The word "Presbyterian"
means "Elder" of the church. The Presbyterian Church, like other christian churches, traces its roots back to the
early church of Jerusaleum, to Augustine, and to Paul. John Calvin is called the Father of Presbyterianism. At least fourteen
signers of the Declaration of Independence were Presbyterians. The first Presbyterian Church in America was established in Philedelphia, PA. in 1705. The Holmes Chapel Presbyterian
Church began in 1888 as Second Presbyterian Church with 12 members and their first pastor, Rev. Charles Mebane of Charlotte,
North Carolina. In 1891, the church was renamed Holmes Chapel in honor of Ms.
Mary Holmes who worked hard to raise over $2000.00 to help build a school for youth called the Monticello Academy because
school classes were held in the church during the week. The church and school were located on the southwest corner of the
intersection of South Gabbert and East Jackson streets. The school consisted of an auditorium, dormitory rooms, and living
quarters for the pastor and teachers. The school had 190 students by 1910. In 1926 the church and school were moved north
of Monticello on North Gabbert street on sixteen acres of land. Later that year, the church and school were moved to the church's
present location and was responsible for providing the best education for Black people during that time. Due to the Depression,
the Monticello Academy declined in student enrollment and was forced to close in 1933. The church remained a viable part of
the community and continues to serve the community of Monticello with a high sense of energy and interest in the education
and welfare of people, the youth in particular.
11, 1971, a new brick church was built during the pastorate of Rev. Y.C. Jordan. on June 14, 1981, and educational annex was
erected on to the sanctuary under the pastorate of Rev. Jordan. On September 5, 1996, a new sanctuary was dedicated on to
the east side of the old sanctuary. In August of 2002, we dedicated the Ethel Hawkins Christian Family Center which was named
after Ethel W. Hawkins. The church has had nine pastors which includes the current pastor, Rev. Dr. Alford Branch, 1985 to
date. As in the past, the church continues to explore new ways to provide ministry to the community.
Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church
Ethel Hawkins Christian Family Center