. P. Church. 


In 1832 the Bethany C. P. Church was reorganized under the care of the Elyton Presbytery with 48 members. A second reorganization took place September 16, 1846 and the church moved forward under the direction of the Rev. Robert Oldham. It was during 1871 that elders from Green Pond Presbyterian Church came to Birmingham, which became a city that year, and helped organize the Fifth Avenue, later to be called the Sixth Avenue Presbyterian Church, as a Mission Church. This is now Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church.


The second Sunday in May, 1884 was set for the dedication of the new (and present) Green Pond Presbyterian Church. The Parsonage was completed early in April 1891, and although now a private residence, still stands across the street from the church. In 1906, Green Pond became a part of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.


The Cemetery contains approximately 650 graves displaying typical late 19th and early 20th century markers. Among these are two "Woodmen of the World" markers. Burials continue to this day. 


On February 25th, 1999 Green Pond Presbyterian Church and Cemetery was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage by the State of Alabama Historical Commission.


Green Pond Presbyterian is part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a member of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, Synod of Living Waters. 

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The Seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a symbolic statement of  the church's heritage, identity, and mission in contemporary form. Its  power depends on both its simplicity and complexity, as well as its traditional and enduring qualities. The basic symbols in the seal are the cross, Scripture, the dove, and flames. 


The Cross, the universal and most ecumenical symbol of the Christian Church, represents the incarnate love of God in Jesus Christ, Jesus’ passion, and his resurrection. Because of its association with Presbyterian history, the Celtic cross  was chosen as a model for this contemporary rendering of the ancient  symbol. 


Scripture is represented by the two uppermost lines of the horizontal section, which form as open book. Supporting the book is a lectern or pulpit. The book motif highlights the emphasis which the reformed tradition has placed on the role of scripture as a means of knowing God’s word. The lectern shows the important role of preaching in Presbyterian worship. 


The Dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, is intimately tied to the symbol of the Bible, affirming the role of the Spirit in inspiring and interpreting scripture. The dove also symbolizes Christ’s baptism by John, and the peace and wholeness that his death and resurrection bring to a broken world. 


The Flames form an implied triangle, a symbol of the Trinity. The flames themselves convey a double meaning; of revelation in the Old Testament when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and of revelation in the New Testament when at Pentecost the Holy Spirit appeared to the Apostles as tongues of fire. 


The triangle also suggests the nature of Presbyterian government, with  its concern for balance and order, dividing authority between ministers  of the Word and laypersons and between different governing bodies. This  understanding of the church was based in part on an important idea in  Reformed theology, the covenant, which God establishes with people to  affirm God's enduring love and to call us to faith and obedience to  Jesus Christ. 


Looking more closely at some of the visual components of the design,  viewers may discover elements that seem to fuse with some of the more  obvious theological symbols. In the shape of the descending dove, for  example, one might also discern in the body of the bird, the form of a  fish, an early-Christian sign for Christ, recalling his ministry to  those who hunger. For some, the overall design evokes the calligraphy of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Others have seen a baptismal font or a communion chalice (cup). 


In 1 Corinthians, Paul described the church as a body with many members,  illustrating the pluralism of the church and the many gifts which God gives to its members. So also the seal's individual parts, when taken together, form an encompassing visual.


The seal is a registered trademark and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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