History and community continues to grow at Presbyterian church

Q: The driving tour around Gwinnett has been very educational. I see the Fairview Presbyterian Church is listed. Can you tell me about it?

A: The tour you're talking about is a self-guided tour of historic locations around the county. Many of the homes are privately owned and not open to the public.

Fairview Presbyterian Church sits on a hill overlooking Duluth Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

Fairview was established in 1823 by a group of 13 people.

The church was named after Fairview Down, one of Ireland’s greenest of green lanes according to the church’s history.

The architect and builder of the church was James S. Russell, one of its first members. Remodeled in later years, the original timbers of the basic structures are still intact.

Pat Gutendorf and her late husband moved from Ohio to Lawrenceville over 20 years ago. They saw the little church on the hill and have been attending Fairview since.

“Our small congregation is my church family who is there for each other,” said Pat Gutendorf. “We are huggers.

“It’s hard to explain, but we have a wonderful diverse group of people that blends,” she added.

The courtyard (rose garden) is filled with red, white and pink roses and is on the side of the church next to the parking lot that the elder says they are known for.

A well-maintained cemetery sits behind the church. Soldiers from the Revolutionary and Civil wars are among those buried there. American flags and flowers were seen in the area on a recent afternoon visit. A large tree sits in front of the church.

There is a prayer garden and a fountain. A bell is next to the cemetery entrance.

Fairview will be celebrating 197 years of worship in August. Homecoming is held on the second Sunday of each August.

“You’d have to come to our homecoming to see everyone that comes from all over the states,” she said. “Of course, there are tons of food as we Presbyterians love to eat.”

The choir director has been there for over 27 years and the pianist a former chaplain.

There are four areas on the property: A sanctuary, a fellowship hall, a cemetery and an office/Sunday school building in front of the main building.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the traditional worship service on Sunday mornings via a YouTube link on their website.

Address: 857 Duluth Highway, Lawrenceville (770-963-7059).

New to town or simply have a question about this place we call home? Email your request to atlactualfact@gmail.com