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


Study God’s Word.

Grow in Faith.

Live as Disciples.

The Spirit gives us the gift of faith, and our faith deepens when we practice our faith in classes, discussion groups and special programs for adults, youth and children.

Through May of 2019, First Presbyterian Church’s formation classes for adults, youth and children will provide us with the opportunity to study God’s word together, to grow in faith together and to live as disciples together.



Garrell Keesler

Adult Formation

Bryce Lapping

Assistant Director of Youth Ministry

Natalie Raygor

Director of Youth Ministries

Tammy Winchip

Director of Children’s Ministries


Adult Formation provides a framework in which to study God’s word and to grow in faith so we might live as disciples and witnesses to Christ.

How you approach this spiritual adventure is your choice. First Presbyterian Church offers classes on Sundays at 10 a.m., through small groups and in mid-week programs, and at special events throughout the year. Learn more below.

You can read our weekly electronic newsletters online.

Have questions or want to receive our weekly electronic newsletters directly to your inbox? ontact 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 Tanya Gaspar, Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor, for information.


The youth ministry of FPC Charlotte exists to engage faith in community, to nurture belonging, and empower discipleship, so that youth and their families live the Christian life.

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? Read our most recent Parent Guide, check out our Spring-Summer 2019 Calendar, or contact Natalie Raygor, Director of Youth Ministries; Bryce Lapping, Assistant 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

Funded by an endowment, our Willard Lecture is a special program that attracts attendees from across a broad spectrum of people in our area. This yearly lecture focuses on matters of social justice, human dignity and inclusion, and other relevant issues of our time. These conversations of faith are open to all. They also reflect the common goal of nurturing and deepening our relationship with God and one another.

Tickets will be available in early March for the 2019 Willard Lecture by Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a New York Times best-selling author whose TED Talks have been viewed more than three million times.

Rise Above: Becoming a Healer for An Ailing World will be the topic when Dr. Haidt (pronounce it “hite”) speaks at First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at the NYU-Stern School of Business. His research focuses on the emotional foundations and cultural variations of morality. He uses his research to help people understand and respect the moral motives of those with whom they disagree.

Watch for more details about ticket sales and Dr. Haidt, including links to his books and his TED Talks, in the Events section at the bottom of every page on the church website.

Below is a video from the 2018 Willard Lecture by Dr. Walter Brueggemann.


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


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.

Voices From Church and Trade

Welcome to Voices from Church and Trade, a podcast produced by the Formation Ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte (located at the corner of Church and Trade streets). Each episode is hosted by Garrell Keesler, director of adult formation. You can find and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify, or you can listen here.


April 12, 2019 – Gail Henderson-Belsito: A Resurrected Voice

Oct 26, 2018 The Times … They Are A Changin’

Sept 24, 2018 Once Lost …