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Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church celebrates 50 years
Church pews

A local church recently celebrated the golden anniversary of its charter.

Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church began in 1967, when founders were given 300 by the forming Committee and Synod of Georgia, which also provided $1,200 to pay a minister for the summer months.

The church was chartered by Cherokee Presbytery on Oct. 17, 1967, and the congregation was formally organized on Oct. 29, 1967, at 10 a.m. in the partially completed building at the church’s current location.

The church was planned as an “experimental ministry to provide permanent and temporary residents a Presbyterian place of worship” at a time when there were no Presbyterian Churches in Forsyth. 

The congregation began with a group of 12 core families and 10 other families not yet ready to join, known as affiliate members. 

The first chapel service occurred on Sunday, June 15, 1967, with 22 in attendance for the open-air service. Attendance soon grew to 60 people per service.

Richard Neville, father of the Cumming municipal court judge of the same name, spoke highly in the early days of the church for the area and the need for a permanent church.

“We think the location is a good one,” Neville said in a church historical document. “There is a water system and paved roads. The location is beautiful, lying in the heart of Lake Lanier’s permanent residential area. The property lies 4 miles from the four-lane freeway linking North Georgia to the Atlanta metro area.”

It continues: “This highway is to be completed by 1970. The highway is conservatively predicted to double the present population by 1980, and triple by 1990.”

The church has also been home to a strong preschool program since 1975.