FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

                    - Daily Bread, an ecumenical ministry to feed the hungry

                    - Boy, Girl, and Cub Scouts

                    - Alcoholics Anonymous

HISTORY OF THE CONGREGATION

1884

Sept 20

Congregation organized with 16 members.

1885

Apr 04

Met at schoolhouse.


 

Apr 05

Certified signatures.


 

Jul 09

Original charter recorded.


 

Aug 24

Kissimmee Land Company sold lots 6 & 5 of Block 5 to Church.

1886

April

Ladies sponsored a “Bell Festival” ice cream social to raise money for the purchase of a bell to call worshipers to Sunday services.

1886

May 06

The first church building was dedicated.

1887

Sept

The first wedding in the church was the marriage of Maude Murphy to William B. Makinson.

1896


 

Ladies Aid Society organized.

1898

Jan 25

A cottage and Kirk House situated on the two lots Monument Street at the corner of Church Street was received as a bequest from Catharine Hart.

1944


 

Women's Association formed with 25 members.

1945


 

Miss Ida Margaret Johnston left as a missionary to India from this congregation where she served for 29 years.

1953


 

Mrs. Fern Kenton was chosen to see that the quilt, started many years prior, was completed.

1955 - 1957


 

Lester Geisler was the architect for a major church renovation. He also carved the Ionic Cross which was placed above the chancel.

1958


 

The education building was constructed. Mr. Geisler was the architect for this project also.

1959


 

A 24” brass cross was sent from Fategarh, India by I. M. Johnston.

 

 

The Women's Association became the United Presbyterian Women.

1966


 

A silver rose bowl, presented to Rev. Van Etten in Ireland as a gift when he exchanged pulpits, was given to the trustees.

1966

 

A three-manual Rodgers organ was purchased.

1967

 

The Buckels property was purchased for $10.00.

1969

 

The Bryan property was purchased.

1970

 

The Kirk House was moved away.

1973

 

The Educational Loan was established by UPW.

1974

 

The parking lot was paved and landscaped.

1978

Apr 02

The Building Aid Mortgage Grant for $5000, acquired in 1928 from the Board of National Mission, was burned in a Sunday ceremony.

1979

 

First Church's Library was organized by Betty J. Frakes.

1983  

The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church of the U.S. merged and is now Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

1988  

The two women's organizations merged and are now called Presbyterian Women.

   

The Allen Organ was purchased and dedicated.

1990 Jun 30

The Rev. John D. Shaver, Jr. retired after serving 17 years as pastor, the longest tenured pastor in the history of the congregation.

1992 June

Spanish services began.

2005  

Following the three hurricanes of 2004, the bell tower was restored and the roof replaced.

PASTORS WHO HAVE SERVED

1884-1888

Caleb E. Jones, D.D.

1889

Charles C. Wallace. D.D.

1890

William S. Wallace

1891 - 1893

Lawrence M. Stephens, D.D.

1893 - 1895

Henry M. Goodell

1895 - 1900

D.C. Dodge

1900-1905

Frank G. Railey

1905-1906

Caleb E. Jones, D.D.

1907-1909

John K. Nutting

1910-1913

S.S. Snyder

1913-1919

William B. Witherspoon, D.D.

1919-1924

William H. Dresch

1926-1927

E.E. Van Ness

1930-1931

S.M. Engle

1931-1932

Thomas B. Haynie

1932-1933

Clarence M. Junkin

1933-1943

William H. Dresch, D.D.

1944-1945

A.D. Driggers

1945-1949

Maleon H. Woolf

1949-1951

George C. Westberg, D.D.

1951-1954

Maurice P. Grigsby

1954-1956

W.K.C. Thompson, D.D.

1957-1959

Dirk H. Middents, D.D.

1960-1967

Dorr L. Van Etten

1967-1968

Paul E. Chalfant, D.D.

1968-1972

Daniel C. Axt

1972-1973

N. Carl Elder

1973-1990

John D. Shaver, Jr.

1990-1991

Wallace G. Winegard (Supply)

1991-1992

Jeremiah D. Schenck, Jr. (Supply)

1992-1994

Frederick E. Hummel

1994 Apr - Sept

Edward Rowley, Jr.

1994 Oct - Dec

Jack Hawes, D.D.

1995 Jan - Mar

Dean Chapman, D.D.

1995 May

Ronald Radden

1995 - Present

Frank J. Allen, Jr., D. Min.