First Presbyterian is almost as old as Waco itself, having been constituted in 1855. Our congregation started with 17 members and 2 ruling elders meeting in the building of another church. More than 150 years later, our 600 plus members worship in our fifth sancutary, which was 100 years old in 2012.
Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism which traces its origins to the British Isles. Presbyterian churches derive their name from the presbyterian form of church government, which is governed by representative assemblies of elders.
We offer 2 Sunday Services
8:30: An Informal church service in the chapel with communion
10:30: Traditional worship in the sanctuary with monthly communion
At a meeting at Oak Island, April 20th, 1855, the stated Clerk read a letter from members of the Presbyterian Church in Waco Village and vicinity, asking Presbytery to appoint a Committee to organize a church in Waco and appoint Supplies. Their petition was granted and Rev. Messrs. Taylor, Alexander and McChord were appointed a committee to organize a church, provided the way be open
A formal installation was held on Sunday, September 22th. The Waco papers reported that “ . . . the church was filled to its utmost seating capacity, about 150 chairs having to be placed in the aisles. Dr. King presided, and Dr. W. H. Leavell of Houston preached the sermon. He had been Dr.Caldwell’s co-worker at the First Presbyterian Church there.
On July 20th, ground was broken, and on September 27, 1911, a solemn, but joyous, Corner stone laying ceremony was conducted.
A truly joyous occasion occurred in l924 when Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Day presented the church with a beautiful lot at 313 Crescent Road, in the new and very fashionable Shrine Addition, for the erection of a new
The service of installation was held on September 19, 1937, by a Commission of Presbytery. Dr. Caldwell presided, and propounded the constitutional questions. At the close of the service Dr. Caldwell, with his hand on Dr. Hay’s
shoulder, turned over to his successor his old pulpit, saying that to him it was "the most sacred spot on earth."
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First Presbyterian Church of Waco is one of more than 10,000 congregations connected through a representational system of church government, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This connectional system starts with the individual church and its governing body, the Session. Our Session is comprised of 24 elders, elected to three-year staggered terms, one youth elder elected annually, a Clerk of Session, an elder who may or may not be a current member of the Session, and our pastors, one of whom serves as moderator.
First Presbyterian Church Waco is a member church of Grace Presbytery, the regional governing body for 178 congregations totaling 43,000 members located in 53 counties in north and central Texas. Grace Presbytery claims God’s mission as our Grace Presbytery prepares and supports leaders to build vital congregations, nurture disciples and send apostles of our Lord into the world.
At First Presbyterian, we participate in the Revised Common Lectionary.
The lectionary is a systematic reading through scripture that is shared by a number of denominations. The full lectionary selection usually includes an Old Testament; a passage from one of the Psalms; a reading for the Epistles (letters) of the New Testament and finally a reading from one of the four gospels.