Church Street was originally called Cotton Street, having been named after the Cotton family. The name was originally changed to Church Street possibly because eight (8) churches are located along it.
The eight (8) historic churches located on Church Street include –
First Presbyterian Church – Organized in 1807, present building 1859. It is well known for the gilded hand that tops the steeple. The original hand was fashioned in wood by local artist Daniel Foley. Time took its toll on the original hand and it was replaced in the early 1900s by one made of metal.
St. Joseph Catholic Church – 1849. Altar paintings by Thomas Healy and carvings by Daniel Foley. Oldest surviving church in Port Gibson. Known for its altar rail, hand-carved by a 17-year old artist. Open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission free.
St. Peter’s A.M.E. Church – 1870. A simplified version of the High Victorian Gothic style. Original weatherboards and octagonal spires were replaced with brick facing. By appointment only.
Christian Chapel Church – Congregation established in 1845, present structure built in 1974.
Temple Gemiluth Chassed – 1891. The oldest Jewish Synagogue in the state and the only surviving one of its architectural style in Mississippi. By appointment only.
Port Gibson Baptist Church – Organized in 1872, present structure built in 1923. Two story brick building with steps leading to a second level porch supported by Doric columns.
St. James Episcopal Church – Organized in 1826, present structure built in 1884. Brick church with Victorian lines and a steepled belfry designed by W.O. Wentworth, a famous architect from Boston. Original cost to build – $5,000.00
Port Gibson Methodist Church – Organized 1804, present structure built in 1860. Romanesque Revival style architecture. Constructed on the site of a former church that burned in 1858.