Third Presbyterian began in 1917 and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017.
Third Presbyterian is a "daughter" of the Staunton First Presbyterian Church and grew out of a mission established on Sears Hill in Staunton in the year 1913. However, prior to that the Second Presbyterian Church of Staunton built a chapel on the east side of Nelson Street located in the Sears Hill district of Staunton in 1893. In 1897 the Lexington Presbytery organized a church in this chapel and called it the "Third Church of Staunton." However, the members of this church petitioned for an organized church on Sears Hill and on October 24, 1917 during a meeting of the Synod of Virginia at Alexandria, the petition was granted and Third Presbyterian Church was "born." On November 4, 1917 the Commission of the Presbytery met and organized the church with 21 charter members. In 1925, a new building for the church was completed on Sears Hill with a cost of $24,000.00. Included in this building was a church bell and this bell was used for the first time on May 2, 1932. This bell can currently be seen in the courtyard of the present Third Presbyterian Church and is still used today to begin services. In May 1939, Third Presbyterian held a "homecoming" service for the burning of the mortgage note, making the church debt free. By 1944, the congregation reached 241 members and in April the church obtained financial freedom from the Lexington Presbytery and the First Presbyterian Church. Over the next several years, Third Presbyterian continued to grow. A new manse was completed around 1947 and an educational wing was completed in 1955. On October 7, 1951, Third Church and Lexington Presbytery founded a chapel on Betsy Bell Mountain to help those who were unable to attend services elsewhere.
By 1964 and through much growing, it was necessary that the church look for a larger parcel of land in order to expand. The session of the church secured a 14 acre lot on Barterbrook Road in Staunton. The church voted to purchase this land on April 11, 1965. March 13, 1966 saw Mr. James Harper selected as the architect for the new building and plans were approved by the congregation on June 5. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on November 6 with work starting November 7 and an expected completion date 365 days away. On November 5, 1967, the 50th Anniversary of Third Church and the dedication of the new church were conducted. Since that time, Third Presbyterian has provided services in that building on Barterbrook Road.
Called Pastors of Third Presbyterian:
Robert C. Gilmore 1898-1901
Richard L. Walton 1913-1916
William W. Sprouse 1917-1948
Herbert S. Turner 1948-1950
Harry L. Price 1950-1958
William N. Clark, Jr. 1958-1961
David R. Freemen 1962-1968
Woodward D. Morriss 1969-1991
Jack B. Wilkers 1992-2014
Jacob R. Singleton 2017-present