In 1861-62, the Rev. R.L. McElree, together with fourteen members of the community, organized the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Massac County. They built a shed, covered by clapboards, boxed in with rough lumber, and attached it to a school house in Jackson precinct. It is recorded that the minister stood in the doorway and preached right and left, because his congregation was seated in both the shed and the school building.
Soon Rev. McElree was called to service elsewhere and the membership was left without a pastor. However, they continued to have Sunday School. Records show that on October 31, 1875, their attendance was 34, consisting of three officers, eleven scholars and twenty visitors. W.W. Dugger was one of the officers.
In 1879 Rev. James M. Wyckoff, of Illinois Presbytery contacted R. Byrd Leeper concerning the possibility of reorganizing he Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the community. On March 6, 1880 an acre of ground one and one-fourth miles north of Unionville was purchased, for $30.00, from Anson and Teressa Gibbs, with Archibald Sterling, R.B. Leeper, Elisha Woods, John Massie and James E. Giltner as Trustees for the Church With Mr. Sterling as chief architect and building, one of the most beautiful and substantial colonial style church buildings in the county was completed and paid for at a cost of $2,250.00. People of the community as well as Paducah, Metropolis and surrounding areas had been generous with their contributions.
The new organization was effected November 20, 1881, with the following charter members: Robert D. Crosier, Cassandra W. Gibson, Elizabeth Giltner, Sarah J. Giltner, Elizabeth Leeper, Edward T. Rogers, Catherine Rogers, Malissa Sterling, Elisha T. Woods, Elizabeth Woods, John R. Wright, James M. Wyckoff, and Ellen Wyckoff. The church was dedicated in 1882. The organization continued to prosper and grow and in September, 1900, under the pastorship of Rev. John Allen, the membership was approximately 100.
In 1947, the old church building was retired and a new building started just 200 feet south of the original site. This new brick veneer building, complete with basement, was finished, and dedicated in 1948. Rev. Courtney Fooks was pastor at this time.
The church has prospered during these many years with a very active Sunday School. In 1947, under the ministry of Rev. Fooks and the leadership of Louis and Alice Faughn, the Cumberland Presbyterian Youth Fellowship became very active. They assumed the responsibility of planning and planting the trees and shrubs around the new church building and furnishing the kitchens. They also helped, with monthly payments, to support a Korean orphan, Hong Sook Yoo, whose father had been killed in the war.
The Missionary Auxiliary was organized January 17, 1960, when Rev. Allie D. Rudolph was pastor. He installed the following officers: President, Alice Faughn; Vice President, Loyce Angelly; Secretary-Treasurer, Kathryn Burrus; Stewardship Chairman, Nelma Giltner; Chairman of Missionary Education, Freeda Neal; Chairman of Missions in Sunday School, Mary K. Rudolph. This organization is now known as Cumberland Presbyterian Women's Ministry.
Easter Sunrise Services were begun in 1959 and have become a regular part of worship service.
The following have been ordained as Ruling Elders and serve during the life of their church membership: George Giltner, 1940; Cecil Sisk, 1947; Russell Giltner, 1947; Owen Giltner, 1956; L. T. Kickasola, 1956; and Louis M. Faughn, 1956.
Records show that the following ministers have served as pastors of Mt. Sterling Church: James M. Wyckoff, 1881; R.M. Pryor, 1891; John Allen, 1897; S.A. Teaque, 1902; M.E. Morse, 1904; F.P. Broadway, 1907; E.M. Johnson, 1913; W.P. Morgan, 1917; D.W. Cheek, 1919; E.R. Douglas, 1921; J.M. Russell, 1926; Lloyd Blades, 1928; Letie Clements, 1930, W.O. Parr, 1931; R.T. Mitchell, 1934; J.G. Whitesides, 1935; J.T. Coleman, 1937; Warren Mounts, 1938; Joe Russell, 1940; Harry Hinch, 1943; Clarence Smith, 1945; Courtney Fooks, 1947; Hugh Kelso, 1948; Billy Burroughs, 1950; Alex Fowler, 1950; L.E. Moore, 1952; Allie D. Rudolph, 1959; Jimmie Cooper, 1962; Martin Rudolph, 1968; Cordis Womack, 1970; James Moreland, 1974; Wm. Stevens, 1975; Rudell Pulley, 1977; and Eugene S. Gerard, 1981, Douglas Hughes, Curtis Preweitt, Danny York, and David LeNeave.