Nacoochee Presbyterian

White County
Org 1870
Photography by Wolfgang Enneker

Nacoochee Presbyterian Church is a small, white clapboard church situated in the beautiful Sautee Valley in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. The beginnings of Nacoochee Presbyterian Church originated in 1869 when Captain James H. Nichols and his family settled in Nacoochee Valley. A devout Presbyterian, Captain Nichols succeeded in forming a Presbyterian congregation within a year of his arrival. Two years later, he built a church building on a crescent-shaped hillside adjacent to his home. The original congregation consisted of Captain Nichols, his wife Kate, daughter Anna Ruby, mother-in-law Augusta Louisa Latimer, along with J.R. and Rebecca Dean and their four children, and the family of John Glen. Several families of Nichols’ former slaves who had remained after emancipation joined in worship services. In 1903, the congregation moved from its original church building, which is now Crescent Hill Baptist Church, and began meeting in the Nacoochee Institute. This was a period of remarkable growth for Nacoochee Presbyterian.

In 1926, a fire broke out at the Nacoochee Institute and the congregation lost its meeting place, forcing the school’s consolidation with Rabun Gap in 1928. In the months after the fire, the congregation worshiped in an open-sided shed, then moved to a newly renovated dairy barn for the winter of 1927. With much celebration, the present church building was built and dedicated later that year. Though located in the Sautee community, the church kept the Nacoochee name in recognition of its founding site a few miles away.

The following decades saw changes made to the white frame structure. An A-frame roof replaced the original flat design. In 1989, the bell tower was constructed. The distinctive Palladian stained glass window over the entrance to the church was created by member Gloria Brown, a noted architect, designer, and mapmaker. Gloria chose the bright blue paint for the front doors to complement the colors she used in the window. Today, the church has a very active congregation and ministry.

A more complete history of the church can be found here