Who We Are
We are many voices but one people who seek to glorify God through worship, prayer, and theological inquiry, to live the love of Christ through service to others, and to provide a welcoming and nurturing presence in this urban community.
We hold as central the transforming power of God’s reconciling love as revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Reformed and Always Reforming
First Church is the “mother church” of American Presbyterianism. It was here in the early 18th century that the first steps were taken to organize an American church in the Reformed tradition that had emerged from the Protestant Reformation. Among its distinctive practices were governance by “elders” (“presbyter” in the New Testament) who were elected by the congregation and a strong sense of the church as an instrument of reform of both church and society. These continue to be guiding principles of the church to this day.
The Session is the governing council of the church and is composed of fifteen ruling elders elected by the congregation and the teaching elders (or ministers) of the church. Together, they exercise leadership, governance, and oversight for the life of the congregation and actively participate in the work of the larger church locally and beyond.
Deacons are men and women in whom the congregation has discerned the spiritual gifts of Christian compassion, hospitality, and service. Our deacons are committed to witnessing to the community-building love of Jesus Christ by providing refreshment after worship during Fellowship Hour and communal meals at special times of the year, by looking after the needs of those who need attention, care and assistance, by offering intercessory prayers every Sunday after worship for specific prayer requests, and by ensuring that our worship services are graced with friendly ushers, beautiful flowers, and celebrative communion services.
Under the laws of the state, the Trustees hold and manage properties and, as authorized by the Session, conduct business on behalf of the congregation. At First Church, the Trustees are elected by the congregation and are responsible primarily for the upkeep and maintenance of the church building and the management of its finances. By their energy, honesty, fairness, and integrity, they demonstrate Christian faith to those with whom they deal on our behalf.