Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church
SW corner King and Washington Sts. Officially chartered in 1743, this is the oldest continuous congregation in town. In the early 1780s, the congregation built a log church on the corner opposite the present site and shortly thereafter replaced it with a frame building on the same site. When the frame building burned in 1831, the church traded its former lots for the current site. The structure dates from 1836. A plain red brick building, it has a belfry and cupola atop the front gable. As the largest building in town at the time of the Battle of Antietam, the church served as a primary hospital for the wounded. During much of the 19th century, across King Street on the south side of Washington and near the Town Run, a large building known as the Virginia House served as the home of the Fayman family, makers of wool and fur hats.
Backstory and Context
While the Presbyterian Church was officially chartered in 1743, the German and Scotch-Irish population settled the area in the early 1700s and the Donegal Presbytery provided a supply minister to the Pack Horse Ford Church (otherswise known as Shepherd’s Town). The Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church was the first officially recognized Christian Congregation in Shepherdstown.
In 1780, Abraham Shepherd gave the Church the two adjoining properties at the southeast corner of King and Washington Streets (the sight of the Post Office). The lots No. 166 and 188 were from Washington Street to Church Alley. The first church building was a log structure built in the 1980s. In 1776, a Church near Shepherdstown received a minister, but they could not afford to keep him, so they contracted with Shepherdstown to split the cost. Unfortunately, this match was not ordained by the Donegal Presbytery, so the minister, Dr. McKnight, was recalled and sent to Gettysburg, PA.
Reverend Moses Hodge became the first pastor at the Shepherdstown Church in October of 1787. In the 1790s, the Virginia Assembly allowed the Church to raise money for the construction of a proper church. Revered Moses Hoge resigned his position in Shepherdstown in 1807 and Reverend John Matthews was installed as pastor. In 1831, the church building burned down. The Trustees traded their lots 166 and 188 for the lot 167 across the street and built the present church in 1836.
The Presbyterian Church also divided between Old School and New School philosophies. The Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church joined the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America. After Antietam, the building became the largest hospital in town. Since the war, the Church has purchased numerous organs, renovated their pews, and updated the sanctuary.
In September 2000, Reverend Patricia Donohoe was ordained and installed as the first associate pastor and the first female to receive a call from this congregation.
 Price, James C.. History of the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. http://spcworks.org/Article.asp?article_id=1689.
Price, James C.. History of the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. http://spcworks.org/Article.asp?article_id=1689.