Author: fpc

May 13, 2021

At the same time the pandemic raged across Cuba, food became scarce, and tourism collapsed, the Cuban government implemented a currency conversion at the beginning of 2021. This conversion tripled the minimum salary, as the cost of living continued to rise even more. The government compensates for that shortfall for government employees. Sadly, the 13% of Cubans who work in private enterprises, including pastors and seminary faculty, receive no national assistance, so the churches and seminary have to make up that gap on their own. So, for instance, the minimum salary prior to the conversion was approximately $30 a month and today it is approximately $87 a month. Our partners at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas are having great difficulty paying the faculty with this large increase in salary so to show our solidarity we, FPC, have already sent them our annual support of $12,000. A raise in salary sounds good, but because of the conversion and the pandemic, the costs of supplies have skyrocketed so the faculty and students are having trouble making ends meet. Another way we at FPC have been able to support them has been to recharge their cellphones. Each month members of the Cuba Ministry team sign on to a website and charge the faculty’s cellphones with our personal credit cards.  This means that the monthly phone charge of $25 does not have to be covered by the minister or seminary staff. 

February 8, 2021

First Presbyterian’s Mission in Bayonnais, Haiti is centered on sharing the love and light of our savior Jesus Christ with our Haitian brothers and sisters.  We have a relationship centered ministry that seeks to understand the needs of the people and help with resources to help the community help themselves.  Despite the many challenges that life in rural Haiti, the spirit and faith of the beautiful people of Bayonnais is an inspiration to those of us that have been blessed with so much.  Click below to get a more in-depth look at our global mission in Haiti.

September 7, 2019

Small groups are modeled after the practices of Jesus, who ate, studied and prayed with others. These groups meet throughout the week in homes and at the church.  Covenant Groups are specifically for young adults (ages 20-40) and meet on a schedule determined by the individual groups. Check the current issue of FirstNEWS (available to read online at the top of the Now@First page) or the News & Announcements section of the Now@First page for more current details.


Covenant Groups – FPC young adults (anyone 40 or younger!) are invited to be part of a small group of 8-12 people who will learn and grow together.  Groups will meet at least once a month on a mutually agreed upon schedule and will study various books.  Being part of a Covenant Group involves making an initial commitment of one semester (September-December) with the opportunity to re-up in January.  If you have any questions or would like to be part of one of these groups, contact Tanya Gaspar.


Bible and Beverage – Join the Reverend Pen Peery and other FPC men for discussion and fellowship to deepen the faith of and the connection among men of all ages. (Second Tuesdays, 8-9:30 p.m., usually at Resident Culture Brewing Company, 2101 Central Avenue.)


Tuesday Morning Bible Study – This group engages in deep, critical thinking as it seeks to know God and God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. Units include scriptural study, theology, ethics, and spirituality. Contact Garrell Keesler.  (Tuesdays, S203, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.)


Thursday Morning Men’s Bible Study – This group of faithful men gathers to study God’s word and build and strengthen relationships. Leadership comes from within the group, and all variety of ideas are honored and respected. New participants are always welcome. Contact Chuck Williamson. (Thursdays, Frances Browne Dining Room, 7-8 a.m.; breakfast served every second Thursday.)


Thursday Women’s Bible Study (ThuMBS)  – Studying various books together, this group develops a deepened connection to God and builds bonds of friendship and mutual support with one another. Led by the Reverend Katherine Kerr(Thursdays, Pattie Cole Room, 9:30-11 am)

For additional information about small groups for adults, contact Garrell Keesler, Director of Adult Formation.


Return to the Learn page or read more about specific Adult Formation programs:

December 17, 2018

We take a breather between Christmas and the New Year with one service at 11 a.m. and no formation classes on Sunday, December 30. Worship will be led by some of our members and staff who are currently attending seminary. Selina Malherbe will preach the sermon, “Praise the Lord!”; assisting in worship will be Natalie Raygor and the Reverend Katherine Kerr.

This winter, watch for First Fellowship gatherings, opportunities for First Pres members and friends to gather for fun and fellowship both within the walls of the church and beyond. Among these opportunities will be neighborhood/area gatherings in church members’ homes. The church will help with logistics and other support, but we need hospitable hosts. If you are interested in hosting a gathering in your home anytime between now and May, or have other ideas for fellowship, please contact the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter. Fellowship is an important part of  Congregational Care. The time and consideration we provide one another is vital to keeping this church vibrant and nourished to continue to be for Christ in the Heart of Charlotte

Students at Westerly Hills Academy still need tutors. Currently, 18 students who could benefit from tutoring aren’t being served.


Training is available for tutors as part of HELPS, a reading intervention program supported by both Read Charlotte and Augustine Literacy Project. Tutors work with third-grade students for one hour per week, or tutoring “buddies” can sign up together for one shift every other week.  The easy-to-follow curriculum is provided. Progress is graphed at the end of each lesson, and seeing improvement is exciting for both tutor and student. Sign up online   or email Melissa Walker with questions.

FPC’s Moving Ministry helps a family move from homelessness or transition into a permanent home. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Crisis Assistance Furniture Bank, 333 Dalton Road. There is work for friends and family, including your teenagers and their friends. Sign up here.

December 14, 2018

If you weren’t at the Advent Communion service on December 6, you missed something too wonderful to miss. So we’ve made a video of the story the Reverend Katherine Kerr told to introduce her meditation, “The Manager.”

When you’ve finished, you may want to to read the full text of Katherine’s meditation.

December 6, 2018

Director of Music Ministries Will Young has been granted three months of sabbatical, to be taken in January, June and July of 2019.

“I am deeply grateful to First Pres and the Personnel Committee for its generosity in offering me this time for both educational opportunities and personal rest,” Will said.

The Reverend Pen Peery said this reflects the fact that music is very much a part of the experience of worship.

“Great leadership in worship happens when we have the space to think deeply and faithfully about what worship is and what people need in order to connect to God’s presence,” Pen said.

In January, Will plans a month of travel to observe, learn from and perhaps even participate as a choir member with music departments at churches around the country with programs that are similar to FPC’s in size and scope. During the summer months, he will take time for renewal as well as for further study in the areas of choral conducting, service playing and organ improvisation.

“My gratitude also extends to those who will inevitably be working behind the scenes—the FPC music team and church members—to make sure things carry on in my absence,” Will said.

Existing staff will provide leadership during Will’s time away in January. Guest organist in January will be Ginger Wyrick, music faculty at UNCC.