Boston Presbyterian

Thomas County
Org 1836
Photography by Steve Robinson

The settlers in this section of southwest Georgia came from North Carolina, South Carolina, and north and middle Georgia. Beginning in 1826, several Scotch families – among whom were the Mclntoshes, McLeods, McKinnons, and McMillans – moved into what they named the Glasgow district. From here they settled Old Boston, seven miles from Thomasville, in 1831. The village was named for Major Thomas M. Boston. This is another example of Scots migration into Georgia. There were several of them, in addition to this group who moved into Thomas County. The very first migration was into Darien in 1735 from the west coast of Scotland, followed by another group who migrated into the Wiregrass region of SE Georgia from the Cape Fear area of North Carolina. In the 1830?s there was another migration of Highlanders from the hills of North and South Carolina into the north Georgia mountains who settled into the Cherokee Indian country. A robust Scottish population generally resulted in an association with the Presbyterian church..

In 1836 J. A. Murdock and Daniel Mcintosh were instrumental in founding this church which was called Mcintosh Church. There were eleven charter members of which five were Maclntoshs, three McKinnons, two McLeods and one Patterson. Malcolm McKinnon and John McAuley were the first elders, and the Reverend Eli Graves – a Princeton graduate – was the first pastor. On February 30, 1861, James L Seward sold to the church trustees a fraction over one acre of land in Boston for one dollar for use of the Presbyterian Church. The original church was moved to this acre lot and a graveyard was established behind the church. This graveyard later became, and remains, the town cemetery.

In 1861, the Reverend A. Warner Clisby began his long pastorate. The church name was changed in 1862 from Mcintosh to Bethany and then in 1910 to the First Presbyterian Church of Boston. Just after the Civil War, there were no churches of other denominations nearby, so the people of other church memberships attended the Presbyterian Church. When the Methodist and Baptist churches were built, all of the churches could call ministers for only one Sunday a month. They alternated their meetings so that members of all churches could worship together three Sundays a month. We are not sure of the date of the current church construction but it would appear to be somewhere around the turn of the century.