Our History



The origins of First Presbyterian Church, Wooster Ohio, go back to 1815 when fifteen Scottish and Irish settlers gathered in a home on West Liberty Street to form a Presbyterian Congregation. A small brick building was erected there for worship. As the congregation grew, land for the second church building at the corner of North Walnut and West North Streets was donated by John and Elizabeth Christmas in 1848. In 1927, the cornerstone for a neo-gothic building was laid at the corner of College Ave and East Bowman Street, where the present sanctuary and related structures were erected. In 2005, the congregation undertook another major addition to better equip this historic congregation for ministry in the 21st century.

While in the Walnut Street building, during the pastoral leadership of the Rev. James Reed, the congregation organized the College of Wooster under the auspices of the Ohio Synod of the Presbyterian Church. Church member Ephraim Quinby gave twenty acres on the hill above the present building for the college seat, becoming one of the first trustees. Another church member, John Kauke, also a college trustee, provided funds for an early classroom building which now bears his name. During the same years, twenty-five First Presbyterian Church members formed and chartered Westminister Church to provide a campus congregation for college students. First Presbyterian Church has always focused on the needs of the community through a variety of educational and mission outreach ministries that continue to this day.

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