Our History at First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan, KS
The First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan, KS was officially organized on July 28, 1867 with 22 members. Our first chapel building was erected in 1870 at a cost of $6,222. It was located downtown on the corner of Poyntz Ave. and Fifth St. Soon the church grew to a membership of over 100, and hosted two services and a thriving Sunday School program.
In June 1911, as the church continued to grow, the Session appointed a committee to begin planning the construction of a new church building. They had little idea as to where this would be or where the project would take them. After much prayer and diligence in work, the building was completed and dedicated in December of 1916, and it became our new church home in January of 1917.
The sanctuary has been remodeled numerous times, and in 1972 a major renovation drastically changed the look of our worship space. A state-of-the-art pipe organ was soon added, the work of well-known pipe organ builder Lynn Dobson. Then in 2005 we completed the addition of a gymnasium and community center known as Presby Place, which is frequently used by both the church and community.
Through many years and many generations, God has continued to bless our congregation. We have grown from the initial membership of 22 to a membership of over 400 today. God has truly been faithful to us as community of faith, and he continues to bless us today.
In 1942, a member of the 1916 Building Committee wrote this as he reflected on being a part of the building of a new church home: “As I look back on the years spent in building this building it seems to me that one of the outstanding facts was the harmonious way in which the Building Committee, the Session, and the members of our congregation worked together to bring to a successful conclusion our building project.“
We remain a harmonious, dedicated, and close-knit community to this day; seeking to serve Christ and love all that we meet in a way that brings us together.