Diverse history with a dynamic and ever-changing path towards the future
We are a multi-generational church with wonderfully wise seniors and frequently vocal babies, who share in our worship services. We celebrated our 125th anniversary in our current location in 2017. We love to sing.
Our Local ministry in part: We share space in our church with a Hispanic congregation, a preschool, and a family therapy practice. Our service in the community includes Food for Greater Elgin, Habitat for Humanity, P.A.D.S. of Elgin, Community Crisis Center, Elgin Toy Giveaway, the Christmas Toy Give away, and CWS/CROP Walk.
Our global ministries includes One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace and Global Witness, CWS School supplies, Books, Scholarships and food for children in Nicaragua.
The First Presbyterians in Elgin worshiped at the home of the Gifford family. In 1836, there were 6 Presbyterian families and 6 Congregational families. As more families joined a Congregational church was built. The Presbyterians split with Congregational church in 1856 and built their own building on Center Street. About that same time the Presbyterians in the country formed as Reformed and Non-Reformed, and Elgin was no different. A second church was built a block or two away. In the 1860’s the two churches melded into one. In 1872 a new church was built, but burned to the ground within 6 months of dedication. A replacement building was built and served the congregation for about 13 years before debt forced the Presbyterians to dissolve and sell the building to pay off the debt.
Several of the prominent Presbyterians met with the Presbytery in 1890 to see about a rebirth in Elgin. Permission was given for a minister to come to Elgin and set about reorganizing the church. In 1892 the current building was erected for the community giving it the name HOUSE OF HOPE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
In the 1960’s the name was changed to First United Presbyterian Church and in the early 1970’s United was dropped and our Name became First Presbyterian Church.