You're invited! Come any Sunday at 10:00 a.m. to be a part of the warmth, family, and friendship that defines worship at FPC.
Click on the categories below to find out more information!
Earth Care Congregation
In 1990, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) completed a study on Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice stating:
Creation cries out in this time of ecological crisis.
- Abuse of nature and injustice to people place the future in grave jeopardy.
- Population triples in this century.
- Biological systems suffer diminished capacity to renew themselves.
- Finite minerals are mined and pumped as if inexhaustible.
- Peasants are forced onto marginal lands, and soil erodes.
- The rich-poor gap grows wider.
- Wastes and poisons exceed nature's capacity to absorb them.
- Greenhouse gases pose threat of global warming.
Therefore, God calls the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to —respond to the cry of creation and to become engaged with God in keeping and healing the creation, human and nonhuman.
What to Wear
Clothes. Any kind of clothes.
Come worship with us weekly at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. All are welcome. We mean it. Yes we do!
SUNDAY WORSHIP We describe worship at FPC as creatively traditional and contemporary. We often follow a traditional Presbyterian order of worship, but sometimes we mix things up for a change.
CHILDREN IN WORSHIP Children are welcome to attend worship. On Sundays, a Children's Message (the Time with the Youngest Disciples) is offered so that the Word might be proclaimed in a way accessible to younger worshippers as well as to adults. After the Time with the Youngest Disciples, children ages first grade and younger may either stay in worship or go to the nursery. Our nursery room is complete with toys, a changing table, and Pack ’n Play cribs that can be set up when needed.
COMMUNION We celebrate Communion on the second Sunday of the month as well as on some special days, like World Communion Sunday, Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, and Easter. We welcome everyone to our Communion table.
MUSIC Our church has both a baby grand piano and an organ. We also have a guitar, a drum, and a tambourine from time to time. We use the new Presbyterian hymnals (the Glory to God hymnals), and we sing a mix of traditional hymns and praise music.
CHOIR The choir is open to all who love to sing! They practice before and after worship on Sunday mornings.
Little Helpers provides volunteer opportunities for families with young children. Teach your children to give back to the community!
At FPC we focus more on what we do in response to the universal love of Jesus Christ and less on what we believe in black-and-white terms.
We strive to explore spirituality more deeply. We grapple with the difficult texts of the Bible. And we seek to transform lives through inspirational worship, mindful study, and loving service.
FPC is a place to learn and grow. We take theology seriously. We ask hard questions and explore our faith. We invite both questions and doubts as well as confidence in faith.
Everyone is invited: short or tall, thick or thin, questioning or sure, seeking or certain, young or old, gay or straight, rich or poor, new to the faith or baptized from birth. You are invited. We celebrate and gather strength from our diversity as a community.
Our church celebrated its 135th anniversary in 2016 and marked its 100th year in the current building in 2009. We are one of the oldest churches in Elgin, but we thrive by serving and supporting our growing community with a contemporary message of hope and love.
First Presbyterian Church is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Synod of the Sun, and Mission Presbytery. Our mission is to be a Christian community that welcomes all, worships God, and witnesses to God’s grace: locally, nationally, and globally.
Outreach and Service
Ministries We have a long and distinguished history of leadership in the Elgin community. We support many local ministries and offer various outreach opportunities throughout the year.
Local • Ash Wednesday Services • Maundy Thursday Taize Services • Mission Projects • Community Workshops • CROP Walk for Hunger • Community Cupboard • Drive-a-Senior Program • Elgin Ministerial Alliance • Vacation Bible School • Blessing of the Animals • Girls Scouts • Exercise Group • College Scholarship Program
Community Involvement Our members are active in the community. • Main Street Board • Envision Elgin • Elgin Library • Community Cupboard • Advocacy Outreach • City of Elgin • Elgin Chamber • Drive A Senior • Meals on Wheels
Children & Youth • Youth Group • Worship Party (toddlers through 5th grade) • Souper Bowl of Caring • CROP Walk for Hunger • Mo Ranch Mid Winters Retreat • Yearly Service Opportunities • Children & Youth-Led Worship Service • Children & Youth Christmas Pageant • Vacation Bible School • Blessing of the Animals • Children's Sunday School • Confirmation Classes • Operation Shoe Box • MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) • Little Helpers • Adopt a School (Neidig Elementary)
Presbyterian Women • Birthday Offering • Blanket Project • Living Waters for the World • Presbyterian Children's Home
Connections • Peacemaking Offering • One Great Hour of Sharing • Pentecost Offering • Christmas Joy Offering • Living Waters for the World • Heifer Project • CROP Walk for Hunger
Our Moms' Group (currently called MOPS for Mothers of Preschoolers) is open to all moms who want to come and enjoy some "mom time" together! We typically meet on the first Mondays, September through May. Free childcare is provided for children ages birth through preschool.
