2015-07-09 / Front Page

Presbyterians to observe 225th anniversary with organ concert, services


Saturday’s organ concert will feature Alvin Blount, Director of Music and Worship at St. Mary on the Hill in Augusta, playing Washington Presbyterian’s 1888 Hook and Hastings organ. Saturday’s organ concert will feature Alvin Blount, Director of Music and Worship at St. Mary on the Hill in Augusta, playing Washington Presbyterian’s 1888 Hook and Hastings organ. The congregation of Washington Presbyterian Church will celebrate its 225th anniversary with an organ concert at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, and a special worship service on Sunday, July 12.

Saturday’s organ concert will feature Alvin Blount, Director of Music and Worship at St. Mary on the Hill in Augusta. A reception will follow the concert in the fellowship hall.

At 11:15 a.m. Sunday, July 12, a special worship service will be led by Rev. George Walton, who grew up in Washington, the son of Oliver and Mary Walton. He is currently the minister of Olivia Presbyterian Church in Olivia, N.C., where he has been serving for 29 years. A luncheon will follow the service.

The public is invited to join the congregation in both of these landmark services.

The Washington Presbyterian Church was organized in early 1790. In April, 1790, the Providence, Smyrna, and Washington Presbyterian Churches issued a call to John Springer to be their pastor, which he accepted. At that time, he was president of Cambridge College in Ninety-Six, South Carolina, and a supply preacher in South Carolina and Georgia. On July 22, 1790, Springer became the first Presbyterian minister to be ordained in Georgia.

Saturday’s concert will be played on the historic Hook and Hastings organ, Opus 1382, which was installed in 1888, a gift from Dr. Robert Simpson, its first organist. For many years, it had to be manually pumped by some young man sitting in a chair on the east side of the organ. It is now operated by an electric pump. Having been completely restored in 1990 and given loving maintenance since then, it is a highlight of every worship service in the church.

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