First Presbyterian Church--Warrensburg, Missouri
written by Bill Foley
Founded in 1852, Warrensburg’s First Presbyterian Church has a long history of ministry, Christian witness and service. Through the years, First Presbyterian has offered opportunities for worship, fellowship, Christian education, and outreach. Today, as in the past, members of this faith community join together to celebrate milestones and accomplishments, lift one another in prayer, stand beside one another in suffering, offer a helping hand through a car ride or meal, and reach out to others in the name of Jesus Christ. Pastoral care and faith development are crucial components of ministry at First Presbyterian. FPC is a mission-oriented congregation committed to sharing the love of God through community service and social justice by addressing needs, inequality and disparity within our community, nation and world with a focus on food security, healthcare, abuse, and the welfare of children. In years past it sponsored Vietnamese refugee families, helped initiate a local Meals on Wheels program, hosted a summer meal service for children, and supported the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home in Warrensburg. Currently its members work with and help support the Food Center, Christmas Store, CROP, MANA Harvest, Tiger Den, REAL Kids, and Presbyterian Children’s Services. FPC operates a Parents Day Out program, and its Culton Street Outreach Center houses the community-based Warrensburg Food Center and the offices of Survival Adult Abuse Services. The congregation also is actively involved with mission work in Malawi. Mission teams have visited the country, and the church engages in collaborative efforts with our brothers and sisters in faith there to help support a children’s library, schools, and public health services.
First Presbyterian’s church building, located at the corner of College and Market, is the congregation’s third structure. The first was erected on Gay Street in Old Town in 1859, and the second built in 1871 on the current site was razed in 1909 to make way for the present structure, which was needed to accommodate the church’s expanding membership. The first service in the new stone Gothic Revival Church was held on October 9, 1910. In the early 1950s an education wing and Fellowship Hall were added to the structure. A 2009 project marking the 100th anniversary of the building’s completion refurbished and modernized the historic structure and made it more compatible with twenty-first century needs. The sanctuary retains its original vaulted wooden ceiling, stained glass windows and curved pews. The Quimby pipe organ built in 2000 is a two-manual instrument of 29 ranks that further enhances the church’s longstanding commitment to quality music. While justly proud of First Presbyterian’s past accomplishments, its members are focused on the future and welcome all who would like to join them in sustaining the congregation’s continuing commitment to proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ and ministering to those in need.
First Presbyterian Church