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What does the rooster atop the First Presbyterian Church steeple represent?

Ken Little
First Presbyterian Church rooster

The rooster atop the steeple at First Presbyterian Church on Third Street in Wilmington. (StarNews file photo)

Dr. Ernest T. Thompson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. Third St., Wilmington [Map this], said the church sanctuary was built in 1928 after the previous sanctuary burned down.

“The pastor at the time, Dr. A.D.P. Gilmour, had traveled in Europe and admired the Gothic sanctuaries he saw there. The church hired Hobart Upjohn, an architect from New York, who was the leader of a Gothic revival movement in the United States, to design a new sanctuary,” Thompson said.

In Europe, Protestant churches often had a rooster on their steeple to distinguish them from Catholic churches, which had a cross, he said.

“Our rooster reminds us then of our Protestant heritage. It points to the dawning of a new day, and to the joy of the resurrection. The rooster also points to Peter’s threefold denial of Christ ‘before the cock crows,’ and so is a reminder to us not to deny our Lord,” Thompson said.

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One Response to “ What does the rooster atop the First Presbyterian Church steeple represent?”

  1. On November 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm Carey Sasser wrote:

    When the Wilmington Roosters (Minor League baseball team) played here several years ago, the owner said that is where he got the idea for the mascot