About First Presbyterian Church
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about First Presbyterian Church and our community. First Presbyterian Church was established in Sterling, CO in 1878. We hope that after you look through our website and attend a worship service, you will consider becoming a more active part of our growing community of faith. 

Led by Rev. Michelle Witherspoon, First Presbyterian Church offers many ministries for people of all ages and walks of life who are looking to strengthen their relationship with Christ. 

Our Purpose is to serve one another as we live God’s love.

Core Values. . . We believe in and try, with God’s help, to live out the following values:

Compassion. . . We extend mercy and understanding to all people.

Grace. . . We forgive as we are forgiven.

Transformation. . . We are open to the ways of God to change perspectives and attitudes.

Reverence. . . We are mindful that we are always on holy ground; God is with us in everything we do.

Inclusion. . . We accept and welcome all of God’s children, regardless of age, race, color, creed, political affiliation or sexual orientation.

Community. . . We are the Body of Christ who addresses the needs of our neighbors near and far to promote God’s Kingdom of love.

Proactive Commitment. . .
We seek God’s will acting in one accord to anticipate future needs and changes.

Joy. . . We do everything in a spirit of happiness, energy, and love.

Integrity. . .
We live what we profess to believe.

What is Unique About the Presbyterian Church?

Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: we adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed Theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members. 

Reformed Theology: Theology is a way of thinking about God and God's relation to the world. Reformed theology evolved during the 16th century religious movement known as the Protestant Reformation. It emphasizes God's supremacy over everything and humanity's chief purpose as being to glorify and enjoy God forever. 

A major contributor to Reformed theology was John Calvin, who converted from Roman Catholicism after training for the priesthood and in the law. Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. 

Church government: Calvin also developed the Presbyterian pattern of church government, which vests governing authority primarily in elected laypersons known as elders. The word Presbyterian comes from the Greek word for elder. It is everyone's job - ministers and lay people alike - to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike. 

History of our Church

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has over 2.2 million members, more than 10,000 congregations, and roughly 14,000 ordained and active ministers. Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other part of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland.
Presbyterians have featured prominently in United States history. The Rev. Francis Makemie, who arrived in the U.S. from Ireland in 1683, helped to organize the first American Presbytery at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. This Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. The Rev. William Tennent founded a ministerial "log college" in New Jersey that evolved into Princeton University. Other Presbyterian ministers, such as the Rev. Jonathan Edwards and the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, were driving forces in the so-called "Great Awakening," a revivalist movement in the early 18th century.
The Presbyterian church in the United States has split and parts have reunited several times. Currently the largest group is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which has its national offices in Louisville, Ky. It was formed in 1983 as a result of reunion between the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS), the so-called "southern branch," and the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA), the so-called "northern branch." Other Presbyterian churches in the United States include: the Presbyterian Church in America, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Learn about the work of the PC(USA)

To find out about the PC(USA), visit the website.: www.pcusa.org
Share by: