The year was 1878. The War Between the States had been over for thirteen years. The trying time of Reconstruction had just ended. The south’s economic and social climate were improving slowly. A devastating yellow fever epidemic was raging in Memphis with people fleeing from the city. Thousands of people had died from what was then still a mysterious disease.

Precisely at this time, a small group of Rosemark (Richland) residents decided to organize a Presbyterian church. They chose a Christian denomination that originally came to the “new world” in the 1700s. It would not be easy. Memphis presbytery had difficulty acquiring a quorum due to the deaths of so many ministers and elders from yellow fever. Such sad events meant that sometimes church business just had to wait.

Finally, on February 23, 1878, the church unanimously named Big Creek Presbyterian Church, was officially organized. The new church was located in a white frame building on the southeast corner of the intersection of Miller and Mudville Roads. Built on a slight hill, it faced Mudville Road. While the new church was being built, the small congregation often met for worship in their homes. They often gathered on weekdays in order to make sure a minister was available.

As the church membership grew, so did their work and missions. With the needs of the community in mind, the church held ice cream socials and community picnics. After thirty-five years of faithful service in the original location, the congregation decided to build a new brick church at 8592 Kerrville-Rosemark Road.

A member of the Southern Presbyterian denomination (P.C.U.S.), the church held its first service in the new building in 1918. With the reunion of the Northern and Southern Presbyterian churches in 1983, the original relationship that existed before the Civil War was restored. Rosemark First Presbyterian Church, P.C.U.S.A., is now one with many other Presbyterian churches throughout the nation.

Known for its hospitality and sweet-spirited fellowship, the congregation welcomes all to God’s house as our brothers and sisters in Christ. To God be the glory! Amen.


Mariellen G. Thompson