O u r   s t o r y

How it all started . . . 


Organized on June 4, 1795, First Presbyterian Church is the oldest congregation in Columbia. Today, our membership numbers some 2,500, representing around 1,000 family units. Though we live and work all over the Midlands of South Carolina, we are a community in Christ, joined together by the grace of God, worshipping and glorifying Him in fellowship and in service.

The history of the church is closely tied to that of the city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina. The church’s forefathers first met in the old State House and later in a simple wooden meeting house on our present grounds. The sanctuary, built in 1853, and the graveyard are both on The Historic Register. The 180-foot church spire, once the tallest structure in Columbia, is a spiritual beacon of faith in the city’s skyline.

Expanding the vision...

The Revolutionary War was a recent memory when First Presbyterian Church was founded, and graves in our churchyard testify to those who fought in it. Unimaginable changes have taken place since the close of the eighteenth century, but the First Presbyterian Church still holds fast "the confession of our hope without wavering" (Hebrews 10:23). What does that mean?

Committed to the Bible 

We are committed to the Scriptures and believe the Bible to be infallible and inerrant. Every word of Scripture comes from the mouth of God (2. Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). All of our ministries seek to ensure that the Bible is taught and preached

Committed to the Westminster
Confession of Faith

Office-bearers and ministers subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith as a subordinate standard (subordinate to Scripture) and expression of their faith. The doctrines of grace contained in our Confession are beloved by Reformed Christians because they are biblical and emphasize the sovereignty of God in salvation. "God saves sinners" is the rich motto of the Reformed faith.

Committed to the Great Commission 

The advancement of the gospel worldwide, in fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) is very important to First Presbyterian Church. We actively promote and encourage local and overseas missions, longing to see gospel churches planted in every culture of the world. 

Committed to Community

We believe the “communion of saints.” Coming together for worship and expressing fellowship in more informal settings, in both large and small groups, is a vital aspect of our church-life. Sharing life together and encouraging each other to grow in Christ is our life-long goal (Hebrews 10:25; 2 Peter 3:18). Our aim is to develop a loving and caring community. 

Interested in learning more?

To learn more about the church’s history, ministers, theology, buildings, and the family of God which has gathered here, we recommend the book The Glory of the LORD Risen Upon It, written by Dr. David Calhoun on the occasion of the 1995 bicentennial celebration.

You may borrow a copy of this book from the church library located on the second floor of The Bridge building. 

Be a part of our story . . .

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 8:30 am, 11:15 am, and 6:00 pm.