A Brief History of Our Church
The Presbyterian Church has its roots in the Protestant reformation of the 16th century. Presbyterians began arriving in this country in the 1640s and in Texas in 1838. Our congregation was founded in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Sansom in Old Round Rock on June 12, 1854. The next year the name was changed from Round Rock Presbyterian Church to Georgetown Presbyterian Church when it moved to Georgetown and was officially changed by Presbytery in 1881 to First Presbyterian Church. Part of our heritage includes experiencing the Civil War with a division among Presbyterians in Georgetown for some 20 years.
The sanctuary was erected under the leadership of Rev. John McMurray in 1873. Our Sanctuary is the oldest one in Georgetown and is still used for worship for our 8:30 a.m. service. The church was used as a public school from 1867 till 1873, when the present church was built. School was five days a week, and it is believed that this was the first public school in Georgetown. In 1870, women’s classes from Southwestern University were held in this wooden structure. The bell was bought in 1877 and has been in continuous use every Sunday since. The building was remodeled into a Gothic mode in 1895, and in 1913, the belfry, steeple, and narthex were added.
Then in April of 1954, new construction was completed. It included an enclosed Narthex, nine classrooms, a study for the pastor, a chancel area large enough to seat a choir and house an organ, a kitchen downstairs and a stairway leading from the basement into the Narthex. In 1986, an office building and four classrooms were added. In May 1994 a significant expansion of our facilities was dedicated including a new fellowship hall, lobby, nursery, classrooms, offices, elevator, kitchen, choir room, and restrooms. In 1998, the church completed a total renovation of its facilities which included administrative space, expansion of the fellowship hall, additional classrooms, and the addition of a playscape for children and youth. In 2005, the congregation dedicated a two-story Education and Administrative building and multiple renovations to our existing facilities. The Fellowship Hall was thoroughly renovated and transformed into the Worship Center in 2007. This included the installation of a new organ. We worship in that space at our 11:00 a.m. service on Sundays.
Some thirty-seven ministers have served the church. Four candidates for the ministry have been produced. The present pastor is Dr. Michael A. Roberts who began his pastorate on September 27, 1988.
Programs have been developed for all ages. These ministries include a pre-school (Noah’s Ark), mid-week education opportunities, Bible studies, an all-church weekend retreat, fellowship groups, Stephen Ministry, and many music groups. The church has been actively engaged in mission trips to Mexico, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We were the sponsoring congregation for our sister church, San Gabriel Presbyterian Church (chartered in 2002). The church has made an important commitment to developing future pastors for the church, serving as a Teaching Church for Austin Seminary. In the last decade, we have nurtured and supported nine seminary students.
The membership has always made special effort to be friendly to newcomers into the membership and ministry of the congregation. As of 2013, the church has 714 members.
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