It was early in 1948 when a small band of folks in Franklin were approached by Norfolk Presbytery to see if there was interest in forming a Presbyterian Church. After surveys of the community and other very Presbyterian things, an enthusiastic group of people began to meet in W. J. M. Holland Funeral Home for worship each Sunday. By June 1949 the group, aided by the Bethany Presbyterian Church in Zuni, called its first minister. The Rev. Thomas Traynham began preaching at the church in Zuni, the Boaz Church in Isle of Wight County, and the chapel in Franklin. On November 13, 1949, twenty-five members were received and the church was chartered, calling Rev. Traynam as its first pastor.
By 1953, the congregation had grown to about 50 members, enough that with a lot of banged up fingers and tile pulled up and re-laid, along with continuing help from her mother church in Zuni, a new sanctuary and Sunday School rooms were completed. An early financial report indicates that the cost of the facility was approximately $40,000, and by dedication Sunday only $4,700 remained in indebtedness on the building. Contributions of labor totaled 4,100 hours and the building crew were led by architect, contractor and charter member John L. Brenner. In 1981 a new building was dedicated which housed a Great Hall (now called Brenner Hall), a new kitchen, library and
Presbyterian Church has continually served its community in proclaiming the Word of Jesus Christ and serving him through its mission and outreach. We organized the first local food pantry in our area (now a part of the ecumenical program of Franklin Cooperative Ministry), and have over the years participated actively in projects such as Habitat for Humanity, CROP, Children’s Defense League, Presbyterian Homes and Family Services, among others.
We continue to be a church that believes the Word is to be lived out through our relationships and work in our community.
Since its early days, the Franklin Presbyterian Church has been home to nine installed pastors, including the first female pastor in the former Norfolk Presbytery (now the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia), The Rev. Mary Jane Winter, who served from 1976 to 1981.