The History of Covenant
Covenant Church was formed in 1965 out of a desire by the Auburn community for a Presbyterian Church faithful to the Word of God and committed to the historic understanding of the Reformed faith.
The first Church meetings were held in homes of interested families. On March 14, 1965, the interested families rented the Auburn Woman’s Clubhouse on Sanders Street for the first worship service, which was held without a preacher. Later that year on May 2, 1965, twenty-four people signed the church’s charter.
On June 15, 1965, Bryant Black of St. Louis, a recent graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, was named supply pastor. The church continued meeting at the Woman’s Clubhouse. When the Woman’s Clubhouse became unavailable, the church began searching for other facilities for Sunday morning services. They were welcomed to Auburn University campus in 1966.
Ever since the church’s beginning, members dreamed of the day when they would have a permanent home. Members worked on Saturdays, holidays, and nearly every night of the week providing most of the labor to construct the first building. On March 12, 1967, it was announced that the roof was finished, meaning work would continue regardless of the weather. The main structure of the building was completed on July 9, 1967. Seating consisted of 100 metal chairs the pulpit featured a handmade lectern. Roughed in, and waiting for future development, were eight classrooms, a library, kitchen, and church office. Church development continued as the building grew one room at a time. Early in 1973, it was announced that the Presbytery would be meeting at Covenant for the first time. A flurry of activities followed resulting in all but one room being finished before the meeting.
Unfortunately, disater struck and on December 29, 1975 the initial building was destroyed by fire. Bravely, the small congregation continued to grow and began plans for a new building. CLICK HERE TO READ AN ARTICLE FROM THE OA NEWS ABOUT THE FIRE.
Auburn University students were asked to help clean up the burned site and then start construction on the exact slab that the first building
had been built on. Work on the second church building began June 24, 1974. The building progressed rapidly this time, with the help of a professional builder and trades workers. Plans called for the sanctuary to have a cathedral like ceiling and a ten-foot window behind the pulpit. It would seat 250 people on the first floor and 80 in the balcony.
In 1977, Covenant extended its ministry to evangelical students at Auburn University through the pastoral ministry of Dr. Peter Doyle. This growing and enthusiastic ministry began to draw young families to Covenant.
In 1986, the church called Pastor Gary Spooner to lead the growing emphasis on ministry to families and students. Membership at Covenant grew from the original 24 to 250. The congregation also welcomes many Auburn students who make Covenant their home church while attending college.
In the past 29 years Covenant has seen flucuations in it’s membership and been through its fair share of ups and downs. In 2015, with the retirement of Pastor Spooner, Covenant called Pastor Jere Scott Bradshaw to Covenant. Covenant Church continues to grow in membership today.
Our history confirms God’s purpose that the faith of the Bible prospers in this strategic university community through Covenant Presbyterian Church.