Learn About Emporia Presbyterian Church
History of Presbyterians in Emporia
Along with 12 charter members, the Reverend James Gordon organized the First Presbyterian Church of Emporia on November 7, 1867. The congregation resided in the general area of 8th and Commercial Streets until the building that still stands at 802 Commercial Street was built in 1897.
Throughout the 1850’s a number of Welsh immigrants settled in the Emporia area and many of them sought a church home upon their arrival. In 1858 they began worshiping at the log cabin home of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Edwards and in 1860 they began worshiping as Union Church that met in a log church constructed on the Edwards farm. In 1870, the Reverend John Jones, along with 34 charter members, organized the church into the Tabernacle, which was a Calvinistic Methodist congregation located at 4th and Market. The building was destroyed by fire in 1872, and the Second Presbyterian Church emerged from the ashes at the same location. In 1904, Second Presbyterian rebuilt their building in the same location after it was destroyed by wind. In 1958, Second Presbyterian Church merged with United Presbyterian Church that was located at 6th and Neosho. The merged congregation was renamed Westminster United Presbyterian Church and continued to worship at 4th and Market until a new building was constructed at 1702 West 15th Avenue in 1967.
In January 2007, Westminster United Presbyterian Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Emporia were merged into a single congregation. The congregation renamed itself the Emporia Presbyterian Church. Renovations in the Downtown sanctuary took place during 2011-2012 to enlarge the pulpit area, choir loft and to widen the length between each pew. During the construction phase, worship service was held at the West Campus.
Emporia Presbyterian Church continues to use both of its properties for the mission of Jesus Christ in and around Emporia, Kansas. Regular Sunday worship and weekday office hours are held at the Downtown Campus, while community outreach, fellowship events, special worship services, and weekly youth group are held at the West Campus.
We serve Christ through financial support of local agencies, hands on mission within the community, and participation in denominational initiatives through the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and our special offerings.
Our local agency and community partners include: Emporia SOS, Lyon County Restricted Emergency Fund, Sterling College Scholarship, Emporia Rescue Mission, Church Camp Scholarships, Church Scholarship Program, ESU Presbyterian Scholarship, ESU Choir, Ives Scholarship Singers, and other Local Mission Assistance. We also make scarves and provide other assistance through the Salvation Army, serve meals at Abundant Harvest, and the youth group participates in regular mission projects.
Through the Presbyterian Church (USA) we also support: Missions and Global Mission Partners of the PC (USA), the Theological Education Fund, and the four Special Offerings of the PC (USA): One Great Hour of Sharing; Pentecost; Peacemaking; Christmas Joy.
We are a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and follow the norms of the General Assembly, Synod of Mid-America, Presbytery of Northern Kansas, and our local Session.