Our History

This fellowship of Christians was organized as a local church on January 11, 1835, in the home of Alexander Shaw, one of the early Scot-Irish settlers in North Mississippi. Originally the church was named Neriah Church, but shortly thereafter it was re-designated Ebenezer Church. In 1836 members migrated to this area, and on Jan 11, 1841, the church was renamed College Presbyterian Church in recognition of the founding of the North Mississippi College. In 1842 the congregation paid $400 for 23 acres on which to construct a public place of worship. The sanctuary, built in 1844 under the direction of Francis Timmons, is the oldest Presbyterian structure in North Mississippi and the oldest church building of any denomination in the Oxford area. Constructed of bricks fired on the site, the building was completed in 1846 at a total cost of $2,809.75. The pulpit, the pews, and the pew gates are the original furnishings. Events of interest include the encampment on these grounds by Union troops of Generals Grant and Sherman, and the marriage of author William Faulkner. The church cemetery contains a number of unmarked Union soldiers’ graves, along with slave burial sites and many Confederate soldiers’ burial sites. The Session’s original Minutes, dating back to the 1835 organizational meeting, are safeguarded in a local bank.