This fall, the Swannanoa Valley said goodbye to its oldest church, First Presbyterian of Swannanoa. Although the church closed due to dwindling membership, the pews were full for the final service on Sunday, October 26, with more than 200 people packing the sanctuary. Many of those attending were from families with long ties to the Swannanoa Valley and First Presbyterian.
The final service also marked the celebration of the church’s 220-year anniversary. Founded in 1794, First Presbyterian was the oldest church not just in Swannanoa, but in all of Buncombe County. The Piney Grove Cemetery, which surrounds the church on a sloping hillside, is the final resting place for members of many of the Valley’s founding families. A nonprofit corporation is being formed to manage the cemetery, which will remain separate from the church building.
To read an Asheville Citizen-Times article about First Presbyterian and the many contributions the church and its members have made to our community over its long history, please click here.