Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church

Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church

We are a downtown Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, North Carolina.


Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church U.S.A is a place and a community where we receive, extend and grow in God's grace in historic downtown Wilmington and beyond. We have been engaged in ministry and service for over 150 years. We celebrated 150 years in October 2016.

We are in Wilmington North Carolina's historic district, just seven blocks from the Cape Fear River. We sit between 7th and 8th Street on Chestnut a little bit off the road. We worship on Sunday Mornings at 11 a.m.  Our vision is “Serving Others as Disciples of Christ.” We would love to share with you the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through hospitality and worship.  Please join us, all are welcome. 


The historic CSPC is the original building that was erected by the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, North Carolina in 1858.  The building was erected as a result of a revival in 1858, which was part of the third great awakening that spawned new church construction all over the country, including Wilmington, North Carolina.

These new churches were outward reflections what the established churches conceived as inner changes taking place within themselves and others as a result of the revival.  During the revival period, churches increasingly added black congregants to their services.

As a result of his attendance at convention in 1858, Elder John C. Latter was inspired to lead the congregation at First Presbyterian into discernment.  When the pastor returned from a missionary trip, the time of prayer and council continued within the church.  As a result of these many meetings with the congregants, the pastor suggested to the church they purchase a lot and build a chapel for mission services in a part of town which needed service.

The mission chapel was used for one month for its original purpose.  On November 6, 1858, fourteen persons including ruling elder Mr. John C. Latter were dismissed from First Presbyterian Church to form the Second Presbyterian Church.  The new building/chapel was given to them as a house of worship.  Rev. M. B. Grier of First Presbyterian preached the opening sermon.

However, during the Civil War, Second Presbyterian Church was on temporary suspension. Their pastor, Rev. Martin McQueen, supplied First Presbyterian at this time which was in 1863-1864.  Second Presbyterian Church worshiped in the Mission Chapel from November 21, 1858 to April 11, 1867.  Because of the chaotic conditions brought on by the Civil War and an epidemic of yellow fever, their membership disbanded and returned to First Presbyterian Church.

On October 8, 1866, a committee from Second Presbyterian Church were authorized to sell the Mission Chapel to the trustees of the First Colored Presbyterian Church (Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church).  These trustees/founders were: William Cutlar, Henry Taylor, Elvin Artist, Duncan Haynes, Alfred Hargrave, Owen Burney, David Sadgwar, Edward Davis, Sandy Howe, Alice Price and James Cutlar. 

As soon as the members of the First Colored Presbyterian Church had finishing organizing, readying the chapel and had reached a point of spiritual organization, the church began services.  Their first pastor was Peyton H. Hoge, who served from 1866 to 1868.  Late 1867, the First Colored Presbyterian Church was reorganized under the Presbyterian Church, USA.