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[graphic] Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church
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[photo] Walnut Hill Presybeterian Church, constructed in 1801, is the oldest Presbyterian Church in Kentucky.
Photograph by Eric Thomason, courtesy of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, Lexington, KY

Constructed in 1801, Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church has the distinction of being the oldest Presbyterian Church building in Kentucky. The church was established in 1785 to serve the religious needs of the early pioneers. The first pastor of the church was the Reverend James Crawford who also served as a delegate to the Kentucky Constitutional Convention in Danville in 1792. In 1785, Reverend James Crawford was one of two ministers ordained at the first meeting of a presbytery in Kentucky. In 1791 he opened a school at Walnut Hill for Latin, Greek, and the Sciences. Crawford died in 1803 and is buried in the church cemetery.

[photo] Walnut Hill Presybeterian Church, as seen from the east.
Photograph from National Register collection, courtesy of H.Lynn Cravens

The present building was constructed during the "great revival" to replace an earlier log building that stood on the site. The building is stone and as it was originally constructed had eight square windows on two levels that allowed light to enter the sanctuary at the ground level as well as in the galleries that surrounded the inner room on three sides. In 1880 the church was remodeled and eight large Gothic windows were added to replace the square windows and the galleries were removed from the inside. The church continues to serve as an active house of worship.

Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church is located on Walnut Hill Rd. in southeastern Fayette County at the intersection of old Richmond Rd.

 

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