The first settler to come into the Swannanoa Valley in 1780 was Samuel Davidson, a devout Scotch Irish Presbyterian. The first Presbyterian family to come into the eastern end of the valley was that of James McNair, in 1875. Because there was no church in Black Mountain, they worshiped at the Piney Grove church in Swannanoa. Piney Grove was the original name of the former First Presbyterian in Swannanoa.

By 1908 there were thirteen Presbyterian family members in Black Mountain, and this brave band decided to organize a church. In April 1908, under the leadership of Dr. R. P. Smith, they met at Mrs. Silas Dougherty’s home to petition the Asheville Presbytery to organize a church. On May 17, 1908, meeting at the old Methodist Church, the church was formally organized by Dr. R. P. Smith of the Asheville Presbytery.

In 1910 a lot was purchased on Montreat Road for $200. In 1913 the church, consisting of only the Sanctuary, was erected by C. C. Dougherty and W. C. Greene for $1,450. These men gave much of their labor. The building was dedicated on April 1, 1914. For these first six years they had only supply preachers.

Eugene L. Siler, 1914-1917
George Nickles, 1917-1919
Marion Huske, 1919-1920
Harry Boehme, 1921-1922
R. K. Eskridge, 1925-1926
William Andrew Murray, 1926-1933
John Carl Bridges, 1935-1937
Dr. George Fisher Bell, 1940-1941
Leland Edmunds, 1941-1943
Walter Styles, 1943-1950
Warrington Preston, 1950-1954
William R. Klein, 1954-1959
Robert Gray, 1959-1965
Richard Gilmer Shelor, 1966-1988
John Swift McCall, 1989-1996
Robert W. Ratchford, 1998-2007
Shannon Johnson Kershner, 2009-2014
Mary Katherine Robinson, 2015-


1968-1975 Land Purchases
The property on which the first sanctuary was sited is now where our fellowship hall is located. Part of the Betts property is now a paved parking lot near the fellowship hall; another portion is a second parking lot shared with commercial enterprises near White Horse Black Mountain.








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1913 Sanctuary (white frame)










1919 Two-story education wing with kitchen. This addition also housed the Black Mountain Library at its inception.

1958 New Sanctuary
Notice that the main entrance is from the Montreat Road side of the building, through the base of the bell tower. Notice also that the west and stained glass extends to ground level. Beyond the covered walkway one can notice a peak in the roof; this is over a room originally designed to be the pastor’s study which is now our sacristy.

1984 Demolition of original sanctuary and education building and construction of new Fellowship Hall and office area. By the time the original sanctuary was razed, it had been painted brown, causing some consternation among townfolk.