Blog Archives

Sanctuary Services for FPC Schools

February 3, 2020

The next Sanctuary worship service for children will be February 26 at 9:50 a.m., with the Reverend Robert Galloway preaching.

Alternative Gift Market Success

Alternative Gift Market Success

Thank you to all who gave generously to the Alternative Gift Market during the holiday season. Because of your generosity, First Presbyterian Church was able to gift our local and global partners with $6680 dollars toward their critical needs. Your continued support of Alternative Gift Market over the years has made it possible for us to give more than $166,000.  Thank you!

Holy Lands Trip 2021 Brochure

January 31, 2020

The spaces in the 2021 Holy Lands trip have been filled, but if you would like to add you name to waiting list, please do so here.

Room in the Inn Needs Overnight Hosts

January 30, 2020

Caring for our neighbors is what we are called to do as Christians, and during the coldest nights of the year, FPC provides a warm dinner, breakfast and a safe place to sleep for 12 of our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. Recently, we have hosted men and women, and grandparents who have their young grandchildren with them. Opportunities are available in February and March for overnight hosts as well as those who can provide breakfast or lunch for our Room In The Inn guests on Monday and Tuesday evenings.  Sign up online or contact Ministry Team Coordinator Flo Bryan with questions.


Hot Chocolate Sunday

Meet and welcome new members after they join on February 23 when we enjoy hot chocolate in the drive at noon. (We’ll cancel if weather doesn’t cooperate.)

High School Senior Sunday

Our high school seniors will be recognized and receive a special blessing from the Reverend Pen Peery as they prepare to transition into the next chapter of their lives during the 11 a.m. service on Sunday, March 8. Following worship, senior youth and their families will gather for a luncheon in Wood Fellowship Hall. RSVP online or contact Natalie Raygor  with questions.



Kindness and Wonder Book Study

January 28, 2020

The Ladies Thursday Morning Bible Study (THMBS) invites you to join them in reading and discussing Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever by Gavin Edwards. The group meets at 9:30 every Thursday at Mary Margaret Porter’s home. If you are interested in learning more or joining the group, please email Mary Margaret at All are welcome.

A Family in Trauma at Westerly Hills

January 27, 2020

My heart sank on December 29, while celebrating the holidays with family, when I received an email from the principal of Westerly Hills Academy with the subject line “one of our own.”

She was referring to a student who had been killed in a hit and run accident.

I had seen the story on the news a couple of nights before. I searched for the accident online. It wasn’t hard to find the details. Amari, 11 years old, was riding his bike at 5:40 p.m., when he was struck by a vehicle. The car didn’t even slow down at first, then took off, leaving the child on the street. As the driver fled the scene, Amari’s bicycle was dragged under the car onto Interstate 85.  The details left me horrified.

I didn’t know Amari. He wasn’t a scholar in our BellXcel summer program. He wasn’t one of the students we tutored or sent to camp. But I did recognize him. His face was one I had seen over and over again at Westerly Hills. I have learned more about Amari since he was killed.

I learned he lived in a hotel with his mother and younger sister, who has special needs. I learned his nickname was Tank and he loved video games and was very protective of his sister. I learned that he helped her get ready for school each morning.

Amari wasn’t just a “juvenile killed in a hit-and-run accident” as the news stated. Amari was a fun-loving, protective, caring child of God.

I have thought a lot about Amari’s mom and sister since the accident. With the day-to-day challenges they face, how do they begin to deal with this tragedy? Father Gregory Boyle, who will be with us on March 15 as our 2020 Willard Lecturer, says we are to seek compassion that “can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry.” I wonder if I would have the strength to endure that many hard things. I know I couldn’t do it alone.

As we learned in the documentary Resilience this fall, the harmful effects of trauma can be offset by community and support. Westerly Hills Academy has surrounded mom and sister with a great deal of support, including connecting them with housing and counseling resources. We have supported the family with food and clothing, and we are collecting donations to provide bus passes for Amari’s family to go to counseling regularly, as they do not have transportation. (To contribute, send a check to the church with “bus passes” in the memo line or donate online in the Tickets & Signups section of the Now@First page on the church website. Look for Bus Passes for Amari’s Family.

As a church, we are called to share love, light and hope to the world. As Christians, we are asked to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). My hope is that Amari’s family is able to feel our love and our prayers, and that we can shine a little light into this dark time for them.

– Heather Herring, Child & Family Partnership Coordinator


New Member Coffee

January 22, 2020

PW (Presbyterian Women) invites all women who have joined the church during the last six months to enjoy coffee, pastries and conversation to get acquainted and learn more about the church on Sunday, March 9, in Lemma Howerton (S202), 10-10:45 a.m.

Hot Chocolate Sunday

Meet and welcome new members after they join on February 23 when we enjoy hot chocolate in the drive at noon. (We’ll cancel if weather doesn’t cooperate.)