May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love; may you have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:17-19

The Spirit gives us the gift of faith, and our faith deepens when we share life together by coming together to listen for what scripture tells us about God and ourselves.

In Christian Formation at First Presbyterian Church, we practice our faith in classes, discussion groups and special programs for adults, youth and children.

Through May of 2018, the theme of Life Together explores how God calls us to community to explore our faith together. Time spent with neighbors, experiences shared with friends, meals around a table with loved ones–this Life Together is the life God envisions for us.


Katelyn Gordon Cooke

Associate Pastor for Christian Formation

Garrell Keesler

Adult Formation

Natalie Raygor

Director of Youth Ministries

Tammy Winchip

Director of Children’s Ministries


Formation for adults at First Presbyterian Church happens throughout the week.. We offer a wide range of Sunday morning classes as well as small group studies that meet throughout the week,  We also host special programs throughout the year, like our Willard Lecture Series, our Wednesday evening forums and ongoing special events. All that we do in Christian Formation serves to deepen our relationships with God and with one another.

If you want to know more about Adult programs or to receive emails, contact Garrell Keesler, Director of Adult Formation.

Young Adult Ministry

Whatever your background, faith journey, career or lifestyle, young adults in their 20s and 30s welcome you into First Presbyterian’s vibrant center-city faith community. As we gather, we grow spiritually, have fun, worship and meet great people at First Presbyterian.

The Good Samaritan Sunday Class is wonderful place to meet people, study the Bible and learn how our faith applies to our everyday lives in a world that is in the midst of great change and growth. The class meets from 10-10:45 a.m. in the Fresco Lobby.

Midweek, the Wednesday Night Young Adult Group meets from 7-8 p.m. in Room P201 (off the Fresco Lobby). This group also meets on a social basis. Most are in their 20s and 30s, but all are welcome.

Want to know more or to receive emails? Contact Garrell Keesler, Director of Adult Formation, or Katelyn Gordon Cooke, Associate Pastor for Christian Formation.


Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church serves as a spiritual bridge between youth, their families and the greater community. Our mission is to equip and nurture Christ-centered relationships by strengthening, stretching, encouraging, enriching and influencing young people for Christ. This ministry helps prepare youth to articulate and live their faith now and throughout their faith journey.

Opportunities for youth to gather and deepen their faith journey include:

  • Middle School (grades 6-8) Formation meets every Sunday morning, P301, 10-10:45 a.m.
  • High School (grades 9-12) Formation meets every Sunday morning, P321, 10-10:45 a.m.
  • Presbyterian Youth Connection (PYC) is time for youth to gather for food, fellowship and discipleship. PYC meets most Sundays during the school year from 6-7:45 p.m. For a complete schedule of the school year, visit the Resources page at the bottom of this page.

Additional programs for youth include:

  • music
  • mission trips
  • retreats
  • small groups
  • assisting in worship
  • confirmation
  • and being in relationship with others as we practice walking in faith together.

Want to know more about youth ministry happenings or receive emails to stay on top of what’s going on? Check out our 2018 Calendar on the Resources for Members page or contact Natalie Raygor, Director of Youth Ministries, or Elizabeth Cook, Administrative Assistant for Formation.



One of our highest priorities at First Presbyterian Church is to nurture children and provide opportunities for them to grow in faith. Here are some of the ways we partner with parents by offering:

  • Sunday morning nursery care, 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for infants through TK
  • Sunday morning classes, 10-10:45 a.m., with age-appropriate teachings and activities from two years of age through grade 5
  • First Church during the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship hour, where children in grades K-2 participate in and lead a simplified worship service
  • A range of kid-friendly activities, including mission projects, catechism classes, vocal and handbell choirs, holiday and fellowship events, as well as Vacation Bible School in the summer
  • Two schools for pre-school children with experiences that develop a child’s physical, intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and language skills

For more details, contact Tammy Winchip, Director of Children’s Ministries, or Debbie Shirkey, Executive Director for First Presbyterian Church Schools.

Special Programs

Our most recent special event was the 2018 Willard Lecture, delivered by Dr. Walter Brueggeman. You can download the program from the event, which includes Dr. Brueggemann’s suggested reading list on his topic. You can watch Dr. Brueggemann’s talk on God. Money. Neighbor. The Economics of Compassion here.


Keep your eyes on Now at FPC, which updates weekly with details about special programs designed to be relevant and thought-provoking, including:

  • The Willard Lecture Series, an endowed program that brings in guest lecturers to broaden our perspective. Past lecturers have included philosopher and activist Cornell West; Dr. Craig Barnes of Princeton Theological Seminar; New York Times columnist and PBS host Bruce Feiler; and in 2017, author and NPR host Krista Tippett.
  • Wednesday evening forums offering food for thought as well as a shared dinner multiple times throughout the year. Topics range from education on mental health issues, questioning our faith, the stories of those who may seem very different from us on the surface, and more.
  • Enneagram, offered in the fall
  • First United Presbyterian Church/First Presbyterian Series, annual spring discussion series on issues around race hosted jointly with First United Presbyterian
  • Special classes including Lenten and Advent studies
Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann will deliver the Willard Lecture on March 4, 2018.


First Presbyterian Church has a long history of creating a Christian environment for nurturing children in the heart of Charlotte. First Presbyterian Church Schools include Child Development Center and the Weekday School.