Though I focus on towns and trails in this blog, during visits to Carolina destinations, we spend a lot of time in or around historical churches. The Carolinas are rich in Christian history, and architectural wonders still exist in both states. Charleston's St. Philip's and St. Michaels are just two examples in South Carolina. In North Carolina, among others, we have First Presbyterian Church in New Bern, which dates back to the early 1800s.
To explain the historical significance of First Pres, and a bit about the architecture, I turned the blog over to my husband, Kelley, a pastor and D.Min student at Erskine Seminary, located in Due West, South Carolina.
What a remarkable surprise to find this historic church in New Bern. We have traveled there many times, but did not know about this church's existence.
Another interesting tidbit, during the War Between the States (Civil War) this church was used as a hospital.
As you enter the church, you will pass through the vestibule, and then go through the doors leading into the sanctuary. Once inside, you will see the multiple rows of beautiful white pews extending to the far wall. Note the clear windows. This not only allowed sunlight to shine in a room once devoid of electricity, but, in churches with adjoining cemeteries, provided a view of the burial ground to remind people of the fragility of life.
As you look up, you will see a large pipe organ centered in the gallery above, which semi-circles the room.
The choir loft is located on the upper left. Originally, the choir was not placed behind the pulpit or even near it, but was away and out of view, in order to assist the singing of the congregation, instead of being a performance.
If you look to your right or left, depending on which side you enter the sanctuary, you will see a large pulpit.
In order to enter this pulpit, one must ascend a number of steps. This is a reminder that the congregation sits under the authority of the Word of God.
The interior of this church is reminiscent of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, which is another beautiful and historically significant church calling for your attention.
First Presbyterian Church is located at 418 New Street in New Bern, NC. Drop by and enjoy!