Submitted by Nelle Price Epps
Oconee Presbyterian Church
A Brief History
OPC is the beneficiary of trusts created by the family of Cleyn Martin Cartledge and the West View Presbyterian Church. The West View Church, on the Atlanta Highway, closed its doors on Easter Sunday, 1989, instructing the Northeast Georgia Presbytery to liquidate West View’s assets and use the proceeds to start a new church serving northern Oconee and Western Clarke Counties.
The West View Fund provided substantial portions of OPC’s land and building costs, and a significant portion of OPC’s operating expenses in our first years. Grants from the Presbyterian General Assembly and the Synod provided additional operating income. All income from these grants ends in 2004. The Cartledge Trust will continue to provide income to the church.
In January, 1999, the New Church Development Task Force was formed for the purpose of recruiting and organizing pastor and nurturing the new church as a missionary project. In August, 1999, the Reverend Pamela Dresell answered the call to serve Chirst as OPC’s Organizing Pastor.
On March 12, 2000, OPC held its first formal church service, using Malcolm Bridge Middle School cafeteria “Holy Cafeteria” as it’s place of worship. On August 6. 2000, OPC inducted its first members and elected its Steering Committee.
In February, 2001, OPC purchased 15 acres of land on Highway 53, next to Oconee County High School and Oconee Civic Center.
On September 11, 2001, the New Church Development Commission voted to charter the Oconee Presbyterian Church. On October 27, 2001, OPC was officially chartered at a ceremony at the Oconee Civic Center ordaining and installing its first Session and Rev. Pamela Driesell as its first Pastor.
On October 17, 2004, OPC moved into its new building on Hog Mountain Road.