Our History

Take a moment to read about our almost 200 year history. We've had many buildings but only one hope and that is Christ Jesus. Also check out our essentials of faith below  to read more about the EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church) and what we believe about life and the gospel.

Smock Log Cabin | 1826 - 1830

On New Year’s Day in 1826, John B. Smock invited fellow pioneers into his log home in the newly established Johnson County. Joining the small gathering was Rev. Isaac Reed, a traveling pastor and missionary, who read 1 Corinthians 3:11: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

In that moment — at the first worship service of what would soon become the first church in the area — the first of many generations stood on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and began the practice of seeking truth together.

Mud Schoolhouse | 1830–1842

As the nation’s population expanded rapidly to the west, the village of Southport likewise grew, including families with names such as Bryan, McFarland and Smock. At the same time, our fledgling church expanded from nine charter members, all related by blood or marriage, to a committed group of 120 souls.

Though they were no longer directly related, the congregants were connected by their steadfast love for Jesus and their authentic, enduring relationships with each other. By 1833, the group had officially organized as a church.

Framed House of Worship | 1842–1860

At the middle of the nineteenth century, the United States was becoming increasingly divided. The American church — beset by dubious theology — was splintering into northern and southern factions.

From a modest framed sanctuary in Southport, our congregation crossed denominational lines to articulate the Gospel, condemn the institution of slavery and pass our faith to present and future generations. Members continued to gather at this location until 1859, when the building was destroyed by fire.

Brick Building | 1860–1959

Recovering from a devastating fire, in 1860, our church began anew in a brick building. There, the congregation experienced a notable revival, baptizing new members daily and doubling in size. Just as we were outgrowing the building, it was damaged by a tornado.

This time, a larger brick church was constructed on our established site. In the new century, years of growth and prosperity gave way to the Great Depression and widespread suffering. Moved by compassion, women from our church formed an association to teach God’s Word, care for those in need and generously invest in missions.

Southview Church | 1959–1998

By the 1950s, our church had established a tradition of generously supporting missionaries to spread the Gospel worldwide. At the same time, we were responding to an additional call: to more intentionally befriend, care for and love our neighbors on the blossoming south side of Indianapolis. Embracing this vision, in 1959, our congregation moved to a spacious modern campus in the center of Perry Township.

The building would eventually house Southport Presbyterian Christian School, Welcome Place Child Care and other community-focused ministries. In 1981, we planted a sister church. From our central location, we welcomed new generations into our family by teaching, sharing and witnessing Christ’s radical, transformational love.

McFarland Farms | 1998–Present

In 1998, in an effort to expand our impact into the greater Southport area, we moved into our current building. We did so as a community of faith with a deep desire to proclaim the love of Jesus.

That unified call still runs deep as we pursue God’s extraordinary call today. Now approaching our two hundredth anniversary, Southport Presbyterian Church is unified in our desire to notice, listen to, connect with and care for our increasingly diverse community.

EPC | Essentials of Faith

We believe all Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.