Sardis Presbyterian Church
In 1888 at the last meeting of the Athens Presbytery, permission was given to a committee to organize the Colored people of Thyatira as a separate congregation. It was authorized that the church be enrolled as Thyatira Colored Presbyterian Church; the name was later changed to Sardis Presbyterian Church.
Also in 1888, permission was given by the Thyatira Presbyterian Church to the Sardis Church to employ a man of their own race as pastor and apply to the Committee of Home Mission for aid toward the pastor's support. George Potts was the first to preside over the Sardis church, and Rev. E. P. Burns was the first Colored ordained Pastor to serve Sardis. Dolphus Aker and E. E. Butler laid the first stone. Elders J. W. Sys and G. W. Potts were the first two to represent Sardis in a Presbytery meeting.
The old Sardis church, located on Brockton Road in Jefferson, served the congregation for 80 years before it was destroyed by fire in 1908. The building that now stands on Brockton Road was erected in 1909.
Reverend C. C. Fisher pastored the Sardis congregation from 1940 - 1943 and from 1962 – 19??. Under his leadership, the church was relocated to Gordon Street in Jefferson. A groundbreaking ceremony was held October 19, 1964. The 7,000 square foot facility was built on two acres and included a sanctuary, nine educational rooms, and two bathrooms. A kitchen, a dining room capable of accommodating 250 people, and a unisex restroom made up the ground level. Sunday School was held every Sunday at 9:45 am, and worship services were held on the second and fourth Sundays at 11:00 am. Ministries within the church included the Women’s Circle, Men’s Department, Youth Department, Usher’s Department, and Choirs. Outreach ministries included Cub Scouts and a day nursery.
Other pastors who served Sardis were Rev. Dr. Ralph J. Aker, Rev. Edward Husband, Rev. Joseph Reid, Rev. Robert Howell, Rev. Wayne Steele, Rev. Robert Ellis, and Rev. Harold Harris.
During Rev. Harold Harris’ pastorate, the church increased in spiritual growth and physical membership. The following capital improvements were made: addition of a handicap accessible restroom in the vestibule; renovated restrooms in the education wing; reconstruction of the choir loft and pulpit; and complete renovation of the fellowship hall. The church campus was enlarged through the purchase of adjacent property. The property includes the Food Pantry and The Katrina House, funded through our Outreach Ministry to aid families affected by Hurricane Katrina.
In 2011, the Session called Cheryl Hargrove Barnes to serve as Candidate Supply Pastor. Reverend Barnes was ordained and installed as Pastor on March 4, 2012. Reverend Barnes continues the long held vision to honor our deep heritage, while simultaneously moving our church toward a future marked by evangelism. We share our faith, showing love and compassion, by being actively involved in our community. Through constant prayer, we hope to engage in a deeper and more committed relationship with Jesus Christ so that we may become more effective disciples in the ministry of reconciliation.