Atkinson Memorial Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in south Louisiana. Located in Morgan City (80 miles west of New Orleans) on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, its early settlers were attracted to the flat farmland for sugar cane, cedar and hardwoods for lumber, and rich fishing waters.
Early Presbyterians settling in the city once known as Brashear City, began meeting and worshiping in homes and decided to charter in 1844. When the area became engulfed in the Civil War, a Fort Star was constructed with earth ramparts and canon notches to help defend the area. Both Confederate and Union forces exchanged occupation of the fort which is located on the current church grounds and is open to the public. Worship services and the plan to build a church were resumed after the war.
In 1869, when Charles Morgan purchased the local railroad infusing resources back into the area, the city voted to rename the city in his honor. In 1876 the First Presbyterian Church was formally recognized by the Presbyterian governing body, build their church and began regular worship services.
Reverend Dr. C. M. Atkinson began leading worship services in April 1881 and served until 1907 becoming the longest serving pastor to this date., the church was renamed in his honor in 1913.
The church membership has fluctuated with area economy, especially with the drop in availability of hardwoods, competition from imported shrimp and petroleum production. The church has an active Pre-K school with three large classes and continues to worship of Jesus Christ as the head of our church in its 136th year.
(“Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word meaning elder. Elders are the ‘managers’ of our church operation, outreach, and worship. You can meet our current church and worship leaders on our Pastor/Elder page.)