Our Story

In 1957, First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga lovingly pushed some of the younger members out of the nest of their home church in order to organize Rivermont Presbyterian Church.

The Knoxville Presbytery assisted in purchasing a concrete building that had been a tavern and a tin-shop. Our first pastor was Rev. Harry Philips. Rivermont flourished and grew. We built our first major building, the fellowship hall and some Sunday school rooms in the early 1960s. Later, we built our present sanctuary and some more Sunday school rooms and office space.

Our second pastor was Dr. Bob Watkin. Bob shepherded us through some critical times. Several local Presbyterian Churches, including our mother church First Presbyterian, pulled out of our denomination and formed the Presbyterian Church in America. Rivermont remains a very strong PC(USA) church.

Our third pastor, Dr. Dan Sansbury, came to us in the early 90s. During this time, Rivermont became much more involved in outside ministries such as Habitat for Humanity, the Haiti projects, the Honduras projects and other more local projects.

Rivermont started the Early Learning Center and in some ways our church facilities became a bit of a local community center.

In 2013, Rivermont called the Rev. Dr. Clay Thomas and in 2014, they welcomed the Rev. Jennie Barber. In the fall of 2020, amidst the covid pandemic and as the church moved online, Rivermont called Margaret Poteet as its third installed Associate Pastor.

Rivermont has a long history of strong lay leadership. In the Chattanooga area where the majority of churches do not allow women to be ordained, Rivermont has been blessed with women on our board of Deacons and Session from the earliest days. In addition to Poteet, our last three Associate Pastors have also been women, Rev. Jennie Barber, Rev. Heather Shortlidge and Elder Diane Stocker.

Rivermont has always been a friendly church with lots of love, tolerance for diverse views and caring for one another and for humankind. We try to spread the gospel of Christ through love and actions of love. We believe that love runs deep.