In 1856, the mother church of what today is Toccoa Presbyterian Church (formerly First Presbyterian Church of Toccoa) was built by Patrick Prather, at Cross Roads, near Westminster, S.C. The church later moved to a point near the Tugaloo River in Oconee County and was called Tugaloo Church.
In 1871, A. H. Ramsay, an elder in the Tugaloo Presbyterian Church, and Eli Doyle, a school teacher, and a Presbyterian organized the first Sunday school in the Toccoa community with Miss Julia McAllister, a Methodist, as the assistant teacher.
In June 1874, the Augusta Presbytery appointed a committee to organize churches in Toccoa City, Chestnut Mountain, and Tugaloo. In June 1874, the first services were held in a small house where the Toccoa Post Office now stands. There were 13 charter members.
Services then moved to Payne Hall and later to the Toccoa elementary school. The first pastor to serve the church was the Rev. William Postell Gready. The first official church building was erected in 1880-81. It was a small rectangular white-framed building located on the northwest corner of Tugalo and Pond Street (across the street from the current location of the present church).
During 1910-11, the church established a Mission Sunday School at the cotton warehouse adjacent to the Toccoa Cotton Mill. After the old church was raised in the 1920’s, a lot was purchased from Dr. Will Ramsay Doyle of Seneca, SC. The location of the new church building was across the street on the northeast corner of Tugalo and Pond Streets.
In 1925, the Church extended a call to Dr. R. A. Forrest, president of Toccoa Falls College, as pastor. He was installed in November and served for 25 years. That same year, the congregation broke ground for a new church building. The first service in the new brick building was held on June 11, 1926.
Dr. and Mrs. R.A. Forrest
In 1927, Dr. Forrest established the first Christian radio station in northeastern Georgia. WTFI was located in the basement of the church and was only the second radio station to be set up in Georgia!
When Dr. Forrest retired in 1956, the congregation called, the Rev. A. N. Moffett as pastor. The church also voted to enlarge the sanctuary to accommodate the needs of a growing congregation. At the same time, a new Education facility and Fellowship Hall was constructed.
In December 1958, the new buildings were completed and dedicated. From its humble beginning to the present Toccoa Presbyterian Church has continued faithfully to serve the Toccoa-Stephens County community.