Our Educational Ministries provide a place where you can deepen your faith in a variety of ways.
WORSHIP PARTY (young families) Worship Party *usually* meets on the first Sundays of the month, at 4:30 p.m. and provides an opportunity for families to worship and play together. The Worship Party ministry is dedicated to providing a nurturing, faith-based environment for families with toddlers through 5th graders. Worship Party involves songs and a storytelling method that encourages wonder while modeling a rhythm of worship. Through this experience, our young ones learn that we love God through worship. Of course, it wouldn’t be a “party” without bouncy houses and dinner too!
YOUTH GROUP ACTIVITIES Our youth enjoy "pop up" activities scheduled throughout the year. These activities include a variety of Bible Studies, service activities, fellowship and special events which help them to engage the hard questions of life and faith.
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL Our Adult Sunday School class meets every Sunday before worship at 8:45 a.m. This class offers adults the opportunity to engage on a deeper level. The curriculum is diverse and covers a variety of topics, depending on the time of year: theology, scripture, spirituality, prayer, Christian history, and contemporary issues.
VBS - VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL Our VBS program is for all ages! Every summer we offer a VBS program with a different theme. Classes are available for preschoolers, kids, youth, and adults!
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES Our Education Committee is always looking for fun and exciting “pop up” opportunities for people to grow. Throughout the year, we offer a variety of short-term classes that can nurture our faith.
Past opportunities have included: - Marriage Enrichment (a 6 week course) - Protestant Prayer Beads (a 4 week course) - Gone With the Wind (a 4 week course) - God and Family for Boy Scouts (a 6 week course) - History of the King James Bible (a 5 week course) - Book Studies - Museum Trips
Our youth enjoy a variety of "pop up" activities, such as: bible studies, service activities, fellowship, and special events which help them to engage the hard questions of life and faith.
Here are some of the things that keep our youth busy: • Souper Bowl of Caring • CROP Walk for Hunger • Mo Ranch Mid Winters Retreat • Yearly Service Opportunities • Children & Youth-Led Worship Service • Children & Youth Christmas Pageant • Vacation Bible School • Blessing of the Animals • Confirmation Classes • Operation Shoe Box • Little Helpers • Adopt a School (Neidig Elementary)
Beer and Hymns
It's exactly what it sounds like: We drink beer, sing hymns together, and we raise money for local charities. Whether you sing the hymnal every week or just want to tap into the nostalgia of your childhood, all are welcome! It's just a fun event for anyone who would enjoy a spirited sing-along with your friends and neighbors!
Since Beer & Hymns is all about community, we gather at local pubs. It's not about the beer of course, it's about the experience, so if alcohol isn't for you, please feel free to order water/soda/etc instead. If you do partake, please use a designated driver or ride-sharing service if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DO YOU SING? We sing a mixture of things, mostly hymns that are over 100 years old.
WHAT’S THE COST? There’s no pressure to spend money or to drink. We ask that you bring enough money to cover whatever beverages you plan to purchase. You may also bring money to tip musicians and bartenders as well as money to contribute to the selected charity (which will vary per event).
WHO CAN COME? Everyone! Thick, thin, tall, short, old, young, gay, straight, all are welcome. If you’re an every Sunday church goer, if you have a nostalgic interest in old hymns, or if you just like to participate in local community events, come sing with us! Whatever your story may be, you are welcome.
The Rev. Amy Meyer holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary where she won the Chalice Press Book Award in Partnership with the Oreon E. Scott Foundation for Outstanding Seminarian.
Pastor Amy is an ordained minister in Mission Presbytery and has used her training in both church settings and as a chaplain for Hospice Austin.
Before her seminary training, Pastor Amy held positions as a youth director for the Presbyterian Church of Lake Travis and as a graphic designer for a division of Trader Publishing.
Pastor Amy has been with our church since October of 2010 and is excited to share her love for God with our congregation and its visitors!
Pastor Amy and her husband, Chris, have two children.
Parish Associate The Rev. Nancy McCranie
Pastoral Assistant The Rev. Mark McNeese
The Session Sean Donnelly Diane Williams Lynn McCleary Ernie Bogart
The Deacons Dolores Johnson Mary Ann Clark Joyce Cayton, secretary Sara Jane Cahill Claudia Smith, chair
Church Treasurer Diane Williams
Nursery Attendants Cathy Granado Jayme Johns Kaitlyn Nelson
Musicians Barry Nunnelee Sarah Homerstad
Presbyterian Women Susan Ingram, Co-moderator Linda Walicek, Co-moderator Dolores Johnson, Treasurer
Worship Party *usually* meets on the first Sundays of the month, at 4:30 p.m. and provides an opportunity for families to worship and play together. The Worship Party ministry is dedicated to providing a nurturing, faith-based environment for families with toddlers through 5th graders. Worship Party involves songs and a storytelling method that encourages wonder while modeling a rhythm of worship. Through this experience, our young ones learn that we love God through worship. Of course, it wouldn’t be a “party” without bouncy houses and dinner too!
Worship Party is designed to help you and your children develop your relationship with God and with one another. It’s specifically created to meet the needs of young families. Traditional Christian education (and some traditional forms of worship) separate families by putting the kids in one room and the adults in another. This traditional model works well for its purpose and allows parents the time they need to worship and learn. But Worship Party provides a chance for the family to worship as a whole, giving the family a shared experience and a common vocabulary.
In 1872, after the railroad line was extended, the town of Elgin was established along the line. Businesses, buildings, and homes began going up where once the wild beasts roamed and Mother Earth was covered with cactus, mesquite, and grand old oaks.
During this time, churches were being organized. There was a Cumberland Presbyterian Church northeast of town in Pleasant Grove, and some of the members there helped to organize the Cumberland Church in Elgin in 1881. There were eleven charter members.
They started out meeting in various churches and grade school buildings in town and had part-time pastors. The salary for a part-time pastor at that time was 87 dollars and 25 cents per month.
In 1886, just 5 years after the church was founded, the current property was purchased. In addition to a small house that was already on the property, a little white frame church was built.
In 1908, the first full-time pastor, the Rev. Comer, was hired. He and his family moved into the little house on the property, and he served the church for 3 years.
During that 3 years, they tore down the little white church and began work on a new building in the same location. The new church building was completed in 1909 and is still here today.
The women of the church raised money to pay for the pews by selling ice cream and cake on Saturdays, conducting a bazaar, and serving dinner at the red brick hotel.
The Cumberland Presbyterians were among the first of the reformed churches to ordain women, and in 1932, we ordained the first female elder in Elgin. Her name was Mrs. Sadie McCullough.
In 1941, the church switched from Cumberland and joined the Presbyterian Church, U.S. so that they could have students from the Austin Seminary come to supply the pulpit, and it wasn’t until much later that any other women were ordained here in Elgin.
In 1951, the Session decided to call a full-time pastor named Jack Harrison. The Rev. Harrison was only here for 3 years, and after that, they went back to seminary students providing pulpit supply.
In 1956, the congregation voted to build a new manse and educational building, so the little house that was used as the old educational building was sold and moved off the lot. From that time on, the congregation has had full-time pastors.
In 1982, our church was yoked with the Presbyterian Church in Giddings, and the Rev. John Camp was hired to preach at both churches. The organization of the two churches was called the Rolling Hills Parish.
In 1988, Ethel Munroe was hired as the church custodian, and she faithfully cleaned the church and kept things in order for nearly 3 decades.
Also in 1988, the fellowship hall was expanded, adding 1500 more square feet of space.
Due to church growth and increasing programs, the Rolling Hills Parish disbanded in 1990, and John Camp became the full-time pastor. He resigned in 1997.
In 1998, The Rev. Nan Jenkins was called as the first female pastor, and in 2001, the Rev. Nancy McCranie became the Parish Associate.
In 2003, the baby grand piano and the electric organ were donated by the Foehner estate.
2006 marked the beginning of the plans to add the porch off of the church narthex, relocate the bell, and renovate the steeple. The large porch that connects the fellowship hall to the sanctuary was planned as well. Construction was completed in 2010.
Nan Jenkins retired in 2008, and the Rev. Amy Meyer was called in 2010.
The latest renovation in 2013 restored the sanctuary interior, windows, floor, ceiling structure, and foundation. In addition, the chancel window was uncovered and replaced with the stained glass window.
In 2014, a new worship service called “Worship Party” was added on the first Sunday evening of every month. The church purchased bouncy houses, and Nancy Lou Webster carved little wooden figures so that Pastor Amy could use them to tell Bible stories to the children.
Thus, for well over a century, the First Presbyterian Church has been a light glowing in Elgin, and we continue to strive for a life filled with as deep a faith as the small group of sincere believers that started it all so long ago.
The following two sermons are from a sermon series Pastor Amy did about the 2016 General Assembly